When the children become the mother

Sometimes I really wonder if I’m getting through to my kids. Will they remember to say please and thank you? Are they learning to work hard? Are they grateful?

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen visions of myself through my children.

I am anti-procrastination and if there’s a project, I get it done right away so it’s not hanging over my head. When I do laundry, I do everything–washing, drying, folding, putting away–on the same day. I try to respond to emails within an hour of receiving them (you people who rarely check their inbox drive. Me. Nuts). And when I have a writing project, I always finish well before the deadline.

Bode had a project at school that was due mid-December. In essence, they were creating a mini-marketplace where they had to create at least 15 items to buy and sell with fake money. His teacher notified us a few weeks ago but in a rare move, I put it on the backburner because I assumed she would mention it again before the due date. She didn’t and I forgot about it.

So, Bode came home from school freaking out, “My project is due tomorrow, we have to get it done!”

He decided to make little monster page corner bookmarks like these. Fortunately, the only crafty one in the family was home sick from school that day so Hadley valiantly volunteered to cut out the paper triangles and once Bode got home from school, he could tape everything together and draw faces on them. The problem was she wasn’t feeling well (remember the sick thing?) so after about an hour, she brought them into the office for me to finish.

Here’s the thing the kids don’t understand about parents who work from home: we actually work. I was in the middle of finalizing some projects so told her I’d try to finish them off but never got to them. So Bode arrived home, finished his homework and after dinner I announced we’d start on the project. I began cutting out the triangles but we were way behind and Hadley let me know it. Over and over and over again.

“Well, if MOM did what I asked her to we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

“Don’t ask me what MOM was doing all day. I told her to take of this.”

It was like she was looking through a magnifying glass and seeing my life with them every single day.

The roles were reserved the week before that. Hadley had her final volleyball game while Bode and I had Cub Scouts. We arrived home about 20 minutes earlier so I had Bode help me with a quick dinner. He grilled the sandwiches, warmed the ravioli and apparently it was a lot of work . Because the moment Hadley and Jamie walked in the door, he exasperatingly announced:

“I’ve been cooking for you people and the least you can do is set the table.”

They’re gonna be the best moms ever.

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