I've heard Son and Daughters whisper it often; "Our mommy is the meanest mommy of all." In fact, today, when I called the children to dinner (and it was in the gentlest of tones as they were all close by), Daughter #1 said, "Mom, can you ask us in your normal strict way?"
I was confused and said, "Come to dinner NOW," but in a quiet voice.
"NO mommy. Like STRICT. You know. YELL at us," she coached.
"What? Why do you want me to do that?" I asked.
"We're playing the meanest mommy in the world and you're it," she explained.
I deliberately reined in my temper and said, "Children, please come to dinner now or forget about eating."
"MOM! That isn't STRICT!" she said, fully exasperated.
"Strict is this. If you don't come and eat your meal right now, I'm not feeding you, " I said firmly, but quietly.
With a stomping of feet she finally sat down to her meal.
For some reason, she equates strict with yelling, and admittedly when I do yell, I can be perceived as strict (and/or mean.) But that's not when I'm really the meanest. It's not the yelling that makes me mean. I can think of far meaner things that I do.
For example, just yesterday I noticed that Daughter #2 (who is on spring break) and Son were remarkably quiet and calm while I was cooking dinner. In fact they were so quiet and so without any sound I worried that they were getting into serious mischief so I poked my head out only to find the two of them GLUED to their Leapsters. They weren't talking to each other, they weren't fighting, but they were only interacting with the game in front of their face. Their eyes had the glazed look of children who had been playing with digital media too long. In recent weeks, I also noticed that Son had given up playing with his toys, and instead been playing only with the Leapster. When I saw the two of them sprawled on the floor like that, I decided that I would just take them away, no announcement. In the night, while the Son and Daughters were sleeping, I quietly stepped through the house, picking up all the Leapsters, their corresponding games and took them into my office and put them high upon the shelf.
In the morning Son briefly looked for it, but then was distracted by his other toys. Daughter started reading a few books and didn't even think to ask. In the afternoon however, Son spied it on the top shelf in my office (bad mommy move here) and began to whine for his "game." I didn't tolerate the whining and I said that the games weren't going to come out for a while. He threw a massive temper tantrum and then Daughter #2 came in to see what the fuss was.
"Why can't we have the games mommy?" she asked once she deciphered what her younger brother was screeching about.
"You guys need to do OTHER stuff besides the games," I replied calmly while trying to ignore the banshee yells from Son.
"Okay mommy," and she shrugged her shoulders and walked out.
Son, on the other hand continued his crazed crying and shrieking and once or twice I heard him yelp, "You're MEAN mommy."
Yeah, well, I'm mean. I own it. I claim it. It's mine. I'm not scared of being the mean mommy. I turned to him calmly and said, "Yes I am. Now you know it."
To soothe my ruffled, mean feathers, I decided to make and eat this....a cooling, refreshing lime cilantro slaw. I love all the colors of green, the splash of purple and orange and the way this slaw makes everything seem to taste good. It is not a mayonnaise based slaw so it is lighter and more clean tasting. It's the perfect foil to a lot of dishes (like potato salad and ribs) and I can say, not only am I a mean mommy, I make a mean slaw.
I'm just mean, all around.
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
Serves 5 to 6
6 cups of cabbage, shredded. (about 1/2 a head of a good sized cabbage)
1 cup of carrots, julienne
¾ cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (between 2 and 3 limes)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Place cabbage, carrots, cilantro and onion iin a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Set aside. 15 minutes before serving, toss all vegetables together with dressing.