Reprinted from my blog in the West Island Gazette
I am pleased to be before you accepting the "Meanest Mom in the whole wide world" Award. Words can hardly express the shock and honor I feel as I stand here, gripping this statuette of a weeping child.
The circumstances behind my nomination highlight the mercurial nature of the Academy of Disgruntled Children and their review process.
I will, however, give you a brief synopsis.
It was a Saturday morning, like most others. Sheets needed to be changed, laundry done, and folded. In addition, my husband asked our daughter to make her bed and pick up the "stuff" from her floor.
"I want to see all of the things on this floor picked up and put away", he said.
What she heard, however, was:
"I want you to take all of this stuff and shove it under, on, about, over and otherwise IN any other container/drawer/basket/bucket that is NOT the one in which it belongs."
Sadly, it was the initial and fundamental mis-interpretation which would ultimately lead us down the path whereby I am standing before you today.
I was in the shower when the first volley was fired across the parental bow.
Our daughter, operating under the second set of aforementioned statements, had shoved all of her toys, crayons, doll clothes, playmobil, lip balm, scarves, mittens, pencils and other bits and pieces into a wide variety of crevices.
Her father, a highly trained mess detector, walked into her room and immediately spied a bag with a myriad of items all shoved in. He called the child's attention to the bag, as evidence of her failure to accurately put her things away. He later opened her dresser drawers to find a hodge podge collection of socks (some dirty), underwear, school shirts and a forlorn mitten all rolled into one drawer.
I exited my shower in time to hear the child call her father a "Clean Freak" and that she could tell him "No" at any time. She was choosing this moment to tell him "NO!, NO! and NO!" She wasn't, she reminded him, HIS SLAVE.
"Oh dear", I think. "I better get my clothes on cause it is totally going down in there."
Following the next four hours, including lunch in her room, Emily was given the opportunity to re-present her cleaning efforts to her father and I.
I am sorry to say that it went very, very badly.
Her Father and I endured the accusations of being the meanest parents in the WHOLE WORLD. Parents who got JOY from torturing their only offspring, requiring her to put her things back where they belong. Parents who would not rest until things such as CRAYONS were placed back into the basket from which they had emerged.
Yes. We were those parents. Parents who required that dirty clothes NOT be mixed in with the clean clothes in her dresser. Parents who rejected the theory that "If I can stuff it into a Bag and then HIDE the bag in the closet so they can't see it" equated to actual cleaning.
In the days since the initial incident, additional demands have been lain upon the poor, beleaguered child. She is now called back into the bathroom to pick up the nightgown and underwear she has discarded and stepped over twice ( once while getting IN the shower, and once while getting out) to carry it the 15 steps to the hamper.
Spelling mistakes were pointed out and the child was told to correct them in a book report! Offensive Vegetables were placed upon her dinner plate!
Oh! The Horror!
So, it is in this spirit that I accept this award. I know other Mom's are as, if not more so, deserving of this recognition.
And Now I have to go and make my kid eat fruit salad instead of the ice cream she wants.