I know my kids are not stupid and I realize they are also not geniuses. They are blissfully normal children. Still, I've reached my breaking point over their inability to register the sound of my voice and/or retain information older than two minutes. I recently caught myself saying, "Brush your teeth" to Frank and Duke at least five times over the course of a few minutes while setting out clothes and dressing Phyllis. The boys didn't acknowledge they heard me at all and, sadly, I didn't even hear me. "Oh no," I thought, "I'm the adult in a Charlie Brown special."
This sort of thing happens just about every day at some point. I tell one or more to do something and get no response. Then, he/she/they have the nerve to cry and whine when I get angry, start yelling and take away toys and TV privileges. It's like they're experiencing this situation for the very first time. Really? Really? Do they really not know this??
It's time to go upstairs to get ready for school, which involves getting dressed, making your bed and brushing your teeth. Yes, all three, same as yesterday. Oh, is this the first you're hearing of it? Well, walking up the stairs will help you recover from the shock.
It's dinner time and this is what we're eating. Yes, you must eat it. No, you may not have anything else. I did not know this was new to you. I thought you had dined with us before. My mistake. Good evening. I am your mother and I will be serving you tonight. Our special is Food.
I said, "No." It means the same thing as when I said it 20 seconds ago, 45 seconds before then, another minute before then and so on. It's meaning has not changed nor will it in the future. Should we practice in another language?
When I say, "Get in the car," what I actually want you to do is get in the car. I know it sounds bizarre. You think it means freeze and stare blankly at Mom, but it doesn't. I really mean for you to get on the car...now...time to move...put one foot in front of the other...it's called taking a step. You've done it before. Will it help if I act it out?
Although it may seem to be critical information to you, I do not care whose fault it is. I'm fairly certain both of you are to blame. I do not require further explanation. I just want you to stop. Now. Right now. No more talking. No. Zip it. Shh. Quiet. (I think my head is going to explode.) For all that is decent in this world, stooooooooooooooop.
I'm coming to terms with the dearth of common sense utilized by my children. To them, snow is magical and whether pants or underwear go on first is still confusing. Fine, but I will not go down quietly. And to newbie parents out there, save yourself some headache by knowing this - you may have said it before and you may believe you were perfectly clear, but the little people running around need you to say it just one...two...okay, maybe fifty more times.