Shoot, this could easily be a Thursday Thirteen post too, ya know? I nearly giggled with glee when I saw this contest over on MomsBlogging.com while looking for some blogging inspiration today; "OOOOOh," my devilish little brain squealed, "A chance to vindicate myself!" After all, I've probably heard about being the meanest mom alive five times already this morning. Besides, not only do my toddlers respond to every cry made by the baby with "Mean, old, nasty Mama!," but observe the following exchange:
Kelsey: "What does a cow say?"
Kelsey: "What does a dog say?"
Jamie: "Ooof, ooof" (she's never heard a dog say anything that started with a w, so "woof" doesn't fly)
Kelsey: "What does a car say?"
Jamie: "Vroom, vroom"
Kelsey: "What does Mama say?"
Jamie: "No, no"
I rest my case.
Well, no, not really. After all, I've got so many other wonderful examples! I'm not too much different from other "mean" moms when it comes to meals (yes, you WILL finish your meal or you get no dessert or snacks) and clean rooms (if I can't walk through it without stepping over something, the floor is NOT clean), hygiene (if I can smell you, there's a problem!) and common courtesy (no, that older gentleman is not a "dude", you will address him as "sir"); of course my kids think they have the strictest parents who ever lived. Nothing unusual there, I guess.
My real mean streak started a few months ago when my teens were caught doing all manner of misdeeds. This wasn't really small stuff, some of it could have been pretty severe, and it kept escalating till they saw my REALLY 'mean' side. It began small, with a $500 phone bill because Jon couldn't seem to figure out that Mom wasn't kidding when she said the German phone service is one of the reasons he cannot call his friends just "whenever". He thought he could hide the midnight phone calls to his girlfriend (even though he's not allowed to be on the phone after 9pm...just one of those common courtesies that the kids define as "dumb"), but alas, EVERY phone call is logged on our phone bill, so we knew just who was being called! He really didn't like us taking an entire Taco Bell paycheck, and he certainly didn't appreciate the fact that we suspended his allowance indefinitely when we got yet another extreme phone bill the next month! He thought he was safe buying a prepaid cell phone with his earnings, but hmm...I made him charge it overnight in my bedroom so I was assured he wasn't abusing the "no phone call after 9pm" rule. To date, he's lost ALL phone privileges, and he's lost the cell phone HE bought...since oddly enough, as soon as his minutes ran out, MY prepaid cell phone disappeared and when it was "found" (in his bedroom), it mysteriously had almost fifteen dollars less on it than when I had put it on the charger! You abuse it, you lose it. Mean? Yup, and proud of it!
Oh, I wish that were the only example. See, he and Kelsey really blew it with some of their hoodlum behavior...and as a result, we took away every video game they (or is that WE?) own and....drumroll.....SOLD IT. Gone. Forever. No more fights, no more arguments, no more gimme's, it's just gone. I hear about that almost every week. How it's not fair, that they're the only ones they know who don't have video games, you name it...
Then there's the clothing. I actually left each of the teens at home on separate Sundays because they had a fit over me telling them their attire was inappropriate. Don't like my standards? Oh well. Life stinks that way. You can't dress appropriately, you stay home.
I do have further proof of my meanness, though. Kelsey would say I'm the meanest mom in the world because I literally won't let her have ANYTHING to do with her friends. Nothing. No contact, no phone calls, no letters, no emails, no MySpace, nothing. Why? Because her 'friends' are rude, disrespectful little punks who showed her how to sneak out, drink, and do drugs. Nobody needs those kinds of friends, and I'd much prefer a lonely child whose worst influences were her parents. Oh, and Kelsey also tells me that none of her friends had any chores. I'm apparently the only mother in Germany who requires her kids to do dishes, laundry, and scrub toilets.
I'd rather be "mean" than have alcoholic, drugged-out, spoiled rotten kids. Anyday.
Guess what? I plan on being meaner with my younger kids than I was with the first two!