When I tell stories of parental woe to my mom, she sympathizes. She commiserates. And she often laughs. Though she rarely says it, I know she’s thinking it: paybacks. Paybacks for the many nights I woke her from her dear slumber because I feared some crazy in my closet would drop screws in my ears or because the giant teddy bear on my shelf cast Jurassic-size shadows on my walls. Paybacks for stomping down the hall protesting a dinner of pork chops, scalloped potatoes, and green beans instead of the good ol’ mac and cheese standby. Paybacks for never letting her have a conversation on the telephone without “Momma, Momma, Momma, Momma.” And yes, even paybacks for informing callers to our house that she couldn’t come to the phone because she was on the toilet and it would be awhile.

I see now what I put her through. I know when I relay my children’s escapades from the week that she must hang up, throw her head back, and give one good mighty howl at the pleasure that I am finally paying my dues. Yes, indeedy, paybacks are often what they say they are. Though she has no part in the matter, my mom gets to watch me suffer the annoyances of motherhood that I put her through. For her and many mothers, that is quietly payback enough.

But this mom has an urge to fight back. I try to quietly and calmly deal with whatever my kids throw at me, but at night I de-stress by plotting my revenge. I’m keeping a list of the things they do. I’m sure I won’t follow through, but if my kids don’t shape up as teenagers, I’m getting even.

1. Wherever they are in the house, I’ll come find them and announce that I need to go to the bathroom, number one or number two. If their friends are visiting, I’ll loudly whisper it in their ear.

2. I will happily clean, read, or do whatever keeps me happy, but the second they talk on the phone, I will scream at the top of my lungs and then chase them around the house and pound on their door when they close and lock it.

3. I’ll hand them my tiny bits of trash, bypassing four trashcans in the process. When they refuse, I’ll sneak it in their pocket or later they’ll find it stuck to their shirt.

4. Every time they kiss their boyfriend or girlfriend, I’ll cover my eyes, fall to the floor, and scream, “Is it over?”

5. In the middle of the night, I’ll stand two inches from their face and wait until they wake up. I won’t need anything except to be put back to bed.

6. I’ll come in their room early on Saturday morning and tell them such important details as “My butt itches.”

7. My wardrobe will consist of plaid shirts, striped leggings, and pink tutus, and I will insist that it matches and that I venture out in public with them dressed that way.

8. When they refuse to let me drive them to the movies, I’ll stomp away in a huff and shout, “You never let me do ANYTHING!”

9. As soon as they fluff their pillows, snuggle deep into the couch, get everything just right, I’ll tell them that’s my pillow. When they get comfy again, I’ll tell them that’s my blanket too.

10. When they wake at noon, before they’ve chewed that first bite of cereal I’ll roll off twenty questions in ten seconds about Harry Potter and then tell them about the new pillows I want to get next and what color and where I want to put them and explain that the old ones just aren’t squishy enough and do you think J.K. Rowling will ever write another Harry Potter book? What do you mean you don’t like Harry Potter anymore? I thought you loved Harry Potter. Don’t you remember in book four when he grabbed the Goblet of Fire and it was a portkey? That was awesome!

I love my kids with every fiber of my being, but I don’t always love what they do. And they don’t always love what I do. I guess that makes us even. So there.



Filed under About Mom, Can't Get a Break

16 responses to “Paybacks

  1. mommysaidaswearword

    Hahaha. I think I STILL interrupt my mother when she is on the phone occasionally.

  2. This is hilarious! AND oh too relatable. I am going to bang on the bathroom door every time they get in the shower and wake them in the middle of the night just to ask if I can have a drink in the morning.

  3. Reblogged this on dirt n kids and commented:
    I’d like to re-title this “Shannon’s Bucket List.” Particularly #2 and #3. Payback’s a bummer and my kids have no idea what’s coming. Okay, well Angie may have a clue; she’s gonna get some a little early. (And Mom, quit laughing. I know I had it coming.)

  4. Mom! Mom! Mommmm!
    I don’t know what you’re talking about.
    My kids never act that way.
    My butt itches.

  5. Hysterical! One of my daughters, after the birth of our youngest child announced to a visiting male friend of my husband..”hey, how does Mom look in her tight fitting jeans”..I died..then came back to life to crawl away!

  6. I especially love #’s 5, 6, and 10!! Those are currently very common in our house!

    I would like to add digging for things/putting random things in my purse. I did this to my mom, and my son is constantly doing it to me!
    Thanks for making me laugh today!! 🙂

  7. This was so great! It felt good just reading it. I felt myself rising up inside, just like Sally Field in Norma Rae.

    #10 is certainly the best one but I relate most to #2 and 3.

  8. This was really clever. I loved # 4 because my college age children still do that to me (how the heck do they think they ended up on the planet?).

    Two things 1) buy yourself a set of Bongo drums to march into your teen’s room with, banging as loudly as possible at 6:30 a.m. after they kept you up all night even though they promised they would be really quiet if you let them have three friends sleep over, and 2) reminiscing about my own risky college behavior (and the fact that I survived it) is currently the only way I am getting to sleep at night. 🙂
    Again, loved your post!

  9. Thank you! I haven’t laughed this hard at a parenting blog EVER. My bucket list for my kids looks something like this: When they get their own apartments/homes, I will come over and ring the doorbell repeatedly. When they let me in, I will ask if they have a paintbrush, no not that size, then after I get the paintbrush, walk over to the fridge, hang on the door, swing it back and forth and ask if there’s anything to eat and how come there’s never anything to eat, then run to the potty holding my crotch, pee with the door open, and forget to flush.

    • Oh gosh, those are good things.You can see I got so hung up on sleep. For seven years I had interrupted sleep and as I sat awake, I planned out what I would do to get back at them. I’m sure this list will grow. It always kills me when I’m downstairs and they’re upstairs and they come all the way downstairs to tell me they have to go to the bathroom. And? So go! They’re 9 and 6. I don’t run a prison. Really.

  10. Gotta love payback!!!!!!!! I promise my grown children they will pay. BWAHHAHAHAHAHHAH! Angie

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