Kids are creatures of habit. I am sure there are many reasons behind the psychology of why they repeat the same things over and over, but it can be exhausting for parents. Some days, I feel like my life is the movie Groundhog Day (I know you remember it, with Bill Murray, where the day repeats… over and over and over).
Yep, Groundhog Day. Welcome to parenthood.
Some of my kids’ favorite things to say to me…
“Are we there yet?”
You know you’ve all heard this in the car. Anytime and every time you drive ANYWHERE. We can be taking a long trip, or a 10 minute drive and I swear I hear it within the first two minutes of getting into the car. And if it’s a long car ride, I hear it about 100 more times. “It’s so sweet that kids are so excited to get to their next location with such enthusiasm”- SAID NO PARENT DRIVING A CAR EVER!
Watch this video …
Another favorite of mine…
“Watch me, Mommy. Look. Watch this. Look at me. Look, look, look.”
What is the fascination with kids NEEDING you to watch everything they do? I understand they are proud of what they can do, and their little brains crave validation. But for a mom who is juggling 10 things at once, it’s VERY hard to constantly stare at your child when they are…
a). Twisting a string into the shape of… uh… what is that?… nothing. Ok, “Oooh, awesome”, I say. And I stand and watch.
Or when they…
b). Show me how they can pet the dog -“Look, mommy, watch me, watch… LOOK!” And then they pat the dog’s head. lol.
Or my favorite one occurred this morning…
c). I was making breakfast, packing school lunches, emptying the dishwasher, and doing five other things, all under the pressure of “20 minutes until the bus comes”, when my son NEEDED me to watch him jump on one leg. For about 3 straight minutes. I kept waiting for some other amazing circus trick to happen, but no, it was just the jumping I had to watch.
I try really hard to boost their self-esteem, and to be nice about it, each and every time. I “ooh” and “ahhh”, but as all moms know, it is a HUGE exercise in patience. Patience I don’t always have. Patience I often dig deep to find. And if I’m honest, sometimes, I don’t find that much-needed patience.
But I do my best to “look” and “watch”. Then I go back to juggling!
A bedtime favorite of mine…
“Read me a book. Read me a book. Read me a book.”
Every single night at bedtime, my son chants “READ-ME-A-BOOK”. I read one or two books every night as part of our bedtime ritual. I am a huge reader, and have always encouraged my kids to love reading as much as I do. But it’s getting harder for me these days. It’s because we are in the “middle stage”. I’ll explain.
The beginning stage is great – it’s baby and toddler age. I loved to snuggle with them and read. The books were short and sweet, and I could skip pages without them knowing (you all know you’ve done that!).
The last stage is when they start reading on their own, and its fabulous. They find their own love of reading and excitedly re-tell the story.
Both the beginning, and the last stages are great. But the middle stage stinks. Honestly, how many times can I read “Thomas’ Blue Mountain Mystery”? Or “Thomas: Day of the Diesel”? Or “Thomas is Stuck in the Mud”? (I will admit I actually like “The Cranky Day”. It makes me feel better if I am having a bad day too!)
But you get the idea. The same books over and over. If it were up to my son, I’d read them all day, everyday. He has hundreds of books, literally. But he always picks the same couple of Thomas books. With an occasional Curious George thrown in. While I love both of those cuties (Thomas and George), I have gotten just a wee bit sick of them!
When my oldest child, my daughter, was in this middle stage, and constantly asked me to read her Barbie books, and Rainbow Magic books (about fairies), I almost lost my mind. Go read one, you’ll see what I mean. They are awful. When she learned to read on her own, I was thrilled. And I’m enjoying her books these days, and we often read together (I’m reliving my childhood with Judy Blume books again).
But oh, that stage in the middle when they want me to read TERRIBLE books… it just sucks.
So right now, the “READ ME A BOOK” chant usually makes me want to run away…
And lastly, I hear this way too often…
“Please, just one piece of candy. Please. Oh Please.”
Thanks to every well-meaning relative who regularly give my kids candy at every holiday. Yes, that would be all of the holidays and all of the relatives. Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and then they get more at their friends’ birthday parties.
We end up with bags of candy, that they hoard. I actually keep them stored in a cabinet and they have to ask me for some. Otherwise, they’d definitely eat it all at once! But they are at the ages where they have categorized and counted, and re-counted, each piece of candy. They have even written their names on their own. So they know what they have. And they ask me for it daily. Or 10 times a day. Sometimes 100 times a day.
My son has figured me out. When he wants something really bad, he tells me that if I give him just one piece of candy, he’ll do anything I want him to. He told me yesterday that he’d wash all the laundry and even fold it and put it away! That’s a good little man-in-training. And he certainly knows the way to my heart! Do some chores for me, and you’re in.
By the way, while it was a nice offer, it didn’t work. He’s five years old, so I realized that him doing the laundry would last a total of three minutes – not long enough for him to score the candy before breakfast.
So he went right back to asking – “Please, just one piece, please, please, please??????”
Someday, I will be proud of their determination and persistence. Until then though, like most of my mommy friends, I may be slowly losing my mind… one “Are We There Yet” at a time.