We pulled into the driveway, and were happy to be home. It was 1:00AM, and Jon and I were exhausted. We had an extra special date night, drove to a concert over an hour away, and were happy to be home.
Earlier that day, before we left, I’d given specific instructions to the kids. I texted them, left them notes, and had hoped they could take care of a few items. I didn’t bother discussing this with the person watching them. At ages sixteen and thirteen, I assumed they could follow a few directions.
I was wrong.
I had requested simple tasks. I hasn’t asked them to do the impossible. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary.
I was having a meeting at my house in the morning, the morning after getting home late, and I knew I wouldn’t have anytime to do anything. It would be painful enough to have to get up, six hours after going to bed.
Because of this, I was organized.
Here’s what I asked my kids to do:
“Please take your clean laundry out of the dining room, and up to your room. Please get all of your things off of the stairs.”
That’s it. That was the big list.
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I texted this to my children as Jon and I were leaving, and also left them a note on the kitchen counter. Later that evening, when they were texting me, I reminded them of this. I also said, if they didn’t do it, their phones would be mine for three days, and Zoe wouldn’t be able to drive for those days.
I didn’t expect any problems. I wasn’t trying to be unreasonable. I was just asking them to take care of their clothes.
You can imagine my shock and disappointment, when I walked into the house at 1:00AM, and found the house a complete MESS. Not only had they not done what I asked, the kitchen was trashed.
I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t amused. I was MAD.
It had been such a great night. This was not the way I wanted it to end. I took a deep breath, and went upstairs to check on my sleeping beauties.
Since the kids were sleeping, it was easy to take their phones and Zoe’s keys.
The next morning, I didn’t yell at my kids, when I went to wake them up. I was very proud of this.
“Good morning,” I said in a very calm, Snow White voice, “I missed you last night. Oh, by the way, you lost your phone/keys until Friday.”
You would have thought I was beating them. The yelling that came out of each of their rooms could have woken the neighbors.
“We’re going to discuss this with Dad,” they each yelled.
“You do that,” I said, and walked away. This annoyed me also, but I didn’t let it show.
I went into the bathroom, where Jon was showering, and calmly told him what had happened. He’d gone to bed right after we got home, and didn’t have a clue what was going on with the kids.
After explaining the situation, I said these words to him, “If you don’t support me on this, we’re going to get a divorce.”
And then I walked away.
Poor Jon, it’s hard to live with a house full of girls.
I’m happy to say, he supported me.
We can stay married.
Find meaning each day,
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