My 7-year old daughter stood up to me tonight and said in her best outraged voice, “Where are my underwear? You haven’t put them up yet have you?”
Suddenly I was seeing spots. And not the ones on her precious little pj’s. The ones floating in my eyes as the blood red fury slowly swelled up inside.
“That’s it!” I hollered. “I quit! I am never again going to put your laundry away. You are old enough to do it yourself. If you want underwear, go get it and put it away yourself!”
I left huffing and puffing down the hallway, muttering to myself, ” ‘Where’s my underwear?’ Who does she think I am? Her maid?”
I went down the hall to my 6-year old son’s room, meaning to kiss him good night, only to find him absent from his room. I said his name (in my sweetest motherly voice), “TJ?” I got no answer. So I said his name again (this time more in my best “Attila the Hun” voice), “TEEEEEEJAAAAAAAAAAYYY!”
“I’m out here mom!” His little voice yelled. I went stomping out into the family room hollering, “What are you doing? You are supposed to be in bed!”
“I’m using this cart to bring my clothes to my room.”
I could hear the wheels rolling along the tile flooring. Instantly I knew what was coming. I waited until TJ came around the corner pushing the toy grocery shopping cart, filled with? You guessed it, his clean clothes from the laundry room.
He happily pushed his cart down the hallway and into his room where he proceeded to put his clothes away.
I just hugged and kissed on him. It was so sweet…so innocent. There was not one iota of guile or manipulation in his sweet face. I was overcome. And immediately felt guilty. Here I was fawning over my son when my daughter was back in her room. Our dispute still unresolved.
I sat down for about 30 minutes. I knew it would come, and it did. Molly comes out and says, “Can you come here for a minute?”
I got up and went to her room. Not only had she put away all of her clothes, but she had taken everything out her drawers, refolded it and placed it neatly back in her drawers.Once again, I was completely overwhelmed and humbled. Children do that to a parent. Repeatedly and quite often.
I think it was about the 4th time that day for me.