My children think I’m weird because I say the same things over and over. But I don’t think I’m weird because these things make sense. See what you think:
“Be a kid as long as you can. You have to be an adult the rest of your life.” Basically, kids need to take full advantage of childhood, when summers are long and desserts are guilt-free. I recently waxed eloquent on this one. You can read it here.
“Everything in moderation.” This is probably something I say daily. I find real value in balance—whether it be in eating or exercising, socializing or spending. It is my firm belief that anything of this world, taken to the extreme, is unhealthy for mind and body. If I practice moderation in my daily routine, I can enjoy my work, my play, and my chocolate.
“Only touch it once.” This phrase has probably saved me hours of work. Rather than bringing the mail in, separating it into good mail/junk mail, just throw the junk mail immediately, and save yourself a pile—and a touch. Or instead of putting something in a basket on the stairway to help you remember to take it downstairs, just run, quick as a bunny, and take it downstairs immediately. Get it? Only touch it once.
“Little messes make big messes.” or the inverse, “If you clean up little messes, you won’t have big messes.” When my children were younger and would pour 1,200 Legos on the floor all at once, I would cringe, and then in a fake, sweet–as–I-could-muster voice say, “When you get done playing, I want you to clean up that little mess before you get out more toys because, remember? Little messes make big messes. Or, in present day, when I bravely venture in Tess’s closet and am alarmed at the mountain of clothes as tall as myself, I cringe, and I say in a fake, sweet-as-I-can-muster voice, “If you clean up little messes, you won’t have big messes”, while trying to stress the importance of doing laundry at regular intervals, especially since college is on the very near horizon and roommates probably don’t want to share a room with a dirty-laundry hoarder.
“Make a place for it and you won’t lose it.” This just seems to make sense—although maybe not to my children, as seen here. If you establish a place for something (and put it there every day after school, or every night before you go to bed)--like a wallet or phone or keys or your favorite stuffed chipmunk, Chippy—then YOU WILL ALWAYS KNOW WHERE TO LOOK FOR THAT ITEM and you won’t run around the house like a crazy person looking for it frantically before you leave. Enough said. And by the way, it really really bugs me when people spell lose, loose. When you lose a tooth, it falls from your mouth, but when your tooth is loose, it is merely wiggly, but still attached. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.
“Nobody Cares.” This may sound calloused, but in reality, it is true. When you are 15 and concerned that you didn’t get that chunk of hair in the back of you head curled exactly right, you must remember, “Nobody cares.” When your connection group is coming over to your house and you forgot to shine up the faucets in the half bath and the kid’s backpacks are still laying all over the counter, you must remember, “Nobody cares.” When your brother looks weird because he got up exactly 2 minutes before the gang left for church, and his shirt is a little small, you must remember, “Nobody cares.” And if you have to wear a cardigan because it’s chilly and the sweater has a V-neck, but you’re wearing it over a crew neck shirt, it’s not the end of the world, because you must remember, “Nobody cares.”
Well, that’s all the weirdness I can muster up today. Stay tuned and maybe I will remember more valuable “Things I say to my kids.”