As a mother, you repeat yourself so often the words are like lyrics to a song. All that's needed is a rhythm and a beat. And all through the day, the song doesn't change all that much. It goes like this:
Get in the bath,
Hurry up and eat,
Stop wasting time.
Did you brush your teeth?
Did get your things together?
Have you forgotten anything?
Did you comb your hair and put lotion on your skin?
Put away the toys,
Is that a book on the floor?
What should you be doing right now?
Do I have to repeat myself?
I could go on writing lyrics, but it wouldn't change anything. And this has nothing to do with the many conversations I have with my boys about behaviour and conduct. One time, it got so bad that when I began to lecture, Shakir jumped right in reciting my words like a well rehearsed choral speaking piece. Once I realised he knew it so well, I talked less and let my weapon be my voice. These days, when I begin to tell Shakir the consequences of his bad behaviour, he calmly looks at me and asks a question that will further define the level of his punishment. For example, I say; "if you don't stop, I'm going to put you in a corner to stand up!"
His response: "and I have to put my hands in the air?"
I used to wonder why this child would ask these things. I mean, doesn't he realise that he is giving me ideas on how to further punish him? I've come to realise that he does it so that he can be fully aware of the consequences, then he makes a conscious decision based on if he can handle the punishment or not. One time, his father told him he would be on ban until further notice, meaning no games or any electronic devices. The phrase "until further notice" seemed not to compute in his mind. He kept asking how long. When he realised the answer wasn't as clear cut as he thought, he told his father he would rather be spanked.
I swear, these children challenge your parenting skills. You learn to toss everything you think you know through the window and just deal with the monster that is your child. You begin to realise that with some children, banning them from games and TV means they'll find other ways to annoy you and you won't have any release. Thankfully, God blessed me with a child that will get his colouring book and crayons or pencil and paper and occupy himself. For those of you who aren't so blessed, I'll leave with you the cliché phrase that all children are different. I'm sorry, I honestly don't have any magical words of wisdom that will help you.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.