Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Middle Ground

This past weekend I held a "Bathroom Cleaning Seminar" in my house. It was actually because Frances frequently volunteers to clean the bathroom and Benjamin offers to help, but they often miss a few things or do them out of order. Henry has started wanting to try it too, so I wanted to make sure they were doing a good job. I went through, step by step, how to clean the entire bathroom. As a result the bathroom is really, really clean!

Last night after the kids went to bed, Ken called to me from the bathroom, "So much for your nice clean bathroom!" He was referring to the big blob of toothpaste in the sink that was already half-dried and stuck to the basin.

Sigh. The good news is that the kids brushed their teeth before bed. I appreciate that and I'm sure their dentist does too. The bad news is that the sink is a mess. The other bad news is that the other three nights of a clean sink were more than likely due to the kids not brushing their teeth at all. Statistically that 's more likely, right?

It gets me thinking about other things they do like this. Some nights I feel like a monster at bedtime. They won't get pajamas on, won't stop running around and when I finally get them in their beds they laugh and giggle and talk to each other. They even get out of bed because they forgot to hug each other!!!  I mean that sounds cute and all, be the reality is that it's 30 minutes after bedtime and they are just being "sweet" as an excuse to get out of bed again. Why can't they be sweet with each other when they're playing during the day? No, they yell and fight when they are allowed to be playing together!

I drive Frances to school in the mornings. She's typically very quiet the whole way there. She's reading a book and no matter how many questions I ask, I just get grunts. When I hit the drop off circle, she starts telling me about what is going to happen that day and other things she's excited about. I have people behind me in the pick up lane pulling out to pass me or honking. She takes 5 minutes to get out of the car! I'd love to talk to her, but NOT IN THE PICKUP LINE!

So I get good behavior at the wrong time. That means they are capable of behaving, right? They just can't behave when I want them to. Is there no middle ground? Am I the only one dealing with this??

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