Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm a mean mom

I learned this while putting kids to bed tonight. For background, our routine goes as follows:

  • make beds
  • get out pj's
  • go potty
  • brush teeth
  • put on lotion/brush G's hair
  • put on pj's
  • say prayers
  • kisses/singing/sleep
So, I sent them upstairs at bedtime which was apparently unfairly early. I'm not sure if something changed or not, as it was the normal go upstairs time, but whatever. I headed up the stairs with E and found the boys in the bathroom. M was helping G go potty--very cute. But then they proceeded to play and I had to kick them out. Strike 1.
Once in the bedroom, I had a hard time getting G to help with his bed. M dawdled like a frozen sloth. He was particularly talkative and when his mouth moves, nothing else does. It was taking forever and I was having to remind him of every step. I figured since he had been in the bathroom so long, he had already taken care of toothbrushing. Apparently not, but I wouldn't let him go back in. Strike 2.
Then, hairbrushing, and constant prodding, and finally some help with, lotion. 9 year olds don't like help from mom on putting on lotion. Strike 3. But I'm mom, so I don't strike out at 3.
Prayer time. I couldn't get M to acknowledge me so I had to 5-4-3-2-1 him into saying prayers. I got a glare and a prayer. Then G's turn. He hasn't wanted to for days. I put him on my lap and say it for him, just so he knows prayers are important. M is sitting by him, patting his back, saying "it's ok, it's ok." I grab G, put him on my lap and repeat the prayer time of previous nights. M tells me how horrid it is to force people to do things they don't want to do. I tell him that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to. Time for goodnight kisses. M stands in front of me and gets help with his pj's and then turns, saying "people who are mean to other people don't get goodnight hugs and kisses." Huff, and strike 4.
After tucking a pretty happy G into bed, I tell M about his childhood.
"When you were little, you wanted to eat the food other people had and I wouldn't let you. Was that mean?"
"NO! I would have gotten really sick!"
"As a parent, didn't Heavenly Father tell me to teach my children about the Gospel and about Him and Jesus?"
"Yes"
"And if I don't teach my children, isn't that kinda mean? Since then they wouldn't know about Him?"
"Yeah."
I tucked G back into be and got his shark. When I popped up to turn on the lights, M told me he decided I could have a hug and kiss.
"I think you're a good mom."
I tucked G back into bed.

1 comment:

Lanna said...

Kids this age can be..fun. They're very keen to learn about 'rights' but not so much about 'duties'. :) Also fun is the 'capable' vs. 'allowed' i.e., sure they're capable of walking to the shops by themselves, but I'm certainly not going to let them. At least then I can blame the creepy people and Murphy's Law and such and not myself. I'm not sure the kids buy it though ;).