The following is a list of things I have said as a parent that I never intended to. They just came out. It’s not my fault. Parenting does that to a person.
I have ranked them by technical difficulty based on how likely saying them will turn me into my mother.*
Note: None are ranked on their effectiveness.
1. Because I said so.
We all know and love this golden oldie. It’s been around since mothers found their toddlers trying to eat cat food and really, is there any other way to shut down the endless volley of the in-the -car argument over who saw da Golden Arches first? SHUT IT. Because I said so.
2. Your father will deal with you when he comes home.
Not a good move on marital side of things.
3. Really? REALLY?
Great for its esoteric value. There is no specific infantile activity ATTACHED to the “Really ?” so therefore it can cover a whole range of possibilities. On the flip side, it just kinda makes toddlers cock their heads to the side like little labrador retrievers when you say it; they want to understand you, they WANT to do better… but really, there’s not a shot in heckarooney they are going to desist.
Ranking: Minor Leagues
4. STOP YELLING! NOW! STOP IT!! STOPPPPP YELLLLLIIIINNGG!
This gem is perfect for a future homework assignment from their high school English teacher about IRONY. And it’s good for not much else than that. But it’s cathartic.
5. Do I need to pull over? Because I will.
Involves big momsie cojones, a whole lot of extra time, and a clear idea where exactly this pulling over can occur without causing a minor accident. Don’t utter it on the highway unless you are feeling all Schwarzeneggery. Technically difficult, but has its merit when the pulling over also involves the next biggie –
Ranking: Pro Ball
6. No McDonalds for you.
Oh my gosh. This one will shut you DOWN, you poor toddler. Down and OUT. Boom. (Warning: This only really works if you actually DON’T go to McDonalds. It doesn’t work so well when you say it and then cave 3 minutes later because you wanted some fries with that.)
7. Would you please stop licking the floor. That’s not OK.
This ranks higher simply because it’s so CALM. I KNOW, right? Look how all calm parenty I am when I utter it! No yelling… no “YOU ARE DISGUSTING.” Just, uh, wee one, licking that linoleum that is still covered in grit and cat hair is really so not a good idea for basic oral hygiene.
Oh and speaking of issues of hygiene…
8. Put your penis away. Now.
A classic. This one pairs nicely with –
9. Your penis does not belong in a paper towel tube. Or the vacumn nozzle attachement. Or in a rolled up piece of paper you have decorated with trains. But I do like the creativity there, good drawing!
Can I just interrupt a moment? As a mom of two boys, I really think I have to say the word “penis” a lot more than I ever imagined possible. And I really detest that word. I just do. Penis. Ugh. It’s an ucky word. But, I HAVE to say it ALL THE deff jam TIME because, you know, body awareness and correct understanding and all that. So it’s PENIS this and PENIS that… Penis penis penis.
I feel the same way about the word “panties” – have always hated that word. But I don’t have to say it, ever. You know why? Because I’m not prancing down the hallway nekkid from the waist down with my panties on my head while singing “Old MacDonald,” am I? Oh no I am NOT! I have standards ya’ll. Toddlers do not. There’s the rub.
10. WHAT IN THE FRICKATY FRACK WERE YOU THINKING? ARE YOU INSANE? WHY IN THE WORLD AND FOR THE LOVE OF PETE AND I AM DON’T EVEN… I CAN’T BEGIN TO START HERE. WHAT WERE YOU… COULD YOU JUST TELL ME? NO DON’T. I MEAN GOOD GRAVY ON A STICK CHILD THIS IS JUST. WOW. REALLY. I HAVE NO WORDS.
This one is a humdinger. But often they tune you out out after “frack.”
Bonus Super Big Leagues All Star Game:
11. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
Well, I have never actually SAID this, but I’ve always wanted to. Unfortunately, I think my window of opportunity for using it is closing.
And with that, I will leave you.
Because. I. said. so.
What have you said to your wee ones that belongs on this list?
*This is my mom. In actuality, sounding like her is a good thing to aspire to. She is a blessing. She loves Jesus, puts up with her nutball family, and has taught me more about this parenting gig than she’ll ever know, mainly: humor, forgiveness, and patience. Thank you, mommah.