Dear children of this house,
Your world is about to change. Drastically.
No longer will you be allowed to play off the exhaustion of your mother to avoid your homework, your chores, your dinner, or your bedtime. I have called in reinforcements, and after years of semi-patiently waiting, your father has finally been moved to 1st shift.
So when you get home from school on Monday, be prepared. Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. And be prepared to change and adapt. Quickly. This will be key to your survival.
Your father has not been worn down by the past 3 unrelenting years of your antics. He will not be amused by your "art projects" that involve no fewer than 243 individual pieces of paper that you tore out of the notebook we literally bought you last month to use for school. Nor will he find it endearing when you all pitch a fit and whine and ask for something different for dinner despite the fact that I am literally in the process of putting food on your plates. When the four of you cover the entire floor of the den with blocks and Lego's and other random crap and fight over who gets to watch what on the TV, he will not just roll his eyes and sigh and walk away to the sanctuary of our bedroom and leave you to it. When you get out of the tub or shower soaking wet without a thought to the towel that I thoughtfully placed next to the shower door, he will not just ignore the wet carpet left in your wake as you streak through the house.
Your back-talk, bad attitudes, whining, fighting and choruses of "Not Fair's" will not be met with the cheery sarcasm that you are accustomed to from me -- your dad will not put up with any of that crap. Back-talk and whining are as much of your daily routine as eating and sleeping, so this will take some getting used to. You should probably just go ahead and prepare yourselves to be stripped of privileges like video game time, TV time, desserts, and play dates.
Losing the remote for hours or days on end will no longer be tolerated -- in fact, don't even worry about this one. It won't even be possible for you to lose the remote because your father is not going to let you even touch the remote.
If your dad sees you flood the bathroom; or spill an entire jumbo-sized box of cereal; or write on a wall, a chair, a table, or ANYTHING other than paper, he won't take a picture and post it on Facebook like I would. No, there will most likely be a little yelling, followed by a lecture, and possibly a spanking involved, depending upon the severity of the damage you caused. And he will make you clean it up.
When your dad tells you to do your homework, you had best just sit down and do it. Getting up 14 times in a half an hour, whining that you need a break, that you're hungry or thirsty, etc. will carry little weight with him. You are not writing a thesis. You have never had a homework assignment that SHOULD have taken more than an hour to complete, and your dad will expect you to sit down and do it. Period. No discussion.
At bedtime, your dad will tell you to brush your teeth and go to bed just like I do now. However, he will not allow you to take up to 30 minutes to brush your teeth and get into the bed only to endure your French farce-like behavior where you bed-hop for at least another half hour. If you get up after he puts you down for the night, you had better really need to pee or be reporting a life-threatening situation. This is a very important adjustment for you to all make. Your dad will need to get up no later than 4:30 in the morning to get to work for his new shift, and he will be going to bed shortly after you do. It would not be wise for you to keep him up. Not wise at all.
I hope that you are listening to this. I hope that you heed these warnings I am giving you. I hope that your survival instincts kick in and you adapt to this new environment. Because although I love you all very much, you will not get much sympathy from me if you fail adjust your behavior. When your dad is reading you the riot act, I will be nodding in agreement behind him. I've tried for years to get you to behave like normal kids with limited success, now I am bringing in the big guns and you are on your own.
Your Overworked Mom