why "go get your pajamas on" sounds like "keep refining your marble run until you get it exactly right, which should take at least half an hour, and then drag yourself upstairs, where you can arrange 23 matchbox cars on the bed in precisely the order you want them," in the ears of a six-year old?
Or why "good morning, time to get up and get ready for school" really means "pull the covers over your head and close your eyes" and "get up and get dressed now" means go in your closet and make some adjustments in the arrangement of the items on your desk" and "get your clothes on right now and go downstairs to eat breakfast" means "lie back down on your bed and unzip your pajamas at the rate of one zipper tooth per minute"?
And why does "put on your coat and go get in the car" translates to "run upstairs and get just one more thing out of your room...because you really need to take a toy to school today even though the rule is no toys at school...but this isn't really a toy...it's a marble, or a box or a car that you're only going to take out on the bus."
And while you're at it, can you also tell me why this makes me so angry my head feels like it's going to explode? And then I scream and yell and rant and rave, and yes, I have to confess, sometimes spank? And then I feel like a real a**hole, because really, is missing the bust that big of deal? Is staying awake an extra fifteen or thirty minutes all that much (even though that extra fifteen minutes will absolutely guarantee a missed bus the next day)? Especially when the yelling and screaming doesn't improve the outcome--the words translate just the same coming from a loud angry voice as a sweet, quiet one.
And one last question...why do we teach our children to do things themselves, when it would be faster and easier and less crazy-making than doing it ourselves?