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Straw

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I lost it tonight.

Big time.

You know, I’m not a perfect parent. Such a thing doesn’t exist. And yet, I do have some brilliant parenting moments. A few. I’m doing all right. For the most part.

For the most part doesn’t include tonight.

I am exhausted. Yeah, I know, all parents are, so stop my whining. I’m “on” with them all day, and by the evening, I really need for them to be obeying, complying, and, oh, I don’t know, express a tad bit of thankfulness for what I’ve run around doing for them all day. Ugh, this is sounding so cliche.

And then there was tonight. “Mommy freaks out all over those precious heads of theirs” night. “Harper and Zane can’t squeeze one ounce of obedience out of those precious heads of theirs” night. “The children cry those precious heads of theirs to sleep” night.

Oh, are you thinking, “My goodness, how cruel?”

Remove the log cabin from your eye my friend.

Tonight I took away the TV. Not for an hour. Not until chores are done. Not for a day. Or a week. Indefinitely. I have such a difficult time reigning the kids back in after zoning out in front of the tube, (it’s so very sad that we still have a tube and not some fancy shmancy flat, high def, whatchamacallit) that I finally decided that enough was enough. The DVD’s are packed up, the TV off limits to anyone in the house who is not contributing to household chores.

It’s not as if I give my kids huge chores. Harper is to bring her dirty clothes to the hamper each day and straighten her room (not even her desk, mind you, which is a nightmare – that would be cruel). Zane is to pick up his toys, and bring his plate and cup to the sink after eating.

What type of response have I been receiving to these?

“No”.

“I’m too tired.”

“Not that pajama shirt!” (Yes, this fits, as part of the exhaustion of the evening was not having the preferred pair of pajama’s available for Zane who is destined to become one of those old guys who walks around in lounge wear.)

“I can’t do it!”

Well, you know what guys? I can’t do it all either. My children are old enough to have responsibilities. Even Zane. While wearing pajama’s.

So, after the screaming (me), the crying (them), the lecturing (me), the calling out for Daddy (them – although I also called George out of a meeting, as it was that bad), and the growling through clenched teeth (me), the children (them), God bless ’em, fell asleep, and when George got home we worked on revamping the chore charts.

We don’t give allowance, by the way. Especially not for the chores that, frankly, should just be done during the day. Now, if Harper or Zane, would like to go the extra mile and fold all the laundry, replace light bulbs, and scrub the bathroom, then I think a little kick back is in order. However, we don’t believe in giving allowance for “daily” chores.

I must say that yelling, “You are both driving me crazy!” through their closed bedroom doors, does seem to knock the energy right out of an insomniac. Zane and Harper were asleep within 15 minutes. Who needs lavender essential oil when you’ve got lungs that can shut your children up in a pinch.

I scared my kids to sleep.

Such a proud moment. Do they make ribbons for that?

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