Monday, June 16, 2008

Fooled Ya!

I was going to respond to your comments and then realized there were just too many and they all followed a similar theme--that ya'll mysteriously seem to have this impression that I'm an awesome mom.

Oh how wrong you are.

Sure, I do dabble in awesome-ness from time to time, but unfortunately for me (or for my children, not sure which,) it's far too frequently to be added to my list of descriptive adjectives. Fooled ya, eh?

Here's an example of my complete LACK of awesomeness:

Two weeks ago the boys were asking me what they needed to do in order to be allowed to have a television in their room. "What if we got a tv ourselves--then could we have it in our room?" they'd ask in their high-pitched little voices.

"Uhh, nope," I responded, ever the voice of reason.

Then they trotted off, all a-giggle. My spidey-senses were tingling. They were up to something.

Turns out Xander had 'traded' a dragon for a television set from five-almost-six-year-old Parker, a cul-de-sac neighbor. Trading is strictly prohibited in our household, particularly when it involves expensive appliances, so back the tv had to go. And go it went.

THEN last week, Wednesday to be exact, the boys come dashing in the front door while I'm in the back of the house cleaning the kitchen (I KNOW!? What was I thinking?)

"We're going to play in my room, 'kay Mom?" Charlie hollered from the foot of the stairs.

"Who all is 'we'?" I asked. Because I'm nothing if not thorough, right?

"Just me and Xander and Parker."

"Okeydokey," I replied, oblivious to the wool that had been pulled down over my eyes.

The phone rang.

It was Jill my cul-de-sac neighbor, good friend and mom to Parker.

"Did your boys just come in with a television set?"

"Umm, no. At least I don't think so. I guess I'd better go check!"

I admit, my first response was to defend my kids. Parish the thought that they would be traipsing around the neighborhood with a tv AFTER I said that strictly prohibited. I DID say it was strictly prohibited, did I not?

At least I had the good sense to realize I might in fact not know my children as well as I thought I did.

I kept Jill on the phone--probably to prove to her that my boys were not guilty of the heinous crime she was guilty of--but also maybe to protect me--or rather them--if in fact they did have said tv in their room.

I stepped into Charlie's room, and at first couldn't see anything. I mean, anyone. Then I hear voices--coming from the toy box under the window.

The lid lifted when I came in, calling their names.

"Yeah, Mom?" Xan asks, his face all innocence.

"Do you guys have a television set in here?" I ask, my voice reflecting my confidence that they did not in fact have a stolen item of luxury hiding out in their room--even while I saw the tell-tale black cord creeping over the lip of the box from the plug on the outside.

"No!" Xander replied with a happy smile. A happy smile, that is, until he saw that I saw the black cord.

And then the lies really started flying. He saids and they saids and everyone said until I had to shout at them to be quiet so I could get to the point of the matter.

But first I had to tell Jill.

"Uhh, Jill? Yep, looks like the set is here," I said. No confidence now. Just defeat. My kids were going to be the death of me.

I tried to get the set out from the toy box but man it was heavy! How in the world did two seven year olds and one pint sized five year old heft that thing half a block down the street? I was glad when Jill met me almost at my door and took it from me.

I carried the remote.

We discussed possible torture methods as we walked back to her house. I felt utterly discouraged. Not only had my boys taken something that didn't belong to them (it didn't matter to me that Parker was in on it, I expect better of my guys,) but they had lied to me AND done it after I had already made them take the tv back once before.

Just so you know, this lying business has been an ongoing problem for these guys for the past while. I thought it was just stupid inconsequential stuff like "did you brush your teeth?" "YES" even while their teeth are growing green fuzz and probably have whole colonies of nasty germies building houses and raising families in there.

I'm a mean, mean mommy though and like I said, I'm nothing if not thorough. Those little boy-o's got themselves grounded to their rooms for two and a half days. The first day I even fed them dinner in their rooms. The next day I did let them out to eat and to do chores for me (aren't I nice?) but they missed some fun events they had planned because of their serious grounding.

My rationale though, was that I couldn't trust them not to disappoint me again before we went on our little vacation and I didn't want to go away with them feeling mad at them. So I locked them away in their dungeons/rooms and you know what? I'm not sorry. They have been sufficiently humbled--or so it would seem--and while they still are inclined to first lie when asked the innocuous "did you wash your hands" and the like questions, they are self-correcting (huzzah!) and I'm feeling a slight blush of awesomeness returning.

So go ahead and admire me, if you must. Perhaps I do deserve it, after all.