Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Art of the Silent Nag

When I was a girl, my grandmother dubbed me "the silent nagger." I would ask for something, and if she put me off, I would hang around. And hang around. And hang around. Until she finally got sick of me hanging around and got me what I needed or made me go away.

My daughter has not yet mastered this art. She has somehow skipped the "silent" part.

She wanted her brother to play with her this morning. He wanted time to himself. She kept asking, he got more and more frustrated. Instead of sitting quietly next to him, looking pitiful, she started kicking him. And yelling at him. And then sobbing because he kicked her back. It was a very pretty picture.

And if she wants a computer turn, or a snack, or a friend to play, she'll count the minutes. Literally. "Mo-om, it's 4:23! You told us we could have snack at 4:30!" "Mo-om, it's 4:24!" "Mo-om, it's 4:25!" You get the picture. It's charming. It's especially charming when you're in the car and you tell her that you'll be somewhere in about 20 minutes. And she counts the minutes out loud. Every minute. And God forbid you were off by a minute or two. Because you'll get in trouble for that. Maybe even called a liar.

You see, with the silent nag, you're much more likely to get what you want. Because if you frustrate and aggravate the giver, you're likely to get a big N-O. Quietly, patiently, wait. But make sure they know that you are quietly, patiently waiting. And waiting.

I'm not sure how to teach the silent nag. Oh, heck, I'd be happy if I could just teach the silent part.

1 comment:

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

I hate it when they turn MOM into a two syllable word!!

Hey, I tagged you for a meme on my blog. Hope you'll play along!