Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweeping the Floor

Every night at dinner, Perrin throws his food. Whether he's finished or not, there's always a ring of dinner around his seat.  Tonight, Lydia joined in. Of course, with noodles. I should mention that today was a big day for little Lyd. She threw her beloved bottle in the trash. Its a big deal but she did it casually and, honestly, I'm waiting for the break down. I think I got a preview at dinner...

Lydia threw her noodles right along with Perrin. All the kids started yelling for me that noodles were being strewn around, knowing that they are the ones who will clean it up. It sounds a little panicy to me: "MOMMY! Quick, Perrin's throwing his food!" I can't help myself, I hesitate. Not because I'm mean. It's about the future, teaching them to deal with every little disappointing thing that comes along, including cleaning up the noodles that Perrin (and apparently Lydia) threw all over the floor.

When I did make it to the crime scene, Lydia was already pulling out the broom and sweeping all the noodles into the rug right by the door. This became a dreaded teaching moment and I tried to take the broom and show her how to do it. A wrestling match followed. So, I decided to try the "how old are you really?" technique. It backfired. I asked her: "Lyd, are you three years old or are you one?" There was only a slight hesitation before she defiantly says "one". And everyone erupts in exclamations of "ooohhh, Lydie!" and "you are NOT! What the heck?!" and "you don't want to be ONE. Geez, Lydia." We're all laughing too because well, its funny.

In the end, I totally lose. Lydia gets away with being a little punk and I cleaned the floor. What the heck is wrong with me? I think I know, though. Sometimes the kids have to win. If not, they'll gang up on me and hide stuff and all of a sudden they're listening to Beyonce and staying out past curfew. The truth is that right now we can't be friends. There's too much that they have to learn from me. But when they grow up, I want to be able to move our relationship into friendship. And this is where I think I should start, by letting them win every once in a while.

But I'm not sweeping the floor again for a week, at least.


  1. I think, even though they think they won, you really won because you could put it into a bigger (and admirably successful) context. YOU WIN!! Great post! Happy Mother's Day, Linda!

  2. You are a great mom because you think about these things. Because you know they need to do work and because you know you can't be their friend. A wise mom to teenager once told me that when kids are under six, you discipline them and you love them. That's all. Thanks for stopping by from SITS.