April 12, 2011 by Kim
Years and years ago I retired my "Mom of the Year" trophy. It has since been replaced with my newly acquired "Tyrant-Mom of the Year" wall plaque.
My parenting style probably won't be found in any of the mommy magazines, but you know what, it works for me...and my kids. Case in point. Oldest child, Daniel is now almost 13 and in junior high.. Like most kids, neatness and accountability does not come easy. Thank goodness our school district has recently launched a website where you can track their assignments, tardys and lunch accounts. I try, once a week, to go over Daniel's work. There is almost always a late assignment.... or two.. or three... Last night there were 2 chapters worth of vocabulary. I explained to Daniel that he was going to have to complete both assignments that night and that if he DARED attempt to bring the final copies to me with crazy sloppy handwriting, I would rip the papers up and he would be back at square one.
As he began diligently working on him mom-imposed assignments, I took it up myself to look over his binder. Holy Hell. It looked like 2 semesters worth of work had exploded in there. I have not seen a binder THAT disorganized since.... well, since I was in school.
It was one of those moments where you know that the only chance for survival is to burn it to the ground and rebuild. Well, I knew I couldn't burn my son's binder to the ground *I'm not heartless* so I did the next best thing.... I unclamped the binder.... held it over my head and let its contents flutter about.
Ok. that is how I PLANNED for it to happen. However, the damned clamps wouldn't come unhooked. I struggled with them for about 30 seconds while Daniel stood there, staring at me, dumbfounded. Sitting myself on the ground I continued to manhandle the clamps.... still nothing. In frustration I stood up and gave the offending binder a short kick into the nearest wall and skulked out of the room. 3 seconds later I ran back into the room and pounced on the unruly binder. I was NOT going to let it defeat me, especially not in front of my oldest son! RAWR.
As I continued to pull on those damned clamps I noticed a little lever on the edge of the binder's spine. Oh heck no! One little click and the evil clamps sprang open. Are you freaking kidding me. Pouncing to my feet I raised the binder high above my head.
I then turned to Daniel, who looked like he didn't know whether to laugh or cry, and calmly told him to put it back together... in a way that makes sense to him and confidently walked out of his room.
Later that night he brought me his newly organized binder. He was actually really proud of the work he ended up putting into it. I told him that it would probably be in his best interest to pick one day a week to go through it and clean out old papers and such... because I had an awesome time dumping it all out and could not wait to do it again.
Best part of this is... he knows I'm serious 😉