This was all I said to Daughter 2--a verbal reminder to complete the one task she has to do every single day. And that was all it took for the whining, crying and blubbering to begin.
"But, Momma!" she sobbed, "I don't like to do that! You're so mean to make me do that! My friend doesn't have to do this!"
Her friend doesn't have cats.
I didn't respond. I knew if I engaged her, it could very well be hours before she cleaned out the litter box. Without my arguments, she would eventually have to stop talking. And she did.
Instead she began making loud, obnoxious, crying sounds. "Waaaaaaaaaah! [deep suck of breath] Waaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaah!" This sound went on and on and on as she scooped cat poop.
The sound continued to come from her little body as she walked through the living room where her sister and I were working on homework. (No we weren't--we were on the interwebz.)
The sound continued as she went into the garage and out to the trash container. Since she shut the door behind her, she had to up her volume quite a bit louder in order for me to hear her.
Then it stopped. I thought nothing of it. She's a social butterfly. She probably stopped to visit with our next-door neighbors, The Gates: Bob, not Bill. Or maybe she was chatting it up with Mrs. Nelson who makes cookies for our family on a regular basis--YUM! Or maybe she was on her scooter racing up and down the new neighbor's extra-steep driveway.
And all of a sudden the "Waaaaaaaaaaah! [deep suck of breath] Waaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah" started again and was getting louder. Apparently she was coming back in. The garage door flew open and the "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah"s got really loud. Then ... Then?
The she was yelling at me, "Momma! I am bleeding to death and you're doing nothing about it!"
I looked and while she wasn't bleeding to death, she was bleeding. Her ankle, knee, elbow, pinky toe and thigh were banged up really bad.
As I washed her wounds and dried her very real tears, she said, "Momma, why didn't you come help me when I crashed my scooter?"
I said, "Let me tell you a story called 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf.'"
"Is this going to teach me a lesson?" she sniffed.
"You betcha," I nodded.
"Never mind," she said, "I'll quietly clean out the cat box from now on."