I love my children. Fiercely, madly, deeply. I am proud of them beyond words or comprehension. They are nothing short of miracles and I can’t believe how lucky I am that they were born to me. HOWEVER… there are some things that they still need to learn.
Before you think I’m heartless, please read the above paragraph. Before you think (or say) that it is my job as their mother to teach them these things, I am telling you that I tell them these things EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have tried to word them all different ways. I have offered bribes, punishments, whispering, yelling, sheer exasperation, literally all the things, all the ways. Everything short of purchasing a megaphone (it’s on my Amazon wishlist). And yet, here we are. In 15 years at this parenting gig, here are the things I’m most sick of saying to my kids:
1. “Get a plate or a napkin.” Sweet mother of all things holy, if you are eating something, anything, please child, grab something to eat it over. That pear juice will remain on the kitchen floor for all eternity. Crumbs kill me slowly. It is so simple yet I say this more than anything ever on the daily. HELP ME.
2. “Clothing is not a napkin.” Why do you hate napkins so much? Or tissues or paper towels? Why do you love to have stains on your clothes or all over the floors? The world is actually not your napkin. But you know what can be? AN ACTUAL NAPKIN.
3. “When you finish the last of something, please recycle the box.” It’s cute how when you finish something, you put the box back in the pantry so your siblings think there are more fruit snacks but alas, there is none. And the fun thing that they do is check the box and then also leave the box in there so I think we have items for lunch when in reality we were out four days ago and then you all tell me that we have nothing to eat. So so cute.
4. “Stop hurting your brother.” Or sister. Or anyone. Why? Just. Stop. it.
5. “Please don’t be insane when I’m on the phone.” Why is this the time that you choose to be the craziest, loudest, untamed animals in the wild? You were calm three seconds ago. Does the ring alert something inside of you to be the opposite of quiet? Maybe I need to change my ringtone. Or remind you for the 12222nd time to please be quiet when I’m on the phone. And if I have to snap at you while I’m on the phone and give you “the look,” please know that is the equivalent to losing a birthday gift every time.
6. “Bathrooms are not self-cleaning.” I am not Mary Poppins. Let’s work together and not make this a hazard zone, shall we? Also in this same category, boys you have a whole toilet bowl to aim for, let’s please aim for center. I don’t think I want to know how/why/what happens in there. The Clorox wipes are under the sink, have at it.
7. “Dirty clothes go in the laundry room.” I see how you’ve decorated your floor with them which is lovely (for no one) but this takes about three extra seconds so let’s make this happen.
8. “Be present.” This one is for the teenager. Phone down. Eyes up. Repeat.
9. “Clean up after yourself.” OMG. I LOVE YOU. But I’m going to need you need you to clean up after the smile expedition in the dining room because it would be great if one day we could eat in there with ACTUAL NAPKINS for Thanksgiving and not have the napkins be stuck to the slime event of 2017, in which case you use your shirt to improvise. JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.
I know there is more but I’m tired and my non-paying uber shift of shuttling them to ALL OF THE ACTIVITES is about to begin. So there you have it, for now.
When my kids were small, I used to give these lengthy explanations of why I asked them to do the things that I did. Sometimes there were even songs attached to the requests. But now time seems to be going by at a record pace and in limited supply so I’m going to just cut to the chase. And they honestly should know by now what I expect. I know they do. So please, my little cherubs, pick up that napkin and know more than anything else that I say, that I will always love you more than words. I will though love you a little extra when you clean up after yourself.
Katie has a new book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available now on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.