Monday, February 16, 2009

go play

Go outdoors and play. The ultimate torture apparently.

I hate that feeling I get when I have a fun day planned for my kids and behaviors are so bad, so early in the day, that I can't figure out a way to justify doing the fun activities since they seem to be rewards for the misconduct. Bug has a birthday Lego gift he wants to exchange and Pook has a bookstore gift card he wants to use. Presidents' Day seemed like a great day for both. After the first squabble this morning that led to hitting, I told them both that they needed to earn the errands and I didn't want to see any more hurting. They wisely moved on to other, separate activities. After a while of calm, I read a few chapters to them from their book (Pippi Longstocking) and thought all was well. I asked them to get dressed while I showered so we could go start our errands. I don't know what started it, but I was soon hearing screams and I got to witness punches and kicks involving both parties. As far as I was concerned, that was it. I couldn't figure out a way to not make my threat count.

As I showered and meditated and tried to calm myself (door locked so I wouldn't have to be subjected to the whining and crying going on outside the room) I tried to decide how to keep the day from being a total disaster. After all, we had about ten hours left. I was just about as disappointed in the consequence imposed as they were. I just cried less. All I could picture was ten hours of misery. I knew I needed to try to keep them busy- maybe in the backyard for a while, then the front yard with a ball game, then maybe a walk or bike ride. And I left messages with no less than four families with little kids who might have been free to join us to bike or play. Then I calmly (really, truly) asked them to put on their shoes and to go into the backyard. To play.

Oh how they lost it: "You can't make me!" "You're the meanest poopyhead mama ever!" I tried to hide my smile and continued helping with the sock and shoes. I closed the door behind them and went upstairs to dry my hair. I could see them from my window. Pook was determined that He Would Have No Fun and was sitting at the picnic table. I came back down and started a load of laundry, again in the line of vision. They tried sneaking into the house. They pounded on the doors. They screamed loud enough to alert neighbors. They said they were going to call Daddy to tell on me. And I maintained my calm and offered suggestions of toys and games that might be Fun.

I am so mean.

1 comment:

  1. You are clearly the meanest mommy who ever lived. The very idea of sending children outside to play! And suggesting games too. And on a holiday! Shameful!