Jenna, as always, woke up asking "Do I have to go to school?" When she heard that the answer was yes she declared that she wasn't going to get dressed. I calmly told her that was fine and she could just go to school in her nightgown.
As I continued to get ready in the bathroom I would look out and Jenna would still be laying on the bed in her nightgown. "Jenna, you better get dressed. The kids will think you look silly in your nightgown!"
The struggle occurs on many days. I recognize it for what it is, Jenna is trying to assert some control over a situation that she knows is inevitable. Most days I let her. I don't usually pull out the Mommy Mean Voice until its about 5 minutes before we head out the door. (Ok maybe a little sooner.) Most days she actually does get dressed on her own. But today Julia was, amazingly enough, ready early with time on her hands. Time on a child's hands can only mean trouble.
"Jenna get dressed."
"Jenna I said to get dressed right now and you better get dressed!"
"I don't want to."
"Its doesn't matter if you want to or not you have to go to school so you better get dressed!"
"You're not the boss of me!" (How is it that all children know this line? Is there a Children's Retort Handbook that I am unaware of?)
Julia is now quite frustrated and is about to become physical so I step in. The first thing I think is "Wow, maybe she has been listening to me for the last 10 years because that discussion sounded a lot like something I would have said!" The second thought was I'm really not in the mood for a fight this early. I haven't even had my Starbucks yet. I told Julia that I would take care of Jenna and that she needed to make sure that she was really ready for school.
Then the thought occurred to me: Why do older siblings always assume that they have authority over the younger ones? And its not just Julia, Ross does it too.
Take this past Saturday night. But we should really back up to Friday night. On Friday my ear began to hurt like the dickens. Not the inside but the outer, upper edge of my ear. By Friday night my ear looked like a freshly boiled lobster-- bright red and very swollen. I had no idea what was wrong with it but knew it looked nasty. By Saturday morning I knew I had to have some healthcare professional look at it. One Minute Clinic trip, followed by an ER trip (Minute clinic turned me away), one shot of antibiotic in the booty and 3 prescriptions later I discovered that I had a skin infection also known as cellulitis. It was pretty bad and was starting to spread down my neck so it was a good thing that I went when I did.
Ok, all of this to tell you that I felt like doodoo on Saturday. The ER PA even gave me a prescription for Hydrocodone and I took one and slept the afternoon away. Ross kept the girls in his room so I could get some rest. By evening I was hungry and in need of comfort food but where to go? Cracker Barrel! I felt bad and was feeling the after effects of the pain pill so it was obvious to kids that mom wasn't at the top of her game.
Jenna began to get a little rowdy and Ross gritted his teeth and said "Jenna, Mommy doesn't feel good and you better stop or see those rocking chairs out there? I'm going to take you out there and spank your bottom." Say what???? Physical punishment is not our usual method of choice. Let me assure you that Ross would make an excellent malevolent dictator.
What is this, you ask??? Yes, it is my ear. Why in the world did I take a picture of my ear??? Well, it was 11:00 at night and I couldn't see it! It was killing me and there wasn't enough light so I thought if I could take a picture with the flash I could see what was wrong with it. Unfortunately, I forgot to switch the focus to close up, or maybe fortunate for you! By the time I woke up Saturday morning it was twice as nasty!