Rolling your eyes will get a groan from Mom. Whining will get you a growl. Give her an attitude and you win a free, all-expenses-paid trip to your room. Get Mom in trouble with Dad … find a new home. My kids know the rules, but they have discovered the fine art of getting around them. My son will give me a big cheesy grin and flash his big blue eyes at me and say, “What? What’d I do?” My daughter on the other hand will shoot me a sarcastic, “Yes Ma’am! Whatever you say!” Most of the time these “subtle” techniques will get them off the hook.
I admit it, I’m a sucker. I’m also beginning to realize that they are perfecting the method to the madness. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they were having meetings in the middle of the night to formulate the plan to drive me nutty the next day. I can almost picture them hiding under bedspreads with flashlights going over the minutes from the last meeting.
“Okay, whose turn is it to leave shoes under the coffee table?”
“Hey, you went a little light on the crumbs on the couch today. We need to kick that up a notch.”
“Let’s whine a little louder in the morning. She’ll be glad to get us out the door and we’ll be able to skip making our beds!”
“You got her real good yesterday about asking her six times where your jacket was!”
“Yeah, she almost turned purple!”
I’ll bet they even have a secret handshake.
One of the things that make them giggle is my expressions when they’ve pushed my buttons, and even then they can rack up their daily tally of backtalk.
“You are driving me batty!”
“Really? Where are your wings?”
“I am going to lose my mind if you do that one more time!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll help you look for it.”
“If you say one more word …”
“Help me, Lord!”
“Dad isn’t home right now.”
Kids today have an answer for everything.
Little do they know that we Moms have a few tricks up our sleeves, too. For example, calling them by the wrong name. Kids hate this, especially if you call them the dog’s name. Put a quarter or two in a load of laundry in the dryer and watching them fight over who gets to fold the next load. Sometimes we even use Santa to our advantage. See a tantrum? Simply say, “Santa is watching and he’s NOT happy right now.” My kids know when they’ve gone too far when Brussels sprouts show up on their dinner plate. I keep a bag in the freezer just for this purpose. Trust me, it works. We Moms have to do anything to save our sanity. There are days when I exclaim, “Go ahead, keep it up and I’ll be insane by the time you graduate. Do you want a crazy lady at your wedding?” The result is usually eyes rolling in my general direction.
I know one day when I am in heaven and I see my children I will ask, “How in the world did you get in here?” I know their response will be, “By obeying the Fifth Commandment: Honor Thy Mother and Father. You said to go ahead and one day that if we kept bugging you, you would go insane. Well, we all know who the crazy lady at our wedding was. So we did our job.
See they always have an answer for everything. But that’s okay. When they have kids of their own, I’ll be able to sit back and watch the magic, knowing the dance will continue. And I’ll clap along.