Monday, January 10, 2011

Sara's Surefire Tips for Shooing Away Offspring

Sometimes I find myself wanting a little quiet time away from my children. Smart as they are, however, my children are oblivious to subtle hints and oblique suggestions. Through trial and error, I have arrived at a varied list of things that are sure to make my children vacate the area that I want to myself. Because, as I may have stated before, I am a giver, I will share them with you. And if you have found a way to make your children vamoose, please, share. I am always looking to add to my repertoire.

1. Turn on music that is not to their liking. In my home, classical, opera, and anything recorded before 2002 qualifies.

2. Sing. Sing loudly. Sing loudly and off key. Sing something from #1 loudly and off key.

3. Ask someone to do a task. The tasks that clear the room most quickly around our house are, in no particular order: setting the table, clearing the table, taking out the garbage, cleaning the bathrooms, taking the dog outside.

4. Kiss your spouse. Don't just give them a little peck, really lay one on them. If you want to make sure that your children stay gone for a good length of time and you wish to scar them a little bit, grab your spouse's booty. Works every time. (This is my go-to of choice to make all four children instantly disappear and gross them out. Two birds, one stone. I just need to make sure I keep adding to their therapy jars...)

5. Begin rambling about what life was like when you were younger. I have found that while this doesn't always make them leave the area, it does cause my children to go into a sort of temporary catatonic state wherein they tune me out and are only corporeally present and not so much mentally present. In other words, they turn on their selective attention and optional hearing and suddenly I am alone in a crowd.

6. Say you are going to the grocery store. You must be cautious and judicious with this one, however. At least one of my children actually likes going to the store, so I have to make sure that I only use this one when she is otherwise occupied.

7. Ask for a foot rub. It's creepy, but it works.

8. Say that you are getting ready to get in the car for church or some other important event or appointment. I don't know why, but this announcement has the opposite effect than the one you intended when you made the announcement. Rather than everyone making their way to the automobile, suddenly they scatter all over the house. It's like herding cats.

9. Ask lots of questions. The questions that work best vary depending on the age and gender of my children, but these are some that clear them out or quiet them down: What did you do at school? Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Did you get in trouble today?

10. Hug and kiss them. This is most effective when they have friends around and you want the area to yourself. Although sometimes just threatening to lay a big, lipsticky kiss on them is enough to watch them scatter.

So there you have it--Sara's Surefire Tips for Shooing Away Offspring. The next time you are craving a little time to yourself try one out and see how it works.* Now, excuse me, but I want to watch some television and my children are bothering me. I think I'll go make out with my beloved and watch them flee.

*The author is not responsible for the effectiveness of these tips as children's tolerance for opera, kissing, foot rubbing, and chores may vary.

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