Surely the consequences of failing parenting 101 will not be too awful bad.
I have been sewing a lot lately. I am dieting, again, and it helps to take my mind off the fact that I want, no I need, chocolate chip cookies. The soft kind that melt on your tongue as soon as your teeth break through the every so slightly crispness of the outside. Add a nice hot cup of coffee to that or an icy cold glass of whole milk and you have a broken diet, 5 more pounds that settle around the worst possible places on your body, and more guilt than ever.
Yesterday, I was once again parked at my sewing machine. My children were being entertained by the Nintendo Wii and cable. Every half hour or so, someone was coming to me, whining, crying, complaining or tattling on a sibling about some horrendous wrong done to them. "But Mom, he looked at me! With his eyes!"
Finally, I got tired of playing referee when my 7 year old daughter came to me, a hysterical disaster. She had tears running down her face, eyes that were wide open with hurt and confusion, and this voice. Shudder. The voice of the supreme whine. She got no more than 3 blubbery words out, a couple of wild hand gestures, and several sobs before I stopped her with, "Really?! To be as upset as you are, I would expect one of your limbs to be severed. Go wipe your face, calm down, and do *not* come back to me tattling on your brother." I had no sympathy.
She started wiping at her face and eyes with the back of her hand and left out of the room.
About 30ish minutes later, I hear this from the living room, "Oooooooo you are going to be in trouble." Great, just great, I but contemplate getting up but I am getting ready to start a buttonhole. I load the button, attach the foot to the sewing machine and hit go. In comes running in the previously sent away daughter. She looks nothing more than smug. She says, "Mom, Micah colored on the sofa." Her attitude said, "If you had gotten on to him for <insert whatever she wanted to tattle on when I sent her away> then this would have never happened.
Frankly, I was a bit scared to go into the living room at all, seeing as how I essentially abandoned them in there, leaving them to their own devices for several hours. So, to hear that crayon was somehow marring my brand new sofa was news that kinda terrified me and totally ticked me off. I called for my son.
No lie, this is the conversation we had.
Me (in a whiny, tortured, complaining voice): Micah, what did you do?
Micah: I colored on the couch.
Me: Seriously? (insert hunched shoulders, thrown back head, closed eyes, and scrunched face) What made you think that was a good idea?
Micah: Well, I did not know it would show up.
Um. Ok. I have no idea how this is logical, but I kept repeating to myself, over and over again, he is six, he is only six, he is six, he is six.
Me: (incredulously shaking my head and speaking with a slightly higher pitch) You did not think it would show up? But what made you want to do it.
Micah: You never told me not to.
At this point, I should have spanked him. He is six, he knows not to color on the sofa, he should not have to be told "not to".
But, the button hole was just finishing up and I wanted to see if it worked and then get a seam ripper to put the hole in the buttonhole and see if the adorable fish buttons would fit through. So, I did not spank him. I reprimanded him and reminded him to not draw on anything but approved paper.
After I sent everyone to bed, later that evening, I decided I should brave the living room and check out the damage done to the sofa. I silently wished for a glass of wine or a nerve pill and walked into the living room. Thankfully, they had not destroyed the room. They just messed it up a bit, but nothing more than what my husband does when left to his own devices in there... just sayin! I willed myself to look at the sofa. There was the red crayon, the marks embedded into the seam of my new microfiber sofa.....
I suppose I need to get around to getting it up, but that requires ironing and I hate ironing...