Mean Mommy

I am a Mean Mommy.

Ask my kids. They’ll tell you. Even Joanna, who, at two years old, doesn’t really know what “mean” is, even Jojo can hear and repeat what the big kids say. “Poo, poo Mommmy”, which in toddler-speak, means, “Mommy, you stink.”

“Mommy, you are mean.”

I’m sort of over it, most of the time. I didn’t have kids to win popularity contests (although I will admit to the addicting and incomparable feeling of pure adoration from a baby’s eyes. and how when that fades, it’s heartbreaking). I know my kids love me. Lately, though, they don’t always like me.

Today, for instance. In the 4,784th Clash of the Clean, I told the kids to tidy up, because the cleaners would be coming in the morning (my guilt on hiring a cleaning service, please see future blog entry, “How I’ve Failed as a Housewife”).

In three hours, little got done, despite my bribes, cajoles, threats. After they all went to bed, and I downed a glass of cabernet, I had two choices:

1) pack all toys in boxes and hide boxes in attic
2) clean it all up myself

What did I choose? Well, after that glass of wine, option #1 seemed like a lot of effort. I’d have to find the packing tape gun, for one thing. And the stairs, two flights, a whole lot of climbing. What I did was tidy up some stuff, bag up some other stuff to hide. After all, if it’s too much to clean up, it’s too much to have. So I tell them, and sometimes, it’s what they believe.

But the kids know me to be a closet sucker. They and I all know that I will return to Cooper his bag of Star Wars Legoes and Mitzi will reclaim her itty-bitty Barbie accessories — all of which I rescued from Teresa’s vacuum cleaner, with no thanks — and next time we won’t struggle so much to put it away. Because they will remember that tonight, after a day of Mean, I was Nice. And, really, my kids are good, they do their best, and deserve a second chance.

Everyone went to bed early tonight, a consequence of their day of poor listening, faulty toy cleaning, general naughty behavior, and my inability to diplomatically deal with the quartet. Six-forty-five, all tucked in. No regrets for me.

I have been, and will continue to be, a Mean Mommy. But tonight, this supposedly Mean Mommy rules a quiet and somewhat tidy house. And for these 185 minutes of peace and sanity, I’m okay with the label of Mean, not Nice. Tomorrow is another day. And if not tomorrow, some day down the road.

After all, I really like my mom now. And if my adolescent memory serves me correctly, she was the quintessential Mean Mommy.

Just ask my siblings if you don’t believe me.

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