Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What NOT To Do

If you are a mother prone to irritability, with tendencies pointing toward perfectionism; and if these conditions are intensified by 8 and 10 year-old boys who act like, um, 8 and 10 year-old boys, I have some very specific instructions for things you should not do.

If you are a mother like the one mentioned above, and your husband owns a personal training studio, and he has an idea that it would be a nice touch to have you and your boys come in and wash his clients' vehicles while they are doing their work-out, don't agree to it.
Your boys might be excited that their dad is going to pay them for washing these vehicles, but you really don't want to do it. Because what will likely happen is the boys will think the work is fun the first time around. In fact, they'll probably work at it really hard and do a great job, and make you think the day you spend washing cars is going to be great.
But chances are, they'll lose interest by the time you start the second car. They might start arguing with each other and complaining that their brother is not working hard enough. And when one brother accidentally gets some of the wash water on the other, the offended brother will likely throw an angry fit. He will throw the fit about his "wet-ness" in spite of the fact he purposely gets in the way of the water you spray out of the hose - even when you expressly tell him to get out of the way.

And when these things occur, you will question your state of mind at the time you agreed to this car-washing bit. So you probably just shouldn't do it.

Because later in the day these boys will likely need to use the restroom. And even if you allow them to enter the studio one at a time, so as not to disturb the clients who are trying to endure enjoy their personal training session, they will find a way to be disruptive (By hiding around the corner and shooting off their pretend gun, or something.) and make you regret letting them go in. Surely, one of the bushes out back would have worked just as well. So, don't let them go in.

And if you need to leave momentarily to drive the client's sparkling clean car to the front of the building, even if you tell the boys to sit on the stoop and behave, don't do it. Ask your husband to do the driving. Because, even if the boys say they'll behave, they'll probably grab the hose and start spraying the dumpster and whatever else catches their fancy. But if you're lucky there will be no additional cars parked nearby to receive the random sprays.
Of course, each boy will be eager to point out the misdeeds of the other and you will tire of hearing it. So just don't leave them alone. You'll regret it.

Finally, at the end of the day, when you're home and hurrying to get the finishing touches put on dinner so everyone can eat, when you've been reminding the boys they need to set the table, when you're tired of answering questions, tired of listening to bickering, and just plain tired, and your son says, "Mom?" by all means - Don't answer him abruptly and with a short temper. Because, chances are he just wants you to turn around so he can hug you and say, "I love you."

That was my day. How was yours???



luvmy4sons said...

Oh the joys and trials of know I am convinced more and more that the parents learn and grow FAR more than the children on this journey! Too funny! But now you know- now we know- what NOT to do! LOL! Just wait sister...teens...they bring a whole new perspective to the ball game!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours that I've ever read! You are too funny! Thanks for this!

km said...

I should save the for 3 1/2 years from now.

Elizabeth said...

ha! that is a great story...and told so well.

...and yes, i'm so clever...but really Mommy does Rock & that's UNFORGETTABLE! That's the message I got loud & clear. ;-)

Mrs. Sidney said...

:)!! Too cute!!

I had to work late last night and was worried about dinner bc usually the boys wait for me to get home. My hubby didn't cook but went out and bought sandwiches for dinner. I was so pleased I didn't have to sit in traffic for an hour to just get home and slave over the stove... life is good!!
Today was a good day!!

Amanda said...

Oh my dear... one day I am going to have a 10 year old and an 8 year old, and I will think back on this post... and hopefully give them a hug!

Ha! I enjoyed this entry immesenly, and I didn't even cry. ha ha

God bless-

Laura said...

I just saw somwthing and had to share it with you. A few weeks ago you told of the man you met in the airport, his son was MIA.
After so many prayers, his father finally has an answer. Here is the article.

luvmy4sons said...

I gave you an award over at my place.

StaceyStace said...

You tell great stories!

Becoming Me said...

Oh no! I love your honesty and your storytelling ability.

Alisun said...

I will remember this post it was very funny and fact filled, no car washes mental note.

Kirsten said...

I kept thinking of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" as I read that! Maybe "If You Give Your Boys a Car-Washing Job"...

Thanks for sharing!