Thursday, February 05, 2009

I Blame The Mucinex

I did something naughty this morning.

No, not that kind of naughty, but naughty all the same.

I left my three oldest at home alone. To prove a point.

Ok, so not really at home alone, but I did back out of the driveway and shut the garage door on them as they came screaming out of the house.

Here's the thing. The fact that I repeat things to my children, on average, 72 times before they actually listen to me is DRIVING. ME. MAD. I do everything in my power not to raise my voice or get angry and in turn they reward me by ignoring everything I say. So this morning, after I had asked them SEVEN times to get in the car and no one had moved an inch, I left.

I calmly loaded Austin into his carseat, put him in the car, came back inside for my phone and left. I was at the end of the driveway before they realized what was happening and came running out of the house in total panic. I waited for the garage door to shut completely and then I sat, in my cul-de-sac, sipping my Pero and waiting for my lesson to sink in.

After a minute or two I opened the door and all three of them were standing in the garage sobbing. Well, Spence wasn't crying but he looked rather ticked. Once they got in the car, I calmly had a conversation with them about what is expected and why they better start listening to me.

I think it worked. We'll see.

The thing is that they are old enough to know what needs to happen in the morning to get us out the door to school. They know what time we need to leave, they know how to read a clock, they know that I shouldn't have to put their shoes and socks on. They know. And nothing frustrates me more than being ignored, which is exactly what they are doing. I don't want to be a screaming mama but it often feels like it's the only thing that gets their attention. It's so perverse.

I'm anxious to see how tomorrow goes or if their ears will be better attuned to me this afternoon. And I'm thankful to not have neighbors at the moment so no one could report me to CPS.

23 comments:

Megan said...

so, you're just a talking head too...i feel most days like that is what i am. no one listens, not even the dog. thank heavens for a baby who loves the sound of my voice!
hope that the lesson was learned.

Heather said...

Wow, you really need an egg roll. I've done things like that, as long as you didn't really leave you are good. Hope this afternoon brings a little more listening.

tharker said...

Did you take the words right out of my mouth? These are my exact words and thoughts! I too have done this little trick, and it really does get their attention quickly! Trouble is, they forget it two days later ;(

Still Sad Stan;) said...

You are a terrible mother and maybe if you hadn't taken away DONUT FRIDAY they might listen to you. Bring it back!

Jen said...

You're not alone. I've done the same exact thing too. It is so frustrating. I'm not sure when the listening skill kicks in. I know their teachers don't have to repeat things. I ask my kids for the same respect.

Sarah said...

You'll have to report back tomorrow to see how fast they run and get in the car! I've wanted to do this so many times.

Kelly said...

I know I've done that before...except I don't think I closed the garage door. You are funny. Bet those kids will be in the car before you tomorrow!

Kelly said...

BTW... You're "dodge CPS" on your list of things to do today cracked me up.

Sara said...

Way to go, it got the point across with out harming anyone or yelling. Hey we do what works sometimes.

Nicole said...

That is so how I feel - except it is not with my kids, it's the girls I babysit. I often wonder why I am even there...

I bet your kids got the message loud and clear. I am interested to hear how things go tomorrow.

Marilyn said...

Karen, I have done this exact thing before. And I felt mean and horrible but at the same time, I felt like it was the only way for me to get my message across.

Being a mom is hard, really hard.

AOlson said...

I am so glad that you posted this!! I thought I was the only one who wasted my own breath talking and being ignored. Grrrrr!! I admittedly have done the same little trick, pull out of the drive way and see what they do. I think it's funny. They get the point.

hatch said...

I have done this before too! I feel the same way all the time. I hope this worked for you.

Annette Rose said...

Way to go! I've done that before... but its been a loooong time. Its probably about time again. I too, am so sick of being ignored. Every morning I swear I am not going to raise my voice... I do not want to be a yeller, but they don't listen until you yell! I bet they will beat you to the car tomorrow!

Hey! It was so fun to hang with you the other night. (I've put both of the gifts to good use.... :)) You've got to come again... Move to Kennewick so we can be REAL friends. Its way more fun over here!!!! :)

Amy said...

Good for you! I suffer from this same blasted problem. Yelling gets me no where, being nice gets me no where. So basically I just get no where. So frustrating!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you all beat your kids a little bit more often they might listen to you!

Alicia said...

Oh my gosh, I could have written this. I have been going insane lately with being ignored. I keep telling them one of these days they are going to see that I say things for a reason and that something will happen to truly teach them that. It's so awful, but part of me wishes that would happen so that they'll see. But of course I don't want anything bad to happen. Anyway, I just end up yelling all the time too. It sucks.

Mimi said...

Oh Karen! I did the same thing about a month or so ago. Mornings did go smoother for a while and then we throw in a crazy 3-day weekend and we back-tracked again. It did teach ME something though, Aidan is a pretty great big brother. I walked in to find Nadia crying hysterically and Aidan with his arm around her telling her he will take care of her. Who would have thought. I followed it up with some good ol' fashioned guilt, and we are back in business!

I am sorry you are not feeling well. I hope the lesson did sink in for your little people.

On a seperate note, Brad brought his brother to lunch today. They are too freakin' cute! I am certain that is not what they want to be known as, but they were completely in sync and kept bumping fists! What a wonderful bond they have:)

hansen family said...

good thing I wasn't there...I woulda called CPS forsure, and called you a crazy mom for imprinting something so negative in their subconcious mind.

Sun

K.Hatch said...

Love that you did this! And....I have done this! It is a great feeling! It sucks being ignored!
Love your third child! So kind, quiet and cooperative!

Ignore-ance Is Not Bliss said...

Motherhood is a breeding ground for perverse and subversive tactics. The good news (or the really bad news, actually, for all mothers) is, it's not just your kids! This ignoring-your-mother business is pandemic!

Ignore-ance Is Not Bliss, Cont. said...

Anecdotal Evidence: McKay and I were lying around by the fire the other night and out of the blue, he said, "Mom, I listen to my teachers a lot better than you." I had to smile... because a) how perceptive for a kindergartener; and, b) I am a teacher, and I KNOW my students listen better to me than their parents. Little brats! :)

Mimi said...

As I was updating my blog I thought I would love to add your blog to my sidebar, but wanted to check with you first. Let me know:)