Guys…..tonight really tested me. Tonight I had every button pushed by an 8 year old.
It all started when I had to pick the munchkins up from school. They were arguing the whole ride home. Everything either one of them said, pissed the other one off. I get it, siblings bicker. I usually let it go in the car. I now, let them figure it all out on their own. We get home and they start their homework. They rush through it and ask if they can go outside to play with their friends. Thank the Lord, I thought. Maybe they will get along outside.
After they ran outside I started to make dinner. I GAVE THEM THE OPTION earlier of sweet and sour chicken with rice or pizza rolls. (I do not always give them options, but tonight I figured, why not.) They picked sweet and sour chicken with rice. They were back inside within five minutes because their friends weren’t home. Little Man wanted to work on some paleontologist kit that he had and Little Miss was in her room having a tea party with her dolls. When Little Man get this kit out, it can be a full on mess if he isn’t careful of his surroundings. (he knows to clean up after himself with that kit, I’ve told him a million times) If I had a penny for every time I tell him to be careful of his surroundings, I would be rich as hell. I know, I know, he’s an 8 year old boy, he’s clumsy and awkward, and I’m still working on understanding that. So anyways, I am cooking dinner and they both comment on how wonderful it smells. Easy peasy. This should be a simple dinner. I tell them to clean up for dinner. Little Man has a mess all over the table and floor. I reminded him, yet again, to clean up his mess. He cleans it all up and they both sit down to eat. An HOUR goes by and he is still making faces at his food and pushing it around. Little Miss on the other hand is almost done with her food, and asking for more. Totally weird, because Little Miss is the one I usually have a problem with. I remind him that he needs to finish eating because he still needs to take a shower. I do not engage in a fight with him, I just let it go.
Another 15 minutes go by and he leaves the table and heads for the shower. Let me review some quick house rules with you. When you are done with the shower, you shut the shower curtain, comb your hair, and get ready for bed. When laundry is done, (which I always do laundry on Tuesdays) your clothes need to be put away. These aren’t new rules. These rules have been in place since day one.
I was cleaning up the kitchen and I suppose Little Man was out of the shower and back at the table with his dinosaur kit. Did I mention this kit is really messy and he just took a shower? I decided to pass on this battle and let him finish his kit. After he was done he got up and sat on the couch with his book. I came out to take a look at what they were up to and I looked over at the kitchen table. Guess what was all over the table and floor? Yup, you guessed it. There was dust and dirt everywhere, along with the entire kit still out and not put away. I looked over at him and noticed he never took a comb to his hair either. His hair is wild, so if he doesn’t comb it, he looks like a homeless child by morning. I asked him why he didn’t comb his hair when he knew he was suppose to. He just stared at me. I asked him why he left his mess at the table and on the floor when I already reminded him TWICE to clean it up. He just stared at me. Woooooo Saaaaaaa, I thought. Count to 10 and come back when you aren’t upset. I walk into his bedroom to pull out clothes for school and guess what was on his bed? His nicely clean clothes, waded up and not put away. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I lost it. I walked out there and asked him WHY, why haven’t you done ANYTHING that he knows needs to be done. And you wanna know what he said to me?! “I don’t know…I guess I just didn’t want to listen.” I mean, kudos for honesty bud, but THAT just made shit so much worse.
He knows the rules. He knows what he needs to get done. Why must he always be so lazy about it all. I guess this is just 8 year old boys, but good God he really pushed my buttons tonight. I try not to take that stuff personally, but when he just STARES at me when I ask him a question….UGH. So you can safely bet that he didn’t have dessert tonight and was whisked quickly off to bed, after he completed everything he needed to get done. Combing his hair, cleaning up his mess, closing the shower curtain and putting away his clothes. Let’s just say, I think he learned his lesson.
The one thing I can say about this whole situation is that we talked about it before he went to bed. He was obviously upset with himself and talking about it is the only way I know how to fix situations like this. Especially with kids. I explained to him that he knew the rules but he made the choice not to listen to me or his dad. He had plenty of reminders from me and his father about these kind of things. I understand that we all make mistakes and I forget things too sometimes, but the things he was forgetting are things that he KNOWS he needs to do and lately has been slacking off. He cannot just stare at people when they ask him questions and that no matter what I still love him. We might get in arguments, that’s just what parents and kids do, but that NEVER means I stop loving him. I asked him if he had anything he would like to say and he told me he was sorry, that he loved me, and is going to work harder to listen. We never go to bed mad in our house, and I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t mad when he went to bed. We fixed our issues by communicating with each other and without yelling. During this whole time I didn’t raise my voice once. Was that easy? Hell no. Do I feel better knowing that I didn’t bite his head off right away? Absolutely. Will he forget all these things again one day? Of course he will, but that’s just the nature of parenting.