I love my kids but they are not perfect. (You know, in case y’all haven’t figured that one out, by now.) When things get stressed, I tend to react with hyperbolic overstatement.
- Hyperbole: exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. (Dictionary installed in my widgets.)
In essence, I blow things way the heck out of proportion to distract and make the offspring in question take a moment to really think about the situation as it IS and how they are being a wee bit ridiculous in one way or another.
Sometimes, I pick on their semantics. Why? Because when a child is complaining, sometimes all you can do is distract them. So I do that.
“Mom! I wish the timer were shorter!” Medium Sized Guy whined at me not six minutes ago. He was unhappy with his current module of his computer game and decided he was starving so his dinner had to be done IMMEDIATELY.
Hey, you cannot hurry basmati rice and my Mexican chicken combo.
So I said, “Well, get taller, then it’ll be shorter.”
“What, it’s this tall! How much shorter can it be?” I teased, holding my fingers close together.
“Mom! I wish the timer wasn’t so long!”
“What?” I asked again, measuring the length of the digital timer on the oven. “It’s only this long! How much shorter do you want it to be?”
“Mom! I meant, I’m hungry for dinner, now!”
“Ohhh,” I said. “Well, look, it’s not that long, now. Can I get you something while you wait? A piece of bread? Some Cheerios?” (Healthy, portable food, for the most part.)
He agreed that a piece of bread was good and all was well. Because I got him to rethink how he spoke, made him laugh at me, and when he came back just now, he said, “I wish dinner would be done.”
“Ah, now there’s the right thing to say.”
And you know what? The timer just gave me a one-minute warning. 🙂