Welcome to this beautiful, almost fall time of year! Lend me your ear so I can tell you what’s on my mind today.
So there I was, sitting down to enjoy my coffee (which was on its fourth re-heat), when along came my kids. Again. What now? I thought to myself, grumpily, as they approached with presumptuous grins. And were they walking slowly and softly in anticipated rejection? No! They were trotting noisily, as if they knew that whatever brought them to interrupt my solace was worth not only their time, but mine as well.
How dare they assume my mood this early in the morning! The nerve!
The 2-year-old bounced onto my lap and began spider-crawling his fingers up my head, laughing wildly at the apparent hilariousness of this act. “Pider on you head, Mommy!”
“Yes, I can feel it,” I mumbled. My attempt to reach around the boy for my coffee was thwarted as the 5-year old issued an arm grab.
“Mommy, watch me count to 18!” Watch me. Not listen to me while your eyes are closed and you enjoy your morning cup. Watch me.
“Ok,” I sighed with an inward eye-roll. Eighteen… I can make it through eighteen numbers. But he counted on, all the way to fifty.
And finally, as it took three entirely too drawn out minutes of re-directing my lost son along the path of numbers (next comes 32, not 84), the 5-month-old’s morning jump routine was complete, and he actually wanted to be held.
Can you believe it?
Thanks a lot, kids. Time for some secret chocolate eating and deep breathing before I lose it!
This is a typical episode in the life of me. And I can’t help but wonder… do my kids know how extremely annoying they are? Do all kids know how annoying they are?
So here it goes- a list of 8 extremely valid ways that our kids annoy us:
1. They’re loud.
I can’t count the number of times each day that I have to say, “I’m right here. Don’t yell.” My boys yell about exciting and angry things… That’s normalish. You’re pretending to be a superhero? Ok- yelling allowed. He took your last cookie? Yelling understood. But they also yell entire conversations about apples, school buses, funny freckles, water bottles, and the color green.
Try as I might to speak quietly and “set the appropriate tone,” they just don’t seem to be mentally capable of grasping this complicated concept of indoor voices. At least the baby’s loudness (for now) is either a cry for an actual need or the cutest, coo-iest conversation ever.
The other two… they yell when the baby is almost asleep, forcing me to start the entire process over. They yell at the library, where it’s a universally known rule to be quiet (& let’s not get started on rule breaking!). They’re loud like they have no idea how loud they are, and they make us question whether they might actually, really be hearing impaired when we have to repeat ourselves 678 times a day.
2. They want to help.
If I tell my kids to clean their bedroom, they fall into pathetic lumps of uselessness on the floor. If I tell them to flush the toilet- or in my 2-year-old’s case, actually use the toilet- they sigh loudly, trudge slowly, and forget what they were supposed to be doing before it’s even begun.
BUT, if I want to quickly vacuum a rug, they will dash about madly, getting in my way at every turn, to pick up toys that might (not really possible) get sucked into the monster’s belly. If I want to sweep a floor, they will insist on sweeping also. They will hold onto a broom that is entirely too tall for them to maneuver, push it against the grain of the bristles to scatter any semblance of a dirt pile already in the works, and manage to get one crumb out of 572,000 onto the dust pan- which they will then drop on the way to the trash can (and LOUDly cry over the lost accomplishment).
They’ll crack eggs for you into the pancake batter, and you will crunch on shell-ful syrupy bites later. You’ll reorganize dishes they joyfully placed into wrong drawers. You will refold the laundry that they methodically heaped into piles (and how did they manage to turn every pair of pants inside out, anyways?).
And with each of their attempts to “help,” you’ll fight the urge to jerk the task out of their hands and just do it yourself.
3. They want us to play with them.
I’m a grown up. A 30-year-old, mother of 3 boys, wife of a soldier, M.Ed. holding (but only using to home school a kindergartner), house running, woman. I have a head filled with lists of things I’d love to do, shelves piled with books I’d love to read, and empty notebooks waiting to be filled with creative words (surely a book lies in those words somewhere, right?).
But my kids think that instead of doing my own, important, adult things, I should be playing with them. Like… why peacefully read the Ann Voskamp you’ve been trying to finish for a month when you could don this Flash cape and chase imaginary bad guys through the house with us?
And… You don’t need to do a self-fulfilling hobby like writing when you could be dragging us through the house in a fun box (aka a laundry basket).
Putting pictures into albums? We’ll look through them and (loudly) talk about each one instead- then, of course, we’ll help you put them into the right place. Because who doesn’t appreciate taking 2 hours to do something that might only need to take 30 minutes?
Working out? We’ll join you and turn your routine into the easiest-to-win-competition-ever… that you should probably lose on purpose so we don’t start goat whining and wake the baby, ultimately ending your workout only a minute after you’ve begun. Sound good?
Adult things are as unimportant and meaningless to kids as videos of a bodyless hand peeling Play-Doh off of 35 colorful eggs are to an adult.
4. They run everywhere.
And not with any regards to form. My kids run with their arms straight down at their sides, spinning like airplane propellers that smack other, unsuspecting children in the head, flailing madly in the air, and straight behind them like they’re in some weird, anime cartoon.
They run from their bedroom to the bathroom, from the living room to the trash can. Their feet stomp noisily as they run recklessly down the stairs and make your heart jump into your throat with fear.
They run through the grocery store even though you told them to stay right beside the shopping cart if they’re going to get out of the seat.
They run at the pool, and as prone to deafness as they are, they don’t hear the lifeguard whistle bellowing at them to WALK!
They run in the library. The universally quiet place where thumping feet are simply unacceptable.
They run from church pew to bathroom (because they just couldn’t hack it in their class this time) while the preacher is reaching his climactic point, causing every old, craning necked lady to turn and lose focus and forcing the pastor to grimace-smile like he thinks it’s cute, but really….
5. They ask questions.
Can we please just read this book and accept that the words it contains are all we need to know? Really- it’s only 12 pages, it has big words, so it shouldn’t take any more than 5 minutes to read…
The duck is sad- Why is the duck sad? Just let me read.
The duck is sad because he is clumsy. Oh! But what does clumsy mean? Just let me read.
He falls down a lot when he walks. Oh! But- JUST. LET. ME. READ!
We want to shout it, but we don’t. We answer the annoying questions. We tell them that their questions will be answered if they would just let us read the book without interruptions, but they don’t listen because we also tell them not to be afraid to ask questions. *Sigh*
They ask questions when we’re driving places. We love listening to the radio, but driving is the time for deep questions. Those “why can’t we see God, where do babies come from,” questions. You want to zone out? Don’t even think about it! You must instead think hard so that I know all the secrets of life.
And homeschooling lessons that should take 20 minutes, max… well forget about that, too. Because when we’re talking about how to add, well that’s the perfect time to ask “What happened to all the unicorns?” And, “What do tooth fairies do with my teeth?” To which of course I make up wonderful stories about horns being left behind when the animals boarded the ark and tooth fairies building their houses with human teeth… Did I say wonderful? I meant horrifying.
Questions are annoying.
6. They have no sense of boundaries.
My 2-year-old son likes to talk to me with his mouth pressed against mine. My 5-month-old sucks on my chin in between meals. My 5-year-old head butts my stomach for fun.
And have you ever watched children play together? They must be only half an inch from one another in order to hear properly and understand the rules of the game.
My oldest boys will pee in the bath tub together and talk about their private parts like they’re funny words. No boundaries.
They will smother the baby with love, lay on top of him if I don’t tell them to stop, and put their faces against his and breath I love yous in his face. No boundaries.
They will climb all over me, sit on my lap, push my hair into my face, with complete disregard for anything I might have been trying to do. No boundaries.
Isn’t that annoying?
7. They don’t eat like normal people.
It is 100% not ok for you to take the chip that is already on its way to my mouth right out of my hand and put it into your own mouth. I think it, but instead I laugh and yell “Hey!” like I think it’s funny. Oh you funny, funny kid…
The watermelon I just spent 10 minutes chopping into bite-sized pieces and wholeheartedly looked forward to enjoying? Only 3 pieces are left after my kids ravaged through the bowlful.
And their own food? It’s still on their plates, barely touched, collecting dust and attracting flies.
Tomorrow though, they’ll eat like they haven’t been fed in months. They’ll tear through the entire box of pancake sausage sticks, scarf down the 2 remaining bananas, devour a sandwich, a pile of chips, and 3 yogurt pouches, then make their way through 4 servings of pasta and green beans.
But just wait, because when you think their appetites have finally found a happy balance, they’ll start to wail in despair all because you announce that it’s time for dinner.
Feeding your kids? You mean, mean mother.
8. They grow out of everything.
This is the very worst, most-likely-to-drive-me-insane, absolutely annoying thing of all. But it’s not what you think…
I know that my kids grow out of their clothes constantly. In fact, I just went through dressers and boxed up too-small clothes this past weekend. It can get expensive, and it takes forever when the time finally comes to complete this foreboding task.
But they also grow out of all of the above. Their loudness and persistent prating will turn into a refusal to talk to us at all. Into us, their desperate parents, prying and nagging for just a smidgen of a glimpse into what’s going on in their lives.
Thank you, my children, for loving talking to me.
Their eagerness to help will reverse, and we will instead have to force chores out of them and actually pay them for their efforts. This will become a headache in our lives.
I appreciate your help, my little loves.
Their love of playing with us will transform into an embarrassment to be seen with us. To us yelling “I LOVE YOU” out of car windows to see their faces turn red.
Let’s play more, sweet boys!
Their energy will fade if we let it. We will have to encourage them to be physically active, or they will resign to sitting on the couch playing video games all day. We will have to drag them from the house to go on hikes on weekend mornings, or they will sleep in until the afternoon.
Can I run, too, silly kids?
Their questions will disappear as they grow wiser and become smarter than we ever were.
What do you want to know, my sons? Let me be your wise mother for just a while longer.
Their boundaries will build. They will hug and kiss less. There won’t be anymore finger spiders crawling in your hair, and smushy faces against yours will be gone.
Come here and hug me, little one. I love you SO much.
Their appetites, especially those of my three boys, will increase to such an extent that I will be shopping for groceries at least twice a week, spending more money and choosing off brands of everything. Sharing food won’t happen because they’ll be eating their own just fine.
Thank you for keeping me on budget and for the sharing experiences, wonderful boys.
Kids are SO annoying.
We all know it because they remind every day in 100 different ways. They drive us crazy, but let’s face it… We would choose it over and over again. We will wake up one day and find that we aren’t so annoyed anymore, but boy- we’d love to go back to those days.
So let’s sigh less and deep breath more. Eye roll less and smile often. Turn away less and watch way, way more.
*What will you miss when your kids are grown? Or what DO you miss the most now that they’re real big kids?*