It’s Like Talking to a Brick Wall

Brick WallBrick Wall

There are days when I feel like talking to my children is like talking to a brick wall. On Wednesday I had Cameron’s parent teacher conference. It was scheduled to start 15 minutes after he got out of preschool, meaning we would get out of there around noon. Unfortunately, his teacher was running behind schedule and we didn’t get out of there until 12:30.

Realizing we were short on time we ran over to Burger King to quickly eat some lunch as we were due to pick up Brendan from school in a little over an hour. When I ordered the kids meals the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted apples, ice cream, or the toy in their meal. That was something I’d never experienced before and I liked the new options.

I know I’ve discussed my feelings about toys in the fast food meals before (brief recap, I hate them and the kids never get to have them). So to have the option to not receive the toy was a wonderful thing. I weighed my options. The kids love the apples at McDonald’s so that would probably be the best choice. There was no way I would be getting them icecream that day because we had such limited time and I didn’t feel like dealing with the mess. Okay apples it is, but then I looked and saw what the toy was and actually decided to get that.

om nomThis week Burger King is offering a little plastic Om-Nom toy. Remember Om-Nom?  Cameron loves Om-Nom (or Om-Dom as he calls him.) and would be so excited to get the toy.  That alone wasn’t enough for me to get the toy.  We really didn’t need one more little plastic figurine in the house.  But the toy also came with a code you could use to download additional levels for the Cut the Rope game.

And as much as my kids love playing Cut the Rope, that seemed like a good reason to bring home a worthless plastic toy.  Cameron and Kaylee were both thrilled when they realized they got toys with their meals (I do love that in my denial of the toys they view them as a treat rather than an expectation), and quickly scarfed down their lunches so they could play.

All was well until Thursday morning.  Kaylee’s Om-Nom had dropped underneath a seat and we hadn’t been able to find it the day before.  Things must have shifted around (or I was just blind) because the boys found Om-Nom as we were getting into the car.  I worried that we were going to have another wrestling match over the toy and was surprised when Cameron allowed Brendan to have it without a fight.

Seeing no reason to intervene, we headed toward school.  About halfway there Cameron asked for the toy and I was able to convince him to allow Brendan to keep it until we dropped him off at school, which was only about 2 more minutes.  On the way home, Om-Nom in hand, Cameron began one of the most frustrating conversations I’ve had in a while.

Cameron:  “Mommy, when we get home can I play with this Om-Dom on your i-Pad?”

Me:  “Not yet, daddy hasn’t loaded the new stuff into the game so that Om-Nom won’t work.”

Cameron:  “Because daddy took it to work with him?”

Me:  “Noooo.  It’s at home, but there is a code daddy needs to add to my i-Pad.  He didn’t do that yet, so we can’t play with the new Om-Nom yet.  I’ll have him do it tonight.”

Cameron:  (whining) “Why did daddy take Cut off the Rope off the i-Pad?  I want to play it!!”

Me:  (growing frustrated) “He didn’t.  It’s still on there.  But the NEW stuff ISN’T.”

Cameron:  “When will it be on there?”

Me:  (emphasizing each word) “To.  Night.  When.  Daddy.  Gets.  Home.”

Cameron:  “Because he has the stuff at work?”

Me:  (giving up) “Yes.  Daddy has it all at work.  Sorry buddy, you’ll just have to wait.”

Cameron:  “Awww maaaaaan.  Why does daddy always have to work?”

I thought I was being clear about why he couldn’t play the game.  I tried not to use terms like download or anything like that so that I was talking at his level.  (though I know he understands download because he’s asked us to download games for him before).  I tried explaining things in multiple ways, but he was only hearing what he wanted to hear and not what I was actually saying.

There is nothing more infuriating to me than having to repeat myself because someone is not listening to me.  And I swear at one time or another each and every one of my kids (not to mention that hubby of mine) has done it to me.  Matt claims it’s because I talk so much that people tune me out, but I think it’s just because they all like to push my buttons.

Regardless, we got home from dropping off Brendan without my head exploding and I told the kids to go out into the backyard to play since the weather is finally turning nice.  Cameron, in another attempt to make me insane slipped off his shoes and started wandering away from me.  I repeated my instructions, and he began to whine that he didn’t want to go outside.  I wasn’t in the mood to have another dead end conversation with him so I told him his choices were outside or downstairs.

He chose downstairs, and in typical Cameron fashion got distracted before ever making it to the steps and did not head down.  Meanwhile I gave Kaylee the same options and she chose outside.  Kaylee loves to play with sidewalk chalk more than any other kid I’ve met.  We have an enormous bucket of them and anytime we go outside she lugs the bucket out with her, dumps every piece of chalk out into the grass and colors…on everything; the house, the lawn chairs, the grill, the patio, the grass, the cat, herself.

Once Kaylee was going out, Cameron decided he wanted to go out too.  So I told him to get his shoes back on.  “But I want to go OUTside.”  What??!?!??!  I just said yes, and told you to get shoes on.  How exactly does that translate into that response?  Whatever.  Eventually Cameron got his shoes on and he and Kaylee headed out to play.

While they chased each other around the yard I went to the kitchen and got myself some aspirin.  Talking to the brick wall can give me such a headache.

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