Friday, August 13, 2010

There's a New Sheriff in Town

and her badge reads : MOM!

I admit it, I am the Queen of Empty Threats. I can't tell you how many times I've threatened to sell my kids to ebay or busted out the world's largest wooden spoon and threatened to paddle their tushies.

Every time my boys would run amuck, I'd pull something new out or my arsenal. Like, "If you don't settle down and BE QUIET while I'm driving, then I am going to pull over and make you walk!" Or,this next one, which I stole from my mother-in-law, and is one of my all time favorites, "Stop hitting your brother! Because if you can't keep your hands to yourself, then I am going to rip them off and beat you with their bloody ends!"

I know what you're thinking, If it didn't work on her or her husband, when they were kids, then why on earth would she think it would work on her kids? I often wonder the same thing, but hey, let's be honest, my sanity, along with all my reason and logic flew out the window a long time ago.

There are days when I feel like I spend hours on end screaming, in what I think is my scary voice, at my little band of trouble. Only to be overrun every time. At my wit's end, I went to the Bear, to seek advice. All he has to do is roar once and our bandits fall straight into formation.

"I don't understand why the kids listen to you and not me?" I whined.

Without even glancing my way the Bear casually answered, "Because you don't intimidate them, they don't take you seriously. They're boys and you're the Mom. I was the same way." He went on in a tone that suggested that I should already know this.

Defensive, I responded, "What do I mean I don't intimidate them? I think I sound scary, when I yell. I'd be scared if I were them!"

Again, in a tone that suggested that he couldn't even believe that he was having to explain this to me, the Bear quickly knocked me off my horse and casually told me, "You don't sound scary, just annoying."

I was taken aback, and a little hurt. I really did want to believe that I could lay down the law with my kids and be taken seriously. So, I devised a new plan. No more screaming. I would simply state the problem, address it, and take action, no more empty threats.

I seized the first opportunity I could to roll out my new plan.

I was on the phone the other day, when the Destroyer came over to me and rudely interrupted, pointing to the phone, "Mommy, I say hi?"

I excused myself from my conversation, "Honey, you're being rude. Mommy's on the phone with someone you don't know."

Momentarily satisfied by my answer, the Destroyer started to walk away, until a light when off in his head, "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! Mommy, I say hi?"

Again, I told him that I was having a conversation with someone that he didn't know and I asked him for some privacy while I talked, a foreign concept to the Destroyer. The badgering continued relentlessly. I once again excused myself from the phone to address his unyielding behavior.

I knelt down next to the Destroyer and looked him straight in the eye and sternly said, "You are being very rude and you need to go to your room, NOW!"

"I don't want to go to my room!" he cried.

Trying to keep my cool and not scream, I channeled my inner HULK, "You need to stop before you make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry."

This stopped the Destroyer's tears mid stream and he looked up at me and asked, "Why Mommy, you going to turn green?"

I couldn't help but laugh, looks like this Sheriff has been run out of town again.