I think every parent has a dream for their child. They envision successful adults doing sports, earning doctorates or following in the family business.
I myself am no different. I have a dream for my children. It’s not a lofty goal. I just merely don’t want my children to be annoying.
I became aware of a potential annoying habit my children were partaking in, early on in their development.
It is the asking of food at other people’s homes.
Granted, the requests for food and drink usually take place at their Grandma’s house, it still drives me nuts. I could have just fed my kids a seven course meal filled with protein and carbohydrates and they will still feign hunger and starvation as soon as they see Grandma.
I realize Grandma’s kitchen is usually filled with delicious, fresh baked goods but I still think it is rude to ask for said treats.
I am much more subtle with my approach. I lift the lids, sniff, ogle adoringly and drool. This tactic is much more appropriate.
I sat my children down one day before our departure to Grandma’s house and said, “Do not ask for food at Grandma’s house. If she offers something, that is fine. But DO NOT ask for ANYTHING!”
The minute we arrived at Grandma’s house, my then, 4 year old son, Bency, jumped out of the van, ran up to Grandma and said, “Will you be offering us any treats today? We are not allowed to ask for anything but if you offer it, then it is okay!” I shook my head in disgust as Grandma went to retrieve some freshly made Rice Krispie bars.
The second annoying habit I am trying to curtail is tattling.
My daily life is a constant barrage of complaints and the regaling of horrible offenses that my two older children have committed.
Most of these inappropriate behaviors have to deal with name-calling, tongues being stuck out and the hogging of a certain color marker.
My 5 year old, Bency, recently came to my side to inform me that my 7 year old, Iris had said he smelled like pig food.
I sent Iris to her room to “think about her actions and come up with 5 nice things to say about her brother.“ Iris had not been confined to her room 2 minutes before Bency was back at my side asking that I release her from her jail sentence because he actually didn’t mind being referred to as the stench of pig food and just really wanted to play with Iris and finish their game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos.
I also have a sneaky suspicion that Bency is a tattletale in Kindergarten. He has come home a couple of times saying that he has told his teacher about a certain boy who was swinging on the handrail and not standing on his number in line.
I told Bency that these actions were not worth telling the teacher about. If she deems these “credible” offenses she will surely notice and take action.
So, I have taken a new stance in our household. It’s called “No More Tattling.” I no longer want to hear if someone has called anyone an unpleasant name, stuck out their tongue or not limited themselves on a certain color of marker.
The day after making this declaration and after already making several reminders on the “No Tattling Law” I put into effect; Bency came to me after I heard an argument brewing in the basement concerning the choice of cartoon that was put on.
He nonchalantly said, “Hey Mom, I was wondering if Iris happened to mention that I was the worst brother in the world?
I said, “No, she didn’t tell me this and you better not be tattling.”
Bency rubbed his chin, shook his head, scrunched his eyes and in a matter of fact tone replied, “Oh gosh, no way Mom. I’m definitely not tattling. I just wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly and was just wondering if you heard that I was the worst brother in the world?”
Perhaps I have set my desires too high for my children. Perhaps my dream of raising people who are not annoying is just too much to ask for. Perhaps it’s time to lower my standards and just try to achieve raising a couple of kids who grow up to obtain their PhD’s and are only slightly annoying.