Monday, February 21, 2011

Cracking the Code

Saturday, my daughter came up the stairs and glumly interrogated me.  "What are we going to do today?" 

I rattled off the schedule, two basketball games, a run to drop off the high schooler for her service hours and a major art project for the third grader. "That's boring."  It was true that none of it involved or concerned her.  "Well," I asked, "What do you want to do today?"  I was open to suggestions.

She walked off, "Guess I'll do my homework."  I didn't remember barking at her to do that but reasoned, it was fine with me if she tackled it now.

A few minutes later, my son came to me, "What's for breakfast?" 

I asked.  "What do you want for breakfast?"  I was fixing oatmeal but knew he didn't like oatmeal and we had other options.  "Fine, I guess I'll have oatmeal." he said and took the bowl I'd  just made and began eating.  

At first I thought perhaps they were just not fully awake yet and that this was a mere fluke of not listening.  But I went into the tv room.  "What are you watching?" I asked.   They turned it off. 

After lunch, I asked my oldest son, "Do you want to play a game?"  He went to the kitchen and started doing dishes.   Every question I asked which involved someone else making a decision resulted in a dutiful response that had not ever been asked for....I didn't know why but I thought I'd test it further.  

"Anyone want to go with me to the store?" I threw out.  Normally saying I'm going out gets a list of what is needed and who wants to come.  However, I'd posed it as a question.  

"No, I need to finish my project."
"We're playing a game here."
I even got an annoyed glance up from a book.  A trip out alone!  That doesn't happen.  Ever.   You'ld think I'd be completely overjoyed at the prospect but being a mother means automatic my brain is wondering...."Why don't my kids want to play with me?"   "Aren't I fun????" 

Fortunately, having cracked the code, I know how to restore equilibrium in the system.  "While I'm out, be sure and fold the laundry I left on the couch."  Sure enough, the second the words escape my lips I hear,"AW Mom!  Can I come with you?"  "I need some markers and clay to finish my project." and "Can we go get haircuts while we're out?"  Normalness has returned.

If I figure out the magic phrase to get them fold the clothing on the couch, I promise I'll let you know.


Jenny said...

This made me laugh! Thank you. I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online. Please stop by and return the favor.

MightyMom said...

haha! I'm gonna remember that!

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