Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day Four


Striking Mothers Log Book Day 4:
DING! DING! DING!! We have a winner folks!! Any guesses on which one caved? I’ll give you a hint…it wasn’t Dylan or me. I’ll leave you on the edge of your seat.  First let me recap today.

‘Doggy bags’ for lunch was not a big hit. Shocker. Quinn actually checked if there was real dog crap in the bag. Really?? What kind of monster do you think I am? When I asked if she was ok with taking it for lunch, she shrugged her shoulders and said “sure, why not”. I’m screwed. However, for those children in Junior High, the prospective of eating out of pooh bags was far to embarrassing. They actually got angry at ME!! Geesh, it was Dylan who packed their lunch, at least give credit where credit is due. I flipped them the bird when they had their backs turned, it made me feel better. Both of them stomped to the back door to get their lunch bags out of their backpacks (progress right?), then proceeded to dump the old contents on the counter (its beyond me how they found any available space…it's like Jenga) and transferred their pooh lunch into the now empty lunch kits. Wait for it…. they left the pooh bags on the counter. Sigh….no progress after all. We were so close.

Today’s breakfast was served on leftover Christmas paper plates and juice in Red Solo cups. It was like an early White Trash Christmas morning. I found myself humming ‘Here Comes Santa Clause’ all day long.

For some reason there is masking tape in my bathroom. This has honestly had me wondering all day what one could possibly need masking tape in the loo for. Are their tooshies so tender they needed to tape together toilet paper to make 6 ply? I’m really a loss for this one. Any ideas readers?

Word of advice: If you decide to strike, do not cook salmon for dinner. Enough said.

Remember how I thought Quinn had hit an all time low yesterday with the dog hair…appears I spoke too soon. Lunch bags (these things will be the freaking death of me) were left on the floor at the back door after school. The dog helped himself. Now I have chewed up baggies of food all over the house and a Great Dane with a purple mouth from his blueberry snack. Rut Roh!

Olivia continues to tell me that the kitchen is disgusting. At last count she had made this statement 17 times today alone. Looks like I don’t need to worry about a trip to the optometrist. Peyton asked me if this was one of my ‘silly mind games’ then proceeded to express her disgust that I am not doing anything for her. My answer, as it has been all week, was an empathetic “I have just been so busy this week my love”.  Then I walked away and checked to see if my wine fridge was stocked.

The winner? Why it was Quinn. This would have been my last guess!! My little love broke down in the kitchen tonight as she was trying to rinse a glass to use and began to cry. Through her sobs she said “I don’t wanna eat out of pooh bags anymore, I don’t want paper plates or beer cups for breakfast. Can you please help me clean up?” I stood silent for a moment and decided to let her in on it. I began negotiation talks with the ‘other side’. NHL my ass…I’ll show you how it’s done.

I took her on a tour around the house and as she noticed that not one item left strewn about belonged to mommy or daddy, her mouth dropped. She hugged me and began to tidy her things only. She has been instructed to NOT tell her sisters…. which of course delights her beyond no belief.

The other two you ask? I believe I am in it for the long haul. I love them, but they are disgusting little creatures. I have begun to call them the 'Basement Trolls'.

Tonight I am using the big glass.

40 comments:

  1. This is one of the funniest things i have ever read! I completely understand that at moments it is probably not funny at all for you...but I actually had tears from the laughter and could hardly speak while reading it to my husband. We have 18 month old twin girls and another on the way. I am imagining our house in 10+ years time.

    What may be funniest of all is when they find out about the blog!! Best of luck...

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    1. Yikes...you are gonna be one busy mama. I had three under three for a while..and I survived. I am glad I could make you laugh. I had thought about what they would think about the blog...and I am happy to say we have passed our sense of humour onto the kids and they think it is hilarious. Whew:)
      Good luck to you!
      J

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  2. I am enjoying this read immensely! I am sorry it's at your expense... You have fortitude, that is for sure! I have two boys who have a good deal of slob in them as well and this experiment is tempting. Fingers crossed the 'Basement Trolls' figure it out soon!

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    1. I do wonder if having boys would have made my week look any different. After seeing my house...I'm not sure it could get much worse. Will you let me know how it goes if you ever go on strike?
      J

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  3. I guess I'm missing something. Where was your husband in the process? And I don't mean his role in supporting you in your strike, but his role prior to the strike when you were doing all the housework - or at least the lion's share. Can you address whether he recognized that he too had been a major contributor to your work and stress load? This seems to be very much about the children, yet you started with the tale of cleaning house while he was playing golf on a Saturday.

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    1. Leslie,
      Yes, I guess you are missing something:) Have you been drinking red wine too?:) I'm kidding....kinda.
      I encourage you to re-read my reflections post but I will quote here for you ..
      "I also know that I am married to an amazing man who supports my dreams and helps with the kids and the house as ‘our job’ not an extra pink job added onto my work outside the home"
      There was also a post that referred to how hard of a time he was having with a messy house!
      My husband works VERY VERY hard for our family and was away on a much deserved Golf Trip with his fiends..BEFORE the strike. He was in on the strike and all of this is explained throughout the blog.
      Happy reading if you choose, but please save an negative comments for the Huffington Post...that were most of my haters are hanging out:)

      J

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  4. HaHaHaHa

    Flipping the bird behind their backs ... Yes! Have done this as well to my wonderful son.

    This is great!

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    1. I know it's not the most mature thing in the world...but it really does make us feel better doesn't it?
      J

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  5. I have a 16 year old son I would love to do this with..But I also have a 7 year old..I couldn't do it too..he has autism...But the idea with My oldest makes me wanna so bad..your brave..hope your girls help out now

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    1. The girls are helping out more and doing their regular chores without nagging etc. My kids are a bit younger than 16...but I do think it would be fun to do this with your older son. If you ever do...let me know how it goes.
      J

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  6. Great blog, great writing, sense of humour is the only way through the mothering madness! You have inspired me! Thanks :)

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  7. Great blog, great writing, sense of humour is the only way through the mothering madness! You have inspired me! Thanks :)

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  8. had to say more as your captcha asked me to prove I am not a robot....sometimes as I am hanging up washing,sorting socks,sorting lego, sorting schoolbags, sorting lunchbags etc forever sorting I think I actually have become a robot which is why it took me 7 attempts to get through to post my previous comment - or else its the wine...

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    1. Blame the wine...always blame the wine:) It really is amazing how much we do without even realizing it. I love being a mom and all the responsibilities that come with it...but you are right about keeping a sense of humour!! So maybe we are funny robots who drink red wine?
      J

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  9. Replies
    1. I know you don't know me personally...but the fact that you gave me an A+ made my type A personality soar!!! Thank you for the best mommy report card ever.
      J

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  10. You are probably WAY to busy getting famous to read these comments. I am the proud mother of four 'kids', who are now 22, 24, 26 and 27. When they were in their early teens I did the SAME as you - I STOPPED the Merry Go Round of constant picking up- and yeah, it took them two days to notice that "something was wrong with Mommy". Second son was mad (it tok him four days to notice) and said he wouldn't have been so sloppy if he knew he had to clean it up. Many years later I sent into the world - two messy young adults, another one who tosses out everything (baseball trophies - who needs them?) and the youngest, a tidy, clean, organizational monster daughter. I think it's that one who gets the most harassment for her perfect housekeeping ways - so go figure. But I get a lot of millage blogging about them at Text Me, Love Mom. (subtitle - It Was A Sweet Nest Mom, but We Are So Outa There.) Maybe we can get together for a virtual coffee sometime?

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    1. Isn't it funny how they each were raised in the same home yet all have their own 'style' in regards to cleaning etc. I love that!!
      I also read your blog and must admit, it brought tears to my eyes as you wrote about them all leaving the nest. I joke about them all being out of my house one day, but I know in my heart I want to hold onto them just as they are RIGHT now and time moves far too quickly.
      Thank you for the reminder....
      J

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  11. "I love them but they are disgusting little creatures" -Almost. died. Laughing.

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    1. Well, they are!! It was unreal!! Glad I could make you laugh!! It's what it's all about...
      J

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  12. *Support hug* For the striker and the wise one! You are a great mom! If you can continue trough it; I remember how my room was so messy there wasn't even space to walk... I learned to clean it up as mom threatened to wipe everything and throw them in trash. I cleaned it up twice a year.

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    1. Thanks for the hug!! I really don't pay any attention to their rooms..but I have to ask you, now that you are older, what does your room/house look like now? Is there hope for my children?
      J

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  13. I could hardly catch my breath, tears running down my face as I laughed so hard reading this to my husband. I haven't read a blog like it. So relatable, and so bloody funny. Brilliant!

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    1. Thank you!!! There were moments during the Strike that laughing a it and writing about it to make others laugh got me through it all.
      J

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  14. Why are you feeding them if you are on strike? Make a nice little meal for 1 and let then fend for themselves.

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    1. I thought about not cooking...but this was more about not doing their chores/responsibilities and cleaning up after them. As the week went on though...it became very hard to cook anything in my kitchen....we had a few meals of take out for sure)
      J

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  15. OMG this is hilarious! Why didn't I think of this when my son, now 22, was living at home? Although truth be told, I think he would have still been the biggest slob on the planet regardless :D. (I'm a little scared of being in his apartment) I have flipped him the bird many, many times, either behind his back or mentally, and it made me feel so much better too. Good on you! I admire you for sticking it out

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    1. Thanks!! I guess the good thing for you is you don't have to live in his apartment right??? We all do what we can and then they have to choose how they live....but imagining my own daughters first apartment makes me cringe. I love the idea of mentally bird flipping..I'm doing it right now as they are sleeping in!!
      J

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  16. I wouldn't have let them in my room. I'm actually on day three of not picking up toys. My kids are too young to do a full fledged strike but I don't let them bring anything into my room or bathroom. That's my space. But the only thing I could think of to use tape in the bathroom would be to get lint off of my shirt. I would do that when I was younger. But I buy the lint rollers now so I don't have to use tape. :)

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    1. My bathroom is my space too!! They have to ask to come in and/or borrow anything. Truth be told..when I cleaned the bathroom on this day during the strike it was more for my own piece of mind to know that one area of my house was spotless!! And to secretly smell the Pinesol....I love that stuff!
      I found out that the tape was for painting nail polish designs on their nails. Who would have thought eh?
      J

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  17. OH. MY. GOD! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time and I am laughing as I write this in a house that still looks as if WW10 hit it. For the life of me I can't get it clean and if I did strike I can guarantee that most things would wind up in the trash versus just sitting there waiting to be cleaned. Apparently it's a gene or something in my husband's family as his brother has done this. LOL!!

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    1. During the clean up I was tempted just to throw stuff away...but I made them clean it all. Trust me...throwing it away would have been easier LOL. I often feel that its a never ending treadmill..but I have also learned it doesn't have to be perfect right?? sigh....
      I'm so happy this made you laugh :)
      J

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  18. I really wish you good luck. This did /not/ work with my children. At least, it didn't with my son.

    The rule in my house is that if I can't get to the counter and stove, then I don't cook. Both my kids are old enough to fix supper, so I didn't worry that they would starve. My daughter broke down and started cleaning things around day 3. My son... well, let's just say that I fear one day he will be on the show Hoarders. :(

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    1. They all have such different personalities don't they?? I think it was more effective for some of my kids than others, but it has been better. Really at this point I could just threaten to Strike and blog about it to the world...talk about motivating right:)
      J

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    2. Adrendari--
      about your son--either become a hoarder, or more likely he will find a wife to take care of him in every way including be his maid. The way of the world, eh?

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  19. Hello from Surrey, UK. This is hilarious. I am in bed early nursing a stinking cold and I'm in danger of waking the children with my bursts of laughter. This has cheered me no end. I have three children; 7, 4 and 2 and I'm a great believer in natural consequences. Just today I told them we weren't leaving the house until all the toys were tidied away. I was ready to go but they weren't so I sat down with my coat and shoes on and poured myself a cuppa. This wound them up no end. I timed how much of my time they wasted seeing as they had ample warning before I got ready to tidy and then made them sit in the car for that amount of time once we had arrived at our destination. Lesson learnt I think!!

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  20. Oh my gosh, I am dying laughing here about the pooh lunches! I commend you for doing this and documenting it all for us to enjoy! I think every mother out there would love to go on strike like this too!

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  21. I work a few evenings a week, and usually a 6-8 hour day on the weekends. So, unfortunately, I don't always get to eat dinner with my family. What continually irks me is coming home to a sink full of dishes and a dirty floor, especially under the table. I get home usually around 11:00 PM and would take care of those dishes and sweep the floor. The idea of ants in the kitchen disgusts me. But I got angry once and refused to sweep or do the washing up. No surprise the layer of crumbs under the table just got worse and those dishes just piled higher. I asked my husband to sweep under the table once and he did it. But never did it again. Why is it so hard for some men to take initiative? It's wonderful that he will do a job when I ask...but can't he SEE it's dirty? Why not just do something that needs doing?

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  22. Dear Mrs. Stillwell,
    Your blog was mentioned on the BBC! so I looked in. I have to share--without one iota of suggestion that your children are not typical of American youth of well off or average people generally--that the debacle is not funny to me; it is sad and a little scary. It does well as a metaphor for the way an elite and privileged minority in the world with advantages two-thirds of the world will never dream of, simply presume someone else will pick up the mess, be in pollution or trash, while they go about their own personal lives. The new and good quality clothes and accessories lying all over the floor and the tissues and refuse left where it dropped is indicative of a way of life that is the shame and dismay of the planet--and if you can actually make a dent in changing the way people think about their surroundings and the toil of others, then you have done a service. But I wonder if such habits can be laughed away--do you think another lighter version of the same degree of disregard won't settle into the picture once the children appreciate that their manners are actually a basis for elevating your family to world wide fame, a point of comedy rather than disgrace? I'm just looking at it as a signal of unappreciated privilege, is all.

    I'm also brought to mind of the way my mother let me leave my room a mess, although the rest of the house had to be kept in absolute perfect House & Garden photo-opp order. You'd think we lived on a movie set. Drawers and cupboard included -- I knew even then that leaving my room a mess was a way to exercise the only freedom and autonomy I felt I had, it was like a way of rebelling. Bad habits stick--although I have been a house cleaner for a living, it's hard to keep my own digs in shape, because deep down I feel like it doesn't really matter, neatness in itself is not what makes a home worth living in.
    Now I'm sure you and others will disparage this comment as too analytic, too pscyhoanalytic or socially heavy or both. Naturally. What matters is how things LOOK, right?

    Good luck and thank you for the generous sharing of your world, giving others everywhere to reflect upon their own.
    Helen
    faculty of philosophy
    University of Ghana, Legon

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  23. Quinn's suspicion that you might have put dog crap in the bag is a natural expectation that you might act out the same hostility that she does every time she makes a mess of your life as a way of living hers. Not funny, is it. Family dynamics revealed in the raw are telling, not the stuff of comedy, except in the hands of the experts. Sorry.

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