I would imagine...that if there was a way to capture just how many times I say a particular word or phrase - and then rank them to see what I say the very most...the clear winner would be:
"Clean your room!"
Followed closely by, "What were you THINKING??!!"
The "Clean your room" phrase is a very common refrain around our house, to the point where I sound pretty much like a broken record...which, when I say THAT, the kids look at me in confusion and say, "What's a record, anyway?"
(The things our kids missed out on by not being born old....right???!)
So...This weekend was no exception.
My 12-year old daughter's room looked as if a clothing factory vomited in it, leaving unidentifiable rags and scraps and supposedly-still-wearable outfits all over the floor, bed, nightstand, dresser - pretty much any flat surface was blanketed in piles and piles of...stuff.
Being the Obsessively-Compulsive-Organizer/Clean Freak that I am, this was giving me all sorts of migraines and nightmares. I finally reached the point today where I simply Couldn't. Take. It. Anymore. Period.
"Clean your room," I calmly directed her shortly after breakfast.
I've learned from experience that my first direct will usually be ignored - and this was no exception.
"Clean your room NOW," I said, a little more forcefully after lunch.
This did get the girl up from the sofa and to her room, where she managed to disappear for a few hours. Doing what, I have no idea, as I soon found out.
It appears that her definition of a "clean room" and MY definition of a "clean room" are far, far apart.
"CLEAN YOUR ROOM - OR ELSE!" was stated a little bit before dinner.
Yup. I whipped out and quickly invoked the "Or else!" clause.
It's amazing how that little addition of "Or else!" makes all the difference in cleaning a room. Or anything, for that matter.
I checked a few minutes ago and the room is spotless.
SPOTLESS, I'm telling you.
Huh. You'd think I would have learned that by now after all the times I've had to invoke the "or else" clause.
I really need to make the "or else" phrase my #1-said phrase - it definitely needs to go to the top of my list.
It gets results.
And that's what parenting is all about - getting results. Hee.