It occurred to me- OKAY, it didn't actually occur to me- it was Phinny saying, "I'm so saaad, because I never get anything I want!" that, occasionally it might actually suck for them too.
Mostly I like to tell them stories about walking uphill both ways to my one-room crulehouse as a child, and threaten them with replacing all their toys with a soccer ball made of loosely-woven plastic bags, but ONCE in a while, I have to look at the situation and wonder, how ultra pissed would I be if I was them?
Imagine being the subject in this scenario (You are the child. I mean, in this scenario):
"Mama, can I have a popsicle?"
"NO." And then some tall person hands you a motherflocking carrot instead.
Seriously. The indignity. If I were a kid and my mother ever did that to me, I would sharpen that carrot stick into a shiv and sink it into her jugular.
And now, this is happening to a kid like fifty times a day. And there's nothing they can do about.
"You have to take a bath."
"You have to go to school. Now."
"Put your shoes on...." (5 minutes pass)..."Put your shoes on please"....2 minutes..."OH MY GOD, WHY ARE YOUR SHOES NOT ON?"... 1 minute and a dazzling Lego contraption that has been the subject of attention while ignoring about the shoes..."Look, mama!" Cue the voice of Satan, "THAT IS COOL! But now I have to take all your shoes away! Those neat little helicopter TOMS you love? Gone. They are going to Africa where a child will appreciate them! If you want shoes from here on out, you can sign up to receive TOMS from the TOMS company because you will be a shoeless child who needs shoes. Because I am taking all your shoes away. Okay? Forget putting on shoes. You have no shoes. Write to the company."
If Jules even tries to ask me to empty the dishwasher, I'm all "Don't tell me what to do!" yet I mete out directives all day long to these poor tiny people who just want to, you know, watch TV and be delivered a steady stream of snacks.
I feel bad. I need to pay more attention to what it feels like to be bossed all day long and have compassion for that, right? I need to walk a mile in their shoes. But I can't BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO SHOES BECAUSE I TOOK THEM AWAY FROM THOSE ENTITLED LITTLE CRETINS, and they will not get them back until they do what I say.