Monday, August 6, 2012

What if Mom Quit Doing HER Jobs?

Today started out pretty good. We ran some errands, checked out preschools for Bean then came home to start the oh-so-dreaded laundry. I knew it wouldn’t take long for the fun new washer and dryer to not be fun anymore. 

Now, I know many kids don’t get allowances any more but I started giving the kids allowance during Mike’s last deployment. Probably one of my desperate ploys to get a little help around the house and it’s just stayed.  Sometimes it’s nice because when the kids ask for something, they can just pay for it themselves because they have their own money. Other times I wonder why I even started allowances.

One of Lulu’s chores is to fold the laundry. Smart on my part because I hate folding laundry, but I’m too OCD to let her do it completely alone so I always end up helping or refolding what she’s done. Today, I was in the middle of taking a test for one of my classes and I asked her to get the laundry out and start folding.  She instantly copped a major attitude and started huffing and puffing, flinging her hair around and just being sassy.  I asked her what was wrong and I get, “I’m so sick and tired of doing YOUR laundry all the time! All I ever do is stuff for you! You’re the Mom and laundry is YOUR job, not mine! I’m done!” 

Whoa sister! Ok, so let me get this straight, laundry is a Mom’s job and not yours so now, I don’t have to do your laundry any more! Perfect!  I’m really not sure if I should be mad or hurt by the way she talked to me and what she said.  I think every mother expects the day her daughter sasses off to her and they butt heads.  This kind of took me back though; she’s always been my sweet, helpful kiddo. Sure we’ve had our share of arguments but evidently laundry pushes her over the edge…much like it does her mother!

So that I can calm down and gather my thoughts, mostly just to calm down, I sent her to her room and made sure she knew I wouldn’t be doing her laundry any more.  Not twenty minutes later, Dylan comes bursting through the door and Bean’s chickens are running down the road.  Yes, you heard me; all six chickens are running away.  I yell for Lulu and Bean to come help us, and we all take off down the driveway in search of chickens.  Once we get onto the road, Dylan says, “Oh yeah, they’re way down there by so-and-so’s house.” Well great, that’s about a half mile away!  Back we run to the house and on our way Bean runs up the back of my leg with her bike and we both crash to the ground. No time to cry though, chickens are on the loose! We get to the house and load two boxes and tape into the car and drive down to where Dylan said the chickens are.  All the while I was thinking to myself, “What the hell am I going to do if I catch these things? Put them in the car? In a box? Maybe just round them up with packing tape!”  The worst thing is, those damn chickens hate everyone but Bean so I have to get a four year old to help me catch chickens on the road. Oh, this should be loads of fun!

We get to the end of the road and no chickens. A part of me was delighted, the other part didn’t want to tell Bean they were gone.  She took it pretty well, saying that Bigfoot probably finally caught them. Bigfoot lives in Washington, you know!  Of course, she knows we’ll just buy her new chicks anyway and who doesn’t love new chicks? 

At this point, Lulu is still on her bike and I tell her to go back home to her room since the drama is over.  I stop and get the mail and notice Lulu has not passed me to go home.  Great! Where did she go?  In my rearview mirror I see her peddling, the opposite direction of home, as fast as she can!  Oooooohh no you don’t little sassy pants!  I turn around and drive up next to her. “Where ya goin’?” I ask.  “Away!” she yells.   

Of course.  She’s mad so she’s running away.  First the chickens, now the girl. How did I get here?  My day was going so well before I started the damn laundry! 

Lulu was escorted home, remanded to her room to do her own laundry, the bike was confiscated, she no longer receives allowance and I got a small pay raise!

The chickens returned. They literally just came running to their coop out of nowhere.  Bean was delighted, she fed them and watered them and loved on them.  Like any good mother she was relieved that they were okay and evidently after the relief wore off, she thought punishment would be the next step. I looked out the window to see her drenching the poor chickens with her super soaker water gun. I’m not sure they’ll respond well to water gun therapy but I do know they are scared to death to leave their coop at the moment!

So, what if Mom did quit doing all of her jobs? After today, we’d have no clean laundry (well, Lulu still doesn’t), chickens would be running free, children would go unfed and they might even succeed at running away, chickens would be constantly tortured by 4 year olds with water guns, the house would go un-cleaned, tears would go un-wiped and boo-boos would go un-kissed.  All of those jobs I’d miss terribly if I weren’t a mom so I’ll take my Mom jobs any day…except the laundry.

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