Monday, 7 May 2012

All complaints must be made in writing

Every morning before I get into the shower, I make this announcement:

"Attention children. I am about to get into the shower. While I am in the shower I will not be able to hear you.

Please do not:

 a) bang on the door
 b) attempt to talk to me through the bathroom door

If you have issues with socks and underpants, arguments over the television etc. please wait until I am out of the bathroom and contact me personally."

Despite this very clearly worded and specific announcement, I still hear this every morning, through the misty haze of running hot water:

(frantic footsteps outside the bathroom, down the hall, up the hall)
(muffled child's voice in distant room of house) Bwah bwah bwah!
 (footsteps again, getting closer this time)
(frantic banging on the bathroom door followed by)
Bwaw bwaw bwaaaa - bwah! Bwaaah bwa bwa!

As you can plainly see from the above, I cannot understand a word they are saying when they talk to me through the bathroom door.  But still they continue to try and make contact.

To be fair,  there have been some mornings when my preemptive parent announcement has worked and I have showered in peace for a full three minutes. It's heavenly.

Over the years I have learned that these types of five minute 'coming soon' bulletins (i.e. coming soon: mum will be out of contact for three minutes while she showers) can actually be quite effective.

My eldest child, previously referred to in this blog as What's For Dinner, is now 12.  When he was three years old he was the most delightfully sociable child but would throw the mother of all tantrums when it was time to leave a playdate. We used to call it, "the rage."

To combat "the rage," I began giving five minute, backstage-at-the-theatre-type calls about fifteen minutes before leaving.

"Attention, this is your 15 minute call. This is your 15 minute call. We will be leaving in 15 minutes. Please do not throw a tantrum. Repeat do not throw a tantrum."

I repeated this announcement at five minute intervals until it was time to leave. It actually worked.

(If you're interested this technique also works for turning off the computer, leaving for school and bedtime. It partners very well with the use of an egg-timer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 15 minutes is up.)

My other technique to combat excessive whingeing used to be the following definitive proclamation:

"All complaints must be made in writing."

For a while that was a winner. They're all boys, so they're really not big on writing things down. 

Until one day when I was in the bathroom.
A knock at the door. A muffled voice.

"Bwah bwah bwaaaaah!"

"All complaints must be made in writing." I shouted back.

Footsteps. Silence.

Then a piece of paper was slipped under the door. Scrawled across it in purple texta was this:

I carnt find any soks

Time for a new technique.

No comments:

Post a Comment