As my children grow older, I find myself repeating everything I say to them...again and again and again. For example, my almost 9 year old son is sitting on my lap as I write this, despite my (multiple) requests that he "please leave me alone". While I secretly love it that he still wants to sit in my lap, I don't love the fact that he seemingly doesn't listen to a word I say!
All of the parenting books, magazines, etc. prepare you for the fact that children have to be reminded of things over and over. They tell you that if you react a certain way to their tantrums, they'll stop. What they DON'T tell you, and what I am just now coming to realize, is that the time frame they are anticipating is not one or two years, or even three or four...but more like TEN. Because my personal experience has been that, despite NINE years of "we get up, we brush our teeth" and "we brush our teeth before we go to bed" EVERY MORNING and EVERY NIGHT these are completely foreign concepts to my son. My daughter looks at me in complete shock and horror every Wednesday - shower night-like she can't believe that I could betray her that way; it makes me want to scream... or do that hysterical laughter that turns into hysterical crying.
It's humorous as I sit here thinking about it...in the moment, it is frustrating as the H word.
My son is the worst right now. It seems like he won't take the simplest instruction or direction without a flat out denial, completely ignoring me or a mouthy comeback. He only responds to loud, angry voices...what is that?! I've tried reasoning with him - "I'm losing my patience, please do XYZ" I've tried threatening him - "If you don't do XYZ, you're grounded from the computer, the Wii, the DS..." I've tried every method I can think of to get through to him without getting angry. Once I asked "Do you want me to yell at you?" To my surprise, his purely sincere answer was "Yes" - Huh?!
I was very recently told that he is at the age where boys are their most "testing" of limits. Great...I assume that means that SOME time, he will be done with this testing of limits. I hope that is what it means...I pray that is what it means... For now, I will continue with my Pete and Repeat comedy/tragedy; continue to think to myself "He is sure lucky he's cute," and wait for the day that everything actually "sticks."