A letter to her boys, from a tired mum, who just wants a bit of sanity back. Please brush your teeth.
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A Letter to Boys 1 and 2: A Few (11) Simple Requests from a Tired Mom

A letter to her boys, from a tired mum, who just wants a bit of sanity back. Please brush your teeth.

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By Kathryn Berens of Turning Twice Twenty

Dear Boys 1 and 2:

Boys will be boys…trite but true. However, for the sake of household harmony and my own sanity, I have a couple of gripes which, as they say, are “better out than in.” I think after 11 years of this mothering lark that I do “get” you boys. At the most basic level you are akin to dogs…with water, food, and exercise, you are happy, loyal and affectionate. However, all dogs need a little house training, so I’ve listed below a few simple requests from a tired mom.

1. If you wish to beat the crap out of each other, be my guest, but I would appreciate it if all fighting takes places out of sight and out of earshot.  We all know that it will end in one of three ways: Boy 1 injured and crying, Boy 2 injured and crying or Boys 1 and 2 both injured and crying.  Since the outcome is inevitable, I would be grateful if you could only report back to me if life or my property is endangered.

2. Please, could you refrain from tormenting your younger sister any more than is necessary? I understand that baiting her is good sport, but you are slowly but surely turning her from a fairly well-adjusted individual to someone who screams at the sight of an ant and who becomes a gibbering wreck at the mention of a sha….rk, even when we are 200 miles inland.

3. Please stop “liking” my pictures on Instagram.  This is frankly narcissistic as most of the photos are of you. And secondly, it is not exactly smart to “like” my Instagram photos when you are on an “electronics” ban. I am no technological wizard, but even I know that in order to “like” my photos, you have to go on-line, for which you need access to any one of the electronic devices, and from which you have been expressly banned.

4. Please don’t tell me to “chill” or “stop being so stressy.” Such vernacular has a polar opposite effect on me.  Those very words make my blood pressure rocket and the probability of rage quadruple.

5. Please don’t ignore my every word all day as if I do not exist and then insist on speaking to me when I am on the phone. Why are you completely unable to respond to any of my questions/requests throughout the day, but as soon as I am temporarily unavailable, suddenly you wish to speak to me with the utmost urgency about something which is always of very little consequence—along the lines of “Can I have a snack?” Why are you asking me now? You don’t normally ask. You normally just help yourself.  Why does the appearance of the phone at my ear suddenly turn you from monosyllabic to positively loquacious?

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6. Speaking of “loquacious,” please could you stop peppering your every sentence with the words “like” and “basically”? It makes for a torturously long conversation which is “basically” highly irritating, “like” really rather annoying and “basically” nonsensical. I would “like” it (correct use of “like”) if you could reserve your liberal use of “like” for social media.

7. Nothing awful will happen to you if you don’t look at a computer screen or a TV for a whole morning or afternoon, or God forbid, both—I promise you.  It is not, as you maintain, Boy 2, “child cruelty” to keep boy and screen apart.

8. I understand that a bit of competition is healthy, but you two take it to a whole new level.  Even the simplest of tasks become a mission for one of you to outdo the other.  What makes it all the more annoying is that you ask me or your father to referee/judge every little “competition.” Quite apart from the fact that I don’t care or want to be involved, this is an impossible task, as whatever the outcome, the results mirror those in my first point (although sometimes, thankfully, without injury).  Boys, you’ve just got to “chill.”….See how annoying that is???

9. Basic housekeeping. The loo does not flush itself, towels and clothes do not pick themselves up from the floor and food is not self-heating…Spot a theme here, boys?

10. Please, please, could you brush your teeth…just occasionally? It literally does take 2 minutes.  I don’t understand your antipathy to such a simple task that takes you so little time but means so much to me.  Boys, you are prepared to spend hours getting the contours of your hair exactly right, so why not your teeth? Believe me, you will thank me in a couple of years time. Girls don’t appreciate a lack of oral hygiene.

11. Lastly, this morning you educated me on another of your incomprehensible expressions: giving someone a “shout-out” on Instagram.  Apparently, you give your mates a “shout-out”on Instagram to tell everybody how wonderful they are and how much you appreciate them/their friendship, etc.  Lovely sentiment.  Where’s my shout-out? Forget your M8s for one second and tell everyone how gr8 your mother is and then you and everyone else can “like” that to their heart’s content.

I expect you won’t read this—Boy 1 because it is in the form of a letter rather than a text/email and Boy 2 simply because you are yet to appreciate that enjoyment could possibly be gained from reading. But if you chance upon it, then despite the above, you are both wonderful boys with whom there is never a dull moment.

Much love, Mum x

This post was originally published on Turning Twice Twenty.



About Kathryn Berens

Kathryn is a a forty-something mother of 3 who started her blog Turning Twice Twenty when she turned 40 as an outlet for all her moans about this milestone birthday. Over the last couple of years the blog has become the place where she writes (usually whines) about all sorts of issues about parenthood and the burning and not-so-burning issues of the day. She is always dreaming of making her fortune as a writer but accepts that probably she shall be continuing in her role as chef, cleaner, taxi driver and general dogsbody for quite some years to come!