Friday, April 30, 2010

whining is bane of my existence

This morning, even though it is Friday, and Lord knows, we love Friday around here at the Aughtmon's, there was a great deal of whining going on.
Whining about getting dressed and finding socks.
Whining about putting lunches in backpacks and getting in the car.
Then add to that some weeping and gnashing of teeth from the 4 year old about teeth brushing and you have the perfect picture of this morning.
There is something about the nasally singsong sound of a child's high pitched whine that can send me right over the edge. OVER. THE. EDGE.
I can usually maintain a certain level of calmness when dealing with my kids.
But when the whining begins, have mercy, because it is as if all good will has been sucked out of the universe and I feel I must do whatever I have to to make that noise stop.
(In the name of all that is good and holy, make it stop!)
It takes one or two well placed notes of whining to set all my teeth on edge and I lose all sense of perspective and logic.
That sound pushes my proverbial button.
We ask the children, semi-beg them,
"Just talk normal. No one enjoys whining. Use your regular voice."
We even ask them,
"Do you know what you sound like when you talk like that?"
As if somehow, knowing they sound like a dying monkey will keep them from talking that way.
It doesn't.
Take this conversation.
"It's time to clean your room," I ask nicely.
To which the child throws back his head as if in agony...
as if I have asked him to pull all his eyebrows out one at a time.
He responds, "I don't want to do it."
(Drag this sentence out for a full 30 seconds and apply the vocal range of a small chipmunk.)
And in that high pitched moment of whine, every modicum of calm is stripped away from me as the very sound of it grates on my last nerve.
Mommy Nicey-Nice disappears with that one sentence and I become the embodiment of female prison guard,
"Did I ask if you wanted to do it? No, I didn't. And mister, you will do it!
And if you don't you will go bed early for the rest of your life! Your life!"
(I, myself, sound a bit shrieky at this point which may be a close cousin to whining.)
I have asked myself, "Why do the children whine?"
And I have come to one great conclusion. Because they can.
They feel empowered when their parents look all weird and glassy-eyed and start clawing at their own ears.
They realize, "I can make Mommy go cuckoo! Let's do it again! That was fun!"
So I believe I have solved the dilemma while sitting thinking about it this morning.
It may be a bit drastic but here it is....earplugs.
The hope of the future.

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Donna said...

Very good Sue. I consider it a good day if I make it to 8:30 am without swearing. You are so right about whining, drives me crazy.

Girly Muse said...

hahahaha. earplugs is a fabulous idea!

Leslie said...

See, now . . . I just whine back at them. They stop their own whining immediately, blink a few times as if Mommy has lost her mind entirely, and then drop their jaws in disbelief. :-P Works ever time. Albeit briefly.

Angel Muly said...

Funny!! I'm not a big fan of whining either. Never tried earplugs : )
Love and blessings, Angel

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Preach it, sister.

My husband does not tolerate whining. It turns him from a loving father into a drill sergeant. "I'm sorry, WHAT DID YOU SAY?!? You did NOT just whine, DID YOU?!?"

It can make the two-year-old back-up a little.

We actually made No Whining Rule Number 1 at Chez Love Well. Loving Jesus is Rule Number 2.

(Kidding. Mostly.)

Loren said...

great idea!!! Whining sends me to the moon but even more so when it comes from an adult LOL

Pamela said...

I know the the book give-away is over, but here is my fun story... My son, at the ripe old age of 4.5, was about to go play outside with his neighbor friend on a very cold day. I gave him his big heavy coat to wear. (We live in so cal, so he hadn't worn it before). He looks at his friend and says, "does this coat make me look fat?" Out of the mouths of babes!!!

Laura said...

It's been a few years, but I'd still recognize that "chipmunk" voice you mentioned. It's definitely something that's hard to forget!

Bonnie said...

one day I sat in my room with earplugs in while my children were fighting. I thought, "I might be a better parent if I just wore earplugs all of the time!"

surfjams said...

THANK YOU!!! This post is a God-sent. I needed it just for today, the kind of day that I have had and the kind of way that I have felt. And best of all, you made me laugh and feel a little bit better about the crappy mom I've been today, in response to whining. Not because you are a bad mom, but because it's good not to feel alone in my agonizing irritation at whining. SO. GOOD!

Kim said...

My mom could (and did) put up with a lot from us kids BUT NEVER WHINING. Which I didn't really get until I became a mother myself :-) Yep, in total agreement with you...whining sends me right OVER.THE.EDGE.

myfourgems said...

I heard you on 104.7 the fish in atlanta this morning and thought you were adorable and funny! I will be checking out your book!

kanishk said...

Earplugs is a fabulous idea!!!
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