Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Down in Who Ville!

What happens to those cute little baby girls we bring home from the hospital?  You know the ones so sweet and cuddly. And who can get enough of their sweet baby smell? What happens to those adoring looks from our toddlers as they reach up to us with their trusting little arms? What happens the moment they turn twelve and hormones start raging and they turn into she-devils in disguise?

I'm not an authority on parenting but I'd like to think I learned a few things as the mother of twin girls.  Because I recognized almost immediately that I was outnumbered by a formidable alliance I knew I'd have to get my bluff in early.

It has been 27 years since I had two pre-teen daughters and was on the verge of sending them to a convent. My only hope of revenge was for them to get their payback with 12 year old's of their own but they foiled my plan by avoiding parenthood.. Since I cannot hand down my sage advice to them I will share it with the entire world. If you are the mother of a twelve year old girl and cannot leave home for the next say six to ten years please feel free to utilize my method to conquer the pre-teen mouthiness at your house.

My plan was created one day after a very stressful morning of trying to get my twelve year old twin daughters out the door without drawing blood from one another. After I had sounded the alarm more than once that I was on the verge of taking drastic measures if I received one more flippant “Well, duh” as a response to a civilized question posed by their mother I decided to simply wait for my opportunity to illustrate the consequences. I had finally had enough of the constant bickering over clothes and who “called” what in advance. Blows would ensue when one twin emerged from her room wearing the same outfit as her sister. This offense was grounds for all out warfare if she refused to take off the obvious reference to their status as twins. According to them dressing alike was a sure fire ticket to being a dork!

After reaching my proverbial limit I waited until everyone had left for the day and I called a dear friend to loan me her truck. I then proceeded to call a storage facility whereby I rented a cubicle for one month and then proceeded to unload each of my daughter’s rooms of their contents. I was like the Grinch who stole Christmas. I took everything, all their clothes and their bobbles and left holes in the walls where the pictures had hung. I cleaned out their rooms as quick as a flash. Why, I even took their jars of cold cash. What I left was one blanket, a pillow and one change of clothes and then I quietly closed their doors.  Oh, and I made sure the change of clothes were matching outfits:)

Oh I could hardly wait for 3:30 to arrive and the little darlings to return from school. The only thing I forgot was the camera to immortalize the looks on their faces when they opened their bedroom doors. I had left a letter to each daughter sitting on her remaining meager pile of belongings. It was a list of the requirements that would have to be met BEFORE I would return their possessions (which I reminded them were graciously provided by me in the first place).  1.  Chores done immediately after school followed by homework.  2.  No bickering with each other and  3.  No backtalk.   I had a calendar on the wall with seven days highlighted in red.  If any of these 3 rules were broken it would add another day to the punishment. 

So, they sat in their rooms (staring at their blank walls) and discussing just how crazy they thought their mother was while I enjoyed the peace and quiet.  Every day it was blissful.  I'd come home to a clean house and total solitude as the alliance withdrew to their rooms in an attempt to punish me with their silence.  Ahhhhhh it hurt so good!  It was the most blissful seven days of my life.  Better than Club Med.  Every day the girls had to wash their outfits for school the next day.  By the end of the week they had started making jokes about their twin attire and all the attention it had received at school.  Oh my, the little darlings were bonding!

On the last day of their sentence I waited until they were at school and proceeded to put their rooms back together.  My mission was accomplished.  I won't say that they never tried to push the limit with me again but I will say that by the time I got to the second warning they wouldn't risk the consequences.  They just weren't quite sure WHAT their crazy mother would do and that's just the way I liked it.


Olga said...

That was a lot of work to make a point, but it sure seemed to work out. I once threw everything I found on my daughter's bedroom floor into garbage bags and toted them into the garage after repeated attempts to get her to clean up. That didn't work nearly as well as the time I cleaned her room myself. For some reason that really punished her and she would clean under the threat of "You do it by tonight or I will do it tomorrow."

kenju said...

Beautiful solution!! I may send this to my daughter, who has boy-girl twins, but she may need this idea for the girl! LOL

marciamayo said...

How funny, Dani, and it worked! I just can't imagine raising twins. You need to write about about just that.

Grandmother Crone said...

You're hysterical (in a funny way).

Linda said...

You are indeed creative. Who would of thought of such, not me. Mine weren't twins but that sibling rivalry nearly drove me crazy. Too bad I was creative enough to think of your solution.

Arkansas Patti said...

A lot of work but creatively clever. When 12, you just have to do what works.
My younger sisters used to fight constantly. My dad got tired, confined them to the same bed room each day after school with no TV, radio or phone. They only had eachother to talk to and after a while, the other began to look pretty good.
I just love creative parenting. Good job.