Everyone can tell you something their mother used to say (or still does say) with the regularity of a Swiss watch. This Momma is absolutely no different. Well, at least not in terms of the regularity part… Wonder what my children will say I always say?
In no particular order, these are ten things my children remember me telling them…
Do not pick your nose. You’ll turn crazy.”
I cannot stand to see a child pointing at its brain with one finger buried to the second knuckle in a nostril. It seems perfectly plausible for me to tell them by inserting their fingers into their noses they would be disturbing the grey matter enough to make them undeniably insane.
I am going cat kiss you.”
Have you ever had a cat? You know how they kiss with those sandpaper tongues. This was never a threat. It was a warning of the inevitable as a reward for the behavior which just makes you want to throttle them if you could only stop laughing long enough.
Specificity is the rule.”
The rules were always simple and easy to follow. Many requests were granted to prove the validity of this rule. When one of my children says, “I want to hold you,” I gladly wrap my arms around their shoulders and lift a leg onto their hips for them to pick me up. While it normally ends in a giggling dog pile on the floor, specificity is the rule.
This goes hand-in-hand with Be careful what you ask for, as you may well get it.
If you do not go to the bathroom, do not barf on my floor.”
The digestive tract has a finite boundary. Much like house plumbing, when the flow is stemmed, the system backs up. One child in particular remembers this comment from her potty-training days…when she was not yet two years old. Who says children remember nothing before they are four?
…I am going to spank you until I feel better.”
As one who does not do a lot of spanking, this quote always comes as a warning. It is always prefaced with If you do not cease and desist __________________, … Since spanking is never for the child, it stands to reason, parents should stop when they feel better.
Get out of my nose.”
Many parents choose a different part of the anatomy for this particular quote. For me, they are normally standing before me for the umpteenth time, or for the third consecutive hour, requesting the same thing which has previously been denied or deferred.
You do not have a reason to cry, but that oversight can easily be rectified.”
There are three levels of drama with the children. I lay claim to one drama princess (Middle V), one drama queen (Big V) and one drama empress (Little V). Yes, they did not come in superlative order; however, they each can crank the faucet on the waterworks at the mere mention of impending (punishment, denial, need to wait three minutes).
Surely, you jest.”
This is the verbal equivalent of the face palm. This quote makes its appearance when some grand design is explained. Amazingly, until it is uttered the gigantic flaw in the plan is not revealed, even though it is been repeated to everyone involved in the planning before it is brought to me for final approval.
Did you break it?”
Children have accidents. Often asking them if they broke the object with which they came into Kamikaze contact is enough to diffuse the panic and level the head to determine the true amount of bodily injury, if any. Bruised egos are quickly forgotten using this question.
My favorite use of this quote, and there have been many, was to my 19-year-old son, when he was two. Upon falling from his tricycle, tears were impending. Before the first one could emerge, I ask him if he broke the driveway. He looked down and burst into tears. Pointing at a crack in the concrete, he wailed, “Yes, ma’am!”
I loved you first.”
All of my children at some point have had the argument over who loves whom more. In the end, I have the trump card. I loved them first.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Do you remember a quote your mother told you as a child? Do you have one you tell your children?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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