I Loves Me Some Poetic Justice
It's really hard to find that balance. And even when I'm fairly certain that I've made the right choice, I find myself second guessing my decisions.
But sometimes, life takes the matter out of our hands and makes the point far more effectively than we ever could.
Those are the moments we parents live for.
One of Pubescent One's household chores is litter box maintenance; scooping and changing. Despite being told numerous times that if the litter box is not clean, the cats will find other places to do their business and then being made to clean up said business when one of them does, in fact, do their business elsewhere...he procrastinates as long as he possibly can.
This evening, after hounding Pubescent One for three days to change the litter boxes, I found a pile of wayward business on the laundry room floor.
Angry, I roused him from the couch and demanded that he do the job NOW.
He stayed home from school today with a cough and fever. He made much of this, of course, asserting that he was far too ill to do any kind of domestic labor. Further, I must be the most cruel, heartless mother on the face of the planet to make a sick child work.
He gave a dramatic KAWF. KAWF. and a hearty Sccchhhhhnerrrrrrk to illustrate his point.
Oh. The Drama.
He reluctantly set about cleaning the litter boxes. After he had emptied and scrubbed them, he was plum wore out. He decided that in his weakened condition, it would be a good idea to take a "break" before finishing the Herculean task of putting in the liners and dumping litter into them.
Three hours later, I realized he was still on the couch.
I sent him back into the laundry room grumbling and complaining. Seconds later I heard an audible gasp followed by a muffled curse.
He reappeared in the living room, red faced and huffing with indignation.
"MOM! The cat PEED on my ABERCROMBIE jacket!!"
His voice was faintly tinged with hysteria, the coat being one of his most prized posessions.
I realized I had been handed a gift; a twofold lesson for my attitudinous adolescent, the indignation of which would stay with him far longer than any harping, carping or lecturing from me.
Lesson #1. Don't discombobulate the pee pee receptacle for extended periods of time.
Lesson #2. Hang up your coat.
I couldn't hide the small smile that stole to my lips. Pubescent One was outraged.
"You think this is FUNNY!" he accused.
"No...I don't think it's funny. I think it's poetic justice."
"What's that supposed to mean?" he growled.
"It means you learned your lesson without me having to pee on your coat myself."
"But effective, Dude. I'll have to remember that pee really makes an impression on you."
He rolled his eyes heavenward and retreated back into the kitchen. I heard him scolding the cat, who then stalked through the living room with head and tail held high, clearly unrepentant. The unruffled feline looked at me with a most human expression upon his whiskered face. It was bored indifference. If he had posessed shoulders, he would have shrugged.
"What did he expect?" the expression said.
What indeed, cat, what indeed.
I patted him on the head and watched his eyes slit with pleasure. A low rumble started deep in his chest. He flopped onto the floor and waited imperiously for more rubbing to commence.
He seemed to know he had done something useful. Perhaps, he even appreciated the irony of his retribution.