Saturday started like any other day. Snow on the ground, stuff to do, and Jenna chirping about wanting a play date. Actually not chirping. Relentlessly begging. She wanted to play outside in the snow (it was in the 20’s with very fine, non-snowball-snow). Whatever.
Me: You can play outside when you’ve cleaned your room.
Jenna: (Shrieking) Why? It’s not that messy. Emily is waiting for me. I wanna go out nooowwww.
Me: Nope. Get it done.
Meanwhile, Claire is hanging around, bunning up for ballet and getting dressed. I hear she and Jenna talking. Jenna is asking for Claire to clean her room. I don’t pay attention to the rest.
This is not a particularly unusual conversation in our house. Occasionally one of the girls will pay the other to clean their room. This is not typically a great idea for obvious reasons. (The paid child doesn’t usually do a good enough job and messy room child is mad they’re out $$ for shoddy work.)
Now, keep in mind, I didn’t hear most of their conversation. About 15 minutes goes by and I walk by Jenna’s room. Still a disaster. And Jenna is outside.
So I yell out for her to get back in because her room isn’t done. She screams that Claire said she’d clean it. I find Claire, who insists that she never said that. So I get Jenna who is hollering YES SHE DID.
I get both girls in the same place for the following screaming match. I mean conversation.
Me: Claire, Jenna says you were to clean her room.
Claire: I didn’t say that. I said I would HELP her clean her room.
Jenna: YOU’RE LYING. You said you would clean it for me.
Claire: No I didn’t. I said I would help her.
Jenna: YOU’RE LYING!!! MOM SHE’S LYING!!!
Of course this is said with many tears at a very high volume.
Naturally, Jenna had to go to her room to clean, all while having a tantrum, stopping, yelling, etc. She does not like to be “wronged”. Claire was insisting that she didn’t say she’d clean her room. The whole thing sounded fishy. Eventually the room got “cleaned” and it quieted down.
The rest of the afternoon, Jenna would get digs in at Claire about lying. For the record, I didn’t hear their clean-the-room deal. But I know there wasn’t any talk about payment for cleaning said room. I find it very peculiar that Claire would agree to clean the room. But just as peculiar is Claire saying she’d help Jenna. Hmmmm. A mystery.
Then comes Sunday. They girls and I decide to head out to breakfast. I hear Jenna say “Claire, you need to brush your teeth. Mommy said.” My mind didn’t register that this was odd. Claire is meticulous about her grooming. Jenna not so much. Why was Jenna prompting Claire?
About 10 seconds later, I find out. Claire comes running into my bathroom spitting and screaming.
Claire: SHE PUT SOAP IN MY TOOTHBRUSH!!!! Arrgghhhhhh.
Jenna (standing in bathroom doorway with arms crossed): Well you lied about my room yesterday.
Then I messed up.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. Jenna laughed too. Claire? Wasn’t laughing at all with the taste of soap in her mouth.
I muttered something about lying and not being nice and respect or something. It wasn’t my finest parenting moment. Oy.