Maybe I haven’t worked all the kinks out yet? Maybe I know less about what I am doing that I let on (which is sad as I have never claimed any level of competence.) Maybe the June Cleaver gene passed me by. I just have to say, motherhood is messy. And hard. And it never stops. Ever.
The other day, my son came running up the stairs announcing something in that universal “I’m telling” tune. Are they born with that? Is it worldwide? It always starts with a long, stretched out “Mooooooooom” and then a rushed sentence proclaiming some wicked offense committed by a sibling in a rhythmic sing-song. I didn’t catch his exact words, something about Tayler writing on a wall. It was enough to grit my teeth. “We just moved into a new house and she is way too old for this crap” I thought, as I marched downstairs to investigate. Like a first-person video game, an arsenal of possible punishments scrolled down the side of my vision. What would it be?….hard labor, entertainment deprivation, vegetable ingestion, maybe exile? It would be fast and fierce. Nobody writes on my walls but me!
Tayler was in her room pretending to be doing homework. That is always a dead giveaway. They think they are so sneaky. I scanned the room with my crayon-sensing mommy-ray vision and immediately zoomed in on the windowsill. This is what I found:
The first thing I thought was “nice that Dad took the heat with me this time,” followed by “where is my Mr Clean magic eraser?” (God bless that man.)
I turned and looked at Tayler who was watching me survey her graffiti. I saw the fear in her eyes and I swear I could see her thoughts spinning in her head: “Who can I blame this on? Is there an excuse that could save me? Where can I hide? I am too young to die! This is the end.” I almost laughed out loud, but I kept my poker face on.
“Tayler, did you write this?”
Silence. She was too scared to lie. Wow, I am powerful!
“Good job on your punctuation and spelling. Your handwriting is really improving, honey.”
The look on her face was priceless. It was like hearing the guns jam on the firing squad and then peeking from under the blindfold to see if the bullets were coming after all. She was clearly confused by my tactic, but still too scared to speak.
“I used to feel that way sometimes when I was a kid. You must have been in time out when you wrote that. Tell you what, sweetie, it is okay to hate your mom and dad once in a while as long as you remember that we always love you, even when we send you to your room.”
“Wow, thanks mom, I love you too?” She pronounced that statement with the inflection of a question. She was still waiting for the bomb to drop.
“I really am proud of how well your handwriting is coming along, now run clean that up and don’t ever EVER write on the walls again.” I turned and walked up the stairs to resume whatever I had been in the middle of.
Tayler cleaned it up, every bit. Right away in record time. She was also really nice to me for at least 20 minutes.
So apparently sometimes my kids hate me. I choose to take that as an indication that I am doing my job.
You won’t see that in a greeting card.