What is "under"? Because if I say, "the dishwasher detergent is UNDER the sink" why does my daughter reach for the Palmolive ON TOP OF the sink?
What is "be quiet"? Because if I say "Sissy, stop talking and BE QUIET" why does her mouth keep running? And then when I say, "BE QUIET!!!" a little more forcefully why does she scream at me that she's "NOT TALKING!"
What is "eat politely"? Because if I'm out in public and I ask my daughter to eat politely when she is having an ice cream, why does she have so much chocolate all.over.her.face.hair.hands.chin.and.clothes that it looks like she fell into a pile of poop?
What is "stop screaming"? Because if I say, "Sissy stop.screaming.at.me" why then does she proceed to get nose-to-nose and scream louder?
What is "put your things away"? Because I've asked Sissy ten times to put her personal items away and yet, they remain on the sofa, table, kitchen floor, hallway floor, kitchen counter, bedroom floor, back porch steps ...
What is "take your medicine"? Because I literally have to stand over my daughter at med dosing time and tell her five hundred times to take her pills while she gabs, talks, giggles, fusses, shouts, you name it.
What is "close the back door"? Because I've told her to close the door behind her countless times and yet, it remains open.
What is "do your best"? when my daughter comes to me with her sleeping bag all balled up and twisted into contortions with the string double knotted somewhere around the mid section and says, "i can't do it"? Because I know she hasn't done her best. And so does she.
If someone can please tell me where I'm erring in my efforts to communicate directives in the English language, I would be much obliged. Until then, I seem to have new problems to conquer, the least of which is that my 12 y/o daughter seems to have a hearing issue.
The best part so far for my Sunday morning that began three and a half hours ago? Sissy announcing that she'll be a teenager this year (eight full months from now) and not three seconds later she was in a full-blown two y/o toddler tantrum.
eh, perhaps I'd be more forgiving if I hadn't had the brilliant idea of spending quality time with the children in the tent in the backyard ... all night.