Here's the thing. Half the time I think there's something wrong with my family. My kids fight with each other always. Lately, they have been finding every excuse possible to get out of doing chores and picking up after themselves. I feel like I spend a lot of time breaking up fights and nagging. It sort of sucks. They are normally really good kids, but this summer has been a mix of chaos and boredom and their reaction to that has been to act up. I don't like it.
Their attitude can be summed up as:
Now I try and model good behavior but if I'm going to be honest, I don't always do it. Sometimes when the kids blow me off or have a crappy attitude when I ask for some help around the house, I get upset. I feel like, after all I do for you - you can't empty out the recycling?
So I try to explain why we all have to do our part and my kids are like:
I don't like to lose my schmidt but there is no way am I going to let that go. So sometimes, I get a little worked up about it.
But then I feel guilty for yelling at them. Because they look like this and I feel bad.
And they're so cute. So I apologize for yelling and suggest a snuggle and a story - while also telling them that I really did mean what I said about helping out more.
But snuggling three kids gets weird. They get competitive over hugging me. They fight over who gets to sit on me, or next to me, and they whine instead of letting me hug them and then the dog gets jealous and it turns into this:
So I just stand up and limp away.
I told my husband that the situation with them not helping had gotten worse recently, but it was like he didn't believe me. Probably because they usually listen to him. But last night at dinner when he asked our 8 year old to get up and feed the dog, the boy looked at him, shrugged and said no. I was like:
I had no idea what the reaction was going to be. But my husband is a boss. He looked at our son for a minute and said nothing.
Then he said, very calmly: "Every time we ask one of the you to to do a chore or help us with something and you say no, we move your bedtime up an hour."
When he said that, I smiled at him. And my love for him moved up to the next level.
And I was like: "That is the best rule I have ever heard in my life. GOOD JOB, MAN." And for a second we celebrated but we did so silently, and only with our eyes. And in our hearts it felt like this:
And our kids thought we were kidding for like 5 seconds and they realized we weren't.
And they got really concerned because they know how much I love sending kids to bed early. They were all like: ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW, DADDY? And the Cap'n was like:
And then I realized that our family is not that weird (or maybe it is). I no longer care. This family is fantastic and the best. And my beloved offspring are still young enough that they have to do what we say or they will go to bed with an hour of daylight left. MWAHH HAAAA HAAA!!
Our family is super happy fun time, after all. Just like North Korea.
(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013