First of all, the preparedness item this week is Spaghetti Sauce. It’s a pasta topping! It’s a pizza Sauce! It’s multi-talented! If you are aiming on spaghetti/pizza/etc. once a week, that’s going to be 12 jars. Think you can handle that? If that’s too much for your pantry (or your budget) to handle, then get what you can.
If you happen to be the kid of person who makes their own tomato sauce from scratch, then you are probably sneering at my jarred sauce suggestion. Fine. Just buy as many canned ingredients as you need to make your own. This is not the time to get on your high horse about fresh tomatoes and basil, OK? This is about feeding your family from food in your pantry. So get yourself to the grocery store and stock up. If you want to throw in a few jars of Alfredo sauce or something similar, be my guest. I’m just trying to give you some ideas, here.
Secondly, to completely change the subject, having six little kids was very hard when they were all 10 and under. Even 12 and under was difficult. All those sippy cups! And teeth I had to brush! And shoes I had to put on! And car seats I had to buckle!
But this! Older kids. Egads. This is making me long for the ease of bedwetting. I remember my friends with older kids telling me it was still hard being a mom even though their kids were old enough to wipe their own bums. I simply did not believe them. I thought older kids would just be like having a cross between fun roommates and servants.
This is my newsflash: They are still children. Even when they are taller than you and wear bigger shoes. They still don’t have a firm grip on responsibility. They don’t make the best choices many times. They still don’t even seem to grasp the importance of two very basic concepts: hanging up their clothes and throwing things away.
Over this weekend I had the choice opportunity to try to find two pairs of tights for the girls that were lost somewhere in the house. After searching high and low (and eventually finding them) I realized that my girl’s have been cleaning their room by stuffing things in every drawer and cupboard they can find. And the last two weeks worth of clean laundry? In a giant heap behind their closet door. Even India, my super responisble child, had her old tatty t-shirts shoved into drawers with brand new church dresses.
The boy’s had the great room switcheroo. Scary is the word that comes to mind.
I realized that they are unable to throw anything away. Every chintzy toy ever “won” at Chuck E. Cheese? It’s in their room somewhere. Their Legos have all had babies and the population has grown to epic numbers. And most of them are living on the floor in their bedroom. And that rule about no eating outside of the kitchen? All I have to do is look at all the Gogurt packages, chip bags and string cheese wrappers to know that they have been ignoring me for quite some time.
Please don’t get me started on the assignments, projects and permission slips that were forgotten until 10:00 last night.
I have been gritting my teeth all weekend, chanting “Monday” under my breath. Today is the day that my reign of terror begins. Enough of consequences and trying to teach responsibility. It is not working. This is the beginning of Jennie’s Gulag. There will be no laughter or cheer eminating from my house anymore. If the children are smiling, I’m not doing my job.
OK, so maybe it won’t be that bad. But my gosh! I don’t know what else to do.
Let me turn into the woman I’ve always hated: the one who tells parents of young children, “just you wait”. Because I promise you will look back on those days of no sleep and watching PBS Kids nonstop and wish you could go back. You don’t believe me. But it will happen.