Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So I Guess that Makes Me Kim Jong Un

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:

Whatever, I do what I want

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?

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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:

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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 then we high fived right there at the dinner table.

Weekend Update High Five

And our kids thought we were kidding for like 5 seconds and they realized we weren't. 

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 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

38 comments:

  1. I have to tell you that today I needed this! Thank you!!!!!

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  2. I needed this today. My kids have also been tiny horrible people this summer. I miss the wonderful kids they were just 5 weeks ago.

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  3. How did you get into my house yesterday? Or, actually, into my car as I lost my schmidt? Thank you for making me realize that I'm not the only one channelling my inner dictator.

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  4. I love that you and your husband support each other so well! YeeHaw, Lydia!

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  5. I loved the baby's expression. Thanks for a giggle this morning.

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  6. LMAO - we're currently potty training and fighting a picky eater. I feel your pain!

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  7. oh my god. I just died a little. and peed my pants? I am sending this to my hubby stat because this. is. my family. (well, not the actual clips, just the descriptions.)

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  8. I needed all those GIFs. Love it! I've totally done the Will Smith face. And probably the chick in the second one (I can't remember her name - sorry!). That was awesome. From one mom to another: *fist bump*

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    1. OMG, me too! Except I usually feel like Mrs Crabtree (the bus driver from Southpark) when I've repeated myself for the fourth time. The Will Smith face though, killed me!

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  9. I swear this is exactly what has happened between me and my daughter all freaking summer long.... Oh how I <3 thee Lydia!

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  10. I needed this! Thank you! High five everyone!

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  11. Love, love, love, love, love. That is all. :)

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  12. This is the perfect post for me this morning!!! Thank you!

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  13. omg, this was AWESOME!! High-five sista!!

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  14. Oh thank GOD! My kids have fought pretty much constantly since school let out and I am so happy to hear its not just me.

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  15. Can I use this rule? It is FANTASTIC!

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  16. This is simply awesome! Love it!!

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  17. I literally just walked downstairs after losing my schmidt (orange rhino fail, again) on the twins and read this. THANK YOU!!! Because dang, parenting is so freaking hard all the time!

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  18. Kids are such buttheads sometimes. Good job! Hang in there!

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  19. OMG! I am laughing so hard I'm crying. This is BEAUTIFUL. And such a great tip on behavior modification. Great work!

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  20. Our summer has been all about learning to listen to Mom. They listen so good to Dad and IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!! So now, every time they don't listen they get a favorite toy taken away. Not after the second or third time I have to ask them, but right after the first time they don't listen. They HATE it! Then they ask Dad to give it back, or ask Dad a question that I have already said no to during the day and I totally lose my schmidt. But tonight, I'm just going to move bedtime. And open my t-box early. Thanks Lydia!

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    1. Oh yes, why is it that Dad's words are golden and Mom's are..."oh, did you say something?" My youngest actually told me "I don't want to listen to you. Only Daddy. He's my buddy." Wha????

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  21. Hahaha, this is totally my family and on top of it we have a wedding at our home in 3 weeks so yeah I needed this :)

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  22. I instituted a you-get-an-extra-chore-every-time-you-insult-your-brother rule but they'd end up with 47 extra chores every day and I'd give up nagging to get them done. Thank you! Bed time will probably be before lunch time. But I'm totally cool with that.

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  23. This might be your best post ever. I want to marry it and have its babies.

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  24. My 9yo stepdaughter spends most of her time here with us, and for her sake, we have a loose schedule throughout the summer to keep her from having anxiety-ridden transitions (or basically just losing her s*** when she realizes she doesn't have another half hour to do ...whatever... before dinner) between houses and activities here at home... I loved this post, because one of the biggest struggles we've had is with getting her to be responsible for herself at bedtime.

    Let me explain: her mother plays the favorite card a lot with the 9yo's younger brother (who is "theirs" - belonging to the stepdad), and doesn't pay the 9yo very much attention at all when she's there...except in the weirdest Who's-The-Parent-Here sort of ways, like earning brownie points from the sprout by letting her stay up waaaaay too late to watch TV.

    In our house, bedtime is 8pm, period. We make the relatives have the kid home by 7:30pm to wind down if they want to see her during the day, and after a lot of experimentation, we've discovered that her mood is SO much better the next day if she sticks to her sleep schedule. No help from her mother, of course, who sends this child back to us looking like a zombie, but ...meh.

    So we instituted the rule this summer that she could watch TV from 7:25pm-7:55pm (half an hour) so long as she was in bed when we came to tuck her in at 8pm. If she isn't under the blankets, ready to go, with her bedtime routine already done, she sacrifices the next day's privilege of TV. So far, this has worked like an absolute dream, and 8pm does NOT get stretched to 8:30pm or 9pm anymore. :D

    But omg, you should have seen her face when we first put the rule in place. I thought she was going to mess herself right there because we were being SO MEAN AND CLEARLY INSANITY HAD SET IN. :D :D

    Hang in there!! Trust me, sticking to your guns works so much better.

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  25. I needed this today. I lost my mind last night with my two year old (I tried to tell myself that it's the pregnancy hormones, the financial stress, the fact that she screamed for 30 minutes For. No. Reason., but it seemed like excuses). Then I read this and it provided so much comfort, and helped ease the guilt, just a little

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  26. First I read the post. Which I so needed. Then, I read all the comments. And my household is a mishmash of all these things.

    A 2 yr old in potty training, with a BIG attitude.
    A 12 yr old step-son with a mom that is his BEST FRIEND (please interpret this as lets him stay up until he collapses playing video games/watching tv, permits him to skip all basic hygiene, AND takes him to do fun stuff as long as she's interested in it too).
    And... a 9 mo old that is bound and determined to eat wires and cat food.

    All of whom make a huge mess. And somehow make a bigger mess trying to "help" clean it up. And all I want to do is set fire to my house and move somewhere else before I lose my schmidt. That, or invest a significant portion of my finances in Japanese scream therapy.

    So thank you. Thank you all so very much for also wanting to lose your schmidt.

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  27. We set a new rule at our house this summer as well. I have a 17yr boy and a 12yr girl. I am home with them all summer because I work for a school. It was not so bad at the beginning of the summer but now they are bored. My 17yr works on and off this summer doing landscaping. He had more time working in June and July.My 12yr did Summer stage and swim team so she was booked but now.....
    OK, the rule... they have to do there chores and summer reading before i give them the the wifi password!!!! I change it at will. This has been working so far.
    Wish me luck.

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  28. I love this post with all my heart. If I could hug it I would. GO Cap'n!

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