Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's ramble: "Tough Love"

In these quiet, perfect early minutes of my morning when the sun is just coming up over the eastern edge of the horizon and my dogs, birds, and I are all peacefully co-habitating in my small, front study, I can't begin to imagine how my day goes from this to crazy manic in less than 45 minutes.

I used to pride myself on being organized.  The boys' clothes were always set out the night before.  Lunches made.  Dishes from last night's dinner done and the kitchen spotless.  A nice healthy breakfast with fruit planned and prepared.  Everything scheduled.  Everyone out the door.  Spit Spot - there you go.  Shiny happy people. 

I can't be too hard on myself these days.  Some of this still happens and on these rare occasions, I come home (that is, if I don't have an immediate appointment someplace else) and congratulate myself with a wonderful celebratory soak in a bubble bath.  However, my little boys have now grown into big argumentative monsters.  "I don't want breakfast.  It's not cold, I want to wear shorts." (Oh, really? I'll put the snow boots back in the closet.)  "I brushed my teeth."  (That's why they're orange?  Ok, you could have fooled me.  Try to get a date, I dare you.)  And so on, and so forth. 

What I've come to realize at this juncture in my life is that there are just some battles I don't care to fight anymore.  Am I awful because my kids come home hungry from school and I won't give them a snack before dinner?  I don't think so.  They chose not to eat breakfast so instead they ate their lunches earlier in the day.  Oh well, dinner is just a couple of hours away.  Tough it out, dudes.  Tough it out.

Am I a bad Mother because I refuse to pick my sophomore up from school in the snow when he deliberately chose to wear shorts?  Absolutely not.  He'll walk home, get sick, and in this house it's all about tough love.  Staying home sick requires a fever and/or greenies (sorry for the detailed description) and if he does stay home, he'll stay in bed.  No TV, no PlayStation, no Wii, and no Gameboys.  Sleep, recovery, and working on missed assignments.  Oh, and did I mention, no weekend activities?  Miss school, miss weekend...

One day William came up to me and said, "Mom, I need to talk to you."

My dear friends and blog readers, you all know me well enough by now to understand that I can be extremely direct and honest with people - especially with those I love...

"Sorry, dude.  No can do."


"Is it important, William?"

"Yeah, it's really important."

"Well, if it's that important you'd better brush your teeth and mouthwash before we even attempt this conversation."  He looked at me incredulously.  "I'm serious.  This conversation is not happening if I have to sit anywhere near your mouth."

William went upstairs to brush his teeth.  They figure it out eventually, don't they?  It's all about tough love in this house.


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