Thursday, February 25, 2010

She's Creating a Crisis. On Purpose.

I woke up this morning feeling like garbage. Weak, sore throat, coughing. I couldn’t make myself run so I just laid there for awhile. It felt good to rest but a slug of Nyquil would have felt even better. Unfortunately, completely checking out isn’t part of the program when you’re the Mom and Dad’s at work. Ah well.

I did check out a little. I wandered out of bed and ended up on the couch within a few minutes. Sierra offered to make eggs and smoothies for some of the boys and cereal for Kenny. She made his lunch too so really all I had to do was hold down the couch and watch an episode of “Project Runway” from last season when we had the dreaded Basic Cable. I’ve been pressured to hurry up and watch these because I’m holding up the queue. It was amazing to see everything happen without any real participation from me.

No mention of dogs today. Which is fabulous. I need more time to figure out what we need to do. I love the idea of rescuing an animal from the Humane Society but I also love the idea of getting some sort of poodle mix (preferably Labradoodle). They’re expensive but not having dog hair all over my house would be beyond great, right? I’ve read that’s it’s not 100% certain with these mixes that they’ll get the poodle hair but hope springs eternal.

Today I tackled the multiple loads of laundry that piled up over the course of a few days because it needed to be done and because I could sit on the floor in the basement and watch TV doing it. Very little energy needed which was perfect because very little was all I had. As I sat and folded I starting thinking about why it feels like I’ve been under a very black cloud for the past few days. Nothing’s really any different. There’s no additional futility in my life. But I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I’ll never have enough time to do all the things I need to do. The things other people have legitimate reasons to expect of me. The things I expect of myself. Completely serious, non-trivial business. Usually I can shrug it off and keep plugging along but not so much lately. Then it hit me. I’ve been asked to take on a good-sized responsibility in the near future. I said yes without a moment’s hesitation because I implicitly trust the people who prayed their way to my name. I have complete faith that if Heavenly Father wants me to do this than it’s actually possible. I guess I’ll discover what needs to go by the wayside. Maybe this blog? Who knows. But anyway, I think I’m digressing. Or maybe I’m not. Remember, I’m ill. My eyes are burning and I should really go to sleep. Okay, now I’m digressing. The point is that it finally occurred to me that Satan will give you cause to doubt and horriblize when you pose a threat. I’ve just got to be stronger. Gird up my loins and all that.

Last night I was feeling rotten about Michael Jr.’s Scout progress and wishing he’d put more into it. That his dad would. That I had more time to do it myself. After my laundry folding revelation I pulled out a notebook I’ve kept of merit badge worksheets and various blue cards and asked him to look over it. He discovered he’s very close to receiving a few of them. He printed out a worksheet for the Snow Sports badge and it looks like we could get a lot done on that over the next couple of weekends. I guess he just needs me to kick him in the rear a little. To cheerlead a little. I can be that Scout Mom. It will be hard but honestly, is that supposed to stop me? I mean it does, but I have to stop letting it.

While I was deeply immersed in clean clothes and Dr. Phil, I heard something that gave me pause. Dr. Phil was talking to parents of drug-addicted kids who were completely enabling them. He told them that they had to make life uncomfortable for these kids. That they needed to create a crisis for them. He was talking about giving them the option of moving out or going to rehab instead of allowing them to live in comfort at home while they pursue their destructive lifestyle. He was talking about cutting them off. As I listened I thought it made perfect sense for far less serious offenses as well.

I was turning this over in my brain while I made dinner.* Sam and Josh had overturned a big bin of Playmobil toys in the middle of the living room and it was almost time to sit down to dinner. I’d asked them to pick them up a little earlier but it didn’t happen. I decided to create a crisis. I told them that if the toys weren’t picked up by the time we sat down, they’d be heading up for a bath and then straight to bed after dinner.

Dinner came and the toys didn’t budge. Oh well. Crisis time. They didn’t seem fazed until after the bath when they realized I wasn’t allowing them to come back downstairs. We put them both to bed, read a story, and said goodnight. Josh cried his eyes out but bless his heart, he stayed in that bed and fell asleep.

Creating a Crisis is Fabulous. I know people would usually just refer to it as Consequences but I like the sound of this way better.

*Okay, 100% family approval of the chicken-fried steaks we bought at Cash N Carry last week. They’re in no way healthy but add some mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans and everyone was satisfied.


  1. Sometimes I feel like our brains are running on the same tracks. I too have been dealing with frustration over not feeling like I am enough. I feel like I run around putting out fires, and never getting ahold of my life and being in charge. I am working on it, but frankly, I will always fall short because I expect perfection from myself and it's just not going to happen. So, I either need to learn that less than perfect is ok, or just learn to be perfect! I haven't decided which path to take yet - wish me luck!!!

  2. Tough love is very difficult to follow through on. I am guilty of giving me children too many chances and then being frazzled when they don't do what I've asked. What's that teaching them? I feel like the "big meanie" when I do follow through, *sigh*, does it ever get better, or at least easier?


So, what do you think?