terrorists and extortion.



I took one child to the doctor, waited for two hours…and never saw a pediatrician. Children started getting cranky.

I then took myself to the doctor and they chopped a hunk of skin off of me to test for skin cancer. Ew and scary. I almost fainted. Judsen fanned my face and the nurse put a cold cloth on my head. It was a good southern swoon. I recovered my senses when Judsen (age 10) announced he would be driving me home if I didn’t feel better soon. Then I felt a little cranky.

I came home, and we worked on lessons…during this time one kid thwacked another kid with a chopstick, repeatedly. Another kid decided he was NOT going to do math. And two kids fought over a Garfield book to the point that they were screeching “MINE!!!” and tugging the book back and forth until they both fell onto the floor.

So that ended in 3 kids grounded and 1 kid with an early bed time.

I spent the afternoon feeling rather irritated.

After I went to my room for the evening,  two kids snuck out of bed and knocked on my bedroom door…So of course I responded with:
“If you are not bleeding, dying, or vomiting, I do not want to know about it until morning!”
At this point, a little hunk of paper was crammed under the door, so I went to investigate…

It said:

Dear Mom,
Sory for being a steenk head.
I will try better tomurroh.
I love you.
You are nice.
Sometimes days are no good.
Can we get up? We will be nice.

So, of course, it gets my brain going…crankiness lifted and was quickly replaced with guilt!

My poor children are in trouble, poor things! We do just have bad days sometimes. Maybe if I let them off the hook this one time, they will do better tomorrow…they are obviously really sorry.

Am I the only one who has the knee-jerk guilt reaction?

When everyone finally calms down, I want to let them out of their rooms. They have stated they are sorry, they are going to be nice. They even wrote me a sweet letter AND apologized. They love me AND think I am nice! There is even an admission of being stink heads.

I started to get a lump in my throat. My children are precious, kind children. They have had a rough life. I should at least go upstairs and talk to them, you know one of those wonderful mother-kid talks…those little angels.

I was busy thinking about my angelic, never-do-anything-wrong children, ready to give them a reprieve and go visit them up in their rooms…smile kindly at them…you know, all the Hallmark-channel-worthy mushy stuff that kids and parents do when they are estranged and finally resolve their conflict.

I was ready to be that enabling mom. I wanted to go back on fair consequences, and throw in the towel so they will still like me tomorrow.

That is when I heard little feet across the living room floor and another letter was shoved under my door.

Dear Mom,
Let us up or we will screem.

Apparently, I did not respond to the first letter fast enough.
Thoughts of giving in to my angelic children swiftly evaporated…and a new thought came to mind:

I am living with terrorists.

Parenting is hard.
I don’t like to discipline, but I like disciplined children. I want the kids to like me, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of teaching them to be kind, compassionate, and appropriate human beings. Chopstick thwacking, refusing math, and Garfield screaming is not acceptable. I should not have even toyed with the possibility of letting them out, even if they did write me a nice letter.
I guess I can consider the amateur attempt at extortion divine intervention. The kids that were in some hot water stayed in their designated rooms until morning.
Today, the math refusing kid did his math. The chopstick thwacker did not thwack one single person. The Garfield screamers did not scream about Garfield at all. And I kept what is left of my sanity.
So it would seem the terrorists learned a lesson
and so did I.



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