As a parent, it is my responsibility to prepare my children for the world; to mold them into responsible adults. My husband and I do our very best to instill in them honor, values, dignity and a sense of pride for hard work accomplished. It sometimes feels like we are fighting a losing battle.

I've had more fun squeezing out nine pound babies with out any drugs than trying to get my darling children to make their damn beds on a daily basis.

Part of our process into whipping them into mature adults means doling out more responsibilities as they grow older. Fric and Frac now have a list of weekly chores they must finish, as well as their daily chores of making their beds, shoving their dirty laundry in their closets and half-assing their way through the nightly dishes.

Recently, amidst a chorus of complaints that the lunch I pack for them everyday is "too boring" (pack of ingrates...) I relinquished control of this simple chore as well. Now I simply supervise what ever it is they stuff into their lunches, while trying to encourage them to make healthy choices. (Read: Put that damn can of soda back, you aren't taking it for lunch. No, you can't swap a sandwich for a handful of potato chips. I said a piece of fruit, not a piece of pie.)

Yes, mornings are a fun time around here.

This morning I woke up particularly grumpy after tossing and turning all damn night on my lumpy mattress only to wake to discover that I am now suffering the plague. Don't you just love waking up and feeling like a truck has run you down, while your nose won't stop running and you sound like you have been smoking three packs a day for twenty years? Sexy.

My kids, however, were oblivious to the danger signs blinking over my head. (They get that from their father.) As they argued over who was going to have the last chocolate chip cookie I sat at the table wishing for death to take me.

Suddenly, Frac looks over and realizes I feel like crap. He walks over and says "I've got a joke for you, Mom. It'll make you feel better."

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Eyeing him warily, I tell him to proceed. The danger sign over my head is blindingly bright, serving as a homing beacon for UFO's at this point. "Want to see something funny?" he asks?

"Sure," I say. What the hell. Maybe it will cheer me up.

"Go look in a mirror then," he beaks and then runs for safety.

What the little bugger didn't count on was the fact that I may be sick, but I am in fact, still quick. Like lightening. I did what any good mother would do.

I reached into his lunch kit and ate the coveted prize: The last chocolate chip cookie.

While I proceeded to munch on his cookie and explain in great detail just how tasty it was, I spelled out why you should never mess with a woman PMS'ing who didn't sleep well and woke up with the plague. Somethings just aren't worth it.

But I did thank him for the opportunity to teach him an important and useful life lesson.

You poke a bee's nest, be prepared to be stung.

(I know, I ought to be ashamed. Somehow, sadly, I'm not. I like to think I taught him a valuable lesson. Or two. First off, never announce when you have the coveted last cookie. Secondly, never underestimate the lightening quick reactions of those who look funny. Or a cranky, sick mother. The adoption case worker would be so proud. They'll read this and beat a path to my door with small children needing homes. Right??)