Photo: Chris Kelly

I know it’s that time of year where children are encouraged to make lists of their holiday gift wishes. I also know we encourage children to believe anything is possible. And I also know that the law of attraction and the bible both teach us “ask and it is given” but for goodness sake do these kids have to ask a million times a day?

My daughter, almost 9-years-old, is seriously the most asking child I have ever met. Her adult brother seems to believe otherwise but he hasn’t spent an 8-hour day with her out of the house.

It begins even before we get in the car.

“Mom, can we go to the park today?” I don’t know.

That same question is asked with varying answers at least ten times per day. Of course, once in the car the questions then become things like:

“Can we get ice cream? Can we get donuts? Can so and so have a play date?”

And so on, you get it. Asking one million “can I’s” will not get you a yes. It will get you a mother whose head explodes. And that will never get you anything.

Most often after the initial, I don’t know or I’m not sure, I follow up with “don’t ask me again” but it’s as if my lips are moving and nothing is coming out for she absolutely ignores that demand. Yes, demand. The barrage of nonstop requests feels like a woodpecker pecking my eyes out. Graphic yes, but seriously request overload is real.

I try responding nicely the first several times and then the eyes pecked out me begins with the threats. “If you ask me again the answer will be NO!” or “If you don’t stop asking me we will never, ever do that ever again…in this lifetime” As she dramatically gasps and replies “Are you serious?”. Yes, yes I am serious. I am so serious that will only be the beginning of the end if you don’t quit harassing me about your desired schedule of activities. Once she is clear that there are consequences she is not down with she lets up for a minute on that subject.

Only to replace those can I haves with where are we going and whys. OH MY GOODNESS! Can a Mom catch a break? What difference does it make where we are going? You are in the car, with me, I am driving and you have no say or choice in the matter. Where I am going is crazy with your questions. So please, stop. You are along for the ride whether that is to the car wash, the grocery store, post office or Disneyland. If I want you to know I will tell you. And most likely I will let you know something by way of how I expect you to dress for the outing.

The craziest thing of all is that no threats, no reminders, no bribery, nothing seem effective to forever change this behavior. Earplugs, maybe that’s the answer, earplugs because I am quite certain duct tape would not be acceptable.

Can I…get another Mom on my NO team?

Do you have a story to share with our readers? We want to hear it! Sign up for our Spoke Contributor Network and start submitting your writing today.