by Nikki Deckon
I’m addicted to repeating myself at least three times in nearly every conversation. It started back when my boys were learning to crawl. At first, it was simple stuff such as, “Elijah, you can’t crawl there. You can’t crawl there. Really, you can’t crawl there!” As my kids got older, I repeated other things in a louder more insistent voice.
“Liam, go get your shoes on.” Two minutes later, “Liam, please go get your shoes on.” By the third time I’d be clenching my jaw and trying really hard not to scream, “Liam! GO GET YOUR SHOES ON! NOW.” Not that it mattered if I hollered, because my kids were so busy ignoring me, they never heard me anyway.
Then I graduated to repeating myself in a sing-songy voice, “Liam, shoes, shoes, SHOES.” Repeating myself over and over and over again became a way of life.
My teeny repetition problem wouldn’t matter much if I hadn’t started doing it with my adult friends. I was talking with my girlfriend recently about the ever-depressing issue of losing weight.
I said, “I’m training for a 12k because I want to lose my gut.”
“Oh, I hate jogging,” she said.
“Yeah, but I want to lose my gut.”
“I’d just like to get in shape,” she said.
“I just want to lose my gut.”
She gave me a funny look. And I couldn’t resist saying it again in a super-fast, hoarse whisper, “ijustwanttolosemygut.” Then I smiled like a lunatic. She scowled, scooted further away from me and changed the subject.
I wanted to shout at her, “I’m sorry!! I’m a repetition addict! I feel like it’s my kids’ fault!” If it was their fault, then they needed to get their ears checked. When I finally took Liam to the doctor, things didn’t quite go as I’d expected.
“His hearing is perfect,” the doctor said.
“Are you sure, because, he never listens to me?”
“OK, well …”
“Seriously, doc, he NEVER listens to me.”
He flipped the pages on Liam’s chart and shuffled his feet. He avoided eye contact and inched his way to the door. I barely restrained myself from repeating myself yet again. However, I did leave there with a revelation: It wasn’t their hearing. It was me! And since the first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem, so here goes nothing.
“Hi. My name is Nikki, and I am a Repetition Addict. I’ve been repetition free for … one second.”
Ahh … healing has begun. Now, I just need to find a group to help me stay on the right path. Seriously, does anyone know of a group that can help me with my repetition addiction?
Nikki Deckon and her hubby are the parents of two active boys in Oregon. Find her at nikkilee.wordpress.com