Last weekend was a crazy one. I’ve been battling a little attitude problem with my son. As our pastor would say, he’s a little prince who wants to act like the king. In other words, the little prince (Bug) was trying to boss the queen bee (me) around. That needed to change quickly.
In the past we’ve tried assigning extra chores, taking away privileges, and having a chat with dad. Nothing seemed to make a difference, though, and I was about to lose my cool. So I told him if he thought my job was so easy, he could be me for the weekend. He shrugged his shoulders, and we headed off to school.
3:00 Friday afternoon rolled around, and Bug walked through the door, tired from a day of school. I let him play on the computer for half an hour before summoning him to the kitchen.
“You’d best get started on dinner,” I told him. “Dad & Stargirl have places to go tonight, so we need to eat on time.”
Bug kind of glared. But he was not to be defeated. He started on dinner, and after a somewhat long and messy process, the quiche was in the oven.
He started to head back to the computer.
“Um,” I stopped him. “There’s laundry to be folded.”
He glared again, but did the task. And I stopped him again.
“The table needs to be set.”
“Your sister needs to be changed.”
“Don’t forget to put the salad on the table.”
Dinner was a blissful break for him, but once dinner was over, his work began again. Clear the table. Load and run the dishwasher. Wipe the counters. Get Boo ready for bed. Do a quick pickup around the house.
By the time he was done, it was 8:00. But he still had a snarky attitude.
He asked if his consequence could end early. I told him I didn’t think he’d learned his lesson yet.
“I get it!” he practically yelled. “Your life sucks!”
I had to remove myself from the room at that point. I returned to tell him that no, my life does not suck and that I enjoy serving the family, but sometimes it’s hard to do when your family doesn’t appreciate it. Or worse, they insult the hard work you put into making a healthy dinner or take the clean house for granted.
The next morning I woke him up bright and early, so he could get Boo some breakfast. After he had spent some time reading his Bible, I handed him my Motivated Moms checklist. At first he looked at the list for Saturday. “Great! Only two things to do!”
But then I showed him the long daily list. Wipe out the bathroom sinks. Get the laundry started. Sweep the floor. And on. And on. And on.
I thought he was going to cry. I wanted to let him off the hook. But I knew he needed to suffer a bit.
I didn’t hear much from him the rest of the morning. He worked slowly. He worked imperfectly. But he worked without complaining.
Saturday afternoon he came to me and said, “Mom, you work hard.”
Time will tell if his attitude and words change, but I know one thing is for sure. Bug recognizes that keeping our household running is a big job, and it’s not easy. I’m hoping he will be more appreciative in the future. If not, he’ll turn into Mr. Mom again.