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Reverse psychology....would it really work?

Posted Jan 11 2010 6:30pm
It never fails. As I'm placing a hot dish on the counter after taking it out of the oven, I say to the kids, "Move away, please. This dish is hot...don't touch it".

"Why?", they ask. And I respond, "Because it'll burn you and you'll end up with a big owie!"

What do you think they do at that point? I'll give you 3 choices....

a) See who can be the quickest to touch the hot dish

b) Immediately move away because Mommy always knows what she's talking about

c) Just stare at me with blank looks on their faces

If you guessed C and then A, you would be right.

If you guessed B, well, then you just happen to fall into that 1% of the human population who have perfect children that listen to every word you say. Don't worry that the other 99% of the human population either hates you or thinks you're full of shit.

So as I'm running 4 burned little fingers under cold water, I say, "Geez, guys...what am I supposed to do?! If I told you that you SHOULD touch the hot dish, you would probably run away from it as fast as you could, right?"

Again, I just got blank stares. Confusion settled onto their faces.

Of course, this made me think of all the other situations we've been in where they didn't heed my warnings. To make it worse, they did the exact opposite of what I asked them to do.

So I figure if I start using reverse psychology, perhaps I'd have a chance of keeping two or three of them alive long enough to graduate from college and make lots of money. You know, so they can buy me that beautiful house on the beach that Tim and I pretty much kissed goodbye when we maxed out our HELOC trying to conceive the little angels in the first place.

This is how I imagine reverse psychology would sound like....

1) Go ahead, stick your finger in the light socket...the jolt of electricity going through your body is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I know it's been on my bucket list for quite awhile now.

2) Please, by all means....color all over the walls. I just ask that you be sure to use permanent markers this time.

3) Always, always, always be sure to touch the hot dishes I pull out of the oven. Sure, blisters are painful but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

4) It's fun to walk up to strange dogs and shove your hand directly into their face. If it bites you, I'd be happy to take you to the doctor's office for a rabies shot. I have nothing better to do this afternoon, anyway...plus, the doctor always enjoys seeing "the demon spawn", as he lovingly refers to you all.

5) Make sure you only get in the tub when the water is scalding hot. Watching your skin turn bright red as it blisters will give me something to do since after you all go to bed, I'm completely bored to tears.

6) Don't forget to pee all over the back of the toilet. I have nothing but time to kill and it pleases me more than anything to spend that spare time on my hands and knees cleaning up your pee. Plus, I wouldn't want you to get your hands dirty.

7) Sure, it's cool if you change your clothes several times throughout the day for absolutely no reason. It's my sole purpose in life to spend as much time as I can in the laundry room. It makes me feel like I'm being a good mother.

8) Don't bother blowing on your food if it's too hot. Just shovel it in as quickly as you can. I'm pretty sure your taste buds will grow back again at some point.

9) There's no need to be careful with your toys. No big deal if they break...I just happen to have a ton of money wasting away in a bank account. Why not use it to buy you more new toys to destroy? I really didn't want to replace my camera that you broke last week, anyway.

10) Crawling into the fireplace is an ingenius place to hide when you all are playing hide and seek. Or you can always try the washer or the dryer. But make sure you don't tell anyone about your secret hiding place so we can spend countless hours looking for you. The police are sitting around doing nothing but eating donuts anyway...one of their favorite things to do is look for missing kids.

11) Always tell complete strangers your name and address. Don't be shy. And it's an added bonus if you give them our burglar alarm code and let them know specifically when we'll be out running errands. Oh, and it's essential to tell them where we hide the extra key.

12) Yeah, knives are super cool to play with. It's even more fun if you run around the house with one in your hand with your eyes closed.

13) It's fine if you don't want to wear a jacket and mittens even though it's 40 degrees outside. Even better, your hands will be so frozen that it probably won't hurt when one of the other kids slams your fingers in the door of the mini-van.

14) Make sure you drink at least 5 glasses of juice before bed. I hardly ever sleep anyway so changing your bed sheets 3 times in one night is really no big deal.

15) Never brush your teeth, especially when you've eaten gummy bears before bedtime. How else is the dentist ever going to afford that Escalade she's been dying for if we're not constantly in her office getting your cavities filled?

So.....do you think reverse psychology might work?

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