My dear children, the apple of my eye,
From this day forward, there are going to be some changes around here. Despite what you seem to believe, Mommy is not your personal servant. I realize that my actions of the last 8 years indicate otherwise, but truthfully, my life’s ambition has not been to:
a) Cook three meals a day for three little cherubs who whine, complain, gag, and/or make vomit noises.
b) Wash 15 loads of laundry each day to accomodate your fashion indecision, and misdirected bodily fluids.
c) Crawl around on the living room floor to find your other American Girl ballet slipper, favorite pencil, lost library book, or missing flip-flop.
Mommy has dreams and aspirations, and *gasp* Mommy is human! Mommy is a person, just like you! Believe it or not, sometimes I need sleep, and I also require food on a regular basis. I understand that you have 500 very important tasks that you feel I must tend to in the mornings, but I would enjoy sitting down and actually eating a bowl of cereal before it turns to slop. A cup of coffee which is actually hot would also be quite pleasant. Also, contrary to popular belief, Mommy’s job description does not include putting away all of your toys, completing your forgotten homework, locating your lost jacket/lunchbox/folder, or flushing the toilet after you’ve used it. This extra work makes Mommy very unhappy.
To restore my good nature and humor, I am now implementing the following policies:
1) It’s unfortunate if you forget something “important” at school, but it’s not my problem. I will not make a special trip to the school to retrieve said item. You will simply have to learn to keep track of your belongings, or you will do without.
2) If I remind you to do your homework after school, and you put it off until the next morning, it is not acceptable to write “I don’t know” as an answer to your writing assignment, because the bus is approaching and you’ve run out of time. Also, if you fail to complete your homework, Mommy will not help or make excuses for you. You will simply have to suffer the consequences.
3) There is now a jar on the back of the toilet. Every time you fail to flush, you will be required to fetch a quarter from your piggy bank, and put it into this jar. When the jar is full, Mommy will use the money to buy something pretty for herself. You can avoid this unfortunate penalty by simply FLUSHING THE TOILET. I realize that this is a novel concept for you, and perhaps you were misinformed, but you were not born in a barn.
4) Wet towels do not dry if they’re left in a soggy heap on your bedroom floor. Did you know this? As Mommy is sick and tired of washing 25 towels each week, you will now be assigned a towel each Monday and Thursday. These will be your only towels for the week. If you fail to hang them up, and they get stinky and mildewy, well…that will be most unpleasant for you, won’t it?
5) Ponytail elastics and other hair ornaments are not bracelets, belts, crowns, or anklets for your dolls and stuffed animals. It would be perfectly fine for you to play with them, except Mommy is no longer willing to pluck 50 of them off the carpet so that she can vacuum. They have now been organized and moved to a top shelf in the bathroom closet, and will be available in limited quantities by request.
6) See that silver, shiny thing with the handle, right above the sink? That’s called a faucet. Water comes out of it! See the plastic cups on the lowest shelf, which you’re perfectly capable of reaching? These are to hold the water. Do you understand? I hope so, because Mommy will no longer leap up to fetch you something to drink, 3 thousand, 7 hundred and 56 times each day.
7) News flash! You are not cows! You do not need to “graze” all day long. You will be given three meals each day, and two snacks, and this is perfectly adequate for you. Mommy is not required to provide food every hour, on the hour. I know you sincerely believe otherwise, but you will not “die” if you have to wait until 3:00 P.M. to have a granola bar. I promise.
8) Mommy will only wash laundry placed in your hamper. If you leave it on the floor, it will not become miraculously clean all by itself! I know this is astonishing to you, but it’s the truth. Also, dirty underwear does not belong on the kitchen table, coffee table, computer desk, or living room rug. Really, this should go without saying, shouldn’t it?
9) It is not Mommy’s responsibility to rescue your dolls, sidewalk chalk, beach ball, or other belongings from the backyard because it’s raining. If you leave stuff outside and it gets ruined, I will share your pain, but I will not replace these items, because you know better. You must take care of your things. This is called R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y.
10) Toys, books, and any other belongings left on the living room floor after you go to bed will become the property of Mommy, and will be returned solely at my discretion. Because enough is enough. This house is not your personal garbage dump.
Now, I know that you probably think I’m the world’s meanest Mommy, and I don’t understand what it’s like to be a kid, but here’s another piece of news for you: I DO understand. I was a kid myself once, so I know what you need to learn in order to become self-sufficient, successful, happy adults. Someday, you’ll thank me for this.[print-me/]