Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Music to my ears

You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head, and it won't go away? At first, you like the song, because it's a catchy little tune. But after a while you want to bang your head against a wall to make it stop. As a mom, sometimes I feel that way about the sound of my own voice. I hear the same refrains being played over and over. Put your glass in the sink. Put your shoes away. Who left the milk out?
Sometimes I resort to writing notes, rather than listen to the sound of my voice repeating myself for the bazillionth time. I once came up with the idea to make a list of the 10 most often repeated phrases and numbering them. I would post the list on the refrigerator, or better yet tattoo it on my children's forearms and rather than say, Hang up your backpack, I could just call out (Child's name) -- seven!!
I just want to be heard! To know that somehow my children are learning the basic skills so that one day when they are living on their own, the Department of Health won't condemn their dwellings.

And, there is hope. Last week, when Joe was home, I heard him in the kitchen one day, giving his brother what-for for not putting dishes in the sink. Why do people think they don't have to clean up after themselves? I heard him say. I bit my tongue. And at supper one night, I can't stand picky eaters. If someone is going to cook for you, be grateful. Huh? And one day -- and this is my all-time FAVORITE: It's a lot of work keeping a house running, isn't it, Mom? Be still my heart!

As the chief cook and bottle washer in a house of five college students, I think he gets it. He has always been the responsible one. The scout who would lead the troop up the hill, teach the younger kids to read a map, and be in charge of food shopping for camping trips. So, it's only natural that he seems to have been appointed "house dad." He does much of the cooking and all of the grocery shopping. Keeps track of trash day and recycling day and delegates chores. It's not all as perfect as it sounds. Dan says if I actually saw the house (which he visited this fall), I would probably hyperventilate. Afterall, there are five guys living there. But, I have seen a glimmer of hope, that maybe after all these years, my boy has learned something from his mother:)


Judy said...

We once rented a house that had previously been rented by five seminary students.

I lost ALL respect for the clergy after that. :D

Glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

LOL! Oh how things change when you strike out on your own!!


Barb said...

You know, my girls had to live in the dorms their first year of college, but Rob and I quickly realized we needed to get them their own off campus apartments as soon as we were allowed to.

They learned more living in those apartments than they ever learned at home. I think one huge shock was the discovery that if you change clothes six times a day and refuse to where anything twice, you're gonna have a LOT of laundry.

Best thing we ever did - sounds like your son is learning a lot too. And yes, it's an awfully nice feeling when you realize that they finally understand what it takes to run a home. :-)

Bill said...

Good ol' Joe!!!

Willow said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

I love it when I hear 'my words' coming out of my kids' mouths! At least the good words...

I learned that both my own children and my students paid more attention to my words if I used fewer of them. Now I just say, "Davey, name!" if he needs to write his name on his paper, or "Susie, lunch card!" if she needs to come to me and get her card before going out the door for lunch recess.

Becky said...

Your winter decor on your blog is just lovely!

And yes, I hear you on all of this. And I laughed too. My middle son came back home to live so he could go back to school in town, and I hear him lecturing our youngest, a HS senior, about his future and what he has learned through his mistakes.

It is great stuff for a mama's ears!

Renna said...

Chiming in with what Willow said, my husband took our Chow through obedience training course years ago. The teacher told them the dogs responded best to one-word commands. I guess kids aren't all that different from dogs, except dogs don't talk back. ;-)