I have been called mean mommy by my oldest daughter, Izzie, many times. It always hurts, but I know deep down inside, it is because she is frustrated and I am the one telling her no or what to do.
Today, I picked them up at the neighbor’s house after school. They were watching a movie and when I called their names, both Izzie and Sophia ignored me. I went over to the couch where they were sitting so that they could see me and told them once again that it was time to go. They glared at me as they ever so slowly peeled themselves off the couch.
They grumbled as they made their way into the kitchen. When I asked them to gather their things, more glares and grumbles. We finally made it out of the house and into the car. Yet, the whining continued. Sophia was hungry and Izzie didn’t understand why they had to leave. I stayed calm and explained that they could be upset because they had to leave and they were hungry. However, that did not give them the right to be angry and crabby with me. I kindly asked them to be kind as we continued our afternoon and evening.
We arrived home, emptied the car (more glares and grumbles), and I had just taken off my shoes when Izzie said, “I left my retainer at Miss Christine’s.”
Shoes back on, cranky girls in the car, and off we went. Retainer secured, we returned home once again.
We had some time before dinner, so I asked one of the girls to go get the book we were reading together. Can you guess what happened? That’s right more glares and grumbles, along with whines and declarations of not wanting to be the one to have to go upstairs.
Eventually the book made it downstairs and we sat around the kitchen table so Izzie and Sophia could eat a snack. I began reading and after a few pages we were at the end of the chapter, and they requested more. We read one more chapter and then I stood up to begin making dinner.
I asked if they wanted to make salads and they enthusiastically replied yes. Chairs were pulled over to the counter as I began pulling needed items out of the refrigerator and pantry. It looked as though we were turning the corner…until we didn’t.
I don’t even remember exactly what happened, but the tones of voices and the unkind words were just too much. And then the high pitched whining started, and I lost it! I yelled for them to stop and took away their tv privileges for the night. This was huge as it was movie night because I had class and Jim was working.
Sophia let out a scream that made me think she was seriously hurt. I knew she wasn’t so I listened as she grew louder. I told her she needed to go upstairs, which, surprisingly, she did. She was screaming about wanting to make her salad, which no one told her she couldn’t. Sophia eventually came down and I thought we were good until she started crying at the counter.
Izzie was the exact opposite. She stood on her chair at the counter, making her salad with tears running down her face. She quietly apologized and kept working.
We eventually talked about how tv was a privilege and that their behavior had been unacceptable, that they couldn’t whine and complain about everything. They would have to find other things to do tonight.
And they did. Maybe we just needed to get everything out, the glares, the grumbles, the whines, the screaming, and the tears. They were super well behaved during class and, for the record, there were not shouts of mean mommy.