I know good parenting is essentially about routine, but I am so over repeating the same things over and over again.
Except for, “Shhh…stop…was that footsteps?” I don’t mind saying that. In fact, I really like if the situation arrises where I have the opportunity to ask that a lot. But that can’t be every day, apparently.
1 “Off to bed.”
This sentence cannot be heard over the sound of the telly or even the page of a book. The announcement of bedtime is, eventually, like the call for final drinks at a pub. Suddenly there’s a flurry of activity, everyone is trying to get the barman’s/parent’s attention and everyone hunkers down for some important discussions for the next hour, refusing to go off to bed. Add to this, despite years of being sent to bed at the same time as their younger siblings, the older kids assume I’m not talking to them when I say this, and the younger kids act like these are words in an order they haven’t been taught yet. Even if they make it to the bedroom, the sight of their pillows usually only serves as a reminder they need a drink, to pee or to finish homework.
2. “Who’s first in the shower?”
Why do I even ask? No one ever wants to go first. Or second. Or third. The way around this is to call the whole process something different – bath time. It’s funny how showers and baths both involve water and getting clean, but they are polar opposites in terms of how my kids approach them. Getting them to go take a shower requires multiple prompts increasing in volume and accompanying threats, whereas they’ll jump into a bathtub before I put the plug in.
3 “Please pick that up.”
My kids treat this sentence like a hollaback. We did a similar thing sitting in the stands supporting our footy team at school. What do we want? Six points! When do we want it? Now! Whereas me and my kids go with: Pick that up. I’m still playing with it! Pick that up too. It’s not mine!
4 “Someone answer the phone!”
What the hell has happened to the world when there isn’t a stampede of people fighting their way through the kitchen whenever the phone rings? It’s only the last couple of years, but we’ve noticed a huge change in attitude towards the ringing of our landline. Suddenly, it’s the Warwick Capper of communication. No one wants anything to do with it anymore.
5. “Are you getting out of the car?”
On no occasion have I parked the car in the carport then told the kids to stay seated while I’ve gone up to watch telly and check emails. Why I have to ask them to get out of the car is beyond me, because we’ve lived on the same street in the same house for twenty years. I have to repeat over and over the whole concept of heading inside to them otherwise there’s every chance I’ll stand outside the car with the keys in my hands for, potentially, hours. Or at least until one or more of them needs to pee – so bedtime.
If I’ve missed your personal ‘favourite’ feel free to add it to the comments.
Raising a family on little more than laughs