Xander really stepped into it today.
Actually, I stepped into it. That is what caused his trouble.
So, this morning I was coming upstairs to inspect the kids' cleaning job.
We reached a bit of a crisis in our room messiness last night. I've been trying to be nice and ask them to clean, I tried to help them, I tried giving them points we could add up for prizes.... nothing seems to consistently motivate them.
The room is a constant mess.
I decided to clean my way.
I grabbed a bunch of those 18 gallon totes I keep for storing stuff and I just starting tossing things in. The kids were intrigued, so they asked what I was doing while they ran around and played. I told them rather nonchalantly that I was taking all the stuff they didn't want to take care of and I was putting all of it in buckets so I could donate it tomorrow.
This was not awesome for them. They cried and begged me to stop, but I told them I needed it clean and I couldn't stop until it was clean. They could try to save their stuff however.
Thus began the most frantic yet meticulous cleaning session I've ever seen the kids undertake.
I still managed to fill 4 of those totes with their stuff.
Finally we all finished.
As the kids surveyed the buckets of stuff they had lost, Xander asked if they could earn them back. After some thought I decided if I got up in the morning and they had picked up all the trash in their bedrooms (I can't vacuum right now because I need a new vacuum bag and I need to go to a special store for it and I am so lazy) and didn't turn on the tv and didn't make tons of noise before 7am (mama wants her sleep) and made their beds, I would release ONE bucket from my collection. I would consider what it would take to get the rest.
Then we all went to bed early.
This morning I came up after 7am (don't ask how late it was, but it was lovely) and bedrooms were tidied, beds were made and kids were being quiet. It was awesome.
We did breakfast and I sent them upstairs to get dressed and brush teeth before school.
I was so proud of them and happy that I didn't notice the cup of water in the door way of the stairs as I walked in. I walked right into it and spilled the contents, splashing a full cup all over the carpet and all over me.
Annoyed, I said, "hey kids, don't leave cups of water in the doorway! I just got it all over me and the floor."
Buddy doesn't even look up from where he is, he just says (like this is normal, which I suppose it is around here), "that isn't water Mom. That is Xander's pee."
And then my head exploded.
Pee all over my legs! All over the floor! Argh! And there is Xander, standing by the frickin' toilet just like the cat who caught the canary.
Trying not to yell (and not really succeeding) I asked, "why, Xander? Why would you pee here when there is a toilet right there and why would you leave it on the floor?"
Sensing a trap, he wisely just shrugged and tried to look appropriately ashamed of himself. Of course I was not fooled.
That was it. I was just done with the constant pee-ventures around here (I posted links at the bottom if you have never read about the Tower Boys and their horrific obsession with peeing in unacceptable locations).
I looked at him with a resolve I rarely have when doling out consequences and I said, "the next time you pee in a cup or a jar or a bowl or a bottle, YOU WILL BE DRINKING IT. PEE WISELY."
As of right now, I still mean it. Pretty sure he knows it too as I rarely make declarations like that without following through. Of course, by tomorrow when I return to less furious and more irritated I'll know I can't make a kid drink his own pee (even though it feels like poetic justice right now) and I'll have to come up with some sort of Fear Factor style consequence that 1. won't get cps called on me (I did check with "legal counsel" and the idea of making a kid drink the pee he puts in a cup is one of those things cps frowns upon apparently) but, 2. will be just not fun enough as opposed to being so awesome that the boys decide to pee everywhere just to get to play.
Gonna be a tricky line there.
(Before you think I'm too evil, you need to know that Xander has some sort of obsession with peeing in cups and bottles. Just a few weeks ago he tells me he is thirsty.
I point to the cup inches from him and I say, "use that cup and get a drink."
He makes a face like he is trying to choose his words wisely and he says, "not that cup, Mommy. Someone peed in that cup."
I ask in as neutral a tone as possible, "who peed in the cup?"
Again, speaking very carefully, he says, "I have no idea. I was napping in my bed when someone did it."
Serious props for that politically correct pile of B.S. This kid could be a politician one day. But I would be that reporter who nailed him to the wall the second he told the wrong whopper.
I responded, "Xander, you haven't napped in over a year. Tell the truth now."
With his naughty smile he tried so hard to hide he said, "Okay, it was me. I just wanted to see if I could fill the cup."
So, as you can see, this pee in a cup thing has become a science experiment of sorts. As we don't have a sterile lab for such work and they haven't acquired any funding for such research, the pee-speriments must end.
And this is why I've had it with the pee in dishes thing. Well that and the fact that it was all over me this morning. Kind of a nail in the coffin there. )
Needless to say, he managed to forfeit the return of a bucket this morning so his siblings are pretty mad at him. He's been cleaning up around here while I do school with Belle and Buddy in the hopes that he can make his pee-soaked mother feel a little less furious. (Yep, still a little pee soaked. Don't have time to shower just yet and baby wipes don't really make me feel fresh as a daisy. Carpet is pretty clean however.)
Sigh. When I imagined motherhood I had a lot of terrifying scenarios run through my head. Kidnapping, fire, robbery, bratty kids, nerdy kids, kids who ate their own boogers... I was prepared for that. This continual game of "Pee Chicken" has thrown me.
I blame this cup thing on our British heritage and those stupid "Man vs. Wild" type shows. Yes, kids, I know you *can* drink your own pee. Doesn't mean we need to keep samples around the house, particularly on the FLOOR.
**For those who have not been following the Towerland Urine Saga, here are a few links for your viewing pleasure:
When the horrors began
The pee secret that rocked our basement (and not in a good way)
These are just the stories I find time to tell.**
Oh, and just so I never forget: Kimber, make sure to read all of these stories at Xander's wedding reception. His future wife needs to know what she is in for.