Just as parents get to know their kids and learn what works for them and makes them behave better, my kids are figuring out my weak spots. Or maybe I should say they have figured out what to do or say in order to get their way. I know they are doing it; they know they are doing it. It is like this secret language we speak almost daily. There are certain things that my kids do, and I find myself not being able to resist their offerings. I become a helpless mother who has totally forgotten how to parent, especially during these specific times:
1. At Bedtime
If they want to stay up a little later than usual, they quickly switch the television channel to something that hypnotizes me — also known as HGTV. They have seen me drool while watching a shack get transformed into a stunning masterpiece overnight enough times to know this should always be their go-to method for staying up late. They silently chuckle to themselves, give each other the thumbs-up, and then one of them snuggles in close and starts playing with my hair. They know they have just bought themselves another hour.
2. When I Am in Desperate Need of Some Caffeine
They know when I need a bump of caffeine (which is often), so they suggest stopping at McDonald’s where the fountain soda is cheap and can get the job done. They take full advantage of my addiction by suggesting I let them get something from the Dollar Menu. That way, if we all sat for a bit inside, instead of zipping through the drive-thru, I could fill up my oversized soda jug twice. Before I know it, I am pinning the hell out of Pinterest while sucking back my third soda and my kids are waiting in line to get a cone.
3. While We Are in Target
My kids drop hints about really wanting something from the Dollar Spot at Target whenever we are there. I try to ignore them, but the mere mention of giving me a foot or shoulder rub upon arriving back at home in exchange for the piece of junk they desperately need is irresistible to me. “Yes, fine, all right, here is my money, but you better make it a good foot rub, or I will say no the next time.” I am surprised no one has called CPS on me by now.
4. After Acting Like Assholes
After I lose it on them for misbehaving, my kids spring into to action. And by that I mean they know how to throw compliments around like confetti. They tell me how beautiful I am and mention I really should order myself that pair of shoes they saw me making eyes at earlier. For some reason, this always has a way of making me feel like I was too hard on them. I always seem to forget that it is coming from a place of “I don’t feel bad for what I did, but I better hurry up and make it right before she takes my phone away.”
5. Telling Me They Are Scared
If my kids are afraid of something it makes me feel horrible and I don’t want to leave them, like the time my oldest was petrified to get on the bus for the first time. I just hopped on with him, but mostly when they say they are frightened it is just a ploy to come downstairs a zillion times after I have finally gotten them in bed. I have let this one slide if I am being honest.
6. Saying They Feel Sick
This usually happens at dinnertime, especially if they are eating something they don’t like. I used to make them eat anyway, until the time my poor daughter threw up in my mouth after I forced her to finish her eggs after she said she was feeling sick. As far as I m concerned, this one is not worth the risk
7. Telling Me Something Hurts
I stop everything to take a peek at what might be hurting. It is usually just a small scratch that needs a band-aid in order to stop hurting. This is always followed by a request for a popsicle which magically makes them skip off into the sunset. Something hurts my ass. I still fall for it every time.
I believe this whole dance we are doing benefits us both. I get to enjoy certain perks of motherhood that I would not otherwise experience if I was not such a pushover. My kids get to brush up on interior design and massaging techniques while perfecting the art of manipulation. I may not be proud, but I am not going to stop it either. Once you bribe your child into rubbing your feet, you just can’t go back.