Please don’t judge me till you finish this article.
I know as a responsible adult I should be in charge of my emotions at all times infront of my children.
Let me start with the background information first…
1. I live in Michigan where it is said that we have two seasons. Winter and road construction.
2. I am a stay at home mom who avoids rush hour like the plague.
3. I am currently half way through a 3 year lease on my mini-van and am less than a third of the way through my allotted miles.
4. When I became a stay at home mom 6 years ago I was sad to be leaving my job, but I actually did a happy dance to not have to commute.
5. My girls are 8, 6 and 4 years old, and like to get a rise out of me using the “shock” factor.
6. And most importantly… I am by no means perfect. I strive for good, and some days am happy to just come in at mediocre.
So the Story Begins…
The girls and I were on our way to my brother’s house a little over and hour away from my house in ideal driving conditions. I say ideal because we had 5 inches of rain 2 days ago, and it flooded out a major freeway and has caused a few sink-holes to appear. I did the smart thing and got online to look for the road closing and remapped a new route to my brother’s. Should only add 10 extra minutes onto our ride. That was before 2 mulit-car accidents and a One Direction concert backed up the alternate route I had so painstakingly reworked. I am not sure how such big accidents happen on bright clear days, but 2 did yesterday. I had no idea that One Direction had such a following that they would make the freeway come to a crawl for 3 miles before the exit to Ford Field. I didn’t even know the crowd that like One Direction was old enough to drive! (I only say this in frustration!)
I kept my cool till we were only 10 miles from my brother’s house when all of a sudden all 4 lanes of freeway decided 55 miles per hour was the speed to go. Limit is 70. For NO reason. I can see the road ahead. It is a straight-a-way with no accidents, no weather conditions, nothing on the road. I snapped! I shouted at the windshield “MOVE IT! NOW!” I had been relatively quite up till this point. (we had left our home 2 hours ago, and we were so close, I could taste victory.)
Then my 4 year old yells “MOVE IT NOW MISTER!”
To which my 6 year old says “MOVE IT NOW MISTER OR I WILL SLAP YOU WITH MY FLIP FLOP! DON’T MAKE ME TAKE THEM BOTH OFF!”
Okay, I know what you are thinking. How uncool for me to have snapped. And I know. NOT one of my most stellar parenting moments, but wait, it gets worse.
My 8 year old has not said anything. so I ask her “Okay Honey, what do you got? Make it good. You’ve got to top the flip flops.”
My 8 year old says “I don’t want to play this it is so immature!”
My witty retort is “I know, but unfortunately for you, you are locked in the car with us, so give me your best.”
She says ” “MOVE IT NOW MISTER! OR I’LL THROW A GOAT AT YOU THEN LET MY SISTER HIT YOU WITH HER FLIP FLOPS!”
This is funny stuff I am thinking, when all of a sudden some sort of responsible adult part of my brain takes over at this point and I realize not cool to encourage violence. How can I turn this around?
“Okay, if we smack somebody with our flip flops 3 times with each flip flop how many times will he be hit with a flip flop?”
My middle daughter counts on her fingers (or flip flops because she has them on her hands now and is slapping them together to make a satisfying smacking sound) “6 right? Or are we all smacking him with our flip flops?”
“Nope just you. Good answer!” I say. Then I ask the oldest “If we all have flip flops and and we all smack him 3 times how many smacks is that?” And thus the rest of the way to Nate’s house went like this. I was no longer stressed or angry, I was actually laughing, and my kids were getting in some math facts too while laughing!