Another day, another battle of getting my kids upstairs after breakfast to brush their teeth, get dressed and make their beds. It's really just me against my oldest, as the other two usually follow his lead. Typical, surrounding himself with yes-men.
I always win, but the war wounds are taking their toll and I am growing battle weary. Today, I initiated an unusual strategy in the hopes of catching the leader off guard. When my darling Frank (he does things his way, remember) ignored my fifth "Time to go upstairs" call by hiding his head under the pillow on the sofa, I saw an opportunity. I started playing paddywhack on his raised rear-end and saying, "Upstairsupstairsupstairs." I was relentless. I spit out the word like rapid fire, alternating between drum rolling his behind and tickling him all over. I paused only for some deep breaths and to occasionally let him know I would stop once he went upstairs. His Second-in-Command tried to provide cover by sitting on the other side of the sofa and offering me his feet. I gave him a few tickles, but would not be distracted and kept focus on the real target. After five minutes, I knew I had to ramp up my offense, otherwise this was going to go south quickly. I slowly starting wrangling my enemy off the sofa and then dragged him few feet on the floor before pulling him up by his ankles. Twice I barked, "Do you yield?", but the combatant refused to answer. I carried him a few more feet and the staircase was in sight. I could taste sweet victory. The Second-in-Command was lost without clear guidance from his leader and just lay on the sofa waiting to see what his fate would be. The youngest of the group had clearly gone AWOL.
In one last desperate surge I put my opponent down on the floor and pulled his pajamas off his wriggling body. For the first time since the battle began, he looked me straight in the eyes. At that moment, we both knew I had won. He scrambled to stand and retreated bare-bottomed up the stairs. The youngest suddenly surfaced like she had been under camouflage in the kitchen. I just raise my finger toward the heavens and up she went. I double-backed to the sofa and hauled the last of the rebels over my shoulder. No struggle, no words of protest. He knew resistance was futile.
It wasn't the first battle waged in this house and I know it won't be the last. If there is anything I want my children to learn from this, it's that they should never underestimate me. I am Mother, Commander-in-Chief, and I take no prisoners.