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Friday, August 21, 2009

Beware of Monster Moma

I recently had two completely non related conversations with two people who don’t know eachother and yet both their recent conversations collided on me on the same day.

GD, a wise mentor dear friend of mine, told me I should write in my blogs about bad days too, things I am struggling with concerning the boys.

RC and I were swinging on our porch swing and we were talking about if we had someone who followed us around all the time, keeping us on our best mommy behaviors, what better mothers we would be.

Added to this mix, the rental house on our farm had the renter we have had decide to get out of her lease early and we were searching for a new tenant. It is very difficult to find a new renter to live so close to us, and I spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time setting things up to rerent the rental. We found a new tenant, a truly sweet woman, and her kids. All week we had been in talk with her and she was due to move in the day our other renter moved out.

Which leads me to the monster moma part and how all this comes together.

S2 was laying on the couch petting our lovely long haired cat when he informed me she had fleas. I freaked. I hate fleas. I called the vet and go the medicine to treat her and our dog. The vet assured me that fleas had suddenly invaded and they were bad this year.

S1, never have informing me or his Daddy this, goes on and on and on to my family how we have fleas and they are in his bed because the dog lays there and the fleas are biting them all the time in their sleep. Thankfully he tells this to my family only but I am still mortified and tell him this is not something you tell the world and if he had told me I would have washed their bed sheets and this I did.

And when I did, I realized how trashed messy their room was.

So, for one solid week they were told every day to clean their room. It was a rainy week, what else was there to do? When they were done, my husband and I would put up bunk beds in their room and I could sort their clothes for the upcoming (groan) school year.

A week later, their room wasn’t cleaned at all. Well, one shelf that I told S1 couldn’t have anything on it because we would need it for the bunk beds was expertly decorated with all his treasures. I was so discouraged over it all, I cried. I cried that the house was a disaster looking, flea infested place and that I couldn’t get our boys to clean. My husband didn’t know what to do with me. For the first time in the eleven year we have lived here, we decided to bug bomb the house.

I told the boys we did not need to share this information with people. I was mortified just at the thought of having to do it, feeling like a failure of our home. We chose a day when the boys had dentist appointments and we could spend the rest of the time at the park.

At the dentist, S1 informed the dentist how we were bug bombing the house and the fleas were eating his and his brothers legs and all over their beds.

If the ground could have swallowed us all whole, I surely wish it would have.

We went to the park, S1 informed the entire park population that we were there because we had bug bombed our house.

I was seething.

When we got home and the fleas and all other bugs were in deed dead and the house aired out, I took on the task of cleaning all that we had left out and all surfaces to take off the residue. In the boys’ rooms, you could not even see the carpet and I had decided to take away all the boys toys. If they can’t keep their room clean, if they can’t even begin to clean their rooms after a week, why should they have all their toys to play with? My husband and family and GD all agreed it was a brilliant, although painful for me to live thru, plan. I remade their beds with clean sheets and blankets and then called it a night.

So on the fateful rainy Thursday morning following the awful bug bomb day, I decided to put the plan into action. It’s a watch Jr day that day but I figured the boys could get a good start, I’d help them finish and we would be done quickly. I tried to think of ways to explain this to them as firmly and sweetly and as ‘learning experience to help you grow into strong men’ as I could.
Jr had a the first fussy day he had ever had, all out screaming before he fell soundly asleep. By nine in the morning, I was a cup and a half into my second pot of coffee, and headed upstairs to see how the boys were coming along. They were all on the only made bed up there playing with trucks.

I snapped.

“YOU WILL CLEAN THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW! YOU ARE GOING TO BOX UP ALL YOUR TOYS BECAUSE THEY ARE GONE NOW! AND THERE HAD BETTER BE BAGS OF TRASH YOU HAUL OUT OF HERE! MOVE IT! MOVE IT NOW!”

As they began to hustle, our dog began to bark and I looked out the window to see a car in the driveway.

Our new renter.

The night before, our old renter had moved out and the new renter was there to clean the house. I had never heard her pull in (how could I when I was yelling?) and because all the windows were open to air out the house, she was directly under the window and had heard every word of my awful rant with the boys.

I really considered hiding, but, let’s face it, she obviously knew I was there. And S3 and S4 were downstairs already with the first pile of dirty laundry. They were ‘moving’ just like I had ordered them to, and in doing so were talking with our new renter, J, already.

J said she understood, she had kids of her own, but still, I felt awful. If I would not have talked to the boys that way if I had known she was at the door, why did I do it in the first place?

I got J in her new home, downplaying it all best I could, and went back to help the boys. What a mix of emotions that was! They had a constant armful of laundry headed downstairs to be washed and then we began to clean. S4 thought this was just the best fun, moma helping him clean his room. He and S3 found a million long lost treasures that they thrilled to be reunited with. S3 kept peeking in on his older brothers and seen we were getting more done than them and kept giggling “we are beating them! Our room will be clean first!” S2 gave me hugs, lots of hugs and made me three yarn bracelets throughout the day without ever really saying a word to me. S1 sat on his bed, tears and snot running down his face, looking purely miserable. He and S2 piled their dressers high with treasures, until I stressed again EVERYTHING but bedding, alarm clocks and things on the wall were going to be packed up. Then I got questions like…

“What about our coin collections?”
“Nope, pack ‘em up.”
“What about our wallets?”
It would be cruel to keep those. “You can keep them.” Quiet cheers from them spurred them on to ask a million other “can we keep this?” questions. All to which I gave a “don’t ask me again” toned ‘no’.

Finally, S2 in a very small voice squeaked out “even our Bibles? Will you make us pack those up too?” They got to keep those too, as if we would pack them up!

In the end, we had six bags of trash. All their toy boxes were filled to over flowing and moved into the room we have just for storage and toys. When they go back to school, I will sort thru the toys, throwing away the broken ones and we plan to let them have one toy back regularly when they have made their beds and done required chores around the house. After I get the carpets cleaned, S3 and S4 will get some of their favorite toys back, at five and three they don’t understand why they were boxed up.

But this morning, the day after the awful day, they spent the morning out in the sand box playing making roads. When they got a brief little rain shower, they went upstairs where they were able to wrestle and play.

And in case you think I was exaggerating over the mess of the room, here is a photo of JUST the clothes that were on the floor, this isn’t including toys and blankets.
This is the laundry I had washed already.
This is the laundry I have yet to wash that is just normal every day wear. With the rain this week, I can’t use the clothes line and so the wash is going constantly.

I don’t know how long it will take J to forget her first glimpse into our ‘regular daily family life’ but I hope she realizes I am not the ‘moma monster’ of that moment regularly. And because this is a truly ‘bad moment’, I decided to share it like GD said I should. And because I wish I would have had someone following me to remind me to keep my mommy p’s and q’s like RC and I had chatted about, I decided to add that bit of advice to.

And my sister, DP, who heard this happened, groaned in pain for me and then started laughing so hard she couldn’t hardly stop and my husband called regularly just to see if I was okay to talk or if I was too busy yelling at the boys.

There’s my monster moma story for you.

5 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh those days are never fun. I got upset with Hannah just last night and then walked into the living room and noticed the windows were open!...I don't know if anyone heard but I felt terrible!

ValAnn said...

I am so glad that I'm not the only monsterish type mom on some days! Thanks for sharing the bad days' too!

Praise and Coffee said...

I love you, I just truly love you. You are a wonderful Momma!!
:)

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

SO funny. I have had those days, too... One just last week when I got mad and kicked the dog (I know, I know - she was in my way and wouldn't move!!) and didn't realize that the little shy neighbor girl was watching and I probably scared the heck out of her.

Arander said...

When my son was 2 we lived on the top floor of an apartment building and my son had a bad habit of trying to go down the stairs to ride his bike by himself. So one sunny day we were on the walkway talking with our brand.new.neighbors and my son made a beeline for those stairs. Without missing a beat I yelled out "If you even touch those stairs I will chop off your legs and feed them to the cows!" He stopped dead in his tracks and the neighbors just stared at me for a few seconds until we all stated chuckling and moved on in the conversation. :) I think of it as being more of a drill sergeant mom than a monster mom and it is definitely necessary some days! :)