A couple days ago, after a morning rant session about how my sons and husband don't do their share around the house in terms of keeping things neat and tidy, Steve emailed me from work. He wrote to tell me how my screaming just scares everyone. Households that have parents who are tense and angry, will in turn, produce tense and angry children. Interesting, I thought. (insert swearing under my breath as I read this) Was he implying that I was ruining the children??? That was never my intent. My intent was to teach everyone to respect where they live and to take pride in it! Apparently, I have failed at that. According to Steve, this house looks great for having 4 boys living in it. (I beg to differ) I agree with him that we live here and so, yes, the house will look "lived in". I am not one for cold, museum looking houses either. BUT. Can't there also be a sense of tidiness and cleanliness???
Amongst the other issues currently going on in our home is the dinner time meal. I pride myself on cooking for my family and I enjoy it. (most of the time) I try new recipes often and set a lovely table. (if I do say so myself) However, I also had instated a rule a while back. You are not allowed to say you don't like or "hate" something unless you have tried it. Therefore, you must try what is served. If you don't care for it, then you are free to make yourself something else. I am not making another dinner. Apparently, Simon and Zion have found a loophole and a button to push and for the last few nights have made their own dinners. Because they don't like what I made? Nope. Simply because it gives them the control and upper hand (something I always want). The two of them would rather eat PBJ or cereal or microwaved chicken nuggets. This is driving me insane. But....back to the "tense and angry", I have said nothing. I do not fight. I simply sit there and watch them get up and go get their own stuff (with Steve's help, which is not part of the rule, but again, I am biting my tongue). I have had tons of suggestions (very much appreciated, by the way) from friends and family as to how to handle this. The bottom line is this....I cannot let it go! It's not in my make up!! I cannot just let things go. EVER. (insert hysterics from various people) It bugs the shit out of me that I take the time to make a nice meal, and set the table so we, as a family, can sit down together for 20 minutes a day and be together. (Granted, by the end of the 20 minutes I'm usually ready to start drinking, but this is not the point...of this entry anyway) Yes, even if the kids are eating garbage, we're still getting the 20 minutes together. I know. But if you have been paying attention, I don't work this way. I want it my way. And yes, I could just cook for myself and Andrew, Issac and Steve. But I don't really know how to cook for less. I am so used to cooking for a bigger group that it is just so foreign to me. What else is foreign? NOT YELLING!
I grew up in a house with a mom who yelled. (she of course has no recollection of any of this) The best part was when she would go crazy on us, then call my dad, scream and ruin his day, and by the time he would come home, the whole thing had blown over and he was in a pissy mood.(with today's technology, I can text or email Steve immediately and ruin his day) The thing is, that yes, she sounded insane when she yelled and we would make fun of her (and clearly still do), there was a certain level of understanding. She meant business. And, at least for me, there was a fear that if I didn't listen, or go along with the rules, the shit would seriously hit the fan. Lance, (the older of my two younger brothers) used to just laugh at her. She tried hitting him with a broom once when he wouldn't listen and the broom broke and this just upset her more. She bought a new vacuum(sp??) once when Jordan was a little boy. She told Lance and me to vacuum up the basement. Jordan wanted to do it. So, we let him. He ran the vacuum over the cord and broke it instantly. She flew off the handle. Funny, but as a mom now, I see the frustration. Just like when she bought a new wall unit for the basement. Within days, someone threw a ball at it and chipped the finish. We couldn't understand why she went nuts. Today, I understand why. She bought a new kitchen set with material chairs. (I still don't understand that with kids in the house, but whatever) Tessi was a baby in the high chair and I felt really sick. But, our kitchen was small and I was blocked into my seat. So, I threw up spaghetti all over the material chair. Granted, I was sick (and couldn't vomit in a toilet until I was almost 13) it was still frustrating that I did this on the chair. As a mom, I get it.
So....coming from a mom who was a yeller, and living with Steve, whose mother apparently NEVER yelled cause she was a "saint", I guess I need to find a happy medium. Happy for who? I don't know. The yelling isn't working. All it does is upset me and raise my blood pressure and cause acne. (which I didn't have as a teenager but suddenly now it's all over my chin!) Yet, sitting around quietly isn't doing much either. Maybe, I should go have that drink.