Monday, March 3, 2014

Parent Fail 492,785,123,001

Most mornings I wake up with aspirations to conquer the world.

Which roughly translates into doing a load of laundry at some point.

But this morning was different. I was going to be the best parent ever.

I was going to have breakfast, go on a long walk, have second breakfast, do laundry, make cookies, do school, read books with the kids, give them all baths, cut Josh's hair, get dinner into the crockpot, crochet a blanket, play the piano for an hour, catch up on all the Deseret News National Editions I have in my bedroom, read some more of the final book in a series I have been reading, dust the house, mop the floors, sew myself some dresses, write a novel, illustrate someone else's novel, all with the thought that my children would copy my every move, and I will have succeeded as a parent.

I did the first ten things, and something happened.

You see, when you set your goals high, and you manage to achieve even a few of them, the laws of nature kick in, and you have something that looks like this:

You see, when you put too many expectations into one particular day, you are setting yourself up for a plummet of some type at some point.

Now if you keep your expectations low, you won't have that problem, and if all you manage to do is fold four pieces of size 4T underwear you won't have that inevitable crash, and you'll ultimately be happier:

I know this now, and will do better next time.

But, for sake of argument I will tell you what happens when you shoot for the stars and end up shooting your own foot.

So, I had my to-do list, and was feeling mighty fine about things. Everyone was happy, fed, clothed, walked, and schooled.

I'm magical, I thought to myself.

I thought about the other things on my mental to-do list and thought, No Problem. I'll get to that in a jiffy.

Someone then started complaining about being hungry.

Hungry? That's impossible. I've fed everyone today already.

They persisted that they had empty bellies, and so I told them they could have cookies if they cleaned up the playroom.

Now, I don't know why my children have such a low opinion of me, but when I ask them to make the playroom "Mommy Clean" it typically looks like the clearance table at Wal-Mart (you know the one? The one they stick in the middle of the aisle so you can't get around it with your cart? Yeah, that one.) but all over the entire floor.

Mommy clean indeed....

I was in the middle of cleaning the "clean" playroom, when suddenly Jeremy was home.


I have an image to keep up.

I finished cleaning up the playroom, glad that he didn't spy me in the middle of my craft, and then I went searching for him. I found him watching My Little Pony with the kids.

For some inexplicable reason this made me really, really angry.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" I exclaimed.

He looked up at me with watery eyes, and said, "What?"


That led to an hour of crankies as I muttered to myself about all the stuff I didn't get done on my list. I blamed it on Jeremy and the kids, but it was probably the horrible amounts of cookie dough that I had eaten earlier in the day.

We finally sat down to dinner, and I tried to regain some composure.

"Ahem..." I began. "Lily, would you get the scriptures, please?"

The little woman complied, but spent a good deal of time flipping through them, and pulling out the pass-along cards I had stuck in there (what? I like the I don't know who to give them to...).

"LILY," I said forcefully. "THE SCRIPTURES."

Lily suddenly came to, and handed me the leather bound book, and I reached down to grab the pass-along card in her hand. It featured a family smiling and hugging each other on a nice, sunny day. Lily held onto it stubbornly, unwilling to give up the happy group, but I finally was able to wrangle it away from her. Stupid happy family trying to take Lily away from me...

The pass-along card reminded me that we have promised as a family to give away a Book of Mormon this month, and it filled me with guilt. I am terrified of giving one away. I have, like, two friends on facebook that aren't members of the church, and I'm afraid they'll unfriend me if I try and mail them a copy of The Book of Mormon, which fills me with more guilt, because I shouldn't be afraid of men more than God.

Anyway, I wrestled with my feelings, and felt rather rebellious.

Dinner wrapped up, and it was time to throw the kids in bed.

Now, I don't know why this is but at the end of the day my kids think this is the best time to be horribly awful and out of control. Now, don't misunderstand. They aren't mean or anything, but it's like the know it's their last hurrah before their bodies shut down, and they act like they've been eating sugar by the cupful.

I managed to put two children in their room, and then had to dive in and rescue Jeremy who was dealing with a noodly Lily who was valiantly sliding off of our bed in a series of hysterical giggles and a pillow-throwing Joshua who was jumping up and down on our chaise.

I grabbed Joshua and dragged him down the hallway.

"I need to brush my teeth!" he protested the whole way.

"Too bad," I said abruptly.

"But, it's important!"

"You should have gone when Daddy told you to."

"You don't care about my TEETH!" Joshua shouted dramatically.

"If you really cared about your teeth, Josh, you would have done it right after dinner."

My logic was sound, but lost on a 9-year-old who still has to be reminded to change his clothes every day.

We made it to his room, where he continued to go on and on and on about brushing his teeth, and I kept on going on about how he should have thought about that before, and before I knew it things were escalating and it became ridiculous to the nth degree.

At that moment, I heard some music coming from the kitchen, and noted it was very loud. Josh and I kept at it and then I looked up to find Jeremy in the doorway with a silly grin on his face. I then recognized the song...

"There is beauty all around, when there's love at home..."

Jeremy was laughing and then minced off to do some mischief somewhere else, and then Joshua dove right back in. I fell for it for about 5 seconds.

And then I stopped. I was doing it.

I was arguing with someone who, until recently, thought the Tooth Fairy was real.

"I'm not talking about this anymore, Josh," I said. "Please say your prayer."

I knelt down beside his bed, and put my face into my arms, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I could feel him resisting, but with me not talking anymore and not making eye-contact, he had nothing to do but pray, and he did.

As soon as he was done and I sat up, he started it up again.

I usually don't get into arguments with Josh, and it annoyed me that I had been conned into one in the first place and that he was trying to pull me in again.

That's when I decided to spank him.

I pulled down his pajamas, and exposed his white rear end, and for a split second debated about whether or not it was sanitary to spank him, but then remembered that he had taken a shower, and then went ahead.

Now, I don't like spanking my kids. And I know that spanking, at least in my house, is a result of the parent losing it more than the kid deserving it.

That didn't stop me however, and Joshua, being my son (meaning, being dramatic), began screaming in protest.

He got up, face red with rage and wounded feelings, and I did something that no parent should ever do.

I laughed.

I tried really hard to hide. I put his Bear Scout Handbook up to my face and laughed silently, my body shaking.

"STOP IT!" He screamed, trying really hard not to start laughing. He then began trying to throw socks at me, and then went into his closet and shut the door behind him.

I composed myself, and then opened the closet door, and peeked in.

"Go AWAY!" Josh shouted, throwing more dirty laundry at me. Just then Jeremy came up behind me and did a creepy walk into the closet, which sent Josh into a series of squeals, ending in laughter.

Josh and I then had a brief heart-to-heart about being sensitive to other people at the end of the day when they are super tired and not feeling well.

I closed Josh's door and made my way to the sink to tackle the dishes. Jeremy was finishing up with the girls nighty-nights, and then closed their door.

Then he screamed really loud.

I stood at the sink, and he hobbled over, and bend down to look at his toe. He pulled his sock off and his bloody toe was enough evidence that something bad had happened.

"What did you do?" I exclaimed.

"I pulled back my toe nail when I closed the girls' door!"

He winced and backed out of the kitchen.

I looked down at the dishes, and a wicked thought erupted in my mind, and I suddenly yelled out,


"SHUT UP!" He yelled back.

And I laughed.


We're messed up.

Moral of the story: Just do the one load of laundry.


Katscratchme said...

Yeah, cup full of sugar is right.

The Mrs. said...

Um, I want to know where your handmade drawings went? Don't go high tech!

Jennifer said...

Loved this post. I'm still snickering. ­čśä

Anonymous said...

I was using Jeremy's laptop when I wrote the blog, Savannah! Don't worry, I'll still draw. :)

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