The day started out like every other homeschool day – time to work…no I don’t want to…well you have to…I’m only doing one thing….not the way it works buddy…yada yada yada. I was prepared for all of the protesting. I was even prepared for the pencil throwing, which inevitably ensues after lunch. What I was not prepared for today was getting fired. Oh Eli.
Eli: I want a new mom.
Me: Ok, how about ____’s mom, although I know she doesn’t read books and lay down with her kids at night. Or, how about ______’s mom, but she works all day and her kids are in daycare and can’t play at home. Wait, how about _____’s mom? The only thing in their family is the kids have to eat salmon and anything served for dinner.
Eli: Fine! I just need a daddy. No mommy. You’re fired from being my mom.
Me: It’s too bad you feel that way. Remember you fired me when you need hep with your homework, fixing dinner, driving to basketball practice, and laying down tonight for bed.
I calmly walk out of his room and close the door. 10 minutes later.
Eli: I don’t understand this stupid worksheet! I need help!
Me: Hmmm, well, daddy is working all day, and you don’t have a mom, so I guess that means you need to ask Ava or the cats for help. And don’t forget your homework needs to be finished before basketball practice tonight or you can’t go.
I walk out and close his door again.
Eli: Fine! Fine! You can be my mom again.
Me: Well, I do love you an awful lot, but your words were hurtful and I don’t want to spend time with someone who hurts my feelings just like you wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who makes you sad. Nana told me when I was a little girl that words are like toothpaste.
Eli: I don’t have any toothpaste.
I go get his tube of toothpaste from his bathroom.
Me: Your words are like toothpaste. It’s easy to squeeze out of the tube, but it’s impossible to squish the toothpaste back inside. When you say mean words, they come out of your mouth and you can’t take them back, just like the toothpaste. You can say sorry, but your words have already hurt someone else. Your words have the power to make someone happy or sad. I will always be your mom, but I want you to use happy words.
We hug it out 🙂
After today’s hostile work environment, I do believe it’s time to renegotiate this whole mom job with the CFO of this household to include a couple mandatory spa days in the terms of my contract 🙂
P.S. Thanks mom for the good ol’ toothpaste lesson you instilled in all us kids so long ago!