You would think that by now, after fifteen and a half years of parenting, I would know better than to take even one moment to bask in my parenting awesomeness. I should know that whenever I do this, the Universe decides to knock me down a peg or two just to keep me humble and to remind me that I am truly not in charge here. THEY are!
Frightening yes, but true.
Yesterday afternoon, my three munchkins and I decided to enjoy the beautiful summer afternoon by the pool. The kids jumped in, but I was content to just sit, with the warm sun on my back and a gentle breeze blowing off the river to cool me down, reading a book. The sound of my kids laughing and the antics of a nearby flock of finches filled the air along with the smell of freshly mowed grass and a faint tinge of chlorine from the pool. It felt like summer, it sounded like summer, and it smelled like summer. To say I was in heaven is an understatement.
Like all good times, though, this one sadly ended far to quickly for my liking. The boys began to fight, and Elliot stormed out of the pool screaming:
Avery, you are such a turd!
This is his latest, most favourite insult to lash out with at his brother. Avery, who loves nothing more than a good scrap, followed it up by yelling:
At least I'm not a baby!
His insults may lack creativity, but when you've got something that works,why change it.
About ten minutes after Elliot left the pool, Avery, who is lost without his brother, decided to go up to the house and join him. It wasn't long before they were both out on the deck trying to wheel and deal some extra screen time out of me.
Mom, if we do a chore for you, can we watch another half hour of screen?
Enjoying this idyllic summer moment in my backyard and knowing that supper was just around the corner and that there was lots for me to do, I jumped quickly on their offer.
Empty the dishwasher and then you can watch a show.
And, then the inevitable happened. I began to feel very smug with myself. I basked in my supreme awesomeness for cracking down on the screen time this summer and for teaching my kids the value of hard work. This was one of those good mama moments that are few and far between, and I was determined to soak up every last morsel of this glorious feeling.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is the life.
Unfortunately, supper time was approaching quickly and I had to get the boys ready for their soccer practice that evening. I reluctantly peeled myself off of the lawn chair, called to Zoe that it was time to get out of the pool, and headed back up to the house. When inside, I was pleased to see that my dishwasher was empty and the boys were laying lazily (and quietly) on the couch watching an old Garfield cartoon. Again, I gave myself a well-deserved pat on the back. Then, I started supper. I usually get the kids to set the table, but I was enjoying the silence and the solitude of my kitchen so much that I decided to the do the job myself. I opened up the cupboard where we keep all the plates, and I grumbled for a moment about how the boys just seem to toss everything in there willy nilly with no concern for order. A couple of plastic bowls were leaning on their side and the plates, rather than being stacked from biggest to smallest, were placed randomly on top of one another. I laughed at my apparent OCD, and went to rearrange the plates when I noticed that one of the plates still had spaghetti sauce on it. In fact, the closer I looked, I noticed that all the plates still had sauce on them. I whipped open the glass cupboard and discovered that all the glasses were still smudged and a few still had left over bits of pulp from our orange juice that morning on them.Then, it dawned on me. Yes, I loaded the dishwasher that afternoon, but I never turned it on . . .
BOYS! You put all of these dishes away even though they were dirty. What were you thinking!
I knew it, mom! I told Avery they were still dirty but he told me to do it anyway. Avery, I told you. I am sorry mom.
Elliot became visibly flustered.
Turn off the TV and come help me reload this dishwasher. Elliot, you know better than this. You should have came out and told me the dishes were still dirty rather than unloading them.
I know mom, but Avery said it was okay.
Avery, you know better too. Why would you put away dirty dishes?
Avery, who never skips a beat and almost never feels any remorse for his follies, replied:
Listen mom, you never said anything about putting away clean dishes. You only told us to unload the dishwasher. You need to be more clear with your directions.
As a mad as I was and as much as I wanted to wring his neck, I could not help but laugh. What a kid! I definitely see law school in his future . . . well, either that, or prison.
. . . tee hee!
|My dirty dishes|