It had been nearly six years since my mom has visited Omaha. She decided to brave our 100-plus degree weather this year to stay for a week. As any good mother would do, I worked like a whirling dervish to get our house not just company ready, but Mom ready. Part of that preparation included a
threat reminder to my children to be on their best behavior.
Mom, of course, knows all about my children. She not only reads momaha, but she’s also the one I call when my children have done something so bad I can’t put it in print. She has even witnessed a few monster moments on our trips to her place, but this year it was destined to be different.
Both of the kids were really well-behaved; I like to call it the “Grandma Effect.” I am pretty sure they know exactly what I am doing when I am sitting on the deck, tears streaming down my face and phone pressed to my ear. They know I am crying to my mommy about how rotten they were. So there is little doubt that my two kiddos got together and plotted to be so good that Grandma would at best think I was being overly dramatic and at worst have me committed for my many delusions.
As my children carried out their conspiracy, they said “please” and “thank you.” They didn’t whine. They washed their hands without having to be asked and they treated bedtime like a treat at the end of the day. They had me fooled a few times when I thought maybe this was just a turn and this idealic behavior would continue.
When it was time to say goodbye to Grandma, I had a few things planned to ride this wave of stellar behavior. Adley and I spent a day at the pool and going to a movie. It was a chance for the two of us to hang out without little brother being a big bother.
The next day, Donovan and I had one-on-one time at the Omaha Children’s Museum. He had a blast being able to run around and play like a mad-man!
I didn’t forget about my husband either. That night we dropped the kids off at their other grandparent’s and we attended a great concert with friends.
I was feeling like a good mom. Everyone should have been happy.
And then the weekend happened. There really is no good way to explain it. It was if they had saved up everything naughty and annoying from when Grandma was here and waited to unleash it. By 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, my husband asked if it was too early to send them to bed, and these were popping up on Facebook:
That my friends, is the true “Grandma Effect.” You may think for a couple of days that you have escaped this dreaded phenomenon, but you haven’t. The whining and fighting and mess-making are just dormant. Soon they will unleash upon you like a fury and you too will be hiding in a closet calling out for help on Facebook. Just make sure to hide in the closet where you put your stash of chocolate and booze!
Cat Koehler is married with two children. She works full time. Read her Mondays on momaha.com