Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks

Kids, This Is Not A Carnival Funhouse!

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Sometimes when I’m shouting, “I swear to all that is good and holy, I will remove every reflective surface in this house if you don’t stop looking at yourselves and get your chores done,” I wonder if I’m the only parent who has ever had to make this unreasonable claim.

My children adore themselves. They like to watch themselves talk, eat, dance. . . whatever. I’m glad they have such high self esteem but it’s truly maddening sometimes. My son is the worst. From a young age, he would situate himself so he could look in a mirror, fireplace door, pane of glass, toaster, anything he could see himself in and carry on conversations with me (him). If the chit-chat was more of a dispute, he would watch himself gesture wildly. Countless times I’ve had to say, “Jacob, move to a spot where you can’t see JACOB because JACOB is going to get you in trouble.”

Katie isn’t much better. She enjoys her shadow. I can’t count the number of times she’s nearly run head-on in to a glass curio cabinet because she was watching her silhouette prance down the hallway on the wall instead of looking straight ahead.

The biggest culprit and source of contention is by far the dining area. Our dinette sits in front of a sliding glass patio door. At night, it’s like a big ole wall of mirrors and both kids take full advantage of its superstar possibilities. If you tell them to set the table for dinner they end up practicing their “moonwalk.” Ask them how their day was and they answer with animated faces they can see from the glass. Ask them to clear the table and it’s back to more hip-shakin, grand jete-ing, popping-&-locking and spinning. Again, I’m happy we’ve raised happy spinning children but sometimes, “MAMA JUST NEEDS TO LOAD THE DISHWASHER.”

Sometimes it’s hard to balance the fun time with the chore time. And really, I just wondered if any other parents ever had to threaten to take the family toaster away.

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