Paul thinks I don't hold my ground with the kids enough - I'm too soft with them. I don't know. Maybe he's right. But I remember what it was like being a kid. You are misunderstood, you are bossed around, you have to deal with your parents cranky moods... it's hard.
This afternoon Zach texted me and he caught me in a cranky mood.
Here was our text conversation:
Zach: Would it be ok if ryan spent the night? Please!
Me: b-day in the morning. I am tired. I am stressed. I don't want ryan at my house.
Zach: K. now he wants to know if I can go there?
Zach: Why im not even here why does it matter? Can I ask dad if its ok with him?
Me: Yes but u have to tell him I said no. If you don't then u will be in big trouble.
Zach: Ya but why did u say no? He is going to be the one staying home tomorrow anyways.
Me: I'm not in a great mood right now and I'm busy. U have really caught me at a bad time.
Zach: Sorry. ill talk to you later.
Paul and I try to stay on the same page when it comes to discipline - but it's hard to keep track of everything and everyone. So, if one of us says no - we try to alert the other asap so the kids don't try to mess with us.
When I got home, Ethan hands me a gift bag with three presents he has made me. A piece of wood he got at the lumberjack exhibition at the Red River Valley Fair this week. He has colored it beautifully. Another lovely drawing and another piece of paper with a bunch of holes poked through it. Zach was at the stove making supper.
Me: What's going on?
Zach: I'm making dinner.
Me: What are you making?
Me: Oh. Wow. Okay.
I walk in and drop my bags. I look around the kitchen. It is spotless. When I want something to look this good, I usually ask Evan. He is Mr. Cleaning Machine. During our first parent-teacher conference with his Montessori teacher we asked which "area" he spent the most time in? The teacher responded: Well... he spends a lot of time... well... cleaning.
Me: Wow - did Evan clean the kitchen?
Zach: No. I did.
Me: Wow! You did a great job. It looks incredible.
Zach: And look at the family room. I did that too.
I turn around to take a look.
Me: Holy cow Zach. Looks great!
I'm about to say something sarcastic - pointing out the fact that this was done so we would allow him go to his friends house to sleep over. But, he has melted my crankiness. The place looks great and the effort has made.
Me: Thank you Zach. I really appreciate it.
He gives me a devilish look and says, "I love you."
Okay - so I'm going pretend I didn't see that look. Paul walks in.
Me: Look at the kitchen Paul! Zach cleaned it. Didn't he do a great job? He is also making us supper.
Paul: What does he want?
Me: Paul! That's not nice. You shouldn't do that. That sounds like something my mom would've said and I would not have wanted to even try to do anything nice again. Just be nice - okay?
Paul: Oookaaayyy. But he wants something.
Me: Paul! Seriously! Don't!
Zach: Well. I do want something.
So much for trying.
A little later Zach asked me again if he could sleep over. I said it would be okay with me if it was with his dad. Paul didn't want to let him go. He said we should stick to our first decision. But I thought - well.. I mean... he did help out a lot. Shouldn't that be worth something? It's not like we said no because of something he did wrong.
So we let him go.
I just got another text from Zach: Thank u.