Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There are times when being a parent isn't all rainbows and unicorns

... and this is one of them.

Thank goodness for YouTube.

Let me get you up to speed. The high school freshman is undergoing his first set of final exams--at present, trying to cram an entire semester's worth of Environmental Geoscience into his brain. And I can't really help, because what the hell is Environmental Geoscience, anyway?

He just asked me "Mom, what does 'stabilize' mean?" And I said "to make stable; to keep from fluctuating; to put into an equilibrium; to keep from flying into millions of tiny pieces."

Meanwhile, that's what my other child is trying to make me do.

Today I was criticized for, among other things, not making her wash dishes or run errands. This is apparently Treating Her Like a Baby. Other kids have chores. Why haven't I assigned her chores? Like buying the groceries. That would be helpful and responsible, wouldn't it? Why don't I make her do that?

I tried reasoning with her. I explained that when the closest store is a half-hour's walk away, there aren't many errands a twelve year old can do.

I tried telling her that until she develops stricter habits of personal hygiene, food-handling is not advisable, and had she ever heard of Typhoid Mary?

My arguments were found wanting.

Internet, I officially give up. I'm lying on my bed with the down comforter over my legs. I'm drinking tea and blogging, and I'm not coming out until everyone in this house is a grown up. Yes, it'll be 15 years or so until that happens, but when you're a parent, you take the long view.

In the meantime, I can, if asked politely, Google things like "geothermal energy" and "ethanol pros and cons."

So what's this about YouTube?

Greatest. child. threat. ever. Mothers of six- and seven-year-olds? You'll thank me for this:

If you don't stop arguing with me, I'm going to record you with the digital video camera and upload it to my YouTube account.


  1. oh my God that is brilliant. (However, when they say, "sing that halloween song you sing for your class" don't do it. THAT might end up on facebook. yeah. )

    dang kids.

  2. I am so glad the internets weren't around when I was a kid...

  3. Dang. I went with the Facebook threat, but yours seems more effective. (My girl wants chores, too. For PAY. Her only job right now is to clean up after herself, and she can't even do THAT. Pay, RIGHT. AS. IF.)

  4. My kids (13 and 16) each have to clean the bathroom they use. I had a lovely moment of schadenfreude the other day when my friend who has a cleaning woman revealed that her 21-year-old daughter doesn't know how to clean a toilet.

  5. LOVE the YOuTube threat! I have a 7-year-old and a 13-year-old and I think this would really work with them!

  6. Oh this is a good one!

  7. My 12 year old wants to go live at your house. I'd let him, but then who'd take out the garbage, sweep the kitchen and walk the dog around here?

  8. That 'other kids have chores' thing is just a gimmick, kind of like the 'call now in the next 10 minutes and we'll send you double....'. My kids tell me that all the other kids DON'T have chores and that I'm a slave driver treating them like slave boys/girls and, here's the best part, they're calling Social Services on me. (Which, should yours say that, handing them the number and a phone takes the wind right out of their sails. Makes them 'need to go think'.)

    The want for chores will only last until you give her some. Then she'll most likely flip to you being the slave driver ...


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.