May 11, 2010

When I Say Spaghetti, I Don't Mean Pasta ©

JD has begun demanding that when I say we're having spaghetti bolognaise, we don't just mean any old pasta, but the real spaghetti. He doesn't consider that it's real bolognaise if the longer strips of pasta aren't in it, because apparently it tastes different. I explained that it's made from the same ingredients, but he believes there is a definite difference in the taste.

Isn't it funny how kids can convince themselves of something even when it's not true. Or for that matter, convince themselves that when we say to complete a particular chore, eg doing the dishes, they believe what we are saying literally and  pots, cutlery and anything else that's not a dish, will be left in a dirty pile.

JD has started getting a little huffy lately when I give him the full details of what is required to complete the chore. For example, if I ask him to clean his room, I usually have to explain exactly what's required, ie pick up clothes from the floor and put them in the dirty clothes basket, throw out rubbish, make the bed, put his toys away etc.
"You don't need to tell me," he says, "I know."
But of course, he doesn't know and after he has cleaned his room, I will then need to remind him to pick up his clothes, or something else.
"But you told me to clean my room. That's not cleaning my room. That's putting my clothes away." he says.
I then point out that he didn't want me to explain the details in the first place.

"But when you say to clean my room, I clean it. That's got nothing to do with clothes." he says in a huffy voice, with a slight edge of “Ha, beat that” in his tone.
By this time, I have to remind myself not to sound like my mother when I say, 
"JD, we've been over this heaps of times before. You know what is required to clean your room. If you don't want me to remind you, then you have to accept the consequences if you don't do it properly. Do you want me to write out in detail what is required for a clean room and place it as a poster on your wall?" I ask.
"Of course not," he says, a note of sarcasm creeping into his voice.
"Consider how you speak to me before you respond," I answer. "So how do you propose we solve this?"
He grunts in response.
"Pardon?" I say, hoping desperately that I'm not standing there with my hands on my hips and 'that' look on my face that I remember from my mother.
"I dunno," he replies.
"Ok, until you know then I will continue give you the full details of what is required in a chore," I end.
JD grunts in response.
"Pardon?" I say.
"Whatever," he replies.
"Pardon?" I say.
"Ok, fine," he says, a disgruntled tone in his voice.
"We'll make that one warning for the rudeness, JD."
"That's not fair!" he cries.
"And I'll be happy to make it two warnings if you continue," I say
"Finish your room."
Oh my gosh, this is a pre-teen child. I hate to imagine what the teen years are going to be like. ©

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