M.O.S: Mom On Strike

I’ve had it. I’m on strike. I’m tired of the whining, complaining, moaning, mumbling, and bitching that accompanies anything I ask the boys to do. God forbid I should ask them to wash their clothes or put their things away. I’ve thrown most of their things away (or so they think), shouldn’t that be enough of a deterrent? I give them an allowance when they do their chores, shouldn’t that encourage them? Ugh!! Even when it comes to washing their own clothes all the middle child has to do is request it and I will start it for him. The older one is old enough to work the washer himself. The house doesn’t need to be immaculate (hahahaha! sorry, even the thought of that is funny). I don’t expect them to do much, but as members of this house I do expect them to help. Even the little one has to help clean up her things. But since I can’t get anything done without having to hear them bitch and argue (loudly), or bang cabinets and doors, breaking things… I have officially gone on strike.

I will continue what I normally do for my daughter and I, and the boys will get my love and the essentials they need. If they want anything done, they will need to do it themselves. They will also need to keep their mess confined to their room or it will be thrown out. I’m tired of the mounds of laundry piled high in the tiniest of laundry/storage/utility closets that they claim don’t need to be washed because they still have clean clothes. I’m sure they are using the word clean rather loosely here. Whatever.

If you need me, I’ll be on the couch with a bottle of wine. 🙂

Dumpster Diving: A Lesson in Parenting

I live in a decently sized apartment but with three kids (one teenager, one tween and one toddler) it never seems to be enough. It’s as if the walls close in a little more with each child that enters the house. I’m picturing the scene from Star Wars: A New Hope, where the main characters are trapped in a garbage compactor. I think my house probably smells like that too (see earlier post – Stinky, smelly, gross boys!).

I have three bedrooms and over the past two years have reconfigured them at least three times. I recently decided that I do not need a bedroom for myself. I’m sure some of you are cringing but I assure you this was an easy decision for three reasons:

  1. No time for sex. I don’t even have time to pee before some kid is knocking on the door.
  2. No privacy for sex. See above.
  3. No desire for sex. Yep, see above.

Since, I clearly don’t need privacy, I decided to give up my bedroom to create a playroom. This meant I had to move all the furniture (one bunk bed, one loft bed, two dressers, two cartoonishly large rocking chairs… you get the picture), rearrange all the closets, and reorganize everything. And still manage to cook, clean, and do all the other crap that has to be done every fricking weekend!

I had this image in my mind that my boys would truly want to help in this extravaganza. That they would in fact be so excited to help that we would knock out this project in no time and then sit to watch a movie together on the couch, after contemplating the origins of the universe and creating an invention for Shark Tank… Yeah. Not so much. Clearly, I was on drugs when I thought that up.

What I got was two and a half hell filled days of arguing that went something like this:

Child #1: “Can you take the garbage out?” he asks snottily.

Child #2: “I took it out last time. It’s your turn to take it out” answers with an eye roll.

#1: “Yeah, but I had to put all the bags in because you forgot” add a foot stomp and a thrown shirt.

#2: “Well, I’m putting the toys away right now” flings toys across room.

#1: “Well, I’m folding laundry right now” throws laundry at brother.

This continued until the boys, the laundry, the toys, and the garbage were all tangled up together in a knock down, drag out fight in the middle of the living room. Again, the garbage compactor scene comes to mind. I finally kicked them both out, grabbed three large garbage bags, and did a full arm sweep of each shelf and drawer in their room until the bags were full and their rooms were empty. Then I marched out to the dumpster like some deranged Santa Claus, as they stood by weeping, and threw their things away.

When I came back I explained to them how disappointed I was that I had not heard a single thank you all weekend. Their lack of appreciation for other’s efforts and for their own things was simply unacceptable. They went to bed, crying over their losses. I pondered the lesson I was trying to teach.

Then I realized the value of what I had thrown away and broke out in a cold sweat and heart palpitations so fierce I thought I was having a heart attack. So, at about 11:00pm, for the second time that night, I went out to the dumpster, flashlight in hand, praying nobody would see me, and spent 20 minutes digging those three damn garbage bags out.

Parenting can really stink sometimes… literally.

Stinky, smelly, gross boys!!

Please, for the love of all that is good, can someone please tell me why my boys think it’s ok to wear week old socks and two day old underwear?! WHY??? They smell like onion and fart and something that died near the dumpster last week!

I’m not sure I can raise two boys. The girl will be fine but the boys…

They don’t seem to mind taking a “shower” but it isn’t anything like a shower that leaves them smelling fresh. The younger one just kind of gets into the hot water, wanders around for about 10 minutes (longer if I forget he’s in there) and then gets out just as stinky and smelly as he went in. Gross! I have to knock on the door at least three times during his “shower” to remind him to use soap on his entire body including his feet and to use shampoo in his hair. The older one will usually remember to wash but then will forget to put on deodorant and thus will stink again within minutes because his raging hormones are conspiring (and perspiring) against him.

Brushing teeth is like pulling teeth. On one recent dental visit the dentist was in utter shock that my son wasn’t really an 80 year old parading around as a nine year old. Yep, that’s how much plaque he had. I bought him that expensive toothbrush immediately. The one with the timer and separate heads with motion blah, blah blah… It is supposed to shut off automatically after two minutes of brushing. I don’t think it’s ever made it that long. The older one has a special toothpaste he’s supposed to use. I bought it six months ago. I think it still has the wrapper on it.

Begging doesn’t help. Bribing doesn’t help. Consequences don’t help.

Somebody told me that they will start taking better care of themselves when they become interested in someone else (you know, romantically, oh la la). I highly doubt it. I don’t think I’ll ever have grandchildren.

Bill Cosby, I finally get it.