My children are professional children.   I am an amateur – yet motivated – mother.  To say that the head butting in this house makes Elks look like they are giving love taps is more in line with the truth than anything else.  And we are all girls.

Recently I have been dealing with the new dramas of a 6 year old, the bossiness of a 5 year and the “I am the baby, hear me whine!” 3 year old.  And all of the online reasearch in the world has not been able to drown out the complete confusion as to how to handle the onslaught of all of their “challenges” when they hit me with them at the same time.  Really, it is overwhelming sometimes.

The other day I promised them I would take them to Chuck E. Cheese.  Now, though spending $50 to let kids win enough tickets to get a $.25 cent toy does not seem like something I should be doing right now, Chuck E. Cheese affords me the luxury of being an awesome mom….  for at least the first hour.

So I buy the package, get the veggies off the salad bar that I require my kids to eat with their pizza and hand each kids a cup with 5 coins.  I ration so that they don’t give them all to their ‘new friends’.  It has happened.

I watch them play while we wait for the pizza, Megan is happily riding the blue train right in front of me… over and over and over again, Katie has made friends at the air hockey table and Sarah is racking up the tickets at Skee Ball.  I sit back and watch, relishing in that I have three beautiful girls and they are getting to be kids.  Time passes, they do the standard run by the table for bites of pizza, grab more coins and head back out to the wilderness that is Las Vegas for kids, and I follow them around sometimes, sit others and contemplate time to leave.

Yes, I typed it.  TIME TO LEAVE.

Much like when an adult has to catch their flight from Vegas home – tired, overly stimulated, their bodies in adrenaline heaven – kids take leaving Chuck E. Cheese about the same way.  At least mine do.  Despite the 15 minutes of warnings, explanations that we are almost out of coins and sweet smiles of understanding, a disaster is still imminent.

Knowing this ahead of time, I have 2 choices.  I can sigh with defeat prior to the announcement knowing that I will drag 3 tired kids out kicking and screaming or I can dig my heels in and say, Challenge Accepted: Bring It On Kids!   I decided to take the challenge head on.

I told the girls it was time to go and, almost in unison, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! filtered through the air, cutting a severed edge through the childhood noises blanketing the place.  I stand firm, no explanations given.  It is time to go.  Period.

Megan wails, Katie pops her hip out and screams, NO! in true 6 year old Diva fashion and Sarah, stubborn as a mule, crosses her arms and sits on the floor, crocodile tears escaping in complete defiance.

I tell Katie and Megan to head to the door and start to pick Sarah up.  She wails back, totally unexpectedly and HITS ME in the arm.

Challenge Accepted, my dear.  You are no match for me!

Calmly – and I really was shocked by how calmly – I picked Sarah up and carried her, my purse, three Chuck E. Cheese cups and my determination out the door.  I even passed the toy counter without stopping explaining that little girls who have issues leaving when it is time do not get toys.

On the way home, the car grew quiet and I looked to see that all three were asleep.  Little angels with innocence in tact.  And I thought, I am really so lucky.  And even though I know their little Diva attitudes are safely tucked away right now, I fully accept and plan on winning as many challenges as I can. And I was proud of myself for taking them, making rules and sticking to them.

Because really, amateur or not, I am standing firm.  Because it is my job.  And I happily take it, challenges and all.

Find more Motherhood Posts at My Recent Writings