No One Ever Listens To Me, Except When I Don’t Want Them To

I know I’m not the only mom out there with this complaint, but how come my children only listen to me if I yell? For example:

Me: [In a calm voice] “First Born, can you please come and set the table for dinner?”

FB: [Crickets…light saber and pew pew pew sounds from XBox…crickets…]

Me: [slightly more stern, but still calm] “FB. Did you hear me?”

FB: “What?”

Me: “*sigh*… I asked you to please come down and set the table for dinner.”

FB: “Whhhaaaatttt?”

Me: “Please. Set. The. Table. For. Dinner.”

FB: [Huffs loudly] “No! It’s Young Son’s turn. Make him do it!”

Me: “He’s done it for you for the past week. I asked YOU to do it.”

FB: “Gimme a minute.” [Mutter mutter…pew pew pew…]

{five minutes pass}


FB: “Jeez! I’m coming! What’s your problem?!”

Me: [Head explodes…more mess for me to clean up. Great.]

Yet somehow if the inmates are upstairs Xbox-ing, tap dancing or killing on each other while Husband and I are sitting in the family room,

Me: “I made cupcakes for dessert.”

H: [Does not look up from phone or away from TV] “Mmm hmm…”

[All mayhem upstairs comes to a screeching halt…Thundering footsteps pound down the stairs.]

FB: “Did you say CUPCAKES?!!”

YS: “Did you use buttercream frosting? I really hope you got the ratio of frosting to cake right so the cake isn’t too dry and the frosting isn’t too cloyingly sweet.”

AWP: “Are thems pink?!”

Me: “Seriously?! *sigh* Yes. I said cupcakes. Young Son, you need to stop binge watching Nailed It! on Netflix. And they are yellow with chocolate frosting, but I put pink sprinkles on yours, AWP.”

FB: “When’s dinner? Can I have one now?”

YS: “Did you use semi-sweet or milk chocolate in the frosting?”

AWP: [Stomps foot and pouts] “Awww! I wanted PINK frosting!!!!”

Me: *whimper* [Takes entire tray of cupcakes to laundry room and locks door.]

hero_01.png I think our Alexa has completely turned on me. I love using her as a timer for cooking or nagging the kids to do stuff like,

Me: “Alexa. Set a reminder for 15 minutes.”

Alexa: “What’s the reminder for?”

Me: “Warrior Princess, Go Potty.”

Alexa: “Okay. I’ll remind you in 15 minutes.”

Fifteen minutes Alexa says, “Warrior Princess, Go Potty” and off trots AWP to go potty. She’ll listen to Alexa, but never me. Whatever. I’ll take what I can get.

But then the kids will say,

FB: “Alexa! Fart!”

Me: “Alexa. Stop!”

Alexa: [Farts]

[Gales of laughter]

YS: “Alexa! Play the Gummy Bear song!”

Alexa: [Cranks out loud, soul-killing, annoying music] “Oh I’m a gummy bear / Yes I’m a gummy bear / Oh I’m a yummy tummy funny lucky gummy bear…”

Me: “Alexa, stop!”

Alexa: “I’m a jelly bear / ‘Cause I’m a gummy bear / Oh I’m a movin’, groovin’, jammin’, singing gummy bear / Oh yeaoooh


Alexa: “Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummibär / Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummibär / Bai ding ba doli party…”

Me: “AAARRGGGGHHHH!!! ALEXA!!!! You dumb whore! For the love of GOD! STOP!”

Meanwhile, the inmates are rolling on the floor laughing so hard they can hardly breathe.

Here’s the thing though. I think Alexa is secretly always listening to me. Get this. The other day Husband and I were admiring the solar panels the neighbor down the street installed on their roof. We thought it would be really cool to be “greener” — but we came up with lots of questions. How long does it takes to see a return on your investment? What’s the maintenance like? Do we get any tax benefits from it? Where is the additional energy produced stored? We decided to do a bit of research.

Then a few days later, THIS comes in the mail:

What in the actual…??? Coincidence? Maybe. Freaky as hell? YES!!! I think I may need to put tinfoil on Alexa during private conversations or speak in code. Or maybe I just need to go off the grid completely, in which case solar panels would be really handy. If you need me, send me a smoke signal or a note via carrier pigeon.




The Epic Sleepover

First Born Male Child has an awesome friend who lives up the street. I call him “Jiminy Cricket” because he is often FB’s conscience when they are together. I credit JC for saving FB from himself and me on a regular basis. I’ve even offered him a lifetime supply of grilled cheese sandwiches (his kryptonite) if he would come live with us to be a constant good influence on his friend. Alas, he turns down my offer every time, because he regularly witnesses the crazy factory that is my house. Smart kid.

Over the Labor Day weekend, FB had a sleepover at JC’s house. They informed me that it was going to be “epic.” Now normally if FB says that something he’s going to do is going to be “epic,” I get twitchy, nervous and come up with a million ways to say NO. Epic things never end well. But I know JC’s mom and she’s pretty awesome. They have five kids and she runs a tight ship. She’s actually sort of my idol — I mean she makes it all look so easy compared to the psych ward I run over here. I figured if anyone could handle an “epic sleepover” it would be her.

So FB and JC packed up the wagon with FB’s important slumber party gear, which included a ridiculous number of pillows, blankets, electronic devices, probably a few light sabers and other essentials including toothpaste. (Go figure. Toothpaste but probably not clean underwear. Hmmm.) Off they trudged up the street the quarter mile to JC’s house looking like preteen versions of Fred Sanford hauling the bizarre collection of junk. Good luck Mrs. Cricket. They’re all yours.

Fast forward to 2:00 AM. I’m awoken suddenly from a deep sleep. There is a fierce storm raging outside — torrential rains, house-shaking thunder and daylight-like lightning. “I swear I heard the doorbell ring! Nah. Must have been my dream.” A few seconds later, there’s knocking on the front door.

“Holy hell! What is going on! Who’s out there?!?” I violently shake snoring, comatose Husband awake. “There’s someone at the door!!!”

“Huh? What? Who’s at the door? Which door? What?!”

“I DON’T KNOW!!!!! GET UP!!!! GO FIND OUT!!!!!” He stumbles around looking for his robe and goes to investigate. I’m thinking it’s a bad prank, or something horrible has happened and a neighbor needs help or it’s the police.

Then my phone rings. It’s Mrs. Cricket. My blood ran cold.

“FB left our house and walked home. Mr. Cricket is coming over to find him.” I’m not sure what I answered her with, but it was probably something involving a lot of profanity. I ran down the hall yelling, “IT’S MR. CRICKET! FIRST BORN WALKED HOME!!!!

Husband starts freaking out too, “WHAT?!?! WHERE IS HE?!?!”

“I DON’T KNOW!!!!”

Then I hear behind me from the kids’ bathroom, “Mom! I’m right here! What’s going on?!?”

I think I screamed and spewed some of my better curses. Husband went and let a very soggy Mr. Cricket know FB is safe, apologized profusely and returned to bed, leaving me to deal with the wreckage. I ran back to find my phone so I could call Mrs. Cricket to let her know everyone is okay. I found three missed calls, a voice mail and four text messages. CRAP! My ringer had been turned down, and I didn’t hear it over the storm, Husband’s snoring and the crazy dream I’d been having. I was practically in tears when I called Mrs. Cricket, just imagining the sheer panic she must have been feeling…that was caused by my child! She was relieved, and we agreed to talk in the morning.

I went back down the hall to FB’s room to demand an explanation. He was completely befuddled as to why everyone was freaking out. “But Mom! I told Jiminy and his brother that I was going home. Jiminy’s brother was snoring so loud I couldn’t sleep at all!!”

“So you decided to walk home?!?!? The Crickets are FREAKING OUT. WE ARE FREAKING OUT! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!?” 

“But I TOLD Jiminy and his brother! I don’t see what’s the big deal. I came in through the garage and came up and took a bath. What? You didn’t hear me?!”

Ummm…Evidently not. I guess I’m a deeper sleeper than I thought. Jeez. What a cluster. I sent him to bed and told him we’d talk about it in the morning. I felt the toxic levels of adrenaline trying to exit my body and decided it was no use going back to bed. I stayed up until 5:30 trying to calm down and to figure out what to do with my dear child in the morning. As much as I wanted to throttle the living daylights out of him, he hadn’t done it to be malicious. He just wanted to get some sleep. “BUT WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?!? Oh the poor Crickets. I couldn’t imagine the sheer terror they must have been feeling, thinking they were going to have to tell me that they lost my child!” I cried awhile, then decided that FB was going to write the most sincere apology card ever known to man, buy flowers for Mrs. Cricket with his own money and then humbly deliver them to the Crickets in person.

The next morning we talked, and I explained to FB the seriousness of what he did. He felt awful that he had created such a drama and had scared everyone so much. He worked hard on a card and carefully picked out the best bouquet of flowers for Mrs. Cricket. We delivered them and had a good laugh together over the insanity of it all.

Turns out they did the regular boy sleepover things like played video games, probably laughed about farts and other stinky boy stuff and eventually went to bed. JC’s an early-to-bed/early-to-rise kid…FB, not so much. He’s a night owl like me and the trucker-like snoring of Jiminy’s brother was just too much for FB to get to sleep. Instead of covering his ears with one of the multitude of pillows, going downstairs to sleep on the couch, or even going in to ask Mrs. Cricket to call me to pick him up, my First Born Male Child decided to take matters into his own hands and felt it necessary to prank Lumberjack sleeping away across the hall. This is where the toothpaste…and shaving cream…came into play. *SIGH.* Yeah. I don’t really know the extent of it but from what we were able to piece together, the bathroom garbage can was filled with shaving cream, toothpaste was all over and poor JC’s brother ended up with crunchy and minty fresh hair.

So I guess I’ll be adding, “don’t walk home in the middle of the night during a violent rainstorm” to the list of things to remind him of before he goes to another sleepover. To my First Born’s guardian angel, I offer my sincerest gratitude and apologize for how hard she must have to work on a regular basis.

PS: Could you do me a huge favor? The stats I get on my blog views are being wonky. Could you please “like” this post at the bottom here so I can see if my stats are accurate? I hope this little gem gave you a good giggle and made you realize you do indeed have your act together compared to me. Thanks for reading!