March 12 07

by far, even harder than teaching my children to share, the hardest thing i’ve had to try to teach my children, as yet, has been patience.

i feel like i say “in a second…” or “you’ll have to wait a minute” or, my favorite, “mommy, has her hands in raw chicken. if you’d like your toy now, i’d be more than happy to give it to you, along with a nice dose of salmonella” more than i say anything else these days.

“I want a drink” (or, if you are my sophisticated 6-year-old, you’d hear, “i want some cold, fresh water with ice!”) “I want to play!” “I NEED my ballet slippers!” “I! Wah! ma! Dora! Bookck!” (that one is Isabella, even she is getting on the impatience game)

I get it. we live in an impatient, fast-paced, instant gratification kind of world. i don’t like to wait. the husband doesn’t like to wait. how do i help them realize that sitting and screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” while i’m on the phone is NOT the way to get what they want. what it actually is is a quick way to annoy the crap out of mommy. and they sooo don’t get the finger-hold-up. you know what i’m talking about. you are on the phone and someone’s trying to get your attention. holding your finger up, for some reason, is the universal symbol for “hold on a minute”

i’ve realized, recently, that in order to teach my kids to be patient, i must be patient in front of them. model it. so, i’m trying not to be annoyed in traffic. and i’m trying to sit quietly while it takes my son 45 minutes to get his boots on (it’s not easy, i tell you. it is, in fact, quite easy to get antsy and then just put them on for him myself).

i’ve also realized that i need to teach my children to get their own drinks. i don’t know why, but it feels like i’m always getting someone a drink. cold, fresh water for Emily. chocolate milk for Josh. a ‘rink for Isabella (seriously, that’s now one of my favorite things she says…”where’s ma ‘rink?”) even a can of pop for the husband. why is everyone so freakin’ thirsty in my house???




  1. I think teaching patience is such a challenge because for the earliest parts of their lives they rarely need any. Think about it: did you let any of your newborns cry any longer than it took you to jump up and get to them? Of course not; our instinct is to tend to their needs as efficiently as possible.

    As they grow, part of the maturation process is the realization that you have to wait for things. Instead of hiding your frustration with traffic, I would verbalize your dislike and explain why it is a necessity, i.e. “Mommy would like to move the car faster, but the traffic isn’t letting me. I don’t like it, but I have to be patient and wait for the cars to move.” Patience, at its root, is the ability to acknowledge the inability to change something you cannot control yet do not like. In order to model it properly, you have to acknowledge this. At least, in my opinion.

    Comment by SciFi Dad on March 12, 2007
  2. patience is a virtue of which i at times can be sadly lacking in.and you are so right about the phone.why is it that they all have some major problem when you get on the phone?and i get tired too of asking them to wait for just a second while i finish….

    Comment by LAVENDULA on March 12, 2007
  3. Getting drinks is SO tiresome. Thankfully, when my oldest is home, I can send her to the fridge. 🙂

    Comment by Jay on March 12, 2007
  4. Hey! Do you have one of those salt licks in your house too? Makes everyone super thirsty.

    Comment by Mrs. Chicky on March 12, 2007
  5. Patience is a virtue…Of which I have none.

    Thank you for that reminder though about modeling the patience train…Mine is off the track and I need to practice more if I expect her to do the same…UGH…This parenting thing is really hard!

    Comment by Janet a.k.a Wonder Mom on March 12, 2007
  6. personally, i think everyone’s hungry because your 6-year-old is going around saying things about “cold, fresh water.” just reading that made me thirsty! darn you and your vivid imagery!

    Comment by lara on March 12, 2007
  7. Our 4 yr old doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t talk to him when you’re on the phone. He also has a bad habit of interupting. Teaching patience I think is a life-long lesson…I’m still learning too!

    Comment by FENICLE on March 12, 2007
  8. sounds like mommy needs an apple-tini…… or maybe one for the kids, that would make them more patient

    Comment by iris on March 12, 2007
  9. oooo…patience. I had none until I started taking meds for depression. LOL! Good luck with teaching the kids ~ my son, who’s almost 4, likes to let me do my thing all day long until I get on the phone. Why is it that they always want to talk to us or want us to do something then? Mine doesn’t get the finger being held up either, and even I have trouble not interrupting people. Good luck though. I agree with Iris…go with the apple-tini!

    Comment by Michelle on March 12, 2007
  10. As they get older the desire to instill patience in them is complemented by the desire to instill resourcefulness in them. As my 13 year old stands in the middle of the kitchen yelling (because wherever I am in the house and whatever I am doing, answering them should immediately leap to the top of my priority list)”Where’s the tape?” my pat answer is “Be resourceful.” It’s my shortcut way of saying:
    1. You haven’t opened a single drawer, so it doesn’t even have a way to jump out at you if it could.
    2. I don’t need the tape and therefore have no desire to look for it.
    3. Every time I’m looking for something it’s in your room!

    Comment by Di on March 12, 2007
  11. i have no patience must be why my kids get so frustrated

    Comment by Anne on March 12, 2007
  12. It’s funny – I think we’ve accidentally drilled the polite sharing thing too hard. Mia now turns to me and asks to share things with me. Like her crayons. Or whatever she happens to be chewing on. Chewed up goldfish are kinda gross.

    Comment by Chris on March 12, 2007
  13. I hear you…. Minden’s sooooo thirsty all the time. I now not only have to put a drink for myself by my bedside, but one for him, as well. He knows which one’s for him. He likes it in a glass…. 😉

    Comment by Haley-O on March 12, 2007
  14. I think while youare at it you should teach them how to pop open a beer and decork a bottle of wine….

    Comment by crazymumma on March 12, 2007
  15. I can’t believe Isabella is old enough to put together complete sentences! My mind is blown.

    Also, I need some cool, fresh, quenching water.

    Comment by Vaguely Urban on March 13, 2007
  16. I am just starting to deal with the “impatience thing” while I’m on the phone. Up until now, it hadn’t been an issue and all of a sudden, the bunny whines and interrupts (politely admittedly, “Excuse me Mommy X1000 until I answer her) the entire time I’m on the phone.

    The other day, I talked to my girlfriend on the phone and let the bunny roll around on the floor just whining until she finally stopped. Ever since then, she has been a doll when I get on the phone.

    Comment by Multi-tasking Mommy on March 13, 2007
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