Friday, September 5, 2008

Missing In Action

This week really got away from me. It was our "closing" week at work plus we were off Monday, which translates to a very stressful work week. house was clean. Since I implemented operation "Make Slaves Out of My Children" things have been a lot more pleasant around here.....for me anyway. How did I do it you ask? I will share my wonderful top secret secret.

I LAID DOWN THE LAW. I told my beautiful offspring the following: "We are all in this together. We are a family. There is no reason why I should have to do ALL the housework around here. You will help out whether you paid or not. I don't get paid for cleaning the house, and you might not either, deal with it".

I am not kidding you it was that simple. One of the secrets to parenting is letting them know who the boss is. The boss is me. I pay the bills. I run this house. I am the one and only parent. Therefore my children need to understand who is the queen of this domain. This is a dictatorship, not a democracy. Slowly a system is coming together. Melissa and I take turns preparing lunches for the next day and getting the coffee pot ready. I had both the girls start helping with getting dinner ready. Everyone helps out with everything. I usually call Keri and assign her chores on a "needs to get done basis". One day I might have her do the dusting. One day she might get the thrilling chore of vacuuming the living room.

Having the extra help has truly energized me. You would NOT believe all I have accomplished in the last week. Let me stop for a moment and share the horror of Keri's room. It will shame me to share this with you, but in the interest of keeping it real I feel I must. I decided while Keri was gone last weekend to attack her room, and attack it I did.

I started in the corner by emptying her toy box. I just dumped it upside down on the floor. You really would not believe the CLOTHES I found in there. Yes, clothes. That my friends is only the beginning. Her bed is not completely against a wall. There is barely enough room for me to fit between her bed and the wall. It was SO disgusting back there. I found the following and I am NOT making this up:

popcorn bag
3 cups
5 spoons (yes FIVE spoons)
3 bowls
popcorn kernels
empty yogurt cups
an empty Sonic bag (don't ask cuz I have NO idea)
a trillion papers and posters
a slice of apple

We'll just stop right there. I cleaned it up. I cleaned it ALL up. I spent an entire Saturday cleaning and organizing her room. Yep, all day. I worked so hard in her room that the next day, my butt and legs were sore. Which might be due to the fact that I don't exercise enough, but we don't need to talk about that.

I made a new rule: NO EATING OR DRINKING IN YOUR BEDROOM FOR ANY REASON. This resulted in a pouting session that lasted about an hour. Keri says to me, "Where am I supposed to eat?" Ummmm how about in the kitchen, where normal people eat. I told her she could eat at the kitchen table. She says, "But I always watch TV while I eat". I said, "Not anymore you don't" Then she wanted to know if she could eat at the computer desk. I told her she couldn't because then she would be dropping food in the keyboard. Like the keyboard is not disgusting enough right? She finally came up with an idea. She sits on the floor in the dining/computer room on a blanket. She uses the internet to pull up her favorite shows, and watches from there.

I am OK with that. As long as NOT ONE morsel of food goes into that bedroom, I don't care if she eats outside.

I also started cleaning out the bedroom closet. OH YEAH! I know what's wrong gotten into me lately. Well a couple of things. The first is that I recognize my need to control something in my life. I have so many things going on that I CAN'T control, that I am really clinging to the things I can. Like my house for instance. The other thing is that since I am getting help from the slaves...I mean, children I have more time to do some of the other things besides the day to day chores.

Things are finally starting to look up. I dealt with the financial crisis I had when I very irresponsibly spent bill money on school clothes for the kids. It took some doing, but I am coming out of it. Melissa has a job interview at Fazoli's tomorrow. We are ecstatic about that.

Tonight I have five girls in my house and I may not live to see another day. It's Keri's belated birthday sleep over. Joy and rapture. You think boys are noisy? Wait till you have a houseful of 10 year old girls.

Keri gave me a very cute verbal description of school pizza which I will now quote, "It's like a piece of cardboard covered with salsa and sprinkled with rotten cheese". I busted a gut when she told me that.

We had a hermit crab incident a few minutes ago. Let me tell you about Bubbles the hermit crab. Keri and her friend E both got hermit crabs last NOVEMBER. Bubbles is beloved member of our family now. Keri called me into her room a few minutes ago to tell me that Bubbles was dead. I was trying to console her, saying things like, "Keri, Bubbles lived a long life, most hermit crabs don't live for almost a year. You were lucky to have her as long as you did. I know it wont be the same, but we can get you another hermit crab". It cracks me up that I have to console her over the loss of her beloved hermit crab. I mean it's not like they're cute and cuddly or anything. Anyway I came back to the computer and a few minutes later she called me back in there. Wait a minute, Bubbles isn't dead! She shed her shell. I am not sure what the technical term is but that's what happened. I had even picked up what I thought was the hermit crab, and sure enough it looked dead to me.

It has become Karmic law that I must have at least one bad day every week. Thursday was my bad day for this week. I cut my alarm off in my sleep. We were late leaving the house. I dropped Keri off and headed to work. Only I couldn't get to the interstate. It took me about thirty minutes to go about a mile. When I finally got to the commotion, there was a stalled car in the middle of the street. What's wrong with people anyway? Didn't that guy KNOW that I was running late for work? Didn't he know I would be coming through the area. So I got to sit in traffic fiending for my coffee for thirty minutes. The inhumanity and injustice of it all. Why must I be so put upon?

Let us all hope Melissa's interview goes well tomorrow. If not I am likely to hurt her or myself if she doesn't get her own source of income soon.


harassedmomsramblings said...

ooohh I am so GLAD your plan worked and the girls are helping!!! WELL DONE!

Keri sounds like Kiara! I have to clean her room every 2 months - its when the teaspoons run out or my mom looses all the hand cream tubes she has!

It also takes me a day and then its all shiny and bright and 24hrs later its chaos again!!!

Argh dont you HATE broken down cars!!!!!!!!! I am soooo glad I dont have to do highways daily!!

HW said...

Wait. Are you sure you weren't in my daughter's room? Her name also starts with a K - could it be some bizarre trait of "K" girls? I honestly worry I'm going to have a stroke when I go in to clean my daughter's room - I feel myself getting so angry.

Believe me, girls are MUCH louder and goofier than boys. I've always said I'd rather have 10 boys in the house than 3 girls.

Good for you with the chore thing. Kids need to help out; and you certainly got your kids involved.

Karen Deborah said...

Woman you are on the warpath, I would not dare to get in your way! Good job with the kids, really! and hermit crabs can live twenty years! He molted, which means he is bigger now and may need to size up on his shells. We have three of them in our managerie. Heather has an acquarium set up for them. You can hear them *talking* at night. They are actually pretty social and seem to really like her. She walks around with them hanging off her pockets,...

I think all that food crap on the floor might have promted me to find a big wooden spoon somewhere. You did well!

Merrie said...

I'm proud of you -- and your girls will thank you later for teaching them responsibility. (Probably not until they have kids that are destroying their homes, but eventually.)
Your ex sounds a lot like my former BIL (who passed away last year.) Never made an effort with my 12 year old niece who just wanted a dad who cared. I don't know what is with these guys that they can just walk away like that. She's lucky to have you for a mom!