Momservation: If you have to ask where the line between naughty and nice is drawn, odds are it’s already been stepped over.
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There’s nothing like December to make your kids toe the line on being good.
What they have a tendency to forget, though, is there were eleven months prior that are eligible for review in the naughty vs. nice stats. A few weeks of making your bed nearly every day or brushing your teeth without being asked doesn’t erase the time you deleted your sister’s Instagram account or ate all the Twix out your brother’s Halloween bag and blamed it on Dad.
Pointing out to the kids that their little halos are a bit tarnished here’s the common response: “But that doesn’t count! That was like forever ago!”
Hey, save it for the judge kid. Just because you did the time for the crime doesn’t mean it’s been expunged from the record. Just sayin’.
Then there’s a mad rush to point out all the good that’s been done that should mitigate any bad that took place—for which, by the way, they are very, very sorry.
“I haven’t had any missed homework assignments!”
Yeah, but you thought it was funny to hide your brother’s science report and watch while he frantically searched the house thinking he’d lost it.
“I’m always ready for school—you’ve never had to get mad at me for being late!”
What about me always having to tell you to quit harassing your sister to tears every morning while she’s trying to get ready?
“I got Whitney’s sweatshirt for her once when she forgot it!”
I let Logan have all my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from my Easter and Halloween candy!”
You hate peanut butter.
When the kids finally realize I can probably pull out two bad for every good (that usually has an asterisk attached to it) there is a frantic mental tally trying to weigh the naughty vs. nice.
“Does that time I broke the candy dish count?”
Yep, I told you guys not to play ball in the house.
“What about when I broke your favorite holiday decoration?”
Nope, that was an accident.
“Picking up Darby’s dog poo?”
You were paid. And you quit after a week.
“Bringing in the garbage cans?”
You forget more than you remember.
I let the kids twist in the wind for a little while to get them back for all the times over the year I’ve had to nag them, pick up after them, and had to count to ten while I found some patience.
But in the end I always assure them that Santa will be making a stop at our house, because by my calculations—the scales tip nice.
Now let’s keep it that way and keep your hands to yourself.