Fun Mom Makes a Rare Appearance

March 5, 2009

I find that kids think it’s hilarious if you act like an idiot. The other day I was in a pretty good mood, and the boys were on the kitchen counter and wanted cinnamon milk. Cinnamon milk is a drinkable concoction they created that contains — are you ready? — cinnamon and milk. It’s their version of chocolate milk, I guess. So I poured out the milk, and then suddenly decided to be a fun mom.

“What do I add next?” I asked. They told me to add cinnamon. I took out the baking powder. “Cinnamon!” I announced. “Nooooo!” they screamed. I took out the corn starch, the cumin, the salt, the vanilla, and they laughed harder each time, as I continued to act like a cinnamon-stupid buffoon. I finally brought out the cinnamon, and then pretended I didn’t know how to open it, tapping it against the counter like an egg, trying to shake it into the glasses without taking the top off. They were literally shrieking with laughter and I felt like a rock star.

Finally, cinnamon milk was made, and I started to do the dishes. “You were being funny!” Henry said with appreciation. “I know,” I said. Then, in perfect unison, they both said, “Why were you being funny?” The unspoken context was totally, “Because usually you’re a top-notch bitchqueen.” Sigh.

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8 Responses to “Fun Mom Makes a Rare Appearance”

  1. Emily says:

    well, someone’s gotta do it. be the boss, that is. as my mother is fond of saying, “mothers are a sorry lot.”

  2. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing these moments. It helps me feel like more of a normal human being and less of an ogre!

  3. Tracy says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and even though I don’t know you…you are no bee-oych. I’d be your kid in my next lifetime in a second.

  4. Julie says:

    Well thank you. And yeah, ok maybe I’m not a bitch. I could maybe be more of a bitch, I think (just in general). I am a nag, though, and to a kid it might be the same thing.

  5. Emily says:

    I’ve really been struggling over the past couple of days with the feeling that maybe I’ve not been firm/b**ey ENOUGH….I’m getting defied in new ways, at the cusp of 3, and I’m feeling not able to respond well – and it’s ME, not daddy. with daddy he does stuff, like put away his shoes, put on pj’s, brush teeth, leave the house, etc, in a way that feels like a game…I ask those same things, or command those same things, and get resistance. I get that part of that is being mommy. and female. and I don’t know. but it reminds me of how the students act with new teachers, and it sucks. did I stop being demanding at one point? did I not follow through on “no” enough? did I say “no” and not mean it? eeeks. anyway, nag away, I guess. kids like a limit, deep down.

    plus I do know you, and you’re the funniest person, have been, forever. your capacity for joy and finding the funny in things totally bleeds into your parenting, and I know you know that, but I’ll happily be the one to say it out loud in case you forgot.

  6. Julie says:

    It’s such a fine line. I’m certainly firm enough, but maybe not in the right way. Also, there was some study a few years ago (that Dave trots out regularly) where males LITERALLY can’t here female voices at times. So that might be part of the problem. Just not hearing.

    I am terrible at being firm and mad and everyone in the house pretty much just laughs at me.

    Two things that have helped me: telling, not asking; carrying out my threats. I spent a long time saying, “Can you put on your shoes?” Much more effective is a firm and nice, “Put on your shoes.” (Or, with distracted, making-up-stories-in-his-head Henry, just, “Shoes shoes shoes shoes shoes.”) And there is behavior that causes loss of privileges. Like if they make a huge mess and leave it and repeatedly don’t clean it up when I ask, then I take toys and give them away. Because clearly they have too many toys if they can’t manage them. Mean, yes, but it declutters our house and they know you mean business.

    Dave is much better at making chores a game. I am just a nut. The only chore game that I made, which does sort of work, is to use the sand timer Susannah gave Eli for his birthday, and say, “Can you clean it all up before the sand runs out?”

  7. Emily says:

    yep. telling not asking HUGE. we have to get more disciplined about this. and damn, yo, give away the toy is awesome. I’m going to try that with timing- if you delay, delay, runaway, runaway when it’s time for jammies, then no, there isn’t time for stories before bed (I did that the other night, actually defeated in tyring to put on damn jammies, and left him naked in bed with no stories. daddy came home 40 mins later – me curled up with wine on couch with slitty eyes and grim expression- and got him dressed). I thik I’m going to get an egg timer to ding at 7 (put your jammies on) and 7:30 (lights out).

    sigh.

    remind me to tell you about the poop in the bathroom yesterday morning – “i need some privacy” he said, and then, when we eventually gave up, “I made PAWPRINTS” – he had, after putting his poop, carefully, in a pile on the floor. oh, he can control his sphincter alright. grrr.

  8. Julie says:

    OH my god Emily PAWPRINTS. Good grief.

    And yes, no-books-read-at-bedtime is another one we hold up. That one is a punishment and also practical. If they are going nuts and being crazy and not getting their pjs on, it means they need to go to bed right away, and no book should be read.

    I’m impressed that he stayed in bed. Eli still needs to lulled into a stupor or else he’s UP.

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