I’d like to start by saying that I am well aware that there are children out there with different abilities (why don’t people call it diffabilities instead of disabilities?), however, my children appear to be among the most common range of development and ability levels. Which is why they are driving me crazy with their sudden inability to hear, understand and/or follow simple directions.
This morning I asked my daughter, “Are you done your breakfast?” Apparently my question was far too complex for her little 3-year-old mind, because it took 2 of us asking the question at least 3 different ways (is that even possible?) before she said, “yes.”
Then my husband directed my son to put on his clothes. Did you know that telling a 5-year-old to put their clothes on is not nearly specific enough? What you really need to do is stand there in front of the child and give step by step instructions.
- Take off your pyjama pants.
- Take off your pyjama shirt.
- Take off your dirty underwear.
- Put on your clean underwear.
- Put on your socks.
- Put on your pants.
- Put on your shirt.
The “get your clothes on” instructional was followed by the “get your shoes on” fiasco:
Put your shoes on. No, put them on. Yes, that’s the right foot. No, on the other foot. Good. Now put the other shoe on. No! Stop! Don’t take them off. Why are you taking your shoes off? You’re supposed to be putting your shoes on. Fine, get your other shoes. Now put down that ball and put your shoes on. I said put down the ball. Here, give me the ball, you can have it back when you have your shoes one. Why are you whining now? Do you need help? Do you want me to help you put your shoes on? Then use your words, I don’t know what you mean when you just grunt like that. Okay, sit down and give me your shoes. No, other foot. Sit still. I can’t put your shoes on when you’re jumping around like that. SIT. DOWN. NOW!
It’s a miracle we make it out the door some days, but then we have to also get in the van. After telling the little girl child to get in her seat three times and then counting to three, I finally just put her in the seat myself – and accidentally cracked her head on the van door frame. Which I would have felt really terrible about, but by that time I pretty much just thought, “If you had bloody well got yourself in the seat when I told you then you wouldn’t have bumped your head.”
Is this normal? If it is, normal sucks sometimes.