Monday, June 30, 2008

The Ups and Downs of Preschooler Utterances

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?


catnip said...

Well the boy's no longer a preschooler but I'm playing anyway. ;)
Hate to hear:
"Mommy, can I watch a show?"
"Mommy, can I have junk?"
"Mommy, can you buy me a toy?"
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy."

Love to hear:
"Mommy, listen, I can read this!"
"Mommy, I did it all by myself!"

Mrs. R said...

I have a seven year old, so we have moved to "Why Not?" and "That's not fair."

I live for: "You are the best mom ever."

Lynda said...

As the mom of a 16 yr old, trust me on this one... you would rather wipe than here, "I know, Mom..." or, in conjunction with eye-rolling, "Whatever," and/or "Chill,Mom."

lol - the ones you never want to forget you got spot on!

Lynda said...

And I KNOW it's "hear" not "here" - I'm tired.

Ali Blogger said...

This could have been my post! Except #1 would be "Mom, I need wiped!" In the singy song voice too.

My fave to hear is the best friend one.

Heather said...

Any sort of whining makes me nauseous and I tell my girls, "I'm going to throw up if you whine anymore." I'm probably scarring them for life.

But the twins say, "You are my heart and my life." when they go to bed. I melt every time.

NedaAnn said...

Things I would pay money NOT to hear:
"I don't want to take a shower!"
"I don't like that."
"Just one more show, plllleeeeaaaassseee."

Things I would pay money to hear ALL THE TIME:
"Mom, you're the best."
"Mom, I love you."
"Mom, you get all the kisses."
"Mom, I'll take care of you."
"Mom, I want to give you a kiss."

It's the unexpected sweetness that keeps them alive some days.

Lane Boyz Mom said...

Mine are far from being toddlers, they are 10 (11 next week) and 12. But I just needed to say DITTO to Linda;) LOL

Does Anybody Hear Me said...

Hello SITsta!

My favorite thing to hear is still 'I love you, Mama'. And my kids are now 10 and 15.

Swirl Girl said...

Spot on my dear, spot on!

Jen said...

I agree with you on the poop things. My son is three and does the same things. Sometimes, I just yell back up the stairs, "your butt is clean, put your underwear on and come down." (I know, I know but the boy poops like 4 or 5 times a day. I am tired.)

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Hmmm... I'm not really fond of anything that starts with "Mommy, tell her to stop ___________"

I do adore "Mommy, you are my special little love flower." I got that once when KJ was about 3.... :)

Thanks for checking my blog - I'm checkin' you now!

ann said...

My eldest is 24, my youngest is 15 ....they are still saying the same things. Sentences that start with "Mama..." invariably end the same. However, I would rather hear that than the silence - the silence of a teenager is ....scary.

Lynne said...

Your Tired of hear #1 and #2 are so my son too! He is such a picky eater, he can never decide what snack he wants! Usually 10 mins after dinner he wants a snack!! His best line is... I want it NOW!!! Who's he kidding?

As for what I love to hear:
"I love you, Mommy" (of course!)
"Please AND Thank you" (manners are a must!)
Good luck...whoever said the 2's were rough? ... I think the 3's are just as difficult!

Lauren Horsley said...

Ooo - I love the idea of making my little dude suggest his own meals - what a great parenting tip! But what do you do when your gal suggests cookies for dinner?

Totally cute blog - congrats on making the SITS list! And thanks for stopping by SuperMom Central. It's so fun to make new blogfriends!

Stereotypical Housewife said...

OH my goodness~! I get sooooo frustrated at my son, who has yet to poop on the potty, when he unloads in his paper thin undies. UGH.. I need your patience!!!!!!

Kaza said...

Thanks for all of your comments, it's been fun to read what's making you crazy and what you'll treasure.

THE MOM BOMB said...

If I hear "I'm bored" again, I just might lose it.