Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Five Things I'm Tired of Hearing Myself Say

Sometimes it worries me that my kids are only one and three years old. Because there's a WHOLE lot of parenting to go before I can unleash them on the world....

In honour of my fractious children, for today's post, I give you five things that I'm seriously tired of hearing myself say to my kids.

1. "No!"/"Don't..."/"Stop..."—This is pretty much a given for the early years, particularly with my over-confident and exploratory one-year-old. Her favourite activities are taking stuff out of stuff (for example, the entire contents out of my pantry) and destroying things. (Even the three-year-old now calls her "Destruct-or". My bad.). So I'm pretty sure I'll be saying this one in my sleep for at least the next five years.

2. "Listen!"—which is often followed closely by, "Focus!" I say this daily to my three-year-old when I'm trying to get her to do a particular task (brush her teeth, put on her socks, etc.) while she blithely continues whatever random activity has newly diverted her attention. Sigh.

3. "Sit!"—It does concern me that I may be treating my kids like puppies, given how often I tell them to "sit!" and "stay!" I don't feel so badly about the one-year-old, with her propensity to try to climb out of the slippery bathtub or plunge to the floor by rolling off the change table. But I also find myself saying this at just about every meal time, as my three-year-old squirms in and out of her chair, turns around, looks out the window....

4. "How do we ASK for something?"—This is our not-so-terribly-clever way of reminding our three-year-old to say "please" when she wants something. It boggles my mind that we have been drilling "please" and "thank you" into her head for the past three years, but she still needs to be reminded all the time. Yet she can recite entire books and a litany of songs from memory. Clearly, memory is selective.

5. "Go to bed!"—Seriously. Just do it. I've brought you a drink of water and your favourite stuffed animal. I read you a book, sang you a song and rubbed your back. You're obviously tired, so why are you fighting me on this one? I'll tell you what: how about YOU stay up and do the dishes, and I'll go to bed early....

As you'll notice from the entries above, many of my daily utterances to my children are one-word admonishments. I'm a little worried that, by the time my kids leave home, I won't have anything meaningful to contribute to adult conversation. 

However tempting it is to remind an adult, "How do we ASK for something?", I should probably work on expanding my vocabulary.

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