(If you knew that my title was Big Bird talking to Count from the Sesame Street 25th Anniversary DVD, kudos to you)
Thank you to all of you who had suggestions for me regarding the chores with the kids. I can tell you that Megan is no longer earning money for doing any chores. Last week I told her that I had washed, dried and folded all of her clothes and they were on my bed for her to gather and put away. Her response was "but you don't pay me to do that, so why should I?" Yes folks, this is what we're dealing with. So, no more money for her.
And it's not just the chores that are an issue for us. It's the general ATTITUDE of the kids around here these days. The bickering, the toy throwing, the hitting. The fighting generally starts with Meg and Drew before I'm even out of bed in the morning. Do you know what it's like to be awakened by screaming and/or slamming doors at 6:30? It's not pleasant, and it's a consistent theme in this house. It sets a tone for the day that is not easily overcome. The worst part is that whatever attitude Meg has starting the day hangs over the other three kids all day long too. I see Drew treating Annie and Izzie the way Meg treats him and I feel powerless to stop it. He actually just looks through me when I am talking to him about his behavior. I spend lots of my day reminding the kids that I am the mother, that I make the rules, and that they need to listen to me. It does no good though.
I used to think of myself as a generally happy person, but lately I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West. Or East. Who wants to be the parent that generally can't stand the sight of their kids because they're always fighting? Who actually wants to admit that they don't like their kids the majority of the time? Oh, we have the rare moment around here where the kids are playing nicely. Or sleeping. Or being helpful. But it seems that on the whole, things are just plain awful. I'm tired of yelling at the kids. I'm tired of being talked back to. I just want to be a happy Mama.