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War of annoying words

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published May 16, 2007, thehive.modbee.com   

I love parenting lists. I seldom find useful advice, mainly because they’re not keyed to kids as intractably stubborn as my two. But they’re a great pick-me-up in a “misery loves company” sort of way.

So when I ran across parenting.com’s “The Six Most Annoying Things Kids Say” while suffering from a bout of Google-induced attention deficit disorder, I couldn’t resist clicking, just to see how my guys stack up.

The Top 6:

Mine:  This one’s easy to deal with. They’ll outgrow it, and more quickly than you think while in the throes of it.  It’s Little Guy’s current favorite word other than “Thomas,” though Big Guy never said it much. He prefered to clinch his little fists skyward and plead,   Have it! 

 It’s not fair : We haven’t made it to this stage, though I’m sure with two kids, it’s inevitable.

You’re not the boss of me : I’m amazed Big Guy hasn’t hit on this one. For now, he prefers the more direct and defiant “no.”

 I want it now:  As a writer, I’m proud that Big Guy believes in economy of words. He leaves it at “I want it,” assuming that I understand the implied “now.” The challenge with this one is that it can go on forever, or at least 10 minutes, which seems like forever when someone’s wailing at your feet. I used to say, “you can’t have it right now,” but as he got older, Big Guy took that as his cue to start asking again five minutes later.

Now, I’ll respond to the first one or two, usually with “I understand, but we don’t always get what we want.”

By the third time, it’s “you can’t have it, and I’m through talking about it.” Miraculously, it works. But it took a long  time to get there.

 I don’t like you:   A variation of this – “you’re not my friend” – was popular in the fall. For some reason, this never bothered me, though my favorite sanctimommy felt compelled to jump all over Big Guy if he said it within earshot.

 My take: It’s an honest reaction that merely meant “I’m mad at you and not feeling friendly at this moment.” It actually made me proud that he was articulating feelings rather than chomping on my arm — which he did daily when he was around 2. The little thrasher shark would leave me bruised from elbow to wrist.

 You never let me …:  Bingo! Big Guy’s current buzz words, and they drive me up the wall, across the ceiling and back down the other wall. Mainly because I hear them roughly 3,498 times a day.

Tonight, for example: “You never let me stay up after dark!” “That’s not true. Three nights a week, you get to stay up after dark. But this is a school night, so you have to go to bed.” I know it’s pointless to try to reason with a 3-year-old, but what else can you do?

Maybe it means something different at a different age, but for now I’m interpreting it as “I’m not getting what I want right now, so I’m going to try a slightly more sophisticated whine.”

All in all, I can’t wait to move on to “it’s not fair.”

 Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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