Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drop And Give Me Twenty!

Lately, I'm beginning to feel like a Drill Sergeant with my kids. The only way I can get them to do anything is to bark orders at them.

"Do your homework!" "Brush your teeth!" "Massage my feet!" "Get in the shower!" "Get out of the shower!"

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't start off spewing obscenities raising my voice. I do begin by requesting they do these things. I use my sweet toned-voice. I say please. But after doing so FIFTY.FREAKING.TIMES, I kind of lose it.

Take today, for instance. W. came home from school and our normal routine began. I looked through his backpack while he got himself a snack. While he ate and I looked over papers, I asked him about his day. I got the usual answers to my questions. "Fine" and "Nothing".

As soon as he scarfed down his chocolate chip muffins and washed it down with some milk, he was out the back door. I let him blow off a little steam when he gets home. He's allowed to play in the yard for about 45 minutes before homework begins.

I glance at the table where he has left his paper plate, cup, and crumbs. Again. You see my kids are suppose to actually clean up after themselves before they leave the table. You know, because I'm such a slave driver and all.

I open the screen to the back door. "W. could you come in here and clean up your snack mess, please?"

No response. He doesn't even look in my direction and continues kicking the ball at to his brother.

Maybe he didn't hear me. I'm pretty sure he did, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

I speak a little louder, "Excuse me, W.? You need to come in here and clean up your place at the table."

Nada. No reaction at all. He's now running around the yard screeching in that God-awful, high-pitched voice he uses just to piss off the elderly couple next door. I'm sure that's not his intention, but usually the end result, nonetheless.

AAAAAHHHHHHHH! "W.! GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE-NOW!!!" I scream, not caring at this point who the heck hears me.

"Oh my GOD, MOM!" he says, as though I just hit him in the head with a baseball bat. Not that I didn't think about it. I mean it was just lying there on the ground, all metal and gleaming, calling out to me. "Pick me up, pick me up."

"I asked you three times to come in and clean up your place!"

He whizzes past me and says, "I didn't hear you!"

I almost tripped him. "The whole freaking neighborhood heard me!"

"Well, do you have to yell?"

"Do I have to yell? If I whispered the ice cream truck is coming, do you want some? That you'd hear!"

"Um, yea...."

I'm wondering, is selective hearing an ailment? Is it a virus? I'm thinking it may be hereditary. I'm betting, that if researched, scientists would find that the gene comes from the male species.

Because in the Schmitty house, the apple don't fall far from the tree!


Life As I Know It said...

We have selective hearing in this house too.
I hate to yell. Hate it. But sometimes that's the only way he seems to hear me.

Zephra said...

ext time try this: Tell your kids you will only tell them 2 times and then something of, play time, candy, is gone. No questions asked. I am sure the first few times, they will "not hear you" but after losing something they love a few times, I bet the hearing will improve.

Then again it could be that male selective hearing my husband suffers from. Terribly debilitating.

The Fritz Facts said...

Selective hearing is gift among children, especially boys it seems. We go through that time and time again with Hunter. Sometimes yelling is all that will work.

Jennifer H said...

It must be a Schmitt gene, and I'm a carrier.

Your house sounds like my house. It's like it doesn't count until Mom says it five times, and only if she says it really loud.


Laura said...

I think our kids all read the same manual on how to puch our buttons! This happens here too...frustrating and agrevating!

hang in there!

Karly said...

Oh honey, I actually took my son TO THE DOCTOR for his hearing "problems." They laughed at me, told me they were sure he would test fine and HE DID. They said that they get calls at least once a week asking to test the hearing of boys between 7 and 13. Little brats, all of 'em.

meleah rebeccah said...

That is so very MALE of him! My 12 year old suffers from selective hearing. My patience is wearing thin.

Enjoy Being said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer said...

Um...yes. YES is all I have to say. Except that it happens with my girlie just as often as with my boys.

Bonnie said...

I can hardly see through the tears of laughter to post this stinkin' comment. Ditto, ditto, ditto. I really can't put it any better. My hubby gets really mad when I yell. He hates it, I keep trying to tell him the same thing, if they would just listen the first 40 times I tell them, I wouldn't have to. I can yell and the neighbors canhear every cuss word 2 blocks away but my kids just look at me and say. I didn't hear you. sheesh!

Anonymous said...

I think we all shout, don't we? I'm not heard unless I shout!

It's the repeating that bugs me. When I know they heard me the first time, but by the eighth, they say, "I heard you the first time!"

I don't mind shouting, though. The woman next door shouts a lot louder at her kids! lol


Tricia said...

My four year old has the male selective hearing gene also. It’s absolutely infuriating. And men wonder why women nag…

AliBlahBlah said...

Recently I was trying to figure out why my 2 year old wouldn't say please. Took me a long time to realise it was because I always commands to her and never said please myself. Bit of a wake-up call for me!!

Meritt said...

As a Mommy of three (17, 15 and 12) I can relate. LOL.

Manager Mom said...

I think selective hearing IS a virus. A psychic virus that is transmitted through air, water, television, and popular culture.

I was having deja vu reading about your requests to your kids. and "preja vu" because I know I'll be having the SAME CONVERSATIONS over and over and over and over and over and over..

I'm sorry, what was I saying?

Maria said...

Liv has very selective hearing. She was fine until she was about six. And then, I noticed that she could remember that I had promised to bake chocolate chip cookies four days ago but forget that asked her to please put her socks in the hamper before she came downstairs for breakfast that morning.

Blog by Donna said...

It is a guy thing, so unfortunately he probably won't grow out of it (just get worse). I enjoyed reading this post, especially the humor you injected into it!

Super B's Mom said...

Yea..I'm pretty sure selective hearing is a requirement for having a weenie. Or so that's the case with Super B.

There's an added twist at our house. Instead of W's method of ignoring, Super B says, "Huh?? What?"

"Super B..pick up your socks."
"Super want a cookie?"


Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I have two remedies for these problems. First, always make sure you have eye contact before giving a "directive." If necessary, have him relay to you what his understanding of the directive is. Second, in relation to chores, make a checklist (or better yet, have them make their own on the computer.) Set an expectation this summer that nothing happens until the checklist has been completed (checked off and approved by you). That means "no screens of any kind" or playing outside until the chores are done. My kids actually liked their lists and would head straight to them in the morning without me saying a word. I think they liked the structure. Good luck!

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

P.S. Be sure to positively reinforce when they do what you ask the first time. It's more effective than nagging. :)