Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yet another sucky Saturday

It was decided at about 7:30 this morning that we would not be leaving the house today. There was no way I was taking these disrespectful little shits out in public.

I'm tired of this kids expecting donuts or Pizza at CiCi's or going out for ice cream on Sundays. It's not a treat anymore, it's become a given. I think I choose to indulge them because to me, I'm really indulging myself. The treat, for me, is having R there instead of having it be just me and the kids. With R going to school two nights a week and then taking Beeb to karate one night a week, I go from Monday Evening to Thursday night without having R home for dinner. So I like it when we do fun stuff together with him.

So I'm trying to come up with a way for the kids to earn a weekend reward. That way I'll get some much-needed help around the house, they'll see that treats are not an entitlement, and we can hopefully save some money. Today I introduced the concept of Helping Hands and Happy Hearts. I made it up all by myself. I told them that in order to earn donuts tomorrow, they each needed to earn five helping hands (for helping me with chores) and three happy hearts (for good attitudes). Beeb did great with it. Tito did reasonably well too. Ryan just sat and cried and moaned about how "it's gonna take foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr". He even resorted to praying for God to do the work for him. I said, "Ry, dontcha think God would want you to, oh, I dunno, OBEY YOUR PARENTS?"

Oh, I'm so mad at that kid right now, I am seething. He WILL NOT help me do anything. His teachers tell me what a nice helper he is at school. But whenever I ask him to help me do something, he says "Well, I don't really feel like cleaning right now..."

So I left it up to him. I said "Well, Ry, you can choose to do the work or not, but if you don't do it, we won't get donuts tomorrow."

"That's okay, I don't really like donuts."

Great. That went well.

I even tried to make the day more fun by cutting out strips of paper with little jobs on them and having them draw them out of a bowl at random. Beeb got into it, and she made her goal. I wonder if Ry might have some issues with staying focused. I'd give him the job of picking up the books, for example, and as soon as he'd pick one up, he'd sit down and read it, and throw a full-on tantrum when I tried to remind him to stay on task.

I'm trying so hard to keep from screaming. I'm clenching my teeth so hard my jaw hurts. And I still have to survive (insert suspenseful dum dum DUHHHHM)tomorrow.

It's not that I want breakfast in bed. It's not that I want the kids to clean the entire house without being asked. It's not that I want extravagant gifts or a day of beauty or a fancy dinner out. I just want the day to not SUCK. Is that so much to ask? I don't want a reward, I just want the absence of punishment. Does that make sense? All I really want is to NOT have to go out there. I don't care about anything else. That's the only gift I need. I really wish I could go hang out with my family on Mother's Day, but that's obviously not reasonable since they're so far away.

Mom did call to tell me she got her package and she digs the tea, by the way. I was glad. I thought it was a pretty cool gift idea, if I do say so myself.

I'd be content if the kids just got along with each other for most of the day. I'd be delerious if I didn't have to wash dishes or laundry or listen to any tattling, crying, whining or screaming. But here's what happens. The kids act like wild apes, and then R yells at the kids for fighting with each other. Is THAT what I want? Does that make it a great day for me? Fuck it, let 'em fight. I don't care.

I feel so crappy, I wish I could just hide under my covers until Monday.


Anonymous said...

"Winning for a Lifetime: Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" - by the same author as "Raising your Spirited Child". It's a really good read.

Having him be a shit is no reflection on your parenting skills. It's an age thing, a learned thing, an 'I'm stressed at school all day and mom loves me unconditionally' thing, and it's a thing you can handle. You're way tougher than he is. Call him on it. You don't have to punnish it always, but you do need to keep calling him on it. "That's rude and that's not ok."

Another fabulous book, "No more Misbehaving" - full of good, practical answers to the most common parenting challenges.

who feels like a crap mother all the time, too, which is why she reads parenting books

Pyewacket said...

I've heard good things about those books too (well, I haven't heard of the 3rd one). Hang in there babe. Maybe just look at tomorrow as any other Sunday, rather than putting so much pressure on it being Mother's Day.

"Expectations are just pre-meditated resentments."

I don't know who said that, but s/he was a freakin' genius.

Bezzie said...

...and I'm sure you feel guilty about just wanting hide under the covers til Monday and not spend mother's day with the kids. You're not alone!!! It'll be over soon enough and Monday will be here.

amylovie said...

Been there cuz!

It sounds to me like you are having kid overload. Being a SAHM, it is inevitable. You need to be in the polite company of some adults for awhile...just to remember how human beings are supposed to behave and how your kids will act one day.


Anonymous said...

Dang Dawg....we needs to hookup. I seen this shit before an I knows what fixes it. for real

betzig said...

Happy Mother's Day! OK, so you are probably stressed as can be, but I have to tell you, that it sounds like you are doing a great job to me. I am not a mother but am one of five kids (if you ask my mom she will tell you that she didn't mean to have quite so many). Anyway, after some serious parental resentment during my teen years, I have finally figured out that they meant well. Since then, my relationship has been much better. (BTW, my dad is one of those "you are wrong and this is why" types. He has mellowed over the years but it got worse before it got better.)

As for your son,Ryan, based on my experience with my siblings, he probably wants to stand out from your other kids-a call for attention maybe?

Either way, you are an evil genius with a heart of gold, don't forget it.

Anonymous said...

Her me?
all you got to do is holla!
straight up!

Skye said...


This entry, in its entirety, could have been written by me.

Hope it went better than expected.

Emano said...

About how old is Ry? There is a point when they want to act like they don't care even though they do (I'm sure you know whether or not he likes donuts). You're plan sounds like a good one; stick with it so he knows you won't cave to his complaining and he might come around. When he can act like it was his own idea.