Yesterday, in a thoroughly annoyed voice, I asked my children, “Why can’t you just go watch tv like normal kids?” This was after I had asked them (at least five times) to go watch a show.
I know. It’s terrible, but I blame my friend Wendy. One Saturday morning, a little past 8:30, she called me to catch up. She knows we’re early risers and usually busy on the weekends, so I guess she thought it would be a good time to call. It seems logical doesn’t it? But my kids were so loud in the background, that we could barely get through one sentence without being interrupted. Finally, she said, “It’s Saturday morning, why aren’t your kids sitting in front of the tv watching cartoons and eating a bowl of cereal?” She’s funny, but she also had a point. I blame Nick Jr.. Cartoons aren’t a novelty anymore and my kids don’t eat cereal for breakfast, at least, not cereal with milk. I blame Ego’s for that one.
So now, every time my kids are acting crazy, I think back to that conversation. Except this time, I did a little more than think. Oops! Oh, I know I’m being a hypocrite (a little known perk of parenthood) and I know I preach less screen time more play, but they were tearing apart my already torn apart garage and laundry room. Second son was non-stop with Christmas lights he had found. “Can I have these? What about these? Mom, mom, can I have these?” And first son was obsessed with fixing a broken light up Christmas tree. Don’t ask me why a broken lawn ornament is in my garage. We do have garbage pick up once a week and it’s been how many weeks since Christmas? In fact, don’t ask me why any Christmas lights are still out in my garage. We have bins for these, bins with lids….oh, don’t get me started.
Anyhow, back to first son and his “Mom, mom,” (none of my kids can just say my name once) “Where’s the tin foil? Do you have any tape? Mom, mom, where’s the tin foil and tape? I know I can fix the tree if you just give me some tin foil and tape.” I told him I didn’t have any. He called my bluff. I didn’t back down (sometimes you’ve just gotta go with it).
Then, they found the busted rocket (again, don’t ask me why we are holding on to a broken rocket), high in the closet, using a turned over laundry basket that was full. Resourceful little buggers, aren’t they? Unfortunately, resourceful also means messy. Then it was, “Mom, mom can we launch the rocket? Can we? Can we?” It was just too much to handle at five o’clock when I was trying to cook dinner. Ok, I was trying to read a magazine, but anyway…
I know I have no business reading a magazine at five o’clock, the universal witching hour to those of us with kids. I was just asking to be tortured. But I blame my kids. They tricked me. They were playing so nicely and quietly before they started with their barrage of questions, that I was lulled into a peaceful state, sitting on a chair doing nothing, hence the magazine. I didn’t know they were being quiet because they were in the garage, out of earshot, looting the joint. Did I mention that I was out on the back deck? I thought they were already watching tv. In fact, it wasn’t until second son knocked on the window with a big smile and an armload of Christmas lights that I realized just exactly what they were doing and where they were, and then of course I was thrown into an instant panic. OMG! Where’s your sister? Thankfully, the garage door was shut.
So, when second son said, “Mom, mom, I have a surprise for you.” I had to put down the magazine and pick up the camera. After all, he wasn’t watching a show (as I had so shamefully demanded), he was decorating the couch for me. Who could be annoyed about that?