My Foot Got Stuck in the Carseat: A Parenting Memoir (cont.) x5

I apologize for the delay in ch. 6… Summer got crazy, then my internet went out, and now I head back to school TOMORROW! In one more week students come. What happened?


Ch. 6: Stop Repeating Yourself. Now.

Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! MOM!!
I’m going to the bathroom…
Thanks for sharing?

Repetition can be good. As a teacher I know it is necessary to repeat important lessons and facts many times.

As a mother however, repetition ranks right up there with a papercut under your fingernail. During the last year, my daughter has turned from a child to a parrot with limited phrases she likes to repeat. Incessantly.

Picture it: Destin, FL. July 2016. We’ve been on the beach less than an hour.

Any of the 4 children with advanced verbal abilities: There’s sand on my hands!
Any of the 3 moms: Yeah/ DUH.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Sorry about that. We are at the beach.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Sorry… not much we can do about it.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: I heard you the first 3 times.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Just stop. Stop talking.
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom:  I said STOP!
Kid: I don’t like sand on my hands!
Mom: Step away before someone gets hurt. Now.
E1: You wish!


And why is it when a kid decides to acknowledge your existence and tell you something repeatedly, something they KNOW you have no damn control over, their voice begins to take on the world’s MOST whiny tone? It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Throw this in at the end of a LONG day full of lots of play on the beach in the hot sun when the kid is exhausted and hungry and thus moderately delusional– and the parent is even more so– and it might hands down be THE most annoying thing. Ever.

J: Who wants to watch a movie?
E1: You wish!
J: E1! Don’t start!
E1: You wish!
J: I mean it. Stop!
E1: You wish!
J: E1!
T: I want to watch The Little Mermaid!
J: Great idea! Let’s do it!
E1: You wish!

How many times can a parent say, “I heard you.” Or, “And what do you expect me to do about the fact that you are hungry, yet we are somewhere with nothing to eat except a dirty kleenex, or a dried up ink pen?” Or, “Stop. Stop repeating yourself. Now. I mean it.”

And why is it that the phrases you want repeated, like say, oh, I don’t know, “Who wants more champagne?” THOSE! Those are the phrases never repeated enough.

Other winners would include:

  • “All of the children are sound asleep and it’s only 8:30.”
  • “Have another brownie!”
  • “More champagne for everyone!”
  • “Golden Girls are on!”

The solution? I don’t know that there is one, but I have opted to mimic my kid (& husband) and develop selective hearing.

Mom! Why aren’t you answering me?!
Me: I don’t know. Why are you still talking?
M: Mom! I’m serious! Answer me!
Me: You wish!


Up next~ ch. 7: They Play Hard, but They Fight Harder


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