Somebody give me a hug--I'm a Mean Mommy this morning :(

The Cat Who Walks Alone sat and wept helplessly at the dining room table earlier this morning as she begged to be allowed to stay home from school. Further questioning elicited the information that she hadn’t done either of two huge chemistry assignments due today. Instead of doing chemistry yesterday after school, she went shopping at Wal-Mart for snacks for the Youth Room at church, then she had Drama Team at church from 5 to 6-ish, then she had church itself from 7 to 8, then she had “hanging around with friends” from 8 to 10, at which point she came home.

It was a tough call; I’ve been where she’s at, with the huge homework assignment not done. But I had to stick to my guns and tell her that homework always comes first, trying not to preach at her but pointing out that someone else could have done the shopping for Youth Room snacks, the Drama Team leader would have understood if she’d called him and said she had too much homework, etc. All of those activities are optional. Homework isn’t.

“You made your choice; this is what happens.”

So she spent so much time sitting at the table crying instead of getting ready for school that when her ride got here, she wasn’t ready, and Alison had to come inside and wait patiently for 5 minutes, adding further to my daughter’s social disgrace.

So I can’t wait for the Better Half to come home for lunch and dump this in his lap, so here I am dumping it in MPSIMS’s lap. Plop.

Thank you for listening. I don’t feel much better, but hey, at least I spread some of the misery around. :rolleyes:

Oh Duck Duck Goose, you know you did the right thing. And what may seem like the biggest thing in the world to The Cat right now will seem like a little speck in a year or so. I think we’ve all done something like what she did a few times during our education. Sorry you had to do the tough thing. hugs

Then again, if anything I’ve said is stupid, feel free to ignore it. I’ve never been a parent. I just hope your day gets better.

You did right- my parents always let me get away with it. Took me a while to learn to take deadlines seriously. Luckily all my profs are patient…

[heartless]She’ll get over it- and a smack now is better than a bigger smack in, say, college, if she blew off a big project. [/heartless]

Or you may have saved her from a future lynching by possible partners on a group project. I know there’ve been times when I was planning the perfect murder, at 2am the day a project was due, when I got the half done portion my partner emailed me…

Personally I blame that church crowd that your kid is hanging around with. It seems clear that they are up to no good and serve only to distract your child from a good education. I say you insist that she disassociate herself from that group of ne’r-do-wells. :wink:

Here’s to hoping your little one learned an important lesson today. Sometimes the most memorable lessons are the least pleasant ones.

Thank you, everybody. All I needed was for one other functioning adult to tell me I did the right thing. :slight_smile:

I almost forgot, the worst part of it was that, for the first time ever, I had to invoke the Holy God of the Car Keys, because she sat there and refused to budge. “You can’t make me go to school.” And so then we had the little talk that goes, “Mature people who can face up to their responsibilities and take the bad with the good are allowed to have the car keys and take the car to Wal-Mart. Immature people who can’t, are not.”

Eewww. Unpleasant Parental Moment #249,478 in a series of approximately one billion. :frowning:

If you don’t mind, I am going to modify this, print it out and put this on my computer to get myself motivated on a Very Important Project. Details are unnecessary: suffice to say, I needed a good swift kick to get my act together and you provided it at this moment.

Thanks mom. (But don’t tell the The Cat that sometimes us adults need a good talking to once in awhile!)
[temper tantrum]
::kicking and screaming::
[/temper tantrum]

That truly sounds unpleasant but did you also get the

“I HATE YOU, I REALLY HATE YOU AND I HATE THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE AND I HATE EVERY THING ABOUT YOU” tirade while the persecuted one is crying and flinging herself on the floor/couch/bed and sobbing dramatically?

My daughter the drama major would put on quite a performance when she felt she was being treated unfairly. Once, with her hand on her brow, her head flung back for effect and a look of pure agony on her face she bespoke the immortal phrase “I grow weary of this torment, I don’t know…how…much…longer…I…can…take…it”.

All this because I had reminded her for the 3rd time that she needed to finish her homework and her chores. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

I answered, with as much Shakesperan effort as I could manage, “Yeah verily, though this torment be unending and relentless in its nature, I am bound by the Holy bonds of parenthood to continue to inflict it until its seeds of wisdom can find their purchase in the barren wasteland that is your mind. Oh persecuted one, please… do… not…hate me, for I do this out of love and am honorbound to see it come to fruition.”

She fixed me with a blank stare and said “you know, sometimes I hate you, I really, really hate you”

She had been outdramaed and she knew it.

DDG, you are a good parent. Hell, you should give lessons to others. Write a parent self-help book!

mermaid, my nephew turns on the histrionics, especially when he’s trying to get his older brother in trouble. Example. Older brother (Mike) accidentally bumps younger (Todd). Nay, grazes is more apt.

Todd (falling on floor, clutching shin and adopting cry/whine in voice): Miiiiiiiiiiike, ow,ow,ow,ooooow,ooooowowwwwww.

Me (adopting flippant tone): And the nominees for best portrayal of a victim in a short work of fiction are…

At this point, he knows that I know the full score.
Of course, it helps that I’m one cynical/sarcastic bastard.

Five Points:

Whenever my sister or I did this, my dad would stand back…hold his arms out and dramatically shout…“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE!” as if announcing a news bulletin. We would get SOOOOOO Pissed and he and my mom would just laugh and laugh. They were good…oooooo they were good.

Secondly, I read a great, funny story about parenting and dealing with kids who say “I hate you.” They said the best come back EVER for that, is to just look at them and say, “That’s ok, because I still love you.” This makes toddlers particularly angry, I hear…and everyone loves a duped toddler.

Three…Hi Opal

Four…DUCK DUCK…this is obviously just another manifestation of that cruel, abusive personality you have…you know picking on everyone on the board, abusing newbies and whatnot :smiley:

Five…The other day my HUSBAND got up, whining that he didn’t feel like going to work, we’d had rehearsal the night before and…well, tipped back a few oat sodas…and he just didn’t want to get up. I actually recoiled in horror as my twenty eight year old, childless mouth said…“You’ll Feel Better If You Get Up And Move Around…LAYING AROUND ALL DAY WON’T MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.” It was shocking.


“Shared misery is lessened, shared joy is increased.” – Spider Robinson

… or something like that.

Dear Mean Mommy -
WAY TO GO!!! My teen isn’t driving on her own yet, but we’ve been dangling the loss-of-car-keys threat from the moment she realized what independence mobility would provide. I believe your invocation was most appropriate and well-timed. You have earned yet another gold star in the crown that is Motherhood…

You’re my new hero!

<taking notes for future reference>

A) DDG: You did the right thing. Period. Hard as it was, she’ll thank you for it in years to come. And, even though I never do this {{{{DDG}}}} because that couldn’t have been fun.

B) At least TCWWA was bright enough not to do the following routine:
Some random Punk Kid (not ANYONE I’d admit to having been) “Oh yeah? How are you make me? I’ll just ditch, y’know.”

Dad (showing restraint far above the call of duty): “Well, know that I know you can’t be trusted, I guess I’ll take the day off and go to school with you. It’ll be interesting to sit in on all those classes.”

Punk Kid (Horrified): NO! You can’t!!! Pleeeease! I’ll do anything!

Dad (relenting a bit): Well, I don’t appreciate being threatened. But, I’ll tell you what. You get a note from EVERY teacher today, stating that you were in each class, and I’ll let it go. But if I don’t get that note, I’m going to school with you as long as necessary to see that you can be trusted.

Punk Kid (pathetically grateful): THANK you! THANK you! I’ll get the note!

Note: Anyone who assumes that I was that punk kid…erm…I maintain that there is a shield of plausible deniabilty here.


I really could have used a Mean Mommy in college. And maybe a Mean Mommy to hold the checkbook nowadays, too, so I quit spending money I shouldn’t.

It’s not that I have no self-control over finances, it’s just that little things pile up. Spending $5 feels like nothing to be, but spending $10 is something I’m hesitant to do. So, I’ll just blow $5 on a fast-food lunch every day without a second thought, even though I could feed myself for pennies if I paused to think about it.

Duck Duck Goose, will you be my honorary mom?

You done good, Mean Mommy. The sooner The Cat learns the lesson that she is in control of her own decisions and the consequences of those decisions, the better prepared she will be for the real world.

You are not a mean mommy, you love your child so much that you care about their character development. Your daughter may be crying now, but someday she will be in the same position you were this morning, and she too will support her child by requiring them to take the licks and learn from them.

New Daddy here, taking lots of notes. I especially enjoyed hearing of Fenris’ father’s threat. I wonder if you could have called his bluff, though?

Nope. He was self-employed. And would have done it, too.

<mock indignation>
But what makes you think the punk kid was me? I admit to nothing.
</mock indignation>


DDG, all of us in the Mean Moms (For Your Own Good) Club salute you! You did the right thing and carried on a fine tradition.

Two weeks ago, I had to send a child to school bearing a science fair project that had obviously been thrown together at the last minute without parental help. I’d spent the previous week periodically saying things like, “If you want me to get you any materials at the store, you’ll have to tell me by Tuesday” and “How is that project coming along?” only to be answered by airy reassurances that she had it under control. It took all the strength I had not to run out to the store for the things she needed the night before it was due, and not to “help” finish it after I made her go to bed at the regular time.

From making them tie their own shoes when you know you could do it faster yourself to declining to bail them out when they get into financial trouble in college, some of the most loving parental acts are the hardest to do. We just have to have faith that they’ll realize someday how much love went into that meanness.

DDG, you have once again proven why you are one of my favorite moms around!

All I can add is that I am 30 years old, and I still wish that I had a mother who cared enough about my character and self-worth to not let me get away with the kind of thing you prevented today. Congratulations on doing the right thing for your daughter and teaching her responsibility. It’s very easy to stick your head in the sand and let things slide, and I respect your willingness to do the right thing by your daughter. That, above all, shows how much you love her.