5 Minute Rule

Life lessons the kids won’t learn (or how to repeat yourself repeatedly)

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“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ~Franklin P. Jones

5 Minute RuleI’m watching my 5 and 3 year old lay on the floor and pay vigil to another CGI movie, Ice Age. It’s a “relaxing” time as a parent and part time blogger because I can actually sit here and type something and they aren’t demanding my undivided attention. These moments are rare and typically only occur in 5 minute increments. You see we have strict laws in this house. When I’m home I am forced to abide by the 5 minute rule. Rule #3.001 as decreed in the Szczytko Family precepts of 2006 are hereby given:

You are not allowed to go more than 5 minutes without being interrupted.

This can mean anything. My normal newspaper tucked under the armpit bathroom break? Better hurry up.

Knock. Knock.
“Dad I need to ask you a question!”
“Son I’m in the bathroom!”

Even in the shower… *Curtain moves*
“DAD! Brooke said a bad word, do you want me to say it? Hey! I see your butt!”

One of the lessons we try to teach (and fail miserably at) is when not to interrupt someone. Having a conversation with someone can often be a challenge:

“So yes Bob we’ve been playing around with some social..”
“…media and…”
“…we started getting…”
“OH my goodness, what do you need son?”

The crazy part is we’ve explained to them a million times to wait until people are done speaking in order to ask your question. They aren’t getting it.

“Dad! I just farted!”

I’m a typical guy when it comes to potty talk. I find it hilarious. On occasion I’ve been guilty of actually encouraging it. My wife has given me the lecture and so over the past few months I’ve been trying to de-encouraging it. The problem is the kids aren’t recognizing that it isn’t okay to do it and especially not when at a restaurant. My daughter always seems to do it right when there’s a lull in the restaurant conversation “Dad! My butt stinks!”
Potty talk

I can’t make things magically appear.

“Dad I want that strawberry milk box!”
“Yeah but Brooke I don’t have one to give you.”
“But Dad I don’t want the chocolate. I want strawberry.”
“Brooke I don’t have a strawberry one.”
“Dad! I want a strawberry.”

This could go on like this for hours if I let it. I will typically sigh and start singing a childrens song.

You only have to ask once.

“Dad can I get a juicebox?”
*SHAKES MY HEAD* “No Luke you don’t need one right now.”
“Dad can I get a juicebox?”
“Dad can I get a juicebox?”
“Dad can I get a juicebox?”

Perhaps they feel that we’re susceptible to the Chinese water torture technique. It never works. Perhaps they feel that asking repeatedly makes things magically appear. See above.

Our van didn’t come equipped with arms that protrude from our seats.

“Dad I dropped my toy, can you pick it up for me?”
“Luke I’m driving, I can’t do that.”
“But it’s right there on the floor. Don’t you see it?”

After listening to this for the 3rd time on a 5 mile trip, I wish the van had an ejector seat. I should write Honda about that.

The good stuff.

I kid of course (no pun intended). My kids are my everything. To be honest, I don’t remember what life was like without them. Some day I hope they’ll read this post and laugh like Heather and I did while coming up with it. I hope they’ll understand how much we really love them. We do. Someday when they’re off with their friends and only utilize my wife and I as a taxi service, we’ll want the 5 minute rule back. I’m sure of it…aren’t I?

What lessons are your kids having trouble learning? Care to share…?

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