It’s Saturday morning. There is a pile of granola bar wrappers spilling over the top of the trash can. Seriously! I just bought groceries on Tuesday… for the month. The two large boxes of granola bars need to last for 4 weeks. It’s been 4 days and the first box is EMPTY! 60 Granola bars…gone.
The rule in our house is that you must ask first before you eat food. Period. No one asked. I start up the stairs…trying not to stomp; anger filling my footsteps with purpose. I enter the dining room and the boys know I’m not happy. Their eyes widen. WATCH OUT!
I call all four boys to stand in front of me. Max…who has autism and doesn’t do well with confrontation…tries to walk away. “NO! Max! You come stand right here.” I point to the spot on the floor where he should stand. He crosses his arms and slides his feet across the floor; looking almost like a penguin. He scowls at me. He stops at his spot.
My “Grammie finger” comes out and starts wagging at them. Yep, Grammie, my Dad’s mother, used to wag her finger at us when we were in trouble too. I come by it naturally…
“Who ate all the granola bars? Colin? Alex? Max?” I already knew Johnny hadn’t. He doesn’t like them. No one answered. “I JUST bought those on Tuesday! Those two boxes were supposed to last for the entire month.”
“So…who ate them?” Colin and Alex know they’re caught. They KNOW I know. And they know I know they know. Hands are clasped behind their backs. Their heads are down. They keep glancing at each other. “Why didn’t you ask first? You all KNOW the rule! You have to ask first. That way we can make sure the food lasts for the entire month.”
“Alex was eating them so I thought it was okay,” Colin sheepishly said.
“So, if Alex is doing it, then it’s ok?” I asked.
“Um…no…but…” Colin stammered.
“Alex. Why didn’t you ask first?”
“I don’t know,” Alex replied…knowing how much I dislike that answer.
“Max was eating them too,” one of them complained.
Max has already slipped through the door to go downstairs. “MAX! Come up here.”
“WHAT,” he growls!
“You come stand right here.” He walks passed me. “No! Right here.” He comes as close as he can. He wants to hurt me, but he knows that he better not. “No. Back up. Stand right there. Where you can’t touch me.” He stands in his spot for a second and then tries to walk away.
“Max! No! You stand right there. And do not move until I tell you to.”
“Did you eat the granola bars?”
“Max. I already have 2 witnesses. Be honest with me. Tell the truth. Did you eat the granola bars?” He moves from his designated spot. He walks toward the backside of the table. “Max. Stay here.”
“I didn’t eat them!” He tries to walk away again. He doesn’t want me to see his face. He tries to pretend to cry because I don’t believe him. It’s fake; so fake.
“Max, stop faking. I know you’re lying to me. You’ll be in more trouble for lying. It’s not okay to lie.”
“I’m not lying!!” He yells this while smirking and still trying to fake cry.
“Max. I know you’re not telling me the truth. You’ll be in less trouble if you tell me the truth.”
When he eats anything with gluten or dairy he has to take a digestive enzyme. “Did you take an enzyme when you ate the granola bars?”
He’s too smart. He won’t answer the question. “I DIDN’T eat the granola bars!” He growls.
“Max, you’re not answering the question. Did you eat an enzyme before eating a granola bar?”
He starts covering his mouth with his hand. He’s caught but he doesn’t want to admit it.
“I DIDN’T eat the granola bars!” I can see he’s starting to crack.
“Max. Tell the truth. Did you take an enzyme when you ate the granola bars?”
Still covering his mouth, he replies through his fingers, “no”.
“Take your hand off from your mouth and answer me correctly.”
“I ate the granola bars okay!”
“Okay. Did you have an enzyme with them?”
“Do you know that the granola bars have both gluten and dairy in them?”
“Yes they do. How did your stomach feel after you ate them?”
“Okay. From now on, the rule is that you must ask me first before you eat any food. Got it?”
The battle is over. Being a mom takes SKILLS! Haha! The rule has been established, YET again. The kids are reminded that mom means BUSINESS. It’s GREAT to be a parent and have to create order in the face of complete chaos! I LOVE CHAOS! Not really. I am reminded that kids constantly need reminders…through adulthood. Sigh!! That’s one of the things I chose to do when I decided to become a parent. I just don’t think that I realized what it would be like at the time.