Monday, February 23, 2009

Meanest Mother Ever ™

On Thursday, I asked the children to clean their room.

On Friday, I asked the children to clean their room.

On Saturday, I asked the children to clean their room.

On Sunday, I asked the children to clean their room. Then I informed them that I would be entering their room with a trash bag in thirty short minutes. Everything on the floor would be put into the trash bag and then carted to the dumpster.

A short while later, I walked into the room to find a pile of toys on Claire's bed, a pile of toys on Jake's desk chair, and a pile of toys precariously balanced on top of the wheelie 3-drawer bin thingamajig. The actual drawers in the thingamajig were empty. There were still toys on the floor. I took a deep breath. "JACOBANDCLAIREYOUGETINHERERIGHTTHISVERYMINUTE!" Then I took another deep breath and told them to put the toys away, actually away where they belong, and I would be back in another hour with the trash bag. And I was rudely informed that I was the Meanest Mother Ever.

I should mention, perhaps, that I am frequently accused of being the Meanest Mother Ever. It has happened frequently enough that I have been able to determine that the A#1 best response to being called the Meanest Mother Ever is to say, "Great. I think maybe I'll get that put on a t-shirt and I'll wear that shirt everywhere I go with you. In fact, maybe I'll get several shirts, all in different colors, and a fancy one to wear to church so that everyone knows that I am proud to be the Meanest Mother Ever." The target child(ren) generally choose that moment to scream about how really really mean I am and about how they NOW KNOW that I truly am the Meanest Mother Ever. Then I force a grin because I'm mean like that.

I played some video games and took a shower and generally tried to ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth that was emanating from the children's bedroom. Eventually, both children exited the room and claimed that it was clean. "Are you sure? Because I have the garbage bag and I'm not afraid to fill it." I made a feint toward the room and both children ran back into the room screaming. "Five minutes! Then I'm coming in!"

Ten minutes later, I went in with my bag. I went behind Claire's bed and started shoveling the pile into the bag. "Mom! Don't! Are you really going to throw that stuff away? Don't! You are the Meanest Mother Ever! I don't think this is going to work! I think that you should just send us to bed early! Doooooooooooooooooooon't!" I put in a teddy bear. "Dooooooooooooon't!" I put in a toy sword. "Doooooooooooooooon't!" I saw a piece of leg armor from the Prince Caspian action doll that Jake picked out as a reward after a particularly good week at school. I put in a frog instead. "Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon't! It's not going to work!" Jake spun around and around. I took advantage of the moment to shove the leg armor into my pocket, then shoved a handful of valentine's into the bag. Eventually, I had a bag filled with toys that I was more than happy to discard and a pocket filled with two pieces of leg armor, one prickly brush block thingy, and a mancala marble.

Later that day, I snuck back into the kids room when they were out of the house. I put the block and marble in their respective homes, and then carefully snapped Caspian back into his armor. After all, I have to protect my reputation.


Katie Alender said...

My parents used to give me my stuff back as Christmas presents. Or we could buy things back and the money went to the "family fun" fund.

That would be a hilarious shirt. Maybe I'll get one for my parents and tell them it's for taking all my stuff 20 years ago.

Mary Witzl said...

You're not the Meanest Mother Ever, Christy. The reason I know it is because I claim that distinction myself. Maybe some day you will supplant me!

We went into our kids' rooms and culled so many times I hate to think about it. One thing I know for sure: the more you do this, the easier it gets. Try to make sure they don't get toys with faces on them. Toys with faces on them are harder to throw out than ones without faces. And be as hard-hearted as you can about acquisitions: kids nowadays have Too Much Stuff, and that is a large part of the problem.

Christy said...

Dude, stolen toys as Christmas present is hard-core. My tshirt will have to say "Not Quite the Meanest Mother Ever."

And it's not the faces that get me, oddly enough. It's the odd piece of a set. I can't toss one alphabet block because then the set is no good! So then I end up with a huge pile of misfits that have to be sorted into their respective homes. ARGH!

Mary Witzl said...

Over the years, I think I've thrown out over 18 jigsaw puzzles with just one piece missing; card packs minus one playing card; block sets minus just that one crucial block; vocabulary games with the one part that means something gone -- we'd keep them for years, hoping to find the missin bit, and then as soon as we threw the thing out, it would surface. Honestly, you can't win sometimes!

It's true, though: I've culled their Christmas presents. I'm way over your meanest mommy level.

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