I don’t know what it is about me but there are times when I like to irritate my kids. I don’t know why I do it, Beaver’s mother didn’t do it to him and Mrs. Brady never irritated her kids, but I enjoy it. I restrain myself and don’t do it as often as I’d like to but every once in a while I can’t control myself and I poke the bears. My absolute, hands down, favorite way to send them all into a frenzy is to play the song Don’t Worry - Be Happy in the car. Remember that song? I love that
song! I loved it when it came out and I still love it today. It will bring a smile to my face, even on the worst of days and I can feel tension seeping right out of my body as the song plays. I know it really irritated a lot of people when it came out and for some unknown reason it irritates my children. All three of them. A lot. One day several years ago we were all in the car and everyone was grumpy. The kids were fighting, the Island King was tired of listening to the fighting and I was pretending to be a stranger these people picked up and that I’d be getting out and soon. That’s when it happened. Don’t Worry - Be Happy rolled around on a play list and all the fighting and bickering stopped. It was quiet. I’m smiling and head bobbing and de-stressing and then they started yelling “Make that stop! Turn it off! What are we listening to? MOM!!!” Not wanting them to pop the happy bubble I had going on I turned the radio up louder. Much louder. They know from many previous experiences with me that I can turn the radio up louder than they can yell, whine or cry and that trying to do or say anything over the radio is pointless. So they all
got quiet again. And I smiled and head bobbed and de-stressed until the song was over. Since that day they have reacted the exact same way when that song comes on. And now they’re conditioned to know that when the song comes on I’ll turn it up really loud to drown out their complaints so not only do they have to listen to it - they have to listen to it turned up loud.
Now whenever I feel like poking the bears, I play that song. This morning we were taking the Island Girl to lifeguarding and the song came on. Before I could turn it up the Oldest Island Boy said “Mom, if you don’t stop I will NOT buy you a big house on the water when I get rich. I might not even tell you where MY big house is so you can’t come and visit.” Island Girl chimed in with “Mom, if you don’t turn that off I’m going to put you in a nursing home when you’re old.”
The Youngest used a much better approach and said “You can live with me Mom. I’ll build you a whole 3rd floor on my house and you can have a big bedroom with glass in the middle of it - that way you can see Dad but you can’t hear him snore. But you can’t play that song”
I turned the song off. I like that song but the idea of a room with glass in the middle so I can see the Island King but not hear him is just too good to pass up LOL