About 7 years ago, I worked for a man who liked to use the phrase "herding cats." That year, there was a Super Bowl commercial where cats were indeed, being herded.
I like to say that getting children to go a certain direction or do a certain something is like herding cats. The past three days have reinforced that opinion.
I spend hours of my life chirping warnings like:
"You need to stay by Mommy."
"If you are not going to stay by Mommy, you need to hold my hand."
"Get back over here!"
"No one gets to be the leader because you need to STAY BY MOMMY."
Or you might hear me muttering something like this:
"Watch out, the ice is slippery."
"Be careful, the ice is slippery."
"Don't jump, the ice is slippery."
"Don't run, the ice is slippery."
Or another day might have me saying:
"Sit on the couch, please."
"Sit on the couch!"
"You need to sit on the couch so you don't fall off and crack your head open."
"No jumping on the couch!"
"OK, let's try this again... YOU. NEED. TO. SIT. DOWN."
Why do I do this? Do I really think that my children will listen to me? Do I still believe that my constant warnings will protect them from harm? Isn't it obvious that they will do whatever it is that they are doing no matter what I say?
Perhaps after they are lost (It invariably ends with one of them saying 'I couldn't see you anywhere!'), or they fall on the ice (The Dragon was stunned as she lay flat on her back staring up at the sky), or fall off the couch (The Princess informed me that her head did not crack open), they will listen to me.