The Big Spat.

September 6th, 2011

I had a spat. It wasn’t pleasant; we may never be the same again.

The kitchen was a pile of dirty plates, dishes, cutlery, mixing bowls, wet tea towels, chocolate splodges, squished cherry tomatoes, a light and aromatic cinnamon dusting, sticky lemonade footprints, a glob of peanut butter cooked onto the stove top, and I may have even spotted a line of soy sauce from the pantry to the back deck……but I couldn’t be sure. (I didn’t want to look too closely-I find it best not to dwell on details in such circumstances.)

Where was I when this all happened? Shopping for the very food which would surely be used against me, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week.

So, I did what any mother I know would do – I kinda lost it. (Substitute “it” for “patience” if you will, but “mind” may be a little closer to the truth) And after martyring myself for what I considered long enough, (yet never really seems to cover it all) I went ahead and cleaned it up while mumbling random crazy sounds. (But to the trained ear, the words “pigs”, “slave”, and “Do-I-have-to-do-every-damn-thing-in-this-bloody-house????”,  may have been detected)

The cleaning morphed into cooking dinner which resulted in more mess……and around and around we go. Cue creepy carousel music in head.

But the carousel stopped with a halt over dinner. I was thrown right off my eerie horse with those gnashing teeth and weird pleading eyes. Two excited kids pulled out a contract, written and signed in their very best handwriting. Handing it to me with a smile reaching from their hearts to mine, I read the following…. “Tomorrow we will do all mamma’s jobs.”

So, you can’t tell me a good old fashioned spat doesn’t work once in a while. I mean I’m not saying pull it out over a mere blanket fort, or a sink smeared with toothpaste. No, leave it for the big stuff, the stuff you just can’t seem to overcome without help. The stuff that might just bury you. It’s OK parents; I say get off your carousel horse and stand your ground! And don’t be surprised when every now and then, your kids are strong enough to give you a leg-up to get back on that horse.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Meg, this is great.  Your writing is inspiring to others, and also it must help you get things in perspective.  Why couldn’t I have thought of doing just that a generation ago!? 

  2. Becky Somsel says:

    Oh my!  Can I relate to this blog entry!  Any and all moms can, I’m sure.  Glad to hear that it had a happy ending.  You are such an amazing person….so it’s nice to hear such things happen to you too!
    How did the first day of school go for your kiddos?  Hopefully it was positive and exciting.
    Enjoy this beautiful day.

  3. Kellie says:

    Love this Meg – lovely children too. I am afraid I have had one too many tirades and now my kids only hear the carousal music – no words – just music. I am tuned out. No nice contracts – all I can hope for is a rolling of the eyes to indicate they even hear me. Is it the age difference? Maybe. Each summer I announce “…this is the summer (fill in the blank with how they will help more around the house.)” Each fall I find myself wondering how I have failed … them & me. Ugh! Thanks for your lovely words!

  4. meg says:

    Yes, I think mothers around the world know exactly what we’re talking about here! And yes I do have lovely kids, but I think it was more about seeing the whites of my eyes an inch from their face that really triggered their helpful attitude that day :)

  5. Margaret says:

    Wonderfully written Meg- so honest- so insightful, and what beautiful kids you are rearing. Great job! All round!

  6. meg says:

    Thanks Margaret. It’s a work in progress, so far so good :)

  7. krishenka says:

    What a great story and one I know only to well, beautifully handled, and hope they kept their side of the bargain.

  8. Kate Beddow says:

    What a fabulous blog! I regularly do this and then whip myself for being too hard with the “they’re only children” mantra going round in my head! I have to say though, you are absolutely right and I feel quite passionately about making sure my children realise that chores are still a chore when you’re an adult. I was brought up by a Mum who breezed through housework and we barely detected it happening, I am not that sort of Mum! I have two children and two businesses to run from home so housework is rarely my priority and it’s good that children realise that we don’t enjoy doing all these jobs! Hope they stuck to their contract! ;)

  9. Fabmummyof3 says:

    I can so relate to this! The number of times I have been out having a good day, thinking lovingly of my family and planning a lovely cooked family dinner… Until I get home and open the front door!! Horror! And you feel all those loving feelings and lovely dinner plans dissipate very quickly!

  10. Coral Levang says:

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts. If they don’t stick to their contract with you, have them contact me.  I’ll pay them to do my cleaning.  But you have to tell them that I only hire those with a drive for excellence.  After all, I’m paying my hard-earned money to others who also earn theirs by equal effort. ;)Coralcorallevang.wordpress.com

  11. Natasha says:

    How we all need this message sometimes to remind ourselves we are also not failing at the mothering lark and we are not alone in losing it among a world that sometimes doesn’t show behind the scenes.