I have now entered the phase of parental lingo. And there’s no turning back. When I was younger, I liked to think that I would be a hip parent, understanding life from my child’s perspective and wouldn’t talk to him or her in certain ways. Yet here I am, laying down the law already. I’ve noticed that I’ve added my own personal spin to the canned jargon, which scares me that I’m that into it so soon! Here are some of the oddities I’ve caught myself saying, then shook my head at later.
What I Said: “Stay on the rug if you want to watch tv.”
What I Meant: I love you and want for you to be in one piece now, in five minutes, five years from now, five forevers from now! If you want to hug the tv because you think Elmo’s so cuddly, I can’t blame you, but if you end up breaking the tv over your head in the process, it’s going to hurt a lot. Plus, you won’t be able to get your daily small fix of this cuddly monster for a while after the tv’s been busted. Maybe we should invest in one of those old wooden box tv sets for their sturdiness??
Synonym: Don’t sit so close to the tv or you’ll go blind.
What I Said: “You will eat this before we move onto the next course. I’ve literally got all day for this.”
What I Meant: Let the battle of the wills commence! Just know you’re going to lose this one.
Synonym: Eat your vegetables or no dessert.
What I Said: “Sorry, Ringo can’t go out with us because he doesn’t have shoes.”
What I Meant: I do not want us to ever leave home with your favorite toy, Ringo, because if he doesn’t make it back, neither of our lives will be the same again. Yes, I know he doesn’t even have toy feet, but I’m hoping that this silly logic will work on you. You need to wear shoes to go bye bye. Surely he should, too?
Synonym: Your inside toys need to stay in the house.
What I Said: “NonononoNO!”
What I Meant: For the love of milk, please stop whatever you’re doing right now. I don’t have time before you injure yourself to rationalize with you that grabbing that mug full of hot tea will burn your skin, or that pulling the books off of the shelf will result in more work (from me) putting them back & I don’t wanna do that, or that going down the stairs without mama is not safe. Just freeze. Puh-lease.
Synonym: No. Because I said so.
What I Said: “Respect your vegetables.”
What I Meant: I’m a little kooky. Also, please don’t throw your vegetables on the floor. I really don’t want to have to clean them up, so respect me. Plus, vegetables do a lot of good for you. They’ll do a lot better in your belly than on the floor. If you’re really done, then just let me know by trying to feed them to me, as you usually do.
Synonym: There are starving children in Africa who would appreciate this food.
What I Said: “Good job pooping!”
What I Meant: I don’t want you to hold back your poops because you recognize how very yucky they are. We will celebrate every poop you make, even the super stinky ones. I’ll gag in the bathroom out of earshot later.
Synonym: Please stay regular!
What I Said: “It looks like a crime scene in here.”
What I Meant: This room is a mess. And I watch too many crime shows. The face down stuffed animals, the cars that have collided, the tossed blocks all spell a story of something gone horribly wrong. Or perhaps my kid was just playing…
Synonym: It looks like a tornado came through here.
What I Said: “It’s okay.”
What I Meant: I have no idea what’s troubling you, munchkin, so I hope me offering empty, reassuring words will help to sooth your ailment. Meanwhile, the thousands of things that could be the reason for you crying run through my head, crushing my soul. (That is, unless you’re crying because you got your shirt stuck over your head and surprised yourself by running into a rocking horse, which I witnessed occur in a matter of 3 seconds. Then I feel bad for a specific reason.) I am also secretly repulsing myself because I know I sound like Juan Pablo from The Bachelor. And that’s not a good look on anyone. Not even someone as pretty as JP.
Synonym: What’s the matter, baby?