Things I Say



A few years ago (well, okay, in 2003), I spent a day writing down almost everything I said to my kids. I made a scrapbook page out of it.

This is what it says:

You are very cute. Only on PAPER! The stairs are not for playing. It’s not a jungle gym. You are so smart. Intelligent people don’t get bored. Go to your room. Do you want a big time out? Walk! Please play nicely. We do not hit in this house. Kicking hurts. There will be a loss of privileges. Keep that on the hard floor. Did you flush? What do you say? You must wear shoes. Impressive! Please put your shoes where they belong. Five-minute cleanup! Yes, you may. I should not have to tell you the same things over and over again. I’m sorry. You are the smartest five-year-old I have ever met –I’m sure you can figure it out. If you leave the table, dinner is over. You better eat that or the dog is going to eat it. Have a bite for the road. Wow! Play-doh stays outside. We do not kick. Please keep that on the hard floor. Friends don’t grab! Share nicely. Do not touch your poop. That’s a droopy diaper. We are already late –hurry! Yes, you may. Are you a big girl or a little girl? If I have to take you in your pajamas, I will. I am proud of you. No reading at the dinner table. Too much junk food will make you sick. My big girl. What a silly bean! Eat the good vitamin food first and then we can talk about chocolate. Put your clothes in the hamper. Did you do that? Turn it off –NOW. Ana feeds her in the evening and you feed her in the morning. He must not be very smart if he’s not wearing a helmet. No licking. You are such a little curmudgeon. I like to see THAT. There are consequences for what you do. Don’t make me threaten you all the time. Five more bites. You are the best. Bravery is feeling afraid but doing it anyway. Good job! Maybe we can fix it. What was your favorite part? Just TRY it. You may not touch my things without asking. I feel the need to kiss you all over your head. Sometimes that happens. Bye-bye, friends. Because I don’t want to have to clean it up! Did you have a good nap? Maybe you could ask Santa for it. Can you think of a way that we can avoid this kind of thing in the future? Aww, Buddy, I’m sorry that happened. Cooperate or I will send you to bed with no reading. What happened? Do I need to separate you two? Leave the kitty alone! What is the rule? I AM going the speed limit! You are amazing! Is there something about that diaper that I should know? Will you put it back when you are done? You are both acting like spoiled brats. Your daddy will be so proud of you. Are you wearing underwear? What did you do with the dress you had on before? I know it’s hard sometimes. Are you not feeling well? Tomorrow will be a better day. You must have pants on to go outside. Look with your eyes, please, and not your hands. I’m so glad to see you! Did you sleep well? Say please. What hurts? It’s not a competition. I think someone needs a nap. You are such a cranky fish today. I don’t ever want to see that again. Please. I don’t care what she did. Do a mad dance! I don’t want to hear it. Use your words. Work it out between yourselves. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Please don’t make me ask you again. Is it time for the beatings to start? Ouch, that hurt Mommy. Do you have happy feet? Are you telling me the truth as you want it to be or as it really is? What would you like for lunch? How would you feel if I said that to YOU? You are getting so big! Close the door –the air-conditioning is going out. I can sing if I want to—it’s MY car.

This is what I say now, four years later:

You are very cute. Only on PAPER! The stairs are not for playing. It’s not a jungle gym. You are so smart. Intelligent people don’t get bored. Go to your room. Do you want a big time out? Walk! Please play nicely. We do not hit in this house. Kicking hurts. There will be a loss of privileges. Keep that on the hard floor. Did you flush? What do you say? You must wear shoes. Impressive! Please put your shoes where they belong. Five-minute cleanup! Yes, you may. I should not have to tell you the same things over and over again. I’m sorry. You are the smartest nine-year-old I have ever met –I’m sure you can figure it out. If you leave the table, dinner is over. You better eat that or the dog is going to eat it. Have a bite for the road. Wow! We do not kick. Please keep that on the hard floor. Friends don’t grab! Share nicely. We are already late –hurry! Yes, you may. Are you a big girl or a little girl? If I have to take you in your pajamas, I will. I am proud of you. No reading at the dinner table. Too much junk food will make you sick. My big girl. What a silly bean! Eat the good vitamin food first and then we can talk about chocolate. Put your clothes in the hamper. Did you do that? Turn it off –NOW. He must not be very smart if he’s not wearing a helmet. No licking. You are such a curmudgeon today. I like to see THAT. There are consequences for what you do. Don’t make me threaten you all the time. I am not negotiating on this, just listen to your tummy tell you when you are full. You are the best. Bravery is feeling afraid but doing it anyway. Good job! Maybe we can fix it. What was your favorite part? Just TRY it. You may not touch my things without asking. I feel the need to kiss you all over your head. Sometimes that happens. Bye-bye, friends. Because I don’t want to have to clean it up! Maybe you could ask Santa for it. Can you think of a way that we can avoid this kind of thing in the future? Aww, Buddy, I’m sorry that happened. What happened? Do I need to separate you two? What is the rule? I AM driving with two hands! You are amazing! Will you put it back when you are done? You are both acting like spoiled brats. Your daddy will be so proud of you. Are you wearing underwear? What did you do with the dress you had on before? I know it’s hard sometimes. Are you not feeling well? Tomorrow will be a better day. You must have a shirt on to go outside. Look with your eyes, please, and not your hands. I’m so glad to see you! Did you sleep well? Say please. What hurts? It’s not a competition. Dude! You are such a cranky fish today. I don’t ever want to see that again. Please. I don’t care what she did. I can't hear you, please come and find me if you want to talk to me. I don’t want to hear it. Use your words. Work it out between yourselves. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Please don’t make me ask you again. Is it time for the beatings to start? No whining. I do not respond to screaming. Are you telling me the truth as you want it to be or as it really is? What would you like for lunch? How would you feel if I said that to YOU? You are getting so big! Close the door –the air-conditioning is going out. I can sing if I want to—it’s MY car.

I love it when I can see how far we've come.

Comments

DK said…
Intelligent people do too get bored! Although, "If you don't eat it, the dog will" - truer words were never uttered...

Glad you're feeling less psychotic today!
Barb said…
Well, I know that there are some situations where boredom is inherent, although now that I'm a knitter, they are fewer and harder to find. What I mean by that when I say it to my KIDS, though, is, "You have every toy on this planet, six million books, four pets and a swimming pool in the backyard. Find something to do instead of whining about how bored you are. And make sure it doesn't include the sounds of 'tele' or 'vision' in it."

Somehow, that just didn't seem quite right for a scrapbook page, though.
That's neat. It has got to be completely out of order though. I love the juxtaposition of "you are cute ONLY ON PAPER!" tee hee hee
Yes but what TUNE would you sing it to?

This is a good idea...I'm gonna try it.

Yeah, right.
MadMad said…
Very far... all the way from Massachusetts, apparently, where I am saying all those things also. Very funny! Maybe we could do a duet?
Michelle said…
I am happy to see that "Don't touch your poop" did not make the second list.

I still say some of the others to my high schoolers.
I don't dare try that myself. I don't want to know. I get so that I hate the sound of my own voice.

And my line is, "If you're bored, I'll find you something to do!"
hokgardner said…
Every time my almost-7-year-old tells me she's bored I use my father's line and tell her I'll find chores for her to do. She usually makes herself pretty scarce after that.
Mimi in Houston said…
Sounds a lot like my home and I don't think it has changed very much in the last 3 years either !!!
sounds similar to what comes out of my mouth every day! Today, I had to tell my 4 year old to get down from the back of the toilet tank. She climbed up there. I nearly fainted.
angie said…
This made me think of you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSpBUxsgAU
Ei said…
I just keep reading this for the cranky fish comment. Cranky fish, cranky fish, cranky fish.
reen said…
That was even funnier because it was in such random order. "You are both acting like spoiled brats. Your daddy will be so proud of you." Yep, definitely random order. Thanks for a good belly laugh.