Having kids can no doubt bring out the absolute best in a person and the absolute worst. Most days it's somewhere in between with the occasional burst of either extreme. Okay, who am I kidding, the extreme on the "worst" side maybe comes out a bit more often, no matter how hard I try to keep it at bay. I guess I'm still not used to doing every little thing for two little people that seem to suck the life right out of me without the slightest bit of appreciation for being allowed to keep living. That tends to push a person to their limits.

They're just relentless. They sense the frustrations building and they keep poking and poking and poking until BOOM! Followed by "Dang, Mom, what's your problem? Why are you so mad?" I'm not exactly blaming them for making me turn into a monster, I'm just saying it's entirely their fault and otherwise doesn't happen outside of their presence.

My kids definitely have selective hearing. And by selective hearing I mean sometimes they only hear me when I open my mouth and the devil comes out.

Ask nicely: Can't hear it.

Tell nicely: Can't hear it.

Ask firmly: Nope.

Tell firmly: Huh? Did you hear something? No.

Ask eleventy billion more times, grow old and die waiting for them to hear me: La la la I hear nothing la la la hey where'd Mom go I can't believe she went off and died in that nursing home without saying anything to us la la la.

Holler (That's polite southern speak for SCREAM FACE OFF until your throat hurts because apparently you have to break some sort of sound barrier in order for their ears to start working): "Geez, Mom, you don't have to yell."

I hate to yell. I absolutely hate it more than anything. I've tried so many "alternative methods" to communicating and it seems like no matter what I do or say, there are times they literally cannot hear me until certain octaves are reached and everything in my face hurts. I try to be patient and calm. I try to speak rationally and directly. I try to get their attention in healthy, positive ways. I fail miserably.

And they wonder why I'm in a perpetual state of exhaustion and borderline-to-actual mental breakdown. Well, when you spend 98 percent of your time talking to yourself because nobody bothers to listen to you, that tends to happen.

Next time you see a person talking to themselves in public you shouldn't be so quick to judge, they probably just have kids. Buy them a drink or give them a hug, they need it. It also wouldn't hurt if you let them say something like "Could you please put your shoes in your room?" and you say "Sure, I'll do that right now!" and then hold their hand and tell them you love them and appreciate everything you do for them while you walk through the grocery store not asking for one single thing, not even Fruit Roll-Ups.

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