I don't think I'm alone in this, but sometimes, I feel like I'm living in one of those dreams where you're screaming as loud as you can but no sound comes out of your mouth. Because when I talk to my kids, it's like I'm speaking into a vacuum. Talking into a void. Clearly, they don't hear me when I ask them to do stuff.
For example, here's what a typical morning sounds like in my house:
Me: "Okay, babe, it's time to get ready for school. Please put your pants on."
The three-year-old responds by dancing around the room, singing "Let It Go" from Frozen.
Me (holding up the pants): "Please put your pants on, honey. I have to go to work. I'm going to miss my train."
The three-year-old picks up a book from her bedside table and starts leafing through it. Meanwhile, the toddler wanders idly into her bedroom and tries to grab the book away from her, yelling, "No, MIIIINNNE!"
Me (to the toddler): "Give that book back!" (then to the three-year-old) "WHAT did I ASK you to DO? Put your pants on, PLEASE!"
"Noooo, I'm reading that!" the three-year-old yells back, wrenching the book away from the toddler and knocking her off balance. The toddler, predictably, falls on her butt and starts to wail. "MAMAAAAA!"
Me (as the three-year-old picks up a stuffed animal to play with and the toddler tries to climb into my lap to be comforted): "PUT YOUR PANTS ON!"
Now, not only am I yelling at my kids (which, of course, instantly makes me feel guilty), I'm also late for work. But most of all, I'm in a state of frustration, wondering, Why this is so hard? Why doesn't anyone LISTEN to me?
I honestly wonder, sometimes, if I'm actually speaking out loud. If a mom yells in a forest, does it make a sound?
I hope this is just a phase; that the constant repetition and commitment to routine will one day pay off with polite, intelligent children who listen and respond to adults in a thoughtful manner. But a larger, more pessimistic part of me fears this is just an early harbinger of the teenage years.
Do you hear what I'm saying?