No one who knows me would ever say I’m easy on my kids. No one. Yet, they behave better for their father.
Do I treat them like Marines or royal subjects? No. I’m a bitch, but they are my children and I love them blah blah blah.
*totally says Blah blah blah*
The Mister’s not always been around and so I’ve had to resort to phones and webcams at times, but even then, they mind him better. OVER THE PHONE.
“…And he’s tickling her and she’s screaming and she runs away and then he swoops her back up and then he tickles her and then she screams again and she runs away and then she runs right back to him! Clearly the baby wants to be tickled! Sassy, take the jump rope off your sister’s waist! Sissy, really! Don’t encourage her! Sissy is not your pony! I don’t care if you mind, I mind! Gonna get rope burn! And now Sassy’s practically force-feeding carrots to Sissy and she’s gonna choke! It’s not funny! SASSY BUTTON MOTTERN, naughty chair! Now! Bubba, SO HELP ME GOD, don’t you dare tickle the pony!…”
To solve this problem on my own, there was only one option, which was to completely freak them out, scare them with my crazed Mama eyes. I’d be crying, laughing, swearing, praying to the ceiling, speaking assorted languages, then I’d middle name them all and send them to their rooms.
I’d done this before, authentically, from exhaustion, and I was so pleased with the resulting scatter of feet down the upstairs hallway, I added it to my repertoire.
For Emergencies Only. Lil silence, lil wine, lil book, tra-la-la!
The Mister could discipline them OVER THE PHONE.
Just stern, “Son” and “Young Lady” in those fatherly tones and they’d simmer down. Half the time, they’d snivel and return to me with apologies and hugs.
I hated it. So unfair.
I’ve heard this is because children know their mothers love them unconditionally, and more than anything they crave their fathers’ approval.
I’m just Joey the bad feminist and this is only a blog, BUT —
I’ve noticed that if the kids want somethin about which Daddy isn’t inclined, they come to me like I’m the ambassador of Daddy. They suddenly possess tact and they employ this diplomacy to cultivate my sympathy for their causes.
You know I’m right.
Boys go about it indirectly.
“I told Dad how I can’t take Missy yet, because I want to keep extra money in savings, and he said ‘That’s too bad, Buddy’ so I guess I’ll just wait and see how it goes.”
“He’s such a good boy, hardly asks for a thing, we should just pay his pet deposit, make it easier for everyone.”
“Yes. I could do that.”
“Mmmhm, that’d be nice.”
I had less say in the workings of Bubba’s life because I am not a man and I am too soft on the boy.
Again, no one, no one else would ever say I was soft on the boy. He would tell you he had it the worst. He was NOT an easy child. It’s because of him I even developed a lecture series.
“You never wanted a hair cut at his age, either. Let it be.”
“And my father made me get a haircut and my son’s getting a fucking haircut!”
The girls have that whole “Daaaddyy” thing down. When “Daaaddyy” followed by a request doesn’t work it triggers an alarm system in their brains.
Mama’s feminine wiles are stronger and since Mama says “It’s only hair,” she’s already on their side, right?
“You know how you say it’s only hair? Can you maybe talka Daddy?”
When it’s the girls, I am not accused of bein too soft. See how that works?
(It may be The Mister has seriously strong opinions about everyone’s hair, now that I think about it. Hmm. Did not see that comin. Writing is important.)
Recently, this happened:
“We’re goin to the gym.”
“I’m doin homework.”
“You’re goin to the gym.”
“I have homework.”
“You’re goin to the gym.”
“I have at least seven hours of homework.”
“You lie. Mama Daddy already discussed it and you’re goin to the gym.”
(I lie. Mama and Daddy did not discuss this per se. We agreed she needs to run at least once a week at the gym, because she’s a runner.)
SILENCE. She did not argue. She put her trainers on and scowled at me, but she went to the gym.
The Mister’s power has grown so strong and his name is so powerful, I can invoke him like a parental deity. I don’t hate it as much as I used to. It’s unfair, but it works.
These people, and I mean all four of these people, have worn me out over the years. Truly, sucked the mercy from my bones like marrow. A mama does what she must.
Happy Friday Everyone!