Dear Children of Mine, it seems that you and I are having a communication skills breakdown.
At some point recently, you have lost your Mom Decoder Ring. I thought you would have had it memorized by now, but I guess you were too busy drawing on the dining room walls and building Lego towers I can never ever move, to allow any time to a more reasonable task such as remembering not to annoy the bejeezus outta me or work on your listening skills.
So please, sit down and let me run through the list one more time.
Seriously. Sit. Down. I said SIT!
When I say “Uh-huh” or “Mmm-Hm” that means I am not actually listening to you. It means you have been blathering on too long and I have something more important to pay attention to, such as not crashing the car I’m driving during a constant stream of distracting noise.
When I respond to you with a “Wow, really?” or “Is that so?” that means I have no frigging clue as to what you actually just said. Whether it was pure nonsense, a new language you just made up, or just the byproduct of having a squeaky alien-chicken voice, I’m not too interested in finding out more, so I just throw this out at you to make you think I am thrilled with the (unintelligible) piece of information you just revealed to me.
If the sun is getting lower in the sky at the same rate my voice is getting higher-pitched? That means I am somewhere in my 10th-14th consecutive hour that day of having you all up in my grill, and I am quickly losing my patience. Do not annoy me when this happens, because it can mean the difference between a happy bedtime when we get to read fun stories with giggly airplane rides on my feet, and my speed-reading the shortest book within reach to you both at once while tossing your asses under the covers before you know what happened.
If I am ignoring you? I am trying not to yell at you. Embrace the ignoring as the best option in that moment, and back away slowly.
If I don’t laugh at your knock-knock jokes, that is because they are not funny. They don’t even make sense. I don’t have high expectations of you yet on this front since you’re only 4 & 6 years old, but if you’re looking for laughs outta me then learn some good jokes. There must be some kid on the playground with a couple funny ones he can teach you.
When I say “Are you sure about that?” it means you are either wrong or delusional. Rethink your statement or behavior that caused me to respond in this manner, and get back to me with the exact opposite.
When my shoulders are not by my ears, my voice is calm, there is a smile on my face and my fists aren’t clenched around a large glass of Zinfandel, then I am in a good mood. Whatever you’re doing to get me there, keep doing it. This is what we call a Win-Win Situation.
I think that about covers it for now. So let’s all get back to understanding each other a little more, so this house can stay a happy one.
Otherwise, it’s gonna be one helluva long summer.
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