The sudden change in weather means a change of schedule at our house. It’s been blazing hot many days at 4 PM, and the children are begging to go outside to play… but there’s still homework for my first-grader to finish (though less and less of it now) and once that’s finally done, it’s time for someone to get the dinner together. *ahem* That would be me, of course.
My decision in this moment consists of a) taking them both outside for a short while, but then dealing with the cries and shrieks when it’s time to go home, since it is NEVER a long enough time outside, b) allowing my seven-year-old to be outside with the slightly older kids, but keeping the three-year-old inside with me, while she shrieks and complains at the unfairness of it all, or c) staying inside to make a full dinner on time, and deal with the shrieking and mayhem of both children, unhappy again at mummy’s mean antics.
When the warm, well-balanced dinner is finally on the table, I get asked How much of this do I have to eat? Seriously.
And then I want to start punching kids in the face. (Just kidding! Kinda.)
Just the other night, I was in the middle of having some foxes over, when I was interrupted by Oliver who came to tell me how unfair it was that I got to have six people over for a playdate, when he can only have two at a time. I sighed heavily, told him we could discuss it in the morning, but that he needed to go back to bed. (I think Martin went to talk to him about it – I have no patience for such shenanigans these days.)
Being the one at home means being the one who is constantly saying “no” to things. It also means you get to the stink eye from little people all the time. Frankly, I’m getting a bit sick of it.
It seems that no matter why you may purchase for them, the next thing you decline = you never get me anything. I understand that pizza lunch, shoes that fit, or summer camps fees mean nothing to the mind of a child. No matter how I try to explain that money doesn’t grow on trees…
What irks me is the final stance I inevitably have to make. No matter how often I bend down, look into their eyes, and calmly explain why you cannot go to the pool with the eleven year old kids (never mind that you can’t even swim yet) or why we are not going out for sushi for lunch today (where’s your money?) or why the other kids are playing outside at 9 PM while you’re in your bed for the night (different house, different rules) it is I who is the mean one. The killjoy. The one who always says no.
I know it’s just because I’m the one here to say it. Martin gets to be the fun one, and the one who says yes to more things, I think. Also, when he says no, he’s never screaming it.
I’m the screamer. Because I have to say it forty billion times a day. Because when I say it/explain it/beg them to understand three or four times, they still come back and taunt me with their whinging and their hand-wringing and their jiggling-up-and-down with squidgy near-tears faces… oh pleeeeeeease, mummy??
Only it doesn’t make me want to give in. It only makes me more furious. Especially when I’ve just
screamed said no you cannot have gum for breakfast for the eleventh time before 8 AM.
I sometimes seriously wonder if they’re deaf.
So now, here’s the summer. With the very late-day setting sun, that feels like it cannot possibly be bedtime, but I will try to wrestle them into bed around 8:30 anyway. And there will be fights about having ice cream cones with the other kids at 6 PM… but the other kids have had their dinner already. Or popcicles on the way home from the pool… can we also have chips? Or this chocolate bar? Awww… you never buy me anything!!
It’s just the way it goes, I know, but man, I’m tired already… the new summer schedule is upon us, and already I have zero energy to deal with the pouty faces and malocchio at every turn. I suppose being The Mean One just wears a person down along the way. I guess that why taking up drinking during the daytime feels like such a good idea. (Just kidding! Kinda.)
By this time next week, they’ll both be out of school until the fall. Holy crap.
Pass. The. Wine.