So I have pneumonia and am at home. I don’t feel well and I don’t rest well even if I don’t feel well, so I’m a very reluctant stayer-at-homer.
Since I am at home attempting to recuperate, The Lovely Rhonda didn’t feel it was worthwhile to engage a sitter as we normally do on Thursdays and Fridays. This means that I am home with The Children.
Also, the house is kind of a mess because we got home from the beach on Sunday and I was already sick then. And we both work. And there is a fridge in the dining room because the new one was delivered yesterday. The guy from the place is coming to get it, in fact he should be here momentarily, but in the meantime it’s looming over me as I sit here at my desk. I’m fairly sure that it’s trying to make me feel guilty for replacing it.
Let’s recap: I am not feeling well. I am home. With. The. Children. In a messy house.
Today while making lunch I asked the spawn whether they would like a full sandwich or a half. One of them, who will remain unidentified, declared, “Half. Half a sandwich. Turkey.” This in a breezy way that implied just the sort of entitlement that we do not put much stock into around here, to put it mildly.
It was not the first time that I had had to remind these particular children to use those common words of politeness and gratitude, “Please” and “Thank you.” It was not the first time TODAY that I’d had to do so. And so my response was swift and not terribly subtle. The pauses (…) are where I almost but did not quite use a profanity to get my point across, because although I was angry, I was not quite over the edge far enough to actually drop the f-bomb in front of impressionable children.
“Okay, so the next kid who does not say PLEASE will be standing in the corner. Because I am not your (…) SERVANT here to do your (…) BIDDING. You can start saying PLEASE and THANK YOU, or you will find yourself making your OWN (…) SANDWICH.”
I rather doubt that this is the kind, gentle approach favored by child development specialists nowadays, but I’m pleased to report that nobody forgot to say “please” for the remainder of lunch.