As my 10-year-old was leaving for school this morning, I
noticed he hadn't made his bed. I called out, "Um, is
there something you forgot to do in your room?" in the annoying way the mom in a cereal commercial would have
said it, probably while folding her arms in front of her. He scampered upstairs and made his bed. Don't worry, I didn't stay in cereal-mom
character and high-five him as he came back down the stairs, but I did feel like
I taught him the importance of creating good habits. Later that morning when I returned to my
bedroom, I noticed that we had forgotten to make our bed. Looks like Bossy Pants needs to slow her
roll. Then I started to think of other
things I often preach and need to practice, myself.
1. Don't act like a baby
course, I don't say this to my infant baby. But I do say it to my 10-year-old. I say it when he makes a big deal out of what I deem to be a small
injury. Like when he rolls around on the
floor after stubbing his toe on the leg of the couch. At first I give him the "Aw, that sucks. You OK?" But after five minutes of dramatic rolling and toe clutching, I just get
pissed and command, "Come on! Quit acting like a baby."
He gets what I mean but doesn't ever act
offended, and I think it's because he thinks babies are pretty cool. So I rephrase, "Toughen up! Seriously." And he sort of responds to that
and stops rolling, but he's still clutching.
Maybe I was worried that, being a single mom
until 18 months ago, I was raising him to be too soft. Well, the other day I was running to answer
my phone, and I hit my toe on the leg of the couch. I fell to the floor, clutched my foot and
rolled around on the floor for at least five minutes. Conclusion: I'm a jerk. In a big way. But perhaps the biggest reason I'm a
hypocrite for telling my son not to be a baby? I still have a blankie, and I often still sleep with it. Shame and
always barking: "Wash your hands," and "Go
take a shower," "Change your shirt" and "Don’t be filthy!" Basically, I want him to give two rips about
personal hygiene. I'm a hygienic person,
but the up-with-baby, sleep-deprivation thing has made not being gross less
of a priority than getting sleep. The
other night, I was half-asleep, haphazardly changing Stella's poopy
diaper. In the midst of hastily wiping
her tush, a little fleck of poop flipped up onto my top lip. With an almost robotic motion, I wiped my lip
with the back of my hand, finished changing her diaper and went back to
sleep. ... Who's gross now?
3. Eat your vegetables
I ate Cocoa Krispies for every meal. I'm
not proud of it, but it happened.
The steering wheel of my car is pure Golden Rule kryptonite.
eat too much sugar
See No. 3.
others as you would like to be treated
rule is so important. I want my kids to
be kind, fair, empathetic people. I try
my best to follow this rule, but I gotta say that the steering wheel of my car
is pure Golden Rule kryptonite. I've
made a resolution to work on my road rage. It's immature and is a terrible example of treating others the way I
want to be treated. I don't want someone
to mad dog me from the next car at an intersection until the light turns
green. And I don't want to be called an
ass-wipe. Even if I do deserve it.
son has never said a mean word, let alone a swear word in his life. And here I am, telling him not to swear, and 'effing up constantly. I started that
whole swear jar thing for myself, but I never have cash on me, so Evan just
keeps a running total in his head. I
think last week he said the jar is up to $103. But I'm pretty sure he's adding some for
effect. Man, I'm a hypocrite and also in
that everything will work out
constantly saying this. I do my best to
practice this, but I often slip up. Kids
don't have the tools of life experience that we do to reinforce the benefit of
this mantra. Because of this, I always
thought this one to be a difficult perspective for kids to grasp. Until five
years ago, when I was losing my mind over a storm of events, which culminated in
me bursting into tears in my car while at a stop sign. My then 5-year-old little boy sat
quietly in the backseat, looking out the window and calmly said, "Remember, Mommy, everything always works out." My heart exploded with love for my son,
and suddenly life was beautiful again.
get so mad when I tell my son to do his homework and he proceeds to sharpen his
pencil for 20 minutes. And then when his
pencil is sharpened, he has to go to the bathroom. And then spends 20 minutes in the bathroom. And when he finally sits down with his
homework, he proceeds to daydream in between math problems. Three hours later, his 45 minutes of homework is
done. But, I am not one to point
fingers. I just spent 45 minutes picking
my split ends. The baby was napping, and
I could have accomplished a zillion other things, but I picked my
out Bossy Pants has a lot to work on. Mama needs to check herself. And
check myself, I will. Right after I tell
my son to quit procrastinating.