I have had it with toddler greed, with kindergartener whining and a baby that thinks she can call the shots around here by pooping and crying whenever she feels like it. I am not going to stand for it anymore. I am starting Occupy My Kitchen.I plan to make a blankie lean-to, a few finger painted signs on cardboard I pull from the recycling bin with slogans like Kitchen is Closed Until Further Notice and There is Nothing Mini About My Van and hold them up as the people I live with walk by. (I'm not sure what that second one means, but it sounds powerful and angry at the same time. I think that's the tone I'm going for. Besides, it's good to be mysterious and cryptic in some of your protest language). Some might not understand what I'm protesting. In fact, the complaint may change by the hour: No more gagging noises when you learn what's for dinner. Don't assume someone else (i.e. me) will pick up those mittens you just dropped on the floor. And don't try to convince me through your manipulation tactics that watching Elmo is your right as a 2-year-old. Your tactics are so passé and I can see right through them. I like the fluidity offered by the Occupy My Kitchen Movement for me to protest whatever feels unjust in my life at the moment. I'm sure there will be a few minutes of protesting car seats in general - I do hate them after all and wish we lived in a bygone era when they were not required. (I'll just choose to ignore the fact that the current laws exist for the safety of my children.) The enforcer, my first-born child who embodies everything first-born, will probably say things like, "But Mom, you're supposed to (fill in the blank with perceived mothering responsibility)." She won't understand my broad, undefined distress about all the things I do that go underappreciated around here. She will try to convince me that closing the kitchen for the day will not be the real change agent I'm searching for. I'll know she's right, but I figure, what can it hurt? To occupy my kitchen that is. I'm already in it, so I might as well use it to roar my mothering voice … at least until it's time to go to piano lessons. Alexandra Kuykendall is editor of Mom and Leader Content for MOPS International, and a regular contributor to MomSense magazine.
********** Published: November 24, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 32