Repeating yourself is something that becomes excruciatingly second nature when you’re a parent. Many is the time my wife and I have been flustered at something our children have not done. Not put on their shoes. Not put on their coat. Not brushed their teeth. Not gotten into the bath. Not eaten their meal. Not come to the table for dinner. Etc. All despite having told them to do so several times.
Exasperation quickly sets in because you can easily end up telling your child to do something (or forbidding them to do something) 50 times or more, the volume of your voice rising with each repetition.
Why the repeated commands?
Because children have, as Bill Cosby put it, “brain damage.”
Then there are those times when the exasperation at my kids’ inability to listen and follow directions makes me want to shout,
IT RUBS THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN OR ELSE IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN!!!
and get out the garden hose and spray them down with the high pressure setting until they DO WHAT THEY’RE TOLD, screaming, crying, and pleading be damned! But that would create a soggy mess, which I would most likely have to clean up myself. And since I already spend a good portion of my day cleaning up after myself and the kids, I don’t want to create more work. (Don’t worry, as they get older, more cleanup is expected of them relative to their age.)
Lately, I’ve sometimes been commanding them to, “Hut! Hut! Hut! Commence Operation: [fill in the blank]!” and marching/herding them towards where they need to go so they can do what they need to do. It’s silly, the kids know the reference (the Army Men in the Toy Story movies, which everyone in our family has seen as frequently as a new day has dawned in our lives), and most of the time it works. Nothing works 100% of the time with them. These are children we’re talking about, and children have brain damage.
P.S. If you don’t know where the “lotion” ditty comes from, go here…Yes, I am well aware that I have a twisted sense of humor.