Things I'm tired of hearing:
1. “Mama, I went poo-poo!” (Called out in a singsong voice, and repeated with increasing volume until I respond.)
After all of the work to potty train her, you’d think I’d be delighted to hear these words. She goes #2 only once or twice a day (sometimes three or four, but that’s rare), can get herself on the potty, and has not yet had a poop accident (knock wood!). Yet every time she summons me to wipe her butt after a poop I grit my teeth (especially on those three-poops-in-a-row days!). I have to take a moment before going, to breathe deeply and calm myself so that she will not see my irritation. Everyone tells you that potty training will be difficult, but no one tells you how annoying the endless wiping will be. And I don’t know why. I got used to changing diapers and was never annoyed by the wiping then. Why am I so annoyed now?
2. “Mama, I’m hungry.” (Repeated dozens of times a day, at about half-hour intervals, and sometimes more frequently.)
The constant interruptions are the problem here, as well as the whiny voice. Every parent deals with this (whoever is home, or whoever is on food duty for the week… though I seem to be the default parent for all needs, and have to remind my daughter when “daddy is on food this week”). But the additional irritation with this one is that my kid eats like, oh, maybe five things? And often doesn’t want any of those five when she’s hungry but rather waits for some mystery suggestion to come out of my mouth. We’re trying two new things this summer: 1) A definitive schedule of breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, with no exceptions. At three, she can learn to wait. 2) For snacks and lunch, she now must ask for a specific food instead of just declaring her hunger (we choose dinner). Ha! Now SHE has to come up with a food she actually wants and will eat (other than a sugary treat, which she is not allowed to request). And if she changes her mind after a bite? Oh well, better pick something else next time. That’s what you chose for this snack, and if you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat it. We are not running a short order kitchen here, kiddo.
Things I will never get tired of hearing:
1. “I love you mama!”
(Declared often, out of the blue, with eyes shining and cheeks glowing and the biggest smile ever on her face.)
2. “You’re my best friend.”
(Also declared often, sometimes with no apparent reason but other times because I'm playing with her or reading to her or have given her a treat.)
3. “You’re the best mama in the world!”
(If I'm lucky, I hear this one a few times each week. Often declared after I have returned from the store or a meeting. Absence does make the preschooler's heart grow fonder, if that's even possible, given that I'm lucky to be the object of her amazing affections most of the time anyway.)
4. “One more hug and kiss.”
(Usually demanded from her bed two or three times before she'll finally settle in to go to sleep. Of course this is a popular sleep-stalling tactic of all children, but thus far it has been a guileless request.)
5. “I can give you a treapmin to make you all better.”
(Confidently stated upon hearing that I am experiencing any sort of physical discomfort, and followed by marching off to her room to obtain her supplies.)
6. “Mama, I picked some flowers for you!”
(Proudly announced every morning from the backyard as I sit at the window working and watching over her, immediately followed by presenting me with her bouquet of handpicked wildflowers at the back door.)
7. “Mama, you are the star of the life! And you are my sunshine.”
(Okay, she only said this once, but I’d love to hear it again and again!)
What about at your house? What makes you want to pull your hair out if you hear it one more time, and what melts your heart every time you hear it?