For this week’s Writers Workshop from Mama Kat I chose prompt # 3.) Oops. Write about a time your kids were yelled at for something they didn’t do. (inspired by this tweet from Big Mama Cass, “After scolding Monk for saying “Dammit” he brings me a diamond shaped puzzle piece and says “dammit mommy?” He was saying Diamond. I’m awesome.”)
When #1 was 2 ½ and #2 was barely a year old we moved into our first brand new custom built home. To say it was a proud moment for us definitely does not do the moment justice. Hubby’s brother had just gotten married the month before and had flown their mom in from Japan for the wedding. Since it was so expensive for her to fly here they decided that after the wedding she would come and visit us for a month. Yes, I had my mother in law with us for a month. But, to her credit, she was a god send in helping with the move.
We were one of the first families to move in on our street so there was still a LOT of construction going on all day long. It was early May and we hadn’t turned on the air so the sounds of hammering and construction was a constant in those days.
The day after we moved in our brand new house, I was putting curtains up in #1’s bedroom. The phone rang and I set the hammer down and went into the kitchen to answer the phone. It was hubby who I hadn’t talked to all day so we were chit chatting about his day and my day when I kinda sorta in the background hear this little “tap tap tap” pause “tap tap tap” pause. This goes on for a while when through the fog and haze of exhaustion from the moving it dawns on me that the noise is coming from #2’s room.
I quickly told hubby I had to get off the phone and went running into #1’s room to find her tap tap tapping away the plaster on the brand new window sills ALL the way down to the metal. I yelled at her to stop and she turned to me with her BIG brown perfectly oval eyes and said “Help? I help mommy?” Now how could I be mad at THAT? She WAS just trying to help… she just didn’t know HOW. Now yes, this instance WAS a warranted yelling at but I tell you THIS instance so that you can understand where I’m coming from on the NEXT one.
About a year or so later I’m walking down the hallway and notice crayon marks all over the hall wall. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get crayon marks off a wall but it seems like nothing short of sanding, painting over or wall papering is gonna cover up crayon marks.
I immediately call for #1 and bring her out into the hallway and start fussing at her for the crayon marks on the wall. She immediately tears up and tells me “It was #2. She did it. She was drawing on the wall.” So I go in and get #2 who is about 2 or 2 ½ by now and I take her into the hallway and point out the crayon marks and tell her writing on the walls is a no no and really fuss her out good and just to make sure the impression is lasting I spank her little bottom (not hard, get over it) and then tell her as punishment she is going to have to help mommy clean up the mess.
We go and get a pail and some pine sol or some kind of cleaner (no magic erasers way back then) and I usher her back into the hallway to “help her” since she is so little I have to show her the right way and I want to make sure it makes enough of an impression that she is NOT going to do it again! I take her little hand and put the sponge in it and dunk her little hand in the warm sudsy water and bring her over to the crayon marks so we can scrub it off together and WTF???? Her little hand won’t even reach up HIGH enough to reach the marks! Hmmmnnnnn
Yes, I felt like a jerk because not only had #2 NOT made the marks on the wall but she had gotten a spanking for it when she didn’t even do it. Which meant that #1 had not only DONE IT… she LIED about it and WATCHED me while I spanked #2 and tried to make her clean it up. But you better believe when she realized that I KNEW she did it she turned on the water works again.
And I should ever wonder why #2 had middle child syndrome? Bless her heart…. I spank her when it’s not warranted, then I forget her getting honored at the board of education years later and after that I forget and leave her at the mall! Man, I do have some BAD MOMMY moments, don’t I? Should I be let out of the house unsupervised?