Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Because It's What I Do Best (part 2)


I am really a champ at nagging.  The National Superbowl of Nagging Champion, actually.  Because I am, at heart, altruistic, I would like to take this opportunity to share all that I have learned over the years:

Nagging works best when used sparingly:
A neverending barrage just sets the compliance bar higher.  It is like escalation in warfare - at a certain point nothing works but annihilation (and then who would you share holiday dinners with?).

Nagging works best when done quietly:
The shouted "How many times do I have to say this..." only causes the stereo (or TV or Xbox) to be turned up...and once you have expended all of that energy, you won't have it any in reserve for the long haul.

Nagging, done properly is better torture than fingernails on a chalkboard:
It is incessant.  It is intermittent.  (both excellent psychological concepts and not at all as contradictory as they may at first seem).  Eventually making it stop and keeping it from starting again is all that matters.

The latest "topic" for the nagging is clean bedrooms.  The Bearded One set one holiday task for Ms. Flippers and Stubble...
Get their bedrooms cleaned up so that the doors can be open and the cats can get in (without doing damage to their furry little selves or the bedroom contents).  The way that The Bearded One accomplishes this is to fret about the issue for a few days while letting me know that he is fretting and exactly what he is fretting about.  Then there comes a time when the volcano begins to spew...
"How many times do I have to say this...."
"Is it too much to ask..."
Once the initial eruption is over, if they wait long enough while doing nothing, it all blows over.

This vacation, I got involved.  Witness a master in action...

Me:  "If you get the room clean, I'll vaccuum."

1/2 hour later
Me:  "I'm starting a load of wash, I need everything off the floor.  If it is on the floor and isn't dirty, it needs to be in the dresser"

1/2 hour later
Me:  "Can I vaccuum yet?"
1/2 hour later  
Me:  "How about now?  Are you ready for me to vaccuum?"

1/2 hour later
Me:  "I'm starting another load in the washer.  Do I have everything?"

1/2 hour later
Me:  "Can I run the vaccuum yet?"

Sooner or later (usually sooner) the clothes start arriving in the laundry room and I am told, "I can do the vaccuuming - you don't need to bother."

 1/2 hour later

"Can I put the vaccuum away now?"

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