Maybe it's because they've grown unaccustomed to hearing my voice during the day when school is in session, or maybe it's because they've already grown tired of my voice in the couple weeks we've had of summer vacation, but my children (my younger boys, in particular) don't hear anything the first time I say it. EVER....anymore.
Now, I'm not the kind of mom, usually, who knee jerks the consequences I dole out in response to my kids' behaviors. I just don't. As much as possible, the punishment must fit the crime. It must be logical. It must somehow tie to the broken rule. I must admit, I've become fairly creative in tying the two together over the years. I mean, how can you avoid a little creativity when you've set those kinds of ground rules for yourself and you've been doing the same thing for over 19 years--and the end of that tunnel is so far off that it seems nonexistent?
Today, we were driving in the car. I, for the umpteen-millionth time, repeated myself. I swear the first time I speak I must sound like Charlie Brown's teacher. I just MUST.
The second time the defect must clear up because the second time around, there is sometimes some kind of response that shows acknowledgment, but I hate to admit that at times clarification is needed a third and fourth time.
There is always a lag time between the first utterance and the repetition as I stand there waiting in full expectation that there will be some glint of understanding. That's where the frustration begins. I mean, why do I even wait. I already know I'm going to have to say it again. Shoot! Pavlov's dogs learned faster than I do--excuse me while I wipe my chin.
Today, I decided that I was tired of wasting such valuable time, so instead of saying something once and then waiting for a response to see if I needed to repeat myself, I just went ahead and repeated myself right away. I just went head and repeated myself right away.
And you know what? You know what?.....
It WORKED! It WORKED! I mean like a charm. I totally had their attention. Not only that, but they were talking to me in hopes that I would respond....at first.
This carried on for about an hour. This carried on for about an hour. Then, the 13-year-old decided that he'd had enough. So, after he and his brothers promised that they'd answer the first time, I went back to normal. They wanted me to promise that I'd never do that again, but you know what?...
....I didn't promise. I didn't promise.