Gah! It’s one of a mother’s biggest embarrassments. Right up there with admitting that you’re not mother of the year because your kids live on Lean Cuisine and watch TV/You Tube for waaaaay too many hours a day. That’s right…
My kids played me.
Sneaky little farts.
And what’s worse? I’d have never figured it out if it hadn’t been for the hubster!
Here’s the deal…
About two months ago (or somewhere around there…you know what happens to a woman’s memory after we hit forty), the world’s worst babysitter quit via text message and left Daddy-O and I scrambling to handle afternoon childcare. Since my day job is on the flexible side and the girls were old enough to handle the majority of their morning grooming needs on their own, hubby and I stacked hands and decided to split the childcare routine. I’d go in to work at the ass crack of dawn and leave him with getting the girls dressed and on the bus, then I’d come home early to get them at the bus stop and beat them into submission until homework was done. (And do the laundry, straighten the house, clean the litter box, empty backpacks, etc. You get the picture.)
Granted, coming to this agreement between hubby and I meant that I had to let go of certain control aspects that were surprisingly difficult. Things like accepting my girls probably would never again go to school with a straight part in their hair or matching clothes–or at least not until peer pressure taught them otherwise. But, after much encouragement from fellow moms, I got there.
So, we’ve been cruising along with the new shtick for the last few months…and I gotta tell ya. I kinda dig it:
- When I get to work, there is no one here. It’s amazing what you can knock out when there’s not a constant stream of drive-by visitors.
- My time at work feels shorter. Not sure why, but I’m not lookin’ a gift horse in the mouth.
- Homework aside, I like being the one my kiddos come home to. We talk about their day at school and I get to learn about the two kindergarten boys who fought and got sent to the principle’s office, and how many girls in fourth grade are growing boobs. Never a dull moment.
Imagine my surprise when–during one of those heart-to-heart talks–this conversation goes down:
Oldest: “Mom, can you help me set my alarm on my iPad?”
Oldest: “My alarm. Can you help me set it like you do? ‘Cause I woke up too late and I had to hurry up to get my lunch and snacks in my backpack.”
Me: “Wait. What? Didn’t dad wake you up?”
Oldest: “No, I wake myself up.”
Me: <Baffled silence for a minute> “Since when?”
Oldest: “Since dad told me to.”
Me: <Scratches head and backtracks through the conversation> “And you pack your own lunch and snack?”
Oldest: “Yeah. And make the bed. But Addie has to help me.”
Me: “You never did that when I was getting you ready. I always had to pry you out of bed and beg you to make your lunch.”
Oldest: <Sly grin>
Me: “So, you’re telling me when dad gets you ready, you’ll do this stuff, but if I get you ready you’ll let me do it?”
Oldest: <Embarassed shrug and mouth twisted to the side> “That’s different.”
Uh-huh. Totally busted. I am so off the hook if I have to do morning duty anytime in the near future. Gotta give hubster props for bringing their abilities to the forefront, though. I’ll have to find a “special way” to thank him. 🙂
What’s the craziest, most jaw-dropping thing your kids have gotten over on you? It’s ok. You can admit it. I’ll never tell.
SusanJanuary 8, 2014 at 9:09 am
I’ve got to meet your kiddos one of these days. They sound like a real hoot!
RhennaJanuary 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm
My mom once cursed me. She said, “I hope you have 3 just like you.” So, I ended up with two, but the second one may as well have been twins with a penchent for trouble.
Marianna HeuslerJanuary 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm
When my son was in fourth grade, I received a phone call from his teacher. She told me that she had sent me a “cause for concern” in reading because my son wasn’t doing well. She told me to ignore it, since she had a long talk with my son, who explained to her why he had been slacking off. Evidently, I had been drinking again and my husband was thinking of putting me away. I never drink. I suffer from IBS and alcohol is one of my triggers. My son had adapted his story from a Dallas episode. Now, I really had a cause for concern!
RhennaJanuary 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm
Oh. My. God. You’re son’s a GENIOUS! Now that I think about it, I did play my parents a time or (or more) myself.
Jackie KramerJanuary 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm
Rhenna, Rhenna, Rhenna…you forgot the first rule of parenting. Your job isn’t to TAKE CARE of your kids. Your job is to TEACH them to take care of themselves. And that should start as soon as they’re walking.
RhennaJanuary 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm
I know, I know. I’m a TOTAL sucker with them. I’m better now than I used to be though.
CJ BurrightJanuary 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm
I’m still a sucker, even with my daughter in college. All she has to say in her sweetest voice is, “Mommy? Will you… (insert make me a cheese sandwich/put my laundry in the dryer/feed my stupid fish)?” DONE! Believe me, you’ll miss it when they don’t need you anymore.
L. E. CarmichaelJanuary 9, 2014 at 7:31 am
Ha! My brother got away with not making his bed for years, because he kept telling my mom he didn’t know how. I have no idea why she always fell for it. 🙂
RhennaJanuary 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm
Sounds like what my oldest has been doing to the baby: “No, mommy says YOU have to make the bed all by yourself.” Poor thing. She falls for it every time.
Gretchen WingJanuary 13, 2014 at 9:59 am
Your hubby is SMART. Mine went the other way. When he was in charge of mornings, all during our boy’s elementary years, he spoiled them rotten. Come weekends, when I did breakfast, they’d be wondering why the fruit wasn’t sliced for them and arranged in a pattern on their plate. !!!! Who knew I was married to a frustrated Martha Stewart? Of course he never felt like doing that for MOI…