Repeat and Repeat Again

There are many wonderful joys when it comes of motherhood.  Too bad I cannot think of them right now.  Today I am tired.  Tired of repeating myself over and over.

As the mother of three boys, I estimate I spend over 34% of my time repeating myself.  My kids, think repeating is nagging.  No.  Repeating is merely reminding someone to do something that they should have already done.

My boys are lovely creatures.  However, they seem to suffer from selective listening.  Sometimes they hear me, but most of the time they don’t.  If they do not listen, then I have no choice to repeat what I have said.  If only they would listen the FIRST time, I would never seem a nag.

I pride myself on being an organized.  Being organized means certain things must be done to keep household order.  I know this makes me sound anal, but I assure you I am not.  My requests for the family are simple.

I do not like having to state things over and over.  It is a huge waste of time.  When it come to getting things done, I have two choices.  I can do it myself or I request others to do it.  I prefer the latter.

Here is small sampling of things that get repeated daily.

Put you shoes away.

In my home we have a shoe basket.  When my older boys were little I provided a basket, by the front door,to put shoes in.  For years, it worked wonderfully.  Nowadays, the boys take off their big clunky, shoes where ever the mood strikes.  Big clunky shoes are a hazard.

Repeat after me, “Pick up you bigfoot shoes and put them in the basket.”

Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

I love baskets.  I provide them for the family for all sorts of things.  Everyone has a laundry basket.  The task is simple.  Place all dirty clothes in the basket, so when it is time to do laundry, it will get washed.  Simple enough and yet…

Repeat after me, “Why are there dirty clothes all over the floor?  Pick up these clothes and put them in the laundry basket…now!”

Put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

No one likes a sink of dirty dishes.  I certainly do not.  And for some reason it does not seem to bother the boys.  They eat constantly.  Luckily, they usually use utensils and plates.  After they have enjoyed a meal or snack, they walk away, leaving the dishes.  Come on, really?  We have gone over this a million times.

Repeat after me, “Hey, what is this?  Why can’t you pick up your dirty dish when you are done?  Put your dirty dish in the dishwasher!”

Brush you hair.  Brush you teeth.  Take a bath/shower.

Honestly, these requests are something no should have to be reminded to do.  If you are greasy and stink, it is a sign you need to bathe.  As for the teeth and hair, if you want friends they both must be brushed…EVERYDAY.

Repeat after me, “What is that smell?  Is that coming from you?  When is the last time you had a shower?  Go take a shower and do not come out until you smell like human again.”

Go to bed.

I love going to bed.  I am puzzled why no one else in my house does too.  Really, what is not to like?  Drifting off to a nice peaceful sleep to recover from the day.  Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the joy in sleeping.

Repeat after me, “Stop goofing around and get in bed.   I am exhausted.  If I hear one more peep out of you I will…do something bad, really bad.”

There are hundreds of other things I repeat over and over to get my boys to do.  Frankly, I am too tired to think of them right now.

Repeat after me, “Maybe if I want things done, I should just do it myself.”

12 thoughts on “Repeat and Repeat Again

  1. Dear Mom, I think you’ve done a splendid job in training your children to get your attention through repeating. And your energy and your patience and your . . .you get the message. Time to STOP talking. Time for a sign that you can point to. I call it “Refigerator Rules.”
    If the message isn’t recieved the shoes disappear. If the dishes don’t get done, the next task doesn’t happen (this can be going to school, practice, out with friends) until the boys do the dishes. These concepts can be found in Love and Logic literature or using Dreyfus and Grey’s “Logical Consequences.” Wow, girl, you are in serious need of a friendly toe-the-line nanny.
    We love our children and want them to have wonderful childhoods, but a childhood learning how to ignore the kindness of others (this includes Moms) is not helping children grow to be aware and empathic adults.
    So have a hug and put that sign on the refrigerator door. All the best, Barb

  2. One of my most repeated lines is “aren’t you tired of hearing me repeat myself”…they don’t respond to that either.

  3. If it’s any comfort, I do the same thing all day long and don’t even have any children! Apparently groups of Engineers also have selective listening and have to be reminded over and over as well, even Big Important Ones! I even title some e-mails “Nagging Follow Up . . . . “

  4. Consequences . . . reminds me of when my kids were young. We had the rule that if they left something lying around, and I ended up picking it up for them, the owner had to “buy” it back–25 cents for the first offense (this was a LONG time ago!), 50 cents for the second, etc. Don’t remember anyone owing me more than 50 cents–they learned quickly.

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