Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

If I Clean My Room I’m Allowed to Misbehave, Right?

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Situation

Proper reaction according to:

Normal human

Ten-year-old

Six-year-old

Four-year-old

Toddler

Undesired food type for dinner Go to kitchen, prepare own dinner Noisy argument, followed by preparation of own dinner Noisy argument, followed by more noisy argument, followed by not eating Noisy argument, followed by forgetting about argument; eating dinner Flinging unwanted dinner onto the floor
Bath/shower time Take bath/shower Pretend not to know, then argue it’s someone else’s turn, then take forever showering Argue it’s someone else’s turn, then take forever getting ready, then insist that only the unavailable parent administer the cleaning Remove clothing long before it’s her turn Climb into tub without waiting for removal of clothes
Breakfast time Prepare, eat breakfast Prepare, eat breakfast; leave used bowl at table “for sibling” instead of removing it to sink Occupy oneself with something else entirely until parent realizes how friggin’ late it is and resentfully prepares a bowl of corn flakes Whine and whine and whine and whine until parent drops everything and prepares a bowl of corn flakes Climb into chair; when presented with bowl of corn flakes, dump it.
Bedtime Get ready for bed Continue reading Harry Potter Pretend not to hear the six reminders Make toddler cry Make four-year-old cry
Sibling’s play date with grandparent Say hello, make self scarce; wait one’s turn Browbeat younger sibling into making it a shared event Cry until older sibling relents, accepting a shared event Grab grandma and get her to read a book before anyone else can do or say anything Be so damn irresistible that grandma all but has no choice but to spend some of the time keeping you happy.
Dinner out Gratitude toward parents; best behavior “Why can’t we have dessert?” “What, no gnocchi with salsa rosa?” Experimenting by yelling overheard epithets at wait staff Experimenting by testing differences between restaurant and homemade food dumped on the floor
Getting in the car Enter car; strap self in Strap self in; keep six-year-old distracted from strapping self in Insist on pressing remote button to unlock car so as to get in first; be last to strap in, upon noticing that Dad has already started the car Climbing over toddler’s seat, whether toddler is there or not Excitement at getting into car; once strapped in, whining about wanting to get out of the car already
Lack of appropriate clothes in closet Check laundry baskets/dryer Select ridiculous remaining combinations, such as too-small shorts and dark socks (with sandals) Complain that there’s nothing to wear, as if clean clothes cannot exist outside one’s closet or dresser drawers; inability to see beyond the top layer of clothes in a drawer or basket Complain that there’s nothing to wear, as if anything other than the exact dress one wants does not exist Cluelessness (inherited from parents)
Arrival home from school Hello; inquiry as to snack options; homework Insistence on carb-rich snack; avoidance of homework in favor of Harry Potter Get sucked into non-snack, non-homework activity; request play date Demand lunch, play date, all of Daddy’s attention Nap; awake from nap in foulest possible mood
Parental admonishment not to engage in particular activity Not to engage in particular activity Get six-year-old to engage in particular activity Try to complete particular activity already begun Immediately engage in particular activity; display complete shock at consequences Be so damn cute as to fend off consequences of engaging in particular activity
Adults conversing Wait until conversation ceases; if urgent, politely get adult’s attention Insistence on participating in conversation far beyond one’s ken Yelling until acknowledged by adult Yelling until one adult directs the other’s attention at the yelling Dumping food on the floor
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Written by Thag

June 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm

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