My night-time routine is fairly standard. I drag myself up the stairs and into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face (if I’m lucky). And then make the rounds, tucking in sleeping children. Kissing their precious faces and replacing kicked off blankets.
Braeden is my night owl and has always been. Since the day he arrived, he’s never gone to bed before ten- unless he was sick. He knows that it’s lights out at 10:30 and I’ll try to stay up; read my book and reinforce that, but usually fall asleep with the light on and the book slumped in my hand.
The other night, it was getting late. So I went in and told him to get to bed. Rarely does he give me a hard time, but this night he jokingly made some sarcastic comment. I told him to be careful of what he said or he’d wake up duct taped to his bed with a shaved head.
He laughed and said, “You’re a psycho! You’d really do that, Mom. I know you would.”
I smiled crazily and said, “Just as long as you understand that, you’ll make out just fine.”
Undeterred by my potential insanity, he gave me a huge hug and kiss and wished me a good night.
I left him, tucked in to his bed and chuckled as I walked back into my bedroom. As a mother of four precocious children, it’s important to keep yourself a step ahead of them. And sometimes in order to do this, you need to pull out the crazy mom threat.
I’ve explained all of this to him and my other children as well. The rules are simple-
I will be the mother to show up at the back road kegger with a mega phone and announce that I’m Braeden’s mom and he’d better get in the car now, because I’ve called the police and they’re on the way.
I will be the mother that at the first sign of a disrespectful or disgruntled attitude, you’ll find your bedroom completely vacated of everything. Maybe I’ll leave you a pair of sweatpants and your mattress- maybe.
I’m the kind of mother who trusts you completely and will allow you all kinds of autonomy to grow and become your own person. Until you lie or break that trust. Then I’ll make you scrape fly poop off of windows in a hot stinky college dorm for the summer.
I’m the kind of mother who will check your cell phone, texts, pictures, Instagram, and whatever other social media you have. If I see something I don’t like, the phone will magically disappear and reappear in a landfill.
I’m the kind of mother that doesn’t yell at the ref or coach in a game, but I will drag your butt off the court/field if I see you throw yourself, cry or mouth back to the coach or ref- you want to embarrass yourself? Well, I’m happy to help you out- get in the car.
Why will I do all of this? Because I love you, because I know more than you, because I’m teaching you about making good choices, because I’m teaching you how to deal with life and all of its numerous flaws. Because most of the time some of life’s biggest lessons are the most embarrassing.
So I’m glad you think I’m a psycho but still give me a hug and a kiss. That makes my heart melt. It tells me I’m doing my job, that I’ve established respect and a healthy boundary. The “Nah, my mom will kill me if I do that” boundary, the “If I get caught my mom would get rid of everything in my room” boundary, the “If my mom found out, I’d wouldn’t leave my room for three months boundary”, the “Yeah, If I did that, my mother would shave my head” boundary.
I can hear the gentle hum of the shaver now. (wink)