I’m slowly coming out of the general malaise of pregnancy and newborn exhaustion. With that, I’m doing everything I can to run a tighter ship at home, and reverse some bad (lazy) habits we’ve fallen into. No, my kids are not wearing matching clothes. Yes, the pumpkins I put on the porch back in October are now rotting on my porch in February. I am not operating at 100 percent, or even 40 percent. But we’re making some progress.
For example, when we remember, the kids are doing chores. They make beds, clean up after dinner, and tell Mommy she’s pretty three times a day. Nothing unreasonable.
It’s hard enforcing chores after dinner because dinners are so crazy. One parent holds the baby while the other tells the kids to SIT DOWN! STAY IN YOUR CHAIR! WHY ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR CHAIR? Not one of our kids has ever sat in a chair for more than 30 consecutive seconds unless it has a five-point harness. After dinner the kids clear their dishes, then David sweeps the floor and Mary Virginia wipes the table.
One evening I said, “Mary and David! Time to sweep the table and wipe the floor!”
Yup. I mixed up the phrase.
I’ll give you a second to regain composure and resume normal bodily functions. Oh wait. You’re NOT doubled over in a fit of giggles? That little mix-up didn’t send you to the ground writhing with laughter?
Different story for my six and four year old! There was no coming back from that slip-up. They’re typing a Semantics post right now, but they can’t finish it because they’re laughing too hard.
My kids fight over everything — rocks, seats on the couch, whose birthday is coming next –they’ve never bonded over anything like they do when Mommy makes a mistake.
Now they tell me I made a mistake, even if I haven’t, and fall on the floor laughing about it.
“Kids, put on your shoes and get your bags!” I’ll say. And from the playroom one of the kids will run, giggling, “Mommy! Why did you just say put on your bags and get your shoes!”
The problem is that I’m so sleep-deprived, so scatterbrained, that I don’t even know if I’ve made the mistake they’re accusing me of.
Once, when the kids were scream-laughing about a mistake, I asked Tom, “Did I really say eat your milk? Because I don’t think I did.”
I hadn’t. For the record, I’d told the kids to DRINK their milk. Also for the record, every week I remember Mary Virginia’s show and tell, I send David’s books back to school on the appropriate day, I’m managing the creation of exactly 38 Valentines, and am the author of a mediocre Mommy blog. I also haven’t slept since August 2011. GIVE ME A BREAK.
But they were laughing, and even though my instinct is to correct them, to chide them, and to tell them that it’s rude to laugh about Mommy, I decided to laugh with them. And then tell them to please sit on their heads and eat their napkins.
Laughing with my kids, it’s another one of the “running a tighter ship” things I’m trying to get better at.