There’s always room in our lives for deep insights and new learning. Particularly when it comes to dealing with family. More particularly, when it comes to getting family to do things.
Sometimes I think that if only I listened a bit more to the wise words of those decades younger than me, I would find life a lot easier. I am amazed in fact how I have got this far in life without the superior knowledge and experience of my children constantly guiding me throughout my daily challenges.
The latest pearl of wisdom is how not to be a nag. I’m so thrilled by this, I can’t tell you. Except I will, of course, because it’s an invaluable life skill no one should miss the chance of acquiring.
It started this morning when I noticed the huge pile of A2 files and notes still fetchingly decorating the dining room table and floor. I’d mentioned weeks ago as soon as the exams finished, it would be good if they could be moved. And couched the order as a polite request, if I recall, which was fatal since nothing shifted between then and now.
So, about to chauffeur daughter to station so she could catch the train for another three weeks of indulgent entertainment, I sadly mentioned the academic Vesuvius, and what a pity it was it hadn’t been dismantled before her departure.
She said I should have reminded her before, because clearly there was no time to do it now. I mournfully observed that I hadn’t mentioned it before because I hadn’t wanted to nag; but admitted I found it hard to tell the difference between a reminder and a nag. It seemed that despite my expertise in nagging, I just hadn’t managed to get the hang of reminding….
They explained it very simply to me. A nag is a reminder given at an inconvenient moment.
So there you go. Easy. Except why do I think I will be just as useless at determining ‘inconvenient moments’?