Every parent I know has the same complaint: we have to repeat ourselves over and over again just to get our kids to finish simple tasks. I, for one, am sick of sounding like a scratched CD. So, I decided to fine my kids $1.00 for each offense. If I have to say, "Brush your teeth," or, "Put away your dishes," or, anything more than once, they are instructed to march to their piggy banks and hand over a dollar.
Damn, am I rich now.
The other day, after Aimee lost all the money she had saved, she asked if she could speak with me privately.
"Sure," I said.
"Close the door," she instructed. I did as I was told and took a seat next to her.
"Mom, is there any way I can get that money back?" she asked.
I smiled. "Well, no," I said. "But there is a way you can stop losing it."
"But mom," she cried, "I can't!"
"Yes, you can," I said softly. "You can just do what needs to be done without messing around. You're a big kid now and you don't need my constant reminders."
"But mom!" she started to wail, "It's so hard! I can't change!"
I tried not to smile until she said, "I've been this way my whole life!"