Friday, January 16, 2009

Say what you mean already!

I'm sometimes amazed at the answers I get from my kids...  "I don't know" being chief offender.

Are you hungry for lunch?  "I don't know..."  what?  you really aren't in tune enough with your stomach to decide whether or not you would like to eat something yet?  

Which movie would you like to watch?  "I don't know..."

Hmmm... "I don't know" sounds a lot to me like "I'd like to spend a few minutes alone in my room whilst I consider being a more communicative and sweet child"

It certainly sounds like they're not hungry and have no desire to see a movie!  We did end up driving home from Wendy's once without a meal for the Teenager because he "didn't know" what he would like...  (sorry to the two blog readers who are avoiding fast food... I'll try to be more considerate in the future)

Is it our fault as parents?  Do we cause this by not being straightforward enough?  I always wanted to offer my children choices - but they're not very good at making them.  Ooops, wait, I just realized that comes directly from my DNA...  I now look up menus online so that I don't take as long to decide at the restaurant.  (no, I'm not kidding - it's saved my marriage... but THERE I was kidding)  Could it be related to parental inability to just say what we mean?  Should we be asking our toddlers if they need to "tinkle" or should we just come out and be scientific about it?  Should we be super honest when leaving them at nursery and say we'll be back in two sweet hours or is it okay to say "I'll be right back"  Is it possible that all of this indirect communication is related to my children's inability to answer a question?

Sorry - I'd expound some more, but I really have to make a trip to the euphemism :)

13 comments:

April said...

I'd really like to leave a comment, but I am unsure of what to say....errrrr.....ummmm.....I got nothing!

hahahaha!!! I love it! My hubby gets frustrated with me for the same reason. I didn't know you could look up menus online!!!! What the what??? (hehehe I love that saying!) Sometimes I can't even decide on a place to eat let alone WHAT to eat! Blame it on the kids! That's what I would do!

Heidi Ashworth said...

bwwaaahhhaaaa! My brother in law always says, "I have to go see a man about a horse." It was so killer (and somehow, sexy--see Shelle's post as I know T has) to see his three year old son lean with one hand against the wall and euphemize (not a word?) in the very same way.

Chelsi said...

I think it's just kids. I clearly remember my mom saying to me and my siblings, "Well, if you don't know, who does?" And, now, with my kid, I have found myself telling her quite often that "I don't know." is not an acceptable answer. Figure it out, and get back to me!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

hee hee hee. Loved this post.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Oh wise woman!

I just asked my 6-year-old if he wanted lunch - you guessed it "Ummmmmmm, I don't know."

Five minutes later, as I'm sitting down with my hot soup, he's ready.

Grrr.

mariann and Tory said...

Yup, ditto. Got the same geniuses over at my house! :}

Becky said...

So true!

Here's how things go at our place:

Me - What color would you like?
Riley - I don't know.
Me - Pick one.
Riley - Ummm... (five years pass)
Me - Okay, you pick or I'll pick for you. And just to let you know, I'll be picking pink.
Riley - I'll take green!

Except this can also backfire in a hurry. Darn my kids!!

Melissa said...

OK, here's my .02:

It's not that they're UNABLE to answer questions, it's that they don't WANT to answer questions. They don't care enough about what you're asking, think you're lame, etc., etc.

I know I may be cynical, but trust me, my kids have made me that way!

T said...

April - heck yeah the menus are online... so now when you're craving anything in the next 2 weeks you can still make hubby bring it to you :)

Heidi - what? Euphemize isn't a word? It should be.

E.M. - it's always that way - they'll decide as soon as I decide I could care less.

Becky... I think I've tried that approach, now my son thinks pink is his favorite color.

Melissa - your .02 were right on the money... because I KNOW my teenager thinks I'm lame :) That's in the teenager job description I think!

Malinda said...

My 12 year old son says I Don't Know all of the time, when I ask him what he wants to eat and he is a diabetic and he needs to let me know. It drives me nuts, cause then we get into arguments about what he wants to eat every single day, well it seems like we do.

Megz said...

That drives me nuts too. At least think of a more creative phrase of stalling rather than 'I don't know'. Like 'my mind is full of such delicious propositions I am going to need exactly one minute to decide. Please start the timer.' Then at least we would have a starting point!

roy/elisabeth dean said...

My daughter didn't get dinner tonight because she "didn't know" what she wanted. Everything I named got the same response.... mouth in a sideways smirk, nose crinkled, eyes looking off to the side, barely audible groans that sounded like "ayonno". So, I had a soft pretzel, hubby had soup and sandwich and 15 year old Molly had whatever she finally made for herself. I'll cook tomorrow night and won't ask her what she wants.
Have a great week!
hahaha...your word verification says *Jackere* That really should be a word too!
♥ Lilly

Adam and Kollen Marchant Family said...

I think there is something wrong at my house. My kids know exactly what they want and it's usually something they can't have. I think I'd prefer the i don't know sometimes.but then I could see that being really frustrating