NOT IT!!! This is what I heard Timmy yelling from his room upstairs. It was yesterday after school, book bags were laying all over the floor in the kitchen, empty snack bags and juice boxes in the family room with kids lying on the floor in front of the TV. This is what I saw when I walked in the door from driving dance carpool which Molly didn't even go to because she wasn't feeling well with a head cold. We all seem to be feeling under the weather for that matter.
Anyway, I walk in the door and I got into mom mode, "Who's empty popcorn bag is this? Throw these juice boxes away! Why are all the book bags on the floor? Ryan, empty the garbage, it's overflowing. Timmy, laundry is in great need of getting done! There is a basket at the top of the stairs, bring it down and get started. Shannon, dishwasher…unload and load!
There is a commercial that I hear on the radio, A guy complaining about "Stressmas." As much as I try to keep on top of everything, make my to-do lists, promise myself I'll do a better job next year…this last week before Christmas is stressful. There is just so…much…to…do!!! And yesterday I needed help with just the basic stuff, like pick up your book bags and throw away your garbage. Is that too much to ask?
So Timmy was then upstairs now getting the basket of laundry and I hear him yell, "NOT IT!!!" He says it a few times and he then yells for Ryan and then says it again, "NOT IT!!!" I ask, "Tim, what are you talking about?" Well, one of the dogs peed on our rug and I have to do the laundry now so I'm telling Ryan that I'm not it, he'll have to clean it up."
"Not it." I know these words from tag. Everyone is gathered around in a circle, deciding who's on what team and then everyone yelling, "Not it!!!" I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if it that worked for adults?!? All we would have to do is yell, "Not it," and then we would be relieved of any responsibilities that we had.
I was standing in Timmy's and Ryan's room and I called everyone upstairs. Family meeting in the boys' room, right in front of the peed on carpet and for ten minutes I gave the mom speech of this is the busiest week of the year, you know how much work there is to do, I need everyone to DO things withOUT being asked, like your normal chores of laundry and dishwasher and garbage and homework and reading and making your bed. This would all be a big help if I didn't have to ASK you to do the things you already know that you need to do. I DON'T need people yelling, "NOT IT!!!" That is not the spirit of Christmas…and I went on…and on…and on about our goal is to have everything ready by Sunday so we can go to Grandma's house. What can YOU do to make that possible?
This was all said firmly but no yelling. I asked them if they understood. I told them what was expected of them going forward…first thing…the pee on the carpet needs to be cleaned up…there was a silence...and then the girls both yelled, "NOT IT," and ran out of the room, and the two boys started arguing about who watches more TV and who had more work to do with homework and chores. And that is when I BLEW! I screamed, "NOT IT!!!"
They stopped and looked at me. I said, "Not it to making you guys dinner! Forget about the chores, forget about dinner, you are all in your rooms for the night!!!!!!!!"
And with that, I walked out of the boys' room and walked to my room. I needed to regroup. I needed to calm down. I need to…and as I stood in the doorway of my room there was a present for me, right there on the floor, on the carpet, was not just one, but many piles of dog poop. While we were busy arguing who was going to clean up the pee, the dogs were busy doing their own thing. So basically, it was a crappy day all around. While the boys cleaned up the pee in their room, the girls did clean up the poop in my room and then they all were in their rooms for the night. No dinner!
Chris walked in the door about an hour later, gave me a kiss hello and mentioned how quiet it was. I told him that it was just the two of us for dinner and that everyone was done for the evening and in their rooms.
His response, "GREAT, love it!" And then gave me a huge hug, the kind where I had to let go first kind of hug.
We sat at the counter together, ate our dinner together, and I shared my day.
Yesterday was the perfect storm, the week before Christmas, full moon, throw in a little, or a lot of PMS, and four kids with head cold and you get Hurricane Kathleen.
But today is another day, another day to start over and hoping that my four hungry children got the message…and now back to Christmas preparations. And by the way, if anyone wants two dogs for Christmas, I know where you can get two real cheap…free actually, I'll even supply a big red bow!