Billingsley’s bullets: Parent talk is confusing

By September 30, 2011

There are a few expressions parents use that they really don’t mean at all. When a parent yells out, “I’m not telling you to do that again” or “This is the last time I’m saying this,” the child possible believes them for a short period of time.

After the parent keeps repeating the above statements, over and over, the child soon realizes they will receive at least a couple more warnings, so there is no good reason to stop what they are doing or not doing.

I suggest you limit “I’m not saying this again” language to three repeats. We all know that kids quit listening to lectures after the first two minutes. After the third repeat, use your trigger finger to thump the back of their heads to make sure they heard you.

• I overheard a conversation recently about arranging first dates on the computer. The lady talker said she would not date a man unless he loved dogs … not just her dog, but all dogs. I suggested that this dog-lover lady should stay away from computer dating because she could not see the potential date in person, and any male could tell her what he thinks she wants to hear. It’s easy to profess love for Fido in a computer statement.

If your date must be a dog lover, I suggest you hang out at dog parks. You could see the potential date in action with his or other dogs and you could determine whether he picks up his dog’s land marker — a sure sign of a responsible person.

• A bathroom scale lives a “hell on Earth” life. People are always standing on you, and you have to smell whatever is on their feet or shoes.

The bathroom scale, more often than not, sees a look of despair or disappointment on the faces of the people stepping on it. Sometimes people are angry and stomp on it or push the scale into the wall, after a cuss word or two. Scales receive no respect!

I have never heard a person, including me, say “thank you” to a scale. I have observed people claim the scale is broken or “screwed up.” People just aren’t friendly to bathroom scales. The scales never get to go outside, and people lie about the scales’ numbers.

We have psychiatrists for dogs — why not a psychiatrist for bathroom scales?

Tomorrow morning, clean your feet before you gently step on the scales and say “thank you” after you step off. After all, your scale carries the weight of the world on its platform, and whatever is on your feet or shoes is now on its face.

On your first date, tell your date that you love dogs and bathroom scales!

• Have you noticed that mothers rarely give themselves undivided attention? They are way too busy taking care of the rest of us to give themselves undivided attention.
Privacy really doesn’t exist in the mother world. The husband and the kids want her full and immediate attention. Mothers have told me they look forward to going in the bathroom so they can lock the door for a couple of minutes of privacy.

Locking the bathroom door doesn’t work. The kids start banging on the door, demanding attention, food, a reprimand for their brother or a hug.

If you are a husband, reading this column, you need to put the paper down and arrange for a three-day trip to the beach for the woman in your house who never receives undivided attention. Make no demands during these three days, and encourage her not to call home. You make the home calls while she is reading a good book on the balcony, overlooking the ocean.

All of us occasionally need undivided attention to feel worthy. When you feel worthy, you feel loved and you will demand that people treat you respectfully. Mothers deserve our love and respect, and they certainly deserve undivided attention.

Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hill resident and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.

Bob Billingsley


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