I’ve been away from the Young and Restless family for 9 days. In that time, they have magically become these strange people who:
*wake up early every morning
*are always on time to school
*get to church EARLY
Not only that, but apparently, while I was away, Big Son cooked dinner every night -without complaining. Bella Beast allowed herself to be bathed by Big Sister every day – without screaming. The Princess made all the girls lunchboxes every morning – without fail. And Demon Son didn’t get into any fights at school. Not one. I returned to a house that was spotless. Even my bed was made. ( Heck, I never make my bed. Ever.)
Why are they magically wonderful people WHEN I’M NOT HERE?
I asked them that as I snapped at their over-sleeping butts to get out of bed, harried their slow-poke selves to fix lunch boxes, yelled at people to clean up their mess, tried to cook dinner and referee the screaming Bella Beast in the shower. Why? Why are you so organized and helpful and super wonderful when your Dad is looking after you?
They looked at each other and shrugged. One took a deep breath before replying. “Because Dad doesn’t yell at us like you do. He just tells us to do things and then goes to sleep on the sofa. He doesn’t hover over us, telling us how to do everything, breathing down our neck every step of the way. Stuff gets done. Maybe not as fast, or as good as it would when you’re here, but it gets done when we do it Dad’s way. And everybody’s happy.”
I looked at these five children who all looked back at me. Hopefully. Hesitantly. And their words resounded in my ears. “When we do things Dad’s way…everybody’s happy.”
I gritted my teeth. Could I really do it? Back away? Let go of some of my control-freakish-ness? Allow the house and the Fab5 to slip into that semi-sloppy zone that ‘Dad’ doesn’t mind living in? The zone where ‘everybodys happy’. Could I ( the BOSS of this house) be happy?
I decided to try it. I told them all to make dinner, fold laundry, get showered and call me when it was time to eat. Then I went into my room and read a book.
It was rather torturous. Stilling that voice in my head that muttered, ‘you know they’re making a huge mess out there…you know they’re burning the dinner…and that child is not showering properly…and the laundry will get folded inside out and wrinkly…Just shut up Lani.’
Yes, it was tough. But I did it. Their Dad’s way. And you know what? Reading a book in my room in the middle of the day? It’s very relaxing.
Revelation – Sometimes, it’s true. When we run the house HIS way? Everybody is happy.
But tomorrow? I might have to resort to a bit of MY way again. Because they really did make a mess of the laundry. And those dishes were not done properly. And ohmidirtyhouse-gosh, what if the Queen of England decides to drop by for a spot of tea and sees the cobwebs in the corners of the kitchen? Or worse, what if Theseus from the Immortals movie needs to borrow my washing machine to get blood out of his war uniform and is confronted with the absolute hovel of a laundry room? He might never come back to visit again.
Kalofa’e see? Theseus totally needs to borrow my washing machine.