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The New Swear Jar

I have lost the ability to not sound annoyed when I hear the word, "mom." The kids have perfected the art of making that word sound like nails on a chalkboard. "Mo-o-om." It somehow has three (drink) syllables. At least. I can't deal anymore. I literally cringe which makes my answer sound doubly irritated. Which I am.

I've turned into a monster. They often back away from me, fear written on their faces. Sometimes they apologize before I have a chance to snap at them, "Moo-o-o-om, I'm really sorry, but can I have some milk?" This is what it's come to. My kids are scared of me. Then Paige sent me this.

Genius. I would do it, but I'm too lazy do deal with actually enforcing it. I can barely get them to bring their plates to the sink much less go ALL THE WAY upstairs to procure a quarter for the Mom Jar. I can hear it all now, "no, Eleanor, that's a dime. The big one is the quarter." And then there would be a temper tantrum to repeat the arduous walk back up. Not worth the hundred bucks I'd easily make in a day. There's a price tag on this mom's sanity. But props to the Tik Tok mom.

For this reason, among others, our decision to send them back to school came easily. Our district has graciously offered (drink) families the option of remote or in-person learning. In addition to the wrath of mom, we opted for in-person on the basis that we don't have health concerns, our kids might kill each other if this continues, and we need to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives professionally. I know the decision didn't come as easily to many, and believe me, it's not one we took lightly. The obvious concern is health, but I'm also not thrilled with the new normal, specifically, the (drink) idea of the kids wearing a mask for seven hours a day. But then my mom said something (as she often does) that hit home. "Kids are adaptable." She's right. Kids have an amazing ability to accept and adapt. Just the other day, I took them back to school shopping and they didn't complain about their masks once. Seven stores, lots of deliberation, and 5,000 pairs of leggings purchased, and not one complain. Shocking.

Sometimes I wonder if we project too much of our anxiety and fears onto our kids. Had I bitched and moaned that my mask was itchy and hot (which quite frankly it kind of was), surely they would have followed suit. It’s no easy feat sometimes, but in the days leading up to the much anticipated first day of school, I’m planning to trust that they will be fine and just let (drink) it unfold. Plus, they're way better off sucking up the mask situation than dealing with me for days on end. I may be able to dial down the back-to-school anxiety, but my response to Mo-o-omm can no longer be tamed.

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