Here's a sampling of my work calls one morning this week:
9:35am Baby calls from home: Mom! Middle Child (MC) is yelling at me to help clean up!
Me: I did tell you guys to clean the basement family room. It's pretty messy. It needs it.
9:37am MC: Mom! Baby is yelling at me to finish breakfast and help him clean up!
Me: Why are you eating so late? Hurry and finish and then go clean up. That's your chore today.
(I love how their stories don't match)
9:41am Baby: MC yelled at me for not helping clean and I am! And he told me I can go to Heck.
Me: You two need to try and get along while the basement gets cleaned up, it's really messy. No more
calling each other names. Let me talk to MC.
Baby calls for his brother loud enough for everyone else in the office to hear without being on speaker
MC: What Mom?
Me: Please get along with your little brother and clean the basement. Otherwise you may not get to go
to the pool tomorrow.
MC: I don't care if I go to the pool. (you can hear the smirk in his voice)
Me: That's fine, I can take the computer away AGAIN.
MC: Fine (sulkily). We'll get it cleaned up! (huff huff)
9:45am Another phone call along the same lines
9:48am Another phone call. More threats.
9:52am Another phone call. More accusations. Everyone sent to their room until I get home.
9:54am Another phone call from MC's cell phone. I answer: 'WHAT!"
Nothing on the other end.
Me: Hello! Hello! (pause) Anyone there?
Just as I'm about to hang up I hear something. Soft. Wimpering. Finally, an incredibly soft voice: "Mom,
Baby threw something at the back of my head."
Me: What was it?
MC: I don't know. It hurts.
Me: Are you bleeding?
MC: I don't think so. (pause while he checks) Nope. Just a tiny bit of blood.
Me: (In my best loving motherly voice) Maybe you'll quit fighting with Baby. Now go to your room now
until I get home.
9:56a. I call the house phone to talk to Baby. Takes three calls for him to answer.
Me: You need to be in your room. You can't be throwing things at your brother.
MC: If he wouldn't make me lose my temper! I wouldn't do that!
Me: It's your temper and he can't make you lose it. Now get in your room and stay there until I get
9:58am I call MC's cell phone to check on the patient.
Me: How are you feeling?
MC: I'm fine. (no crying or sniffling, totally recovered)
Me: All right. You need to stay away from Baby. Stay in your room until I get home. Wait! Wait! Wait!
(he has a bad habit of hanging up before conversations are finished, especially when not going
his way.) Walk the Dog. For a half hour. Wait! Walk him for at least a WHOLE HOUR!
10:02am Baby: MC is running away!
Me: No, I sent him to walk the dog so you two would quit fighting.
Baby: No, he said Good-bye when he left. And I know his Good-bye's. He's running away!
Me: (Laughing out loud! MC just has to rub it in that he can leave and Baby's stuck in his room) He's
not running away! Now read your book in your room. He'll be back soon.
And that was the last I heard from them the rest of the morning. By the time I got home the chores were done to the boy's specifications so they only needed a little help finishing. And all feelings were back to normal. Now, do I let them sleep the rest of the summer away so they don't fight?