Yes Kids, There Are Rules In This House…Deal With It!

Have I mentioned I have 6 kids?  Have I mentioned that the oldest is 22 and the youngest is 2?  Bet I have (at least a million times).  That being said, I obviously have rules!  I have to!  If not, it would be sheer chaos, all of the time.  There would be no respect.  There would be no order.  Life would not be good!

Let’s set the record straight, I am NOT my kids’ best friend.  I do not aspire to be!  I want them to love me and respect me (most of them do) and I want them to like me (most of them do).  I nurture them, I care for them, I feed them, I clean up after them, I care deeply for them, but I also set and enforce the rules.  Again, record straight, I’m a sucker.  I give in way too often, but there are certain rules that must be followed.  I want them to be productive citizens.  I want them to contribute to society.  I want them to be successful.  
Over the past week and a half (OMG seriously?  Has it only been a week and a half?  Holy crap…shoot me now!) my step kids have been visiting us from Georgia and I am reminded of the importance of keeping order, of enforcing the rules.  They have none at home….NONE!  It’s obvious and it’s obnoxious!  Mind you, I raised them in my own home for 6 years (they were 18 months and 4 years old when I “got” them) but they have lived with the “mother” for the past 2 years.  UGH!
The rules are simple:
1)  Respect yourself, respect your surroundings, and respect others.
2)  If you had to open it, close it (dammit).  This is not only important, but extremely simple and applies to cabinets, refrigerators, toilets, shower curtains, etc. 
3)  If you take it out, put it back!
4) Do not bully (seriously if you’re 13 and picking on a 2-year-old, you have serious…serious…serious problems).
5)  Be respectful of others’ schedules.
6)  If you are younger than me and you’re going to eat or drink it, it’s not too much for me to ask you to carry the groceries in (as a side note, I shouldn’t have to ask).
7)  Since you more than filled the trash can up, would it kill you to take the trash out? (and again, I really shouldn’t have to ask).
8)  I vacuum, every day, and I won’t wait until you get up.
9)  Sleeping 20 hours a day is NOT acceptable.
10) When I say NO, I mean NO.  When I say STOP, I mean STOP.  If you don’t, you will not be rewarded.  And this mom & dad talk, don’t try to play that game!
Simple huh?  You’d think so.  Do I sound like a bitch hard ass Nazi mom strict disciplinarian?  I’m seriously not!  Ask the oldest two!  They’ll tell you I’m a pushover fair.  Ask the babies, they’ll tell you I’m easy peasy a good mommy!  But these middle 2?  OY!  It’s a struggle!  It has been since day one!  It was easier before the bitch Mom got out of the half-way house and decided she was an awesome parent and that they didn’t need rules.  It was better before they lived with her and realized that leaving sandwiches in the floor for 5 days could be acceptable behavior.  It was better a week and a half ago.  
I love these kids!  They are mine.  I raised them.  But I raised them better than this.  They were not lazy.  They did not sleep all day.  They understood the 10 important (and seriously simple) rules!  But they’ve not only forgotten them, they’ve abandoned them.  They are now lazy and dare I say, nasty!  UGH!  Frustrating.  
Sorry babes, I won’t be your best friend.  I won’t give in.  I won’t fold.  These are the rules and I’m sticking to them.  Hopefully by the end of the visit (2 more weeks…OMG shoot me now) they’ll come back to their senses.  
Wish me luck people!  Rules are NOT meant to be broken!  The rules are fair, correct? 

Update on Bug…We Are NOT Happy!

Not a “happy” post!  I’m NOT skipping.  I’m NOT twirling.  We are singing an unhappy sick girl song!  
Many have asked for an update on my Bug since her fever on Monday.  It’s not a happy update.  It will pass so its all good (in the end) but we are not our usual happy selves right now!
My Bug’s fever broke on Monday.  It didn’t last long, about 12 hours to be exact.  That’s a good thing!
The bad part is that Bug was infected with a virus in our former life.  She was not even 2, in daycare, and contracted a virus which is very common in young children.  Now the poor little thing, every time she is presented with fever, stress, excessive sun, etc., will be plagued with fever blisters.  They are painful!  They are ugly.  They hurt her and they make me sad!  It could be a new viral thing that caused it this time, we don’t know.  Testing is expensive and takes weeks to come back so doctors usually do not “test” if there is a history.
Good news, it won’t last more than 14 days!  Bad news, it could last 14 days!  Is it contagious?  Don’t know, the test results would take more than 14 days to come back!  

So they recommend regular hand washing (not a problem), sanitizing toys (not a problem), Lysol (most assuredly not a problem), Tylenol (got it), Campho (got it), ice (obviously got it), and deal with the pain, the no eating, the pain, the crying, the pain, the misery, the pain, the swelling, the pain, the germs…the pain! 

My baby is hurting, as I’m sure you can see!  There is no cure for this!  She is hurting and I am sad, helpless!  I love this little girl!  She still has her spunk about her, but she is not eating well (so not like her), she is not running and skipping, nor is she twirling, and oh how she does love to twirl!  
Tonight, if you say prayers, can you add my Bug to your list?  This is NOT life threatening, and there are much worse things than this, but she is a baby and does not deserve to feel or experience this pain.  She does NOT!  14 days be gone!
Be well my sweet Bug…be well! 

Friday Was A Really Bad Day

This is not going to be a “witty” post and I apologize for that.  I hate those days that I can’t find anything “witty” to share with you, but I’m a mother, the mother of 6 at that, and with that, obviously I have some bad days.  Friday was one of those days and I guess I just need to talk about it.  Yes, I know we all have bad mommy days, and this was by no means the worst, but its in these moments that we question our parenting abilities and wonder what we are doing wrong. 

I love my Bug, she is beautiful, oddly comical, mischievous, she is very loving when she wants to be, and she has the most infectious smile and laughter.  But she is indeed my challenge in life.  She doesn’t mind me or anyone else for that matter, she doesn’t “want” to learn (understand she can learn, she just doesn’t want to), she’s head-strong to a fault, she’s destructive, she can be down right mean at times, and she talks incessantly (to the point that complete strangers comment, not the average talks-too-much 4-year-old).  I know, I know, I’ve told y’all this many times, so get on with the story of the bad day already lady (hmmmm wonder where she gets that incessant talking from right?).  
So Friday started like any other day around here.  Bubby and I woke up at about 7:00 a.m., he had his bottle, I had my coffee and we sat rocking together for awhile watching PBS.  Bug got up at around 8:30 a.m., drank her juice, and waited for breakfast.  Chocolate donuts, a special treat, they were happy.  I was on my third cup of coffee and ready to start cleaning up.  Emptied the dishwasher, washed bottles, swept the kitchen floor, vacuumed, cleaned toilets. It was an especially uneventful morning and I was pleased, proud even, and feeling somewhat accomplished.
But it was lunch time by now and I hadn’t even taken a shower…YUCK!  I fixed them some sandwiches, chips, and fruit snacks, poured some Powerade and told them Momma had to take a quick shower while they ate and then we’d go play outside.  By quick I meant 10 minutes tops, I was in there less than 7 because I timed it.  I left the door open so I could hear them and they could come get me if they needed me.  They were eating, everything should have been fine.  Disney Channel on, no problems in the average household.  But this is NOT the average household.      

I rushed through my shower, and as I’m drying off and stepping out, I hear *BOOM…CRASH*.  My heart stopped, I couldn’t breath, I throw my towel around me and as I’m running out of the bedroom, Bug approaches me.  She says, “I did a bad thing Mommy and you’re going to be mad…I hanged on the pantry and I broke the stuff”.  I’m listening to her and trying to get by her to see the damage since she looks fine and I hear Bubby say “No Ky-ee, trouble Ky-ee, Clean up…Clean up Ky-ee” and this was the point that I knew it was horrible.  You see Bubby is the most gentle, kind-hearted human being ever born.  He protects his sister, he is a good boy, he wanted to cover for her, he did NOT want her to get in trouble.  I could tell from his tone.  

So as I’m making my way around the corner to the dining room, I see such a mess. I’m mortified.  I can hardly believe this.  Seven minutes?  All this in less than 7 minutes!  I already know Bug is fine, but where’s Bubby?  Then he walks around the corner from the kitchen and he has his little fist balled up but he seems fine, other than the turmoil and the noise, he hates the turmoil and the noise.  No tears though, that might mean Bug will get in trouble! 
I repeatedly ask “Are y’all OK?” to which Bug constantly replies “I’m sorry I did bad Mommy”, and Bubby says, “I OK Maw”.  I tell them both to leave the area, I go to my room, throw on some shorts and a tank top and come out to clean up the mess. Oh what a mess!  It looked worse every time I surveyed and I hardly knew where to begin.  Glass, pick up the glass!  Again, “Are y’all OK?”, “Yea, I OK Maw”, “I’m sorry Mommy”.  And the clean up begins. 
Wow, this is really a LOT of glass.  How did no one get hurt?  I know they weren’t out here for more than like 30 seconds after the crash, but seriously, a LOT of glass.  As I take the first bag of glass out and the rug from under the table, I still feel so blessed that no one was hurt.  Then it hits me, why was Bubby’s first balled up like that?  Why had I heard him tell Bug not to tell so she wouldn’t get in trouble?  OMG, he had said “clean up, clean up” and I saw him coming in from the kitchen with his fist balled up.  How could I be so stupid?  I run to him, he’s sitting in his Daddy’s chair, fist still balled with the saddest look on his face and now his hand is inside his shirt.  I see blood!  I cry (not a good mommy move)
This is what he cut himself on, I actually saw the blood on it.  The missing piece was the piece I found in the trash can later.  Bubby had attempted to clean up this mess to cover for his big sister.  This is a heavy crystal candle holder I received from my sister as a gift years ago.    
And this is his “pinger”.  No the cut is not that bad, but it was unnecessary, and he hurts.  And that is bad!
The mess has all been cleaned up, Bubby hasn’t given a single thought more to his “pinger”, and Bug really was sorry, she really was.  She babied her brother for the rest of the day and continued to apologize.  But this was a bad day.  There have been many bad days with my Bug.  This could have been a REALLY bad day but we were lucky!  My point here is, I have 6 kids so I have a good baseline.  I know kids with issues and I know the difference between issues and ISSUES, and I’m afraid my Bug is really starting to fall into the latter category and it scares me.  It scares me for both of them!  
 
Bug is destructive and always sorry for her actions, but the sincere remorse always comes too late.  This is NOT the first time her brother has gotten hurt by her actions.  And I’m scared for him because he will protect her no matter what.  He will clean up after her.  He will defend her.  He will follow her.  He will get hurt.  
 
I feel helpless and I wish I could “fix” this!  I wish I could “fix” my beautiful Bug, and I wish I could make Bubby see that he does NOT have to defend and protect her always.  He’s in for a long road if he does!  I mean to some extent he should, he’s her brother after all, but she needs to learn!  I’m hoping this was an eye-opener for her.  I’m feeling down.  I’m feeling worthless.  I’m feeling helpless.  My bull in the china shop broke the china yesterday, how do I fix her?  It was indeed a bad day!