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The wicked step(grand)mother?

One of the big changes around here with my being relegated to an observer role in family life is that Tish will be taking charge of discipline and order around this zoo. If the boys thought I was a taskmaster, wait til they get a load a ol' Grammo.

I worked hard getting Tio to take his responsibilities seriously, I've been pushing like crazy for Doc to stop lying, and made deals to get Kit to behave better with his dad. In each of these situations (and more) it's always been a fluid negotiation - a little carrot, a bit of stick, some backpedalling, and a few reboots. Through it all we move forward one lurch at a time - slower than I'd like, but not so much that it can't be measured.

Grammo has no such patience and while taking care of me through chemo she'll have even less. She won't be playing the loving soccer mom, she won't let me do it, and Buddy either isn't around or can't get organized enough to be relied on consistently. She won't mind if they don't get rides to sports, dances or the park, isn't concerned if they have any computer, TV or other privileges, couldn't care less if they have friends over or go on sleepovers. If they want anything, they'll have to earn it.

I've told them to get prepared. But I think it's only this week that they are starting to get an inkling of what it means. Tio lost a week's worth of computer time for not taking out the trash and she's showing some sharp teeth to Kit on school mornings when he decides to make a fuss over nothing.

They come to me for help but I'm not going to intervene. We've made their lives pretty good for the past two years. I guess it's time for them to step up and show us what they've learned. If they are too stupid or lazy to live up to the expectations they've been taught, then they'll face some harsh reality.

Personally, I think it's a good thing. At ages 11 and 13 let's see if they want to be treated like little boys or respected like young men.