Thursday, February 18, 2010

Top Ten List: Simple Concepts My Kids Seem Unable to Understand

The following are all easy concepts. Some are rules. Some are just basics about life. Yet... my children do not seem to grasp how it it all works. I started to make a list of all the things my kids should understand but don't. I stopped at 239. Here are the top ten.

10. Bathroom Issue #1
Thumbelina claims she is scared to be in the bathroom with the door closed. She has no problem spending hours in her room with the door closed, but whatever. So, here's how it goes. I tell her she should go pee (as she is dancing around as if there were actual ants in her actual pants). She goes. I walk down the hall, see "it" all in living color, and start to close the wide-open door. "MOOOOOOOOMMMM! I'm scared of the door closed!" So I leave it open. Then Hawk walks down the hall to his room, which is directly opposite the bathroom. He sees the wide-open door and his sister perched on the potty. So she shrieks: "HAWK! Stoppit! I need my privacy! MOOOOOMMMM!"

Let's pause for a moment. Deep breathe. Really, Thumbelina? You want to pee alone? Imagine that. Shut. The. Damn. Door.

9. The Television
If I ask one of my kids to set the table, feed the dog, or go brush their teeth while they're watching television, my request will invariably be met with eye-rolling or the ubiquitous "MMOOOOOOOMMM!" Then comes: "OK. But only if you pause it."

Are you kidding me? As if they haven't seen this particular episode of Phinneas and Ferb twenty times or, even worse, the frigging commercial for Moon Sand. I will not pause a commercial. EVER. Go feed the damn dog. TiVo is not a right. It's not like oxygen or liberty or the pursuit of happiness. TiVo is a privilege. I can take that sh*t away anytime I want. Now go set the table.

8. What Happens to Your Brain When I Can't See You
If you go to the bathroom, for the sole purpose of brushing your teeth -- Or go to your room, in order to put on your shoes-- Don't come back ten minutes later unbrushed or barefoot and look at me with glassy eyes like: huh? Teeth? Shoes?

What just happened to you? Were you abducted by aliens? Did you undergo a quickie lobotomy? What have you been doing? Did you get distracted by shiny things? I will never understand this phenomenon and it happens at least once a day. Seriously, what happens to your brain when I'm not in the room?

7. That Magical Invention Known as the Seat belt
When we get in the car - buckle up. We've been over this. You have a car seat. Get in it. Buckle it. There will never be a time when it is ok for you to ride to school crouched on the floor in front of the passenger seat while tossing cd's at your sister. EVER. And no, Thumbelina, you can't drive.

6. The Dog Talks to You by Barking
When the dog walks over to the sliding glass doors on the deck and barks really, really loud - it means he wants to come in. It does NOT mean to turn the TV up. It does NOT mean to talk louder as to drown out the sound of barking. It means get up and let him in. Woody is asking nicely. He is using his words. Let. Him. In. And no, I will not pause the wiki-sticks commercial.

5. Questionable Eating Habits
The all-natural Cheetos I was pressured into buying for you? Not breakfast. And no. You may not have ice cream, either. Dr. Pepper is not a snack. You can't have a sip of daddy's brown soda. Do not even think you can eat an entire box of chocolate chip granola bars for lunch. Happy Meal? You have GOT to be kidding me. Eat your baby carrots. Here's some ranch for dipping. Be grateful for it.

4. Bathroom Issue #2
I can tell if you've washed your hands or not. Don't try and lie to me. I am a hand-washing NAZI. Oh and no excuses make it OK not to wash your hands. Here are some examples.
  • I only peed. (No. Wash your hands.)
  • I didn't use my hands to wipe. (No. Wash your hands.)
  • I only tried to go potty but nothing happened. (No. Wash you hands.)
  • I already washed them at school. (No. It's now 8:35pm. Wash your hands.)
  • I used the shower curtain/bathmat/hand towel to wipe off my hands. (No. Wash your hands and then TIME OUT.)
3. I Will Still Say NO
No matter how many times you ask me, I will still say no. The more times you ask me the same question, the more likely I am to say 'no' and the more likely I am to say 'no' in the mean mommy voice.
Hawk: Can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: No.
Hawk: Can I play Lego Star Wars now?
Lydia: No.
Hawk: Ok. But can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: Again. No.
Hawk: (5 second pause) Can I please play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: Grrrrrrrr....NO!
Hawk: Ok, Momma (scampers up stairs - sounds like slappy-slappy-slappy) DDDAAAAADDDYYY! Can I play Lego Star Wars?
Lydia: (head explodes)

2. This is Not A Restaurant
I know you don't like peas. You say it every time you see them on your plate, alongside some delicious chicken or pork and, your favorite, starch. And every time you see peas, you turn up your nose at this wonderful dinner and ask me for a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. This isn't IHOP. And have I ever made you an alternate dinner? Plus, I'm the person who plans the menu, shops according to that menu, prepares said menu, and then serves it to you. Your job is to eat. And, as I've told you a million times, until you are the kid who doesn't find a stash of acceptable dinners up your nose, your opinion doesn't count.

1. Put. It. Away.
Again, you have an entire room that exists solely for you to put your crap. And yet, every day, when you come home and hear me say, "Put your stuff away" you dump it right inside the front door. Also, why do I find underpants all over my house? They are UNDERPANTS. What in the F are they doing on the kitchen floor? And, every day, when you leave the house, you spend the last 90 seconds frantically searching for everything while I'm backing out of the driveway, cuz you know I'm not going to be late. Why do we do this every day? Your Great Gramma used to throw Gramps's toys in the fireplace if he left them out. I figure one big bonfire at our house, and I'll never have to say it again.

Until then, the dog's barking...

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