One evening as I was making dinner the boys were running and hollering all throughout the house. They raced into the living room and began jumping on the sofa; from the sofa to the ottoman; from the ottoman to the chair. They have been warned against doing this repeatedly; whenever they scoot the sofa off the rug it puts a scratch in the floor. Whenever they trounce on the cushions it breaks them down. Time outs, being grounded, standing in the corner, none of these punishments have penetrated through their hard heads to make a difference.
I felt the threat booming out of my mouth before I realized that it was my voice. Make it a threat you can cash! screamed the voice in my head.
"If you boys don't stop jumping on and destroying our furniture I'm going to jump on YOUR beds and show you what it's like!" I hollered as I stuck some rolls in the oven. The boys rolled their eyes and ignored me as though I were nothing more than a cigar store Indian.
Chris came home; I pushed him to correct them; he gave it a half-hearted "Boys! Listen to your mother!" They didn't stop. I'd had enough. I ripped off my apron and stomped upstairs, letting the force of my footfalls express my utter disdain for their behavior. I stomped into their room, right over to Liam's bed, climbed on top and jumped up and down as hard as I could. I upset the meticulous pile of stuffed animals lying on top and they flew everywhere. I BROUGHT THE RAIN. The bed creaked, the floor groaned, the house shook, the mattress flapped as though both ends were bird's wings.
"DANA!" Chris shouted from downstairs.
"I! TOLD! THEM!" I hollered back and put more effort into it. My head almost met my knees in mid-jump. I heard shrieks well up from first floor about the time I jumped across the room to Ewan's race car bed. The thick plastic didn't protest as much so I began losing interest.
"MOM'S CRAZY!" Liam shouted as he dashed up the stairs.
"MY MANIMALS!" Ewan cried.
"OH!" I said, standing triumphant at the head of the race car bed. "Oh - I see how it is. It's perfectly OK for you to disobey your parents and jump and climb all over every piece of furniture we have in this house, is it? But your stuff is off limits?"
"Yes!" They shouted.
"Sorry, that's not how it works. If you jump on mom and dad's furniture we get to jump on yours. And I can't tell you how much I love jumping on little boys' beds."
They looked at me as though I had lost it. I left the room so they could think about it and they went right to straightening their beds.
Something they never do unless nagged incessantly.
Have they jumped on our furniture since? No. Now they even put the quilts and blankets back properly after they use them. I am mentally high-fiving myself.
In other news, I turn 3-Oh on Sunday. I'm hiding out until it passes. Le sigh.
(Also, please read the thing about the imposter if you haven't already. Thanks.)