The other day, I was reminding W that I would be picking him up from school that day. 

“OK, why do you always have to remind me so much?  I’m not going to forget.  You told me last night, too.  You ALWAYS pick us up on Tuesdays…what’s to forget?”

As I processed his reaction, and the fact that maybe I HAD gone a little overboard, I recalled a conversation we had on our way to the bus stop a few days earlier.

“W, you’re getting older, and you have to do a better job of cleaning.”

“My room?”

“Your self.”

A what-the-heck second later, “what?”

“Your body’s changing, and it’s not just about dirt any more.  You have little bumps on your face…do you wash your face in the shower?”

“Why are we talking about this?”

“Answer the question.”


My turn for a what-the-heck second.  “What?”

“Sometimes I forget.”

“Well, do you at least use soap when you DO remember?”

“Sometimes.”  Followed by the classic uh-oh look and more what-the-heck moments.

I explained to him that he needs to ALWAYS remember and he needs to ALWAYS use soap.  One, for basic hygiene (duh), and two, because he’s going to get zits.  Because his body’s changing.

“Mo-om!  Stop saying zits.  That’s so gross.  And ‘my body’s changing’.  Ew.”  But the next morning he made a point to tell me he not only remembered to wash his face, he also remembered to use soap.  Woohoo!  Progress.

I reminded him of this previous conversation.  His dad reminded him that he’d forgotten to bring his homework assignment home the day before.  I reminded him that I have to remind him to bring his guitar to his lesson every Tuesday, that I usually have to remind him to do his chores, brush his teeth, wear clean socks, sit upright at the dinner table, say please and thank you, and that he forgot to give his teacher the note that I would be picking him up so no one knew where he was or was supposed to be one day…you get the idea. 

Another sheepish look, and an “oops” grin.  Point made.

So, I didn’t remind him about pick up this time.  I trusted him.  And he remembered.  Good boy!


He forgot his guitar.


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