Ashley Mozingo

Hi everyone! My name is Ashley, and I am a stay at home mom to two girls, Paislee, 3 and Keely, 1. My husband is in the Coast Guard, and is currently stationed at a Coast Guard unit on Camp Lejune. We have been married for five years now and have spent two of those years in Alaska, where Paislee was born, and two in Maine, where we had Keely. We were lucky to get stationed here in 2012, and call North Carolina "home". We were both born and raised in different cities in eastern North Carolina, and we are super excited to get to spend some time here with our girls and introduce them to some of our favorite places that we had as children. Before I met my husband, I attended East Carolina University, where I earned my Bachelors Degree in Communications. I have a love for writing, and a huge passion for being a mom, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write about my experiences and exciting moments of this rocky ride that we all call 'Motherhood'.

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Onnnne…Twoooo…Two-And-A-Half…THREE! The Numerical Threat.

Onnnnnnee…twooooo…….two-and-a-half…..three!!

You know, I would really be interested in knowing what mother actually started this little countdown, as it certainly spread throughout the world (I know it happens in England) and has been passed down through generations. I would also like to know exactly what the first kid was doing or wasn’t doing, that prompted this three second grace period before having their consequence issued. Perhaps he was refusing to practice his alphabet in hieroglyphics or was outside playing with his pet dinosaur past dinner time. Regardless, I want to know!

This little countdown isn’t your typical countdown; it’s not like NASA is launching a space shuttle to the space station. No. This little countdown is many things to children; it is a numerical threat; an educational opportunity with numbers which actually makes it a teachable moment, and it demonstrates the life lesson of cause and effect.

As a kid, I always let my mom get to two, maybe two-and-a-half if I was feeling ballsy. We hit three a few times, but I already weighed my options and was willing to accept the consequences. With my dad, he’d get to one and I’d hop to it, no need to test those waters, I wasn’t interested in what seeing it to three, whatever I was doing wasn’t that important.

I always thought it was ridiculous that my parents were counting parents. Really, what do numbers have do with me and my sister tearing up the living room to make a school for our Cabbage Patch Dolls?  My mom would come in and say; “girls, I told you to clean this room up. If it wasn’t done by the time she returned, she counted.  Onnnnne……..twoooo…….  ?? And I never understood the little pauses in between numbers, like was that for dramatic affect or was it time for us to really weigh our options?

And then I became a parent; a COUNTING parent at that, and I understood.  The numeric threat comes when you’re tired of talking.  Your brain cannot muster up anymore requests, directions, or redirections, all that’s left is numbers. As for the pauses in between, yeah-that’s for dramatics, but it also gives Sayle a moment to do what I asked him to do because I really don’t feel like issuing a consequence in the first place, rethink his options, while allowing me to contemplate my next move given the environment if I actually make it to three. You can’t turn back after three, no matter how much aggravation is involved. Am I going to opt for a time-out, a leg sweep in the bath tub, or a swat across the tush?  If I throw a “two-and-a-half” in there, it’s only because I’m undecided or I can tell that Sayle is on the verge of making the right decision, he just needs one more second for the follow through.  Regardless, once “one” is thrown out, there is either compliance or consequence.  It’s ultimately Sayle’s choice as to which.

My first attempt at a numerical threat was a lost cause as Sayle simply didn’t get it, or his smart mouth was developmentally advanced.  He wouldn’t sit down in the bathtub and after engaging in the battle of “sit down please” a zillion time, I put on my momma-look and said “onneeee” very sternly.  In turn, he responded with twoooo….freeee….fourrrrr….fiiiiiiiiiive. That was a big fat fail on my behalf.

Now, Sayle gets it. The second I throw out “one!” he knows where this is headed and he better make a quick decision. Sometimes he throws out a, “no!” which leads me to, “two!” only with a meaner momma face.  The only time I have actually gotten to three was when he stomped his foot and gave me a look at two, and then a consequence was issued. Other than that, “one,” will usually stop the behavior, but not the verbal protests.

So are you a counting mom?  Do you offer the courtesy of using the two-and-a-half, or do you just go to three?  How does it work for you?

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4 Comments on “Onnnne…Twoooo…Two-And-A-Half…THREE! The Numerical Threat.”

  • Brynn Reese June 11th, 2011 10:50 am

    We are definitely a counting family! We count all the way up to five, so we usually don’t have to throw the fractions in there. Counting is awesome – my kids are really responsive to it and it avoids all kinds of behavioral problems. We love counting!

  • amber June 21st, 2011 2:51 pm

    Yes, Im a counting mom. I found that this works until your child thinks that it would be cool to finish counting for you. One day my daughter decided that she would test my counting ability and as i was counting, she said 3..4…5… and she said it with the straightest face! I didnt know whether to laugh at her cleverness or if i should start counting all over again! So needless to say, we are trying other methods!!

  • Brooke Brooke June 21st, 2011 9:32 pm

    Brynn, I love the idea of counting to five rather than to three. I love the way you threw in the “fractions” by the way! At what point do you start counting? Do you give a direction, then come back and check, then start couting, or are you a stand there and counting mom?

    Amber-Have we had a discussion about we shouldn’t fast forward the consequence? HA! I can totally see Peyton doing this!

  • Brynn Reese June 22nd, 2011 12:22 pm

    We start counting whenever it becomes clear that they’re just not listening to us or doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So if I’ve asked them to pick something up and they’ve been distracted or are ignoring me, that’s when I start counting. If you count for everything, it loses its significance. Good luck counting with Sayle! It really does help!

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