Did you hear me? Did you HEAR me?
Well, naturally, if you're a parent, you ARE repeating yourself. You Are repeating yourself. (heh. heh.) It's part of the job description. You'll find "Must have the ability to repeat oneself a minimum of 3 times per request with the potential to increase that repetition to 24 times per request" listed just underneath the qualifications of "Ability to use the restroom with an infant in your right hand, and a foot against the door to prevent a toddler from opening the public restroom door" and "Must Have Sense of Humor that rivals Steve Martin." So, I've said it 3 times now; We're repeating ourselves, yes?
I used to think it was me. That I was the problem. That maybe, just maybe, if I were a better mom, I could get my children to respond to gentle reminders and kind requests. Just like Michelle Duggar! (I want to know the real scoop behind those scenes. Do they EVER raise their voices? What if one of their 19 kids is dangling a baby sibling from the railings that run their second story? What if Little J has taken a permanent marker to all of the computer screens that the kids use for schoolwork? Do they just use their sweet and peaceful reminders to be good people and to please not drop their sibling over the railing? What then?!?)
I ALWAYS ask nicely. Always! The first time, I might say "Hey Kiddos, please bring this laundry upstairs and put it in your drawers." This request is met with the backs of their heads gently swaying in time to the theme song of iCarly. Ok, ok. My bad! Make sure the boob tube is off before trying to get their attention! I pause the show and begin to repeat the above sentence but before the word "kiddo" escapes my mouth, I am met with the indignant shouts of 3 children whose spidey senses are tingling; they KNOW they are about to be told to do something unpleasant.
"AHEM! Please bring this laundry upstairs and put it away." I then hold out the piles. And wait. And stare into their blue and brown eyes. And wait.
"Guys. GUUUyyyysss!! Please bring this upstairs. NOW." Slightly stern voice and a shorter sentence, but still using a courteous "please". Several situations will erupt at once. One child will dissolve into a mass of molten lava, loudly claiming he/she is Tooooo Tiiiiiired to climb the stairs and put the underwear away. Another child will insist that he needs to finish watching this show because it's New! and I Just Don't Understand How Important It Is! Meanwhile, the 3rd child will either begin feigning sleep or join in the cacophony with a whine that would rival Fran Drescher.
"NOW! I said NOW! Everyone march upstairs and put this away or privileges are getting taken away! I don't CARE if that is the NEWEST and BEST show EVER. It is PAUSED. It will be there when you get down but it WILL NOT BE ON if you have one more complaint about putting away a tiny bit of laundry!!! GET! GET! GET!"
Shrieking, banshee Mommy. That's what you need to envision. A horrid, scary-faced, mother you would see on Supernanny. A mom who is SO fed up that her kids won't just DO a simple chore without absolute resistance. Especially since THIS mom DOES follow through! I DO take away their privileges when they voice another complaint! And, even knowing that I mean business, they STILL voice those complaints!!
Where did I go wrong? In asking for help in a small chore that is putting away their OWN clothing, I am met with such resistance? And EVERY time?!? Like I said, I used to think it was me. Until I would witness other women saying the exact same things as I do. Women in stores; women at parks. Women by schools; women in their homes. All of us mothers, and all of us saying the same things, over and over and over.
Which brings me back to my original point. Again.(heh) I KNOW that I am repeating myself. All. The. Time. But what wasn't clear to me was that sometimes I repeat myself and there isn't a child around to blame. (I think that this constant repetition within Motherhood is rotting my brain...) See that picture up above? With the dirty kid feet? Yeah. That picture "inspired" me to write a post about dirty feet equaling a happy child. A carefree child that spends ample time running through fields and climbing trees... It was really quite an endearing post, actually! Only problem is that I ALREADY WROTE THAT POST. 2 years ago. You can find it here, as I am NOT repeating myself anymore. I'm not.