A few days ago I was whining on Twitter, as I do, about dealing with the big kids. I think the word I used on Twitter was 'discipline' but I think a better word might be "making them act right." You know what I'm talking about. It's not like they're being NASTY or MEAN or whatever, they're just being twerps! I don't ENJOY repeating myself nine thousand times a day, you know? They're loud, they're wild, they get all "but where's my DWINK, MOMMY?" like "how dare you go about your day while I am sitting here just a tidge thirsty, HMM?"
I was reminded of this today when I went to put EJ down for her nap. (For something like the fifth time, let it be noted.) I thought: hey! Instead of yelling at the kids to be quiet WHILE I'm holding the baby, why don't I yell at them AHEAD OF TIME? Smartness!
So I cornered them in the living room, used my Very Important Mommy Voice, and told them I needed them to be quiet while I tried to get Emma to sleep. They nodded their heads which is universal for I Understand You, unless you are a three- or four-year-old, in which case it translates to, "Get out of our hair, woman."
I went to wrap up the baby and get her down and I swear, not TWO MINUTES LATER, someone is standing right outside the bedroom door, sobbing. Sobbing! And you know, these kids have lived in my house some years now. They can't possibly believe that at this point I'm going to literally drop the baby and come running to their aid on account of a little sobbing, especially sobbing that is happening DIRECTLY AFTER I tell them to NOT DO THINGS LIKE SOB FTLOG!
(Note: no one was HURT. No one was on FIRE. No one was BLEEDING. No one had anything to SOB ABOUT, TRUST ME.)
So I pulled the door open a bit with my foot and gave the offender (JACK) the biggest meanest scariest look I could muster and Gestured Angrily so that he'd LEAVE.
And he did! Lovely! (Well not without 1) a Terribly Wounded Look and 2) more sobbing). I went back to putting the baby to sleep and then! Not THIRTY SECONDS LATER! Molly starts shouting, "NO! NO JACKSUN! NO!" And there was running! And all sorts of LOUDNESS GAAAAHHHH!!! I had to do my whole Angry Look/Angry Gesture thing ALL OVER AGAIN and this time it was LESS EFFECTIVE and I also suspect they didn't even NOTICE but I still had a baby in my arms SOOOO...
It's just TYPICAL. Typical afternoon in the Cheung household. BLARGH! Emma was so tired it was a snap to put her down (for five minutes anyway) and then I ordered the big kids downstairs. AWAY WITH YOU! I shouted. BE GONE! GO AWAY FROM ME! YOU ARE MAKING ME CRAAAAAAZEEEEEE!!!
They went downstairs with (you guessed it) more Wounded Looks and Crying and OH COME ON. I'm a softie but I'm not THAT big a softie. I threw myself across the sofa and relished the five minutes of quiet I'd get before someone started to sob downstairs and beg me to come wipe their butts or get a Kleenex or MOLLY PUSHED ME or whatever was going to come next.
But they were quiet! And you KNOW I used the resulting many minutes to get important stuff done, like browse Pinterest. I was so happy! And then Emma woke up.
And then LAAAATER... I realized that those kids were being AWFULLY QUIET. Like, SUSPICIOUSLY QUIET. I yelled from upstairs to see what was up, but no one answered. I'm not proud to say that I then IGNORED the quiet for a while longer. I mean, I am not one to look a quiet horse in the mouth. But then I started to get nervous. Had someone drugged my children in my absence? Did they eat some sort of magical quiet piece of lint? Secretly let themselves into the backyard? Got stuck in the utility closet?
I went downstairs to investigate and BOTH KIDS are IN THEIR BEDS ASLEEP. It was 4:30 PM.
(The next thing that happened is Phillip called to tell me he'd be an late. THE END.)