Thursday, April 9, 2015

Things moms say

You don't have to be a mom to appreciate these.  Chances are you heard them out of your own mom's mouth. Or maybe you find yourself using them on nieces and nephews.  It seems to be ingrained.  And once your child hits the toddler stage or even well before, you might utter a few of these.   When necessary I've included usage notes and translations. 

1. We'll see. Usage: In response to a repeated request for a toy unicorn or any small item your child can't live without.  Translation: Maybe not.  Maybe never.  I just don't have the energy to keep arguing so I'm going to give you this vague promise.
She finally did get her toy unicorn and took this picture of it.
 2. That is NOT a toy.  Translation: I've already told you not to play with that flashlight/pair of binoculars/power drill but you don't seem to understand.  I'm hoping this simple statement of the facts will make you stop, but probably not.

3. Mommy's just a bit frustrated. Usage: after a verbal blow-up.  Best accompanied by an "I'm sorry."  Translation: moms have bad days, too.  Kids need to know we're not perfect (as in "really not perfect").

4. This is the last time I ask you to do this. Translation: This is probably really the third to last time I ask you.  I've already asked five times.  Consider this as a warning that there may be a blow-up (which may lead to a #3 statement).

5. How many times do I have to tell you?  Usage: When the child still hasn't brushed her teeth/hair/put on her coat.  Translation: Like #4, there will probably be at least two more warnings.

6. One day you'll understand (when you have a strong-willed child just like you!).  Implied meaning: And I hope you'll call me and ask, how did you do it mom?
Me in my toddler years.  I only *looked* sweet and innocent.
 7. Because. The classic one-word response that says it all. Translation: I have no more reasons to give you anyway and this should suffice.  Variations: Because I said so. / Because I'm the mommy/boss.

8. I already said no.  Already asked, already answered,as this parenting advice column suggests, could be a strategy for nagging.  Translation: Please stop asking because you (should) already know the answer.

9. Alright. Usage: In my family this is the precursor to a command and J won't have any of it anymore.  She doesn't like the implied tone of "let's get down to business" and told me to no longer say "alright" at the beginning of my phrases when it's bath time. So I'm switching to "ok" or "time for your bath" etc.

10. I'm going to get angry.  Translation: In other words, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  Or, I already am angry but I've been holding it in.  Soon you'll be hearing #3. 

But the most important thing moms and dads should say is...

I love you.  No translation needed.  But it's implied in the ten statements above, because if we didn't care enough to get angry and show our kids how to behave, they'd turn into monsters who were socially unacceptable.  Dr. Spock (the baby one, not the Vulcan) backs me up on this.  So keep on lovin' and teaching them manners, but as kindly as possible. 

What did your parents always say to you?  What do you say to your kids or nieces and nephews.


Jenenz said...

Regarding "6. One day you'll understand (when you have a strong-willed child just like you!). Implied meaning: And I hope you'll call me and ask, how did you do it mom?" This really does happen. As the child gets older, they realize your wisdom.

My parents always told me to beware of The Beatles. They were hippies and drug users. Of course, they were trying to protect me from the bad things in life, and not seeing the beautiful music the Beatles made. I appreciate that they taught me about right and wrong. One of the things that I learned on my own was "not judge a book by its cover". Which we taught E at an early age. Nurturing respectful relationship between child and parent is a constant dance. Do the dance with love, trust, and respect.

Lindle said...

I keep thinking of Bill Cosby's monologue about the raising of his children and how his parents would come over and watch him and his wife interact with their brood.
They would get little sly smiles on their faces and ask, "You havin' a little trouble there?"

Stubborn parents encounter stubborn children. Who knew?
She will someday use those very same warnings with hers!

And like Jenenz says, teach them to respect. We have to share this world.

Very, very funny true!