The neighborhood children are scared of me, and have dubbed me the “mean mom” on the block.
I attribute this to the fact that I don't let them do whatever they feel like, particularly when it involves my own children.
A few days ago, my kids were talking about Ding-Dong-Ditching at the dinner table.
In case you are unaware of what exactly a Ding-Dong-Ditch is, it’s when some obnoxious person rings your doorbell, and then RUNS AWAY before you answer the door.
Obviously, the only acceptable time to Ding-Dong-Ditch is when you are leaving treats and presents and want the element of surprise.
At any rate, there they were, talking about how fun it was to Ding-Dong-Ditch and I told them in no uncertain terms that if they ever do that FOR FUN and don’t leave a treat? I would kill them. And make them do sit-ups until they thought it wasn’t funny anymore.
Because ringing the doorbell for the sake of your own entertainment?
Especially when the person has a little baby at home, and you live in a townhouse, and the mom probably had to get dressed before she walked down two flights of stairs to open the door.
(Not that I have personal experience in this.)
I was sitting on the front steps, watching the kids play, when a little neighbor boy went up to a house, rang the doorbell, and started booking it down the street.
I yelled “NO.” and he was so surprised that someone was actually telling him “No” that he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me in horror.
THEN, I made him to the most horrible thing in the whole history of the world:
I made him go back and apologize.
There was also a girl that liked to tattle on everyone in the neighborhood as soon as she got off the bus.
“Steven wasn’t sitting in his seat.” “Skylar wasn’t listening.” “Thaddeus wasn’t being nice.”
And on and on and on it went.
Until finally one day, I had had enough.
And then I said:
And it was as if I had crushed her precious little tattling heart.
We are also neighbors with a boy who I am quite certain has never been told “no” in his life. In his 7 year old head, we are on equal grounds.
Now, there are few things that bother me more than parents that think that their children should be involved in every aspect of the household decision making process, and here’s why: THEY’RE KIDS AND THEY DON’T HAVE JOBS.
I am also not a fan of people who think that they should do everything for their kids. I call this parenting tactic: Let’s set unrealistic expectations about life and then act surprised when our 18 year old doesn’t know how to make a can of soup or get to work on time!
But since that’s not what I’m really talking about, I’m going to go back to the 7 year old that thinks that I should explain myself.
Here’s a reality check: I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING TO YOU, EVER.
I also have been known to kick kids out of my house for various offenses and if I’m watching your child and they’re being naughty, they will go to time out.
And when children are particularly naughty, I try really hard to come up with a suitable lesson.
And that is why I’m the “mean mom” in the neighborhood.
(Which is exactly how I like things to be.)