Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Super Nanny? Nailed it." - Me

Facebook Status: You know those days when the kids are all, "No, let MY SISTER have the last bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch" and the baby is all, "My tooth totally came in while you were sleeping and it didn't hurt AT ALL" and the maid is all, "I cleaned everything else and the only thing left was to clean out the screen door tracks, so I did it" and the chef is all "Are risotto cakes an okay side with your filet tonight?" ... Yeah, I think I saw that episode of the Brady Bunch too.

So. This happened.

It was one of those days. I don't know how I managed it, but according to my children, I made every conceivable mistake known to the human race over the span of 8 hours. Meals were too gross, too short, not enough, not fair. Chores (the ones done every single day for years) prompted, "You never told me I had to make my bed!" School was torturous and I had been doing laundry

Scene: It was around 3:00 and nap time ended way too early. The older girlies were at the kitchen table acting like they were being stabbed by the blades of 10,000 knives diligently working on math, Ezra was exploring his passion for laundry by kicking over the freshly folded piles as I trudged my way through eight loads, and Esther ... sweet, darling, non-dramatic Esther was bored.

Me: (Handing Esther one clean and folded dust rag out of eight loads of laundry I washed and folded.) Esther, please put this away.
Esther: (Immediately falling to the ground, actually flailing) YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME YOUR SLAAAAAAVE!
Me: (Looking around to see if she is pretending to be in a movie. Really.) ...? Seriously? Esther, dude, put away the dust rag.
Esther: (Still flailing) I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT GOES!

Because I am a sweet, even tempered Mama who never goes ballistic when my kiddos pull stuff like this, this slight aberration was dealt with quickly, peacefully, and effectively. (I also saw that episode of the Brady Bunch.) (For the record, my house would be more awesome if I had an Alice around too, Mrs. Brady.)

What really happened is I spent almost 20 minutes determined not to go postal while Esther argued "IT'S TOO HEAVY" "I DON'T WANT TO" "WHY CAN'T THE GIRLIES/EZRA/THE MAILMAN/EVERYONE ELSE WE'VE EVER MET HELP YOU TOO?" "I'M TOO TIRED" Three other children watched in silent awe as my face revealed how close to the edge I was getting. Finally I stood up, handed Esther the dust rag, and walked her to the cleaning supply closet*.

*This is actually the hall closet. It holds wrapping paper, small kitchen appliances that rarely get used but are essential to my culinary mastery, batteries, light bulbs, vases, an Easy Bake Oven (essential to Eve's culinary mastery), and cleaning supplies. But for this blog entry I am calling it the cleaning supply closet in the hopes that Pinterest has helped you picture a Martha Stewart Mecca of organized, color-coordinated cleaning supplies. Esther used to routinely visit the cleaning closet to sneak in and spray the dust spray because it "smells nice". I got over the horror of raising a 4 year old huffer and moved those sweet chemicals (all natural, totally green of course) out of reach, but the dust rag spot remains unchanged. I tell you this to inform you she totally knows where the dust rag goes.

Me: (Standing with Esther at the cleaning closet) Esther, put. it. away.
Me: .... (firm Mama "Seriously" look)
Esther: I CAN'T. (Insert crying. The hysterical kind that stems from investing 25 minutes in an argument that is about to become invalid when someone pulls rank. The way they should have 25 minutes ago.)
Me: You will. (Insert heavy breathing that stems from the Mommy Mantra "I will not lose my sh*t.")

Then this happened. (And it's also why we call her the Queen.)

Me: Fine, set the dust rag on the dust rag pile (6 inches from your hand) and then go.
Me: DUDE! Put the dust rag away and go.
Esther: I'M PEEING!!!!!!

Yep. After a 30 minute standoff, my four year old, who has been potty trained for almost 2 years, PEED ON THE FLOOR SO SHE WOULDN'T HAVE TO PUT AWAY THE DUST RAG. Even I didn't see that coming.

So what's a Mama to do?

This Mama kicked the wall. And my foot went through.

First thought? I'm totally getting stronger. All those squats and lunges are paying off.
Second thought? I'm hosting a Bible Study Luncheon in four days. How am I going to hide this? (Kicking the wall isn't very Proverbs 31.)
Third thought? Brian is going to kill me.
Fourth thought? All the kiddos are watching and I'm going to have to apologize for breaking every house rule we have, but I'm still mad.

Eve and Hosanna hustled Ezra into their bedroom while I cleaned up Esther.  (Good thing I'd done all that laundry and had all those clean towels to clean up the pee on the floor.  And her body.  And good thing she had all those clean clothes to choose from since she peed through her old ones.)

Once Esther got cleaned up I sent her to her room, mostly so I could cool off and call Brian and tell him what I did.  This may or may not have occurred while I sobbed and told him if he got mad at me I was moving to California where apparently children don't pee on the floor to get out of chores.  Then I taped a big piece of paper over the hole so Ezra wouldn't continue to pick at the drywall.

Then I realized that while cleaning up the pee, I put the dust rag away myself.

Well played Esther.  Well played.


  1. I don't know you--just your husband from high school. But you are freakin hilarious. I actually have tears in my eyes from laughing!

    1. Thanks, Maggie! I think clinging to your sanity as a mom depends on a "laugh or cry" mentality. As much as possible I try to choose the "laugh". But the best is when they happen simultaneously ;-) Thanks for reading.

  2. Oh, Kelly. I just laughed so hard that I cried...and almost peed, myself! You crack me up.

    1. Thanks! I'm sure with all your kiddos you can relate ;-)

  3. OMG! You are a master story-teller! That was awesome!!

    1. Thanks - as my husband would reply, "not as awesome as the piece of paper taped to the wall to hide the hole."

  4. I love it Kelly! My 4 year old just told me I was treating him like a slave...he had 2 clean up his toys. I do not see this as a chore since he got them out; but it got a big laugh out of mama! Power struggles are frustrating and so consuming! I love your posts...too funny!


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