This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

When the Duck Quacks…

I’ve never had a problem with ducks. I’ve never really even thought about them for longer than a few seconds.

I may have said, “Oh, there’s a duck by the pond,” or, “Oh, look at the ducks flying in a V” about 10 times in my whole life. Come to think of it, the most I’ve probably thought about ducks was when I’d watch the movie “The Mighty Ducks.” Boy, did I have a crush on Joshua Jackson…

Ahhh.. Joshua...

Ahhh.. Joshua…

But, I’m getting myself off-topic.

Anyways, there’s a reason I’m talking about ducks here. Ducks have come into my house. Their quacks are haunting my dreams, and it’s all because of what I thought was a brilliant idea. A brilliant idea that has backfired and made me dread the sounds of their darn quacking.

It was a month or so ago when it first began. Noah was playing on his train table and I needed to go downstairs to fix Sophia a bottle. I had asked more than a few times for Noah to leave his room and come downstairs with me. He refused. I demanded that he come downstairs with me. He said, “Noooooooooooo” in that fadeaway voice he uses, even though he’s not going anywhere. I threatened him. He looked me up and down. I was holding Sophia in one hand, a water glass and sippy cup in the other… I was useless. I had no free hand to grab him with and I was looking pretty pathetic and tired. I wasn’t a threat. He just turned his back to me and continued playing.

Now, there are times where I don’t mind leaving him to play by himself. I realize that I have to pick my battles; that, yes, there are “teachable moments,” but there are also moments you’d rather just forget. I would have rather just forgotten this moment, but the point of the matter was, I was going downstairs and wasn’t ready to leave him on the second floor all by himself. Not to mention, of course, he’d eventually come down, and I didn’t want him going down the stairs by himself.

That’s when it hit me. My iPhone has all kinds of incredible things… I wonder if it has a timer? Of course, it did. Not only did it have a timer, but it had all kinds of fun noises to pick from when it came to the alarm.

“Noah!” I exclaimed, trying to make the whole thing sound really cool. “I’m going to set the timer on my phone for one minute. Then, when we hear the duck quack, it’s time to go downstairs.”

I think he heard me; he just didn’t really care much about what I had to say. But, a minute passed, that duck quacked, and you would have thought an entire circus entered the room. Noah’s face lit up and he laughed and danced around like crazy. He thought it was SOOO funny.

So, I went with it.

IMG_8121“Yes, hahaha, that duck is funny, hehehe. Let’s go downstairs, hahahaha.”

Amazingly, Noah followed me without a glance back, laughing all the way about the duck.

A little later, we were playing and it was time to eat lunch.

“Noah, come on, buddy. It’s time for lunch.”

No response from the other room.

“Noah, let’s go.”


“Noah, when the duck quacks, you need to be in this kitchen.”

He ran in with a smile and climbed into his seat, mumbling about the duck quacking. Clearly, he wanted to get a good seat to hear this fabulous duck quack.

By this point, I thought I was a parenting genius.

When it was naptime, I didn’t even wait for it.

“Noah, when the duck quacks, it’s time to go up for nap.”

Worked like a charm.

Over the next few weeks, the duck was my best friend and closest ally in the parenting world. Noah obeyed the duck and, thus, obeyed the mama.

But lately, the duck’s quacking is losing its luster. Lately, the duck has become really flipping annoying. But the worst part is that my son no longer has any idea what the word “now” means. And, unless I have my phone, I’m lost.

That awful truth dawned on me last week. I would tell Noah to do something and he’d say, “When the duck quacks,” while nodding his head matter-of-factly. OK, fine. But I needed him to do something that instant. So I’d tell him, “Noah, put the toys down now and come here.”

His response? “When the duck quacks, Mommy.”

It's a darn invasion!!

It’s a darn invasion!!

Now, I’m not saying this happens all the time, but it happens more often than not.

And, in the desperate moments when I don’t have my phone, I have been known to fake quack – not even kidding here. It’s worked a few times, but Noah knows better. I think most of the time the only reason he does what I want is because he just feels sorry for his mother who is so desperate for her son to follow her directions, she’s resorted to quacking like a duck.

Either way, I’ve spent the last few weeks phasing the duck not completely out, but far, far away. We’re getting there. I mean, I can’t just depend on a duck timer for his whole childhood.

I can see it now: “Noah, you’re running toward the street and there’s a car coming! Stop!! QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!!”

Truly. I’m having these nightmares now. Damn ducks.

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