Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Now The House Is Upside Down And On Fire

When I was nine months pregnant with Sonshine, and Princess was 2 1/2, I was carrying so far out that it was a chore just to get out of my seat. I'd have to rock back and forth until I got up enough momentum to launch my beached-whale belly out in front of me, and that took a while, so I tried to remain seated as much as possible. Princess, being a smart girl, had this all figured out. She'd stand just out of arm's reach and do something naughty, like eat a candy she'd sneaked, or play with something she wasn't supposed to have. She'd just stand there and do it while I said "No, Princess, don't do that" and while I tried in vain to grab her. Then she'd run away as soon as she saw me start to rock back and forth to get up.

It was bad enough when it was just Princess doing it. This time it's the entire family, all three kids AND FH. It's a domestic mutiny the likes of which you will not believe. As soon as Mommy can't get up and make you be good, you default to bad behavior.

This, folks, is why I'm so afraid that if I'm not at my best for a couple of days, the whole house will be upside down and on fire. I'm the family rule enforcer. When I'm not available to check whether homework is done, to make sure everybody gets a nutritious balanced diet, to see to it that the socks are all folded, then the entire household goes to hell. FH feeds the kids doughnuts for meals and eats root beer floats for dinner in front of the kids. Princess doesn't do her homework after school, opting instead to watch TV and allow her friends to play over. Sonshine goes in his sister's room. Bagel knocks everything over with impunity. The kids just watch TV endlessly and hit each other.

Am I the family bitch? Am I a shrieking harridan who cows everyone into good behavior, so much so that when the cat's away the mice will play? Have I been entirely unsuccessful in showing my kids what sort of behavior is acceptable? And why is my husband suddenly acting like an 18-year-old bachelor? Am I that bad of a wife, that he'd be glad to be rid of my nagging presence so that he can finally do something he wants?