I used to think it was just the kids... but then I listened to myself... and realized that, in our house at least, whining is a learned behavior. Of course, when I do it, its called nagging.
You would think the youngest whiner would be the biggest offender, but no! The order of hierarchy goes something like this: Momster (that's me) Only Son, Third Child and then Bonus Baby.
Firstborn, Sweetie Petite-y and Husband barely register on the whining scale... but rarely, just like an erratic heartbeat, they too make their displeasure known.
I whine alot* about messes - scattered toys, dirty dishes in the living room, trash and wrappers missing the basket, balled-up socks everywhere, and, oh yeah - BEDROOMS ALA CYCLONE! Not that the rest of the house escapes unscathed, (no one would ever see the gorgeous, hand-crafted deacon's bench that Father-In-Law made if the Critters had their way) but the Critter-dens collect detritus quicker than a blind alley behind McD's!
I whine alot* about Critters spending too much time in front of a screen, and not enough getting their hands dirty - and I don't mean making mud pies!
I whine alot* about having to scrimp and make do, and about my latest aches and pains.
I whine alot* about whining alot* about whining* --- it's a vicious cycle.
Only Son whines* about limits on his screen time, doing chores, doing more than his fair share (ha!), getting his hair cut, whatever is for dinner, homework, and his sisters - especially when they're in the bathroom.
Third Child whines* about not having the latest and greatest, well... everything! Including her own room.
Bonus Baby whines* about no more potty training treats, not enough play dates, wanting "just two more minutes" before bedtime and one more verse of whatever the lullaby du jour may be. Come to think of it, she's the only one who really has anything worth whining about.
Bonus Baby whines mostly to me, Only Son and Third Child whine at everyone, and, while I nag the Critters, I whine to Husband. And he doesn't like it...
Then again, neither do I.
So, what to do about all of this whining?
I tried posting mantras - you know, power of positive thinking blurbs - taped in inconspicuous (but heavily trafficked) areas of the house - like computer monitors and the door jam of every bathroom and Critter den. Some are for everyone's benefit, and others for my sanity....
Spend your dash wisely.
(if you don't get it, think tombstones...)
Lord, may I be a blessing to those I meet today.
Bless me as I bless others.
...and my new personal favorite (which I recently found on a wooden shingle and hung above the Critter's school portraits)
Thou Shalt Not Whine!
I'm the only one who notices them any more...
Bonus Baby can't read yet, so she's off the hook. As are Husband, Firstborn and Sweetie Petite-y since they've already got the message. And for the rest? I'm considering stronger measures.
*The above lists in no way encompass the breadth of actual complaints.