I just came back from a long weekend at Disney World with several other families. I like to be around other families with kids. They help me realize that all 'tweens are hormonally pumped and prone to going from excited to miserable to bored to happy to morose to loving within about 2.67 seconds.
It dawned on us that we could make up a pretty good drinking game with our kids - you know, every time someone whines about bedtime you drink a shot, and every time someone tells you you're mean you take another. But we realized we'd all be falling down drunk all of the time, which isn't conducive to decent parenting.
So here's a parental drinking game with a twist - every time your kid does one of the following, you reward yourself. It's a win win situation. The kids are still rotten, but you're too pampered to care:
* Whenever your kid says "I want" or "Can I have" or "You have to buy me," eat an M&M. (Make sure you've bought the extra-large bag. You should go through it in about three days.)
* If you ask your child to do something and she replies along the lines of "just a minute" or "I'll do it later," give yourself a five-minute internet break. (These can be saved up and used together.)
* If your preteen daughter says she hates her hair, put $5 in a jar. You should have your next family vacation paid for in a month.
* Every time you find a piece of outgrown clothing that still has tags on it, donate it to charity and buy yourself something brand new. You deserve it - and you know you'll actually wear it.
* Each time an expensive item gets misplaced (Ipod, Nintendo DS, etc.), book yourself a manicure.
* Give yourself a cookie every time your child says "I need help with my homework!" If it's said in a whining tone, make sure the cookie is chocolate.
* Whenever your child complains about the dinner you prepared, plan on going out to dinner the very next night. Leave the kids at home with a mean babysitter and a box of Kraft mac and cheese.
* Count the stuffed animals. Put aside a dollar for each one you find. You and your spouse should be able to afford a luxury vacation (sans kids) by Wednesday.
* If your child proclaims that you are the meanest mom ever, book a full body massage. You've earned it.
* If you manage to go a week without yelling, run to the nearest emergency room. Something is obviously wrong with your children and they should be checked out immediately.
* If your spouse suggests that the kids would be much better behaved if he were in charge, roll your eyes. Then book yourself a weekend away at an expensive resort, so he gets a taste of time alone with the little darlings and you get a taste of time alone.