Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A broken record

I was a broken record yesterday. So were the children, for that matter. These are the things that came out of my mouth 400 times yesterday. "No, you cannot play the DS. No. No you can't have a Dora sippy. No you can't play with friends. Do your homework. Eat your food. Go play. Yes, please play with friends. Fold your laundry. Do your chores." Now if you multiply each statement by 400, then you will know what I did all day.

It all started innocently enough, but by the end of the day I was ready to strangle various children. Katherine wanted to play Lillie's Nintendo DS. But when she got it out, we discovered it needed to be charged. So I plugged it in and told her she could play it later. This is how it went:

2 minutes later
Katherine: Is it charged yet?
Me:No. It takes a long time. Go play.

1 minute later
Katherine: Is it charged now?
Me: No, Katherine, I said it takes a long time. Now go find something else to do.
Katherine: Oh, ok. Can I have a Dora sippy?
Me: No you already had one.
Katherine: No I didn't.
(Insert dirty look from mom.)
Katherine: Mom, can I play the DS yet?
Me: No. Don't ask me again. You can't play it till after lunch.

30 seconds later
Katherine: Is it after lunch yet?
Me: (While pulling my hair out) No, and if you ask me again, I won't let you play it at all.

2 minutes later
Katherine: (whispering) Can I play it yet?
Me: (much exasperation) No and now you don't get to play it at all today.

Thus ensued many tears, gnashing and whaling of teeth and other trauma. Did it stop her from asking me anymore? No, she asked me all day long.

As other children came home, the pattern continued. Michael asked me forty billion times if he could play with friends. By the end of the day I was begging him to play with friends. I, of course, had to repeat my pleas to Andrew and Lillie to either eat their dinner, do their chores, or finish homework.

I'm hoping today is better. I've hidden the DS from sight and I've started making children repeat things I say to them. It's not really helping, but at least I know they heard me.

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