Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Round and Round

You know all the childhood songs that tell a story in about forty verses, then start all over again? Like "There's a Hole in the Bucket," "Found a Peanut," and numerous other songs that make you want to poke your eyes out with a sharp stick?

That's what it's like trying to rationalize with my children.

I have always tried to be a parent who taught my children like they were people. As a pre-parent, I swore I would never use the answer, "Because I said so." Like most vows I made as a pre-parent, I have eaten those words more than I care to remember.

I want to teach my children to think and be able to talk to adults. It's a work in progress. And progress is v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w.

Let me share an actual conversation:

ME:  I need you to put your dishes away, please.

CHILD:  But those aren't mine.

ME: Well, I need you to pick those up, please, and put them away.

CHILD:  I already put mine away.

ME:  Okay, but can you please put those away, too?

CHILD: But they aren't mine.

ME: I KNOW! YOU SAID THAT! Please put them away anyway.

CHILD: But, I put mine away already. I didn't even drink tea. And I don't like that kind of macaroni-and-cheese.


CHILD:  But, Mom, they. aren't. mine.

ME: If you don't put those dishes away right now, you are grounded for the rest of your life.

CHILD: If I'm grounded, do I have to put away the dishes?

ME: Yes. Yes, you will have to put away all the dishes in the world.

CHILD: That's not fair.

ME: Life's not fair. Just pick up the dishes and put them away.

CHILD: Why? They aren't mine.

ME: Because I said so.

CHILD: But I put my dishes away already...


Now do this a thousand times a day with each child, every single day of your natural born life. Then you will see why margaritas are Mommy's friend...

And you will also see that I have already blessed my children with "The Mother's Curse:"   "May you have children just like you one day."

Maybe one day they'll even pick up the dishes... *sigh*

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