How is it that whenever I punish my kids, I’m the one who ends up paying for it? This morning, mama went ballistic when carpool arrived (miraculously at the same time it does every. single. day.) and neither boy was ready. Not only were they not ready, they were in a mad frantic dash to even locate boots, despite a large basket by the door where the boots are supposed to go. Coats missing, backpacks missing. Papers missing. Snacks left on the counter. Breakfast shoved in a hand as they run out the door. Rawr!

Every morning its the same story. So after the cacophony rolled out the kitchen door and into the patiently waiting warm car, I went downstairs to change over the laundry. The ceaseless, never-ending lahar of laundry that is the bane of my existence- and what did I find? The TV room was torn to bits. All the cushions were off the couch, and the Wii games were scattered helter skelter around the floor. Bean took my sewing scissors to not only paper, but his therapy hammock, it what he has since informed me was an effort to “cut out the green stripe”.  Abby had dumped out Bananagrams on my desk and had opened my folders from school and copied Bananagram words (some actual words, some made up) into my folders and on my papers.

What was I doing while all this happened? I had the nerve to be taking a shower. What was I thinking?

It’s really good they had already left for school, because I was calm enough to be reasonable by the time I saw them again. Also, I spent part of a gift-card on something pretty for me while they were gone. Healthy blowing off of frustration? Meh, probably not, but at least when I picked them up I no longer wanted to filet their little butts.

They are grounded. I let them out for dinner, and then sent them immediately back to their room. They’ve been screwing off now for more than two hours, and I still can’t see the floor of their room. They can’t come out until I can not only see the floor, but run the vacuum, and it may be next year at the rate they’re going. I keep having to stick my head in their room to keep them even moderately focused- and Bean says he doesn’t care if he’s grounded forever, because then he doesn’t have to go to school. Also, his new catchphrase is “I can’t help it mom, I’m a bad boy.” he says it with enough of  a twinkle in his eye that I know he’s enjoying himself- and I can barely keep from laughing. I’m not so hot at being authoritarian…

Now I’m sitting at the kitchen table, listening to them giggle and throw Legos at each other while Bean rolls around on the floor in the pile of dirty laundry they’ve amassed. Jeffrey is under the bed lauging hysterically as Bean attempts to spell naughty words. Naughty words like “stupid” and “buttface” and “pickle snort”…  They are trying to be quiet, but they simply can’t help themselves and keep devolving into fits of giggles.

It’s three hours until their bedtime- what are the odds that they’ve have made any headway at all?

8 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. Indeed, what could you possibly have been thinking, taking a shower! I’m glad you didn’t rip their arms off the next time you saw them. School is good for more than one reason! Yay for a little retail therapy.

  2. My kids are older now so I only vaguely remember days like this. I do remember that I set all the clocks in the house about 10 minutes ahead when they were young and told no one. It helped that none of the clocks were the exact same time, so even I could never remember which was closest to correct. But hey, it got us places on time.

  3. And to think we have the nerve to take a shower…daily?! It amazes me what disasters await me from my two year old while I take a 2 minute shower.
    Hang in there mama! You are doing great!

  4. Oh man, I too deal with messy kid rooms on a daily basis, and it drives me crazy!! How do they manage to make such a huge mess so fast? And I have one child who simply does not care even if all her toys get taken away. If she doesn’t want to clean, it’s like pulling teeth to make any headway. I empathize with you.

    I’m curious if the room ever got cleaned tonight?

  5. Are you sure that this happened to you today? I could have sworn you were writing about my day!

    I hope that tomorrow is a little brighter.

    (I do love that Bananagram game. It is better than scrabble to me because I don’t feel quite so inferior while playing.)

  6. A page from a day in my life…

    The only thing I have found that works is something that will motivate them internally. My problem is that the motivating factor changes from kid to kid, and even from moment to moment. So what worked one day to motivate a faster clean-up creates more havoc on another day… If I wasn’t trying to teach life lessons and responsibility, I would just give up.

    I’m proud of you for surviving the day, and for not ripping into your kids when they got home. And hey, at least they were giggling instead of yelling at each other about whose fault it is that the room is a mess!

  7. The bad boy comment made me think of a recent conversation with a parent at school. The tweenager has a certain panache for rolling her eyes, constantly. When her teacher reprimanded her for it, being disrespectful and all, the parent told the teacher (not myself) that he’s said it a thousand times. The girl can’t help her eye roll! It is an instinct. Her father did it. Her brother does it. She can’t help it.

    Even though I wasn’t the teacher with the issue, it’s awfully tempting to roll my eyes constantly next time I see the parent. After all, it’s an instinct!

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