The Vocabulary of Parenthood


If you spend much time around our household you would definitely get the impression that my husband and I operate with a pre-programmed, limited vocabulary that recycles itself, like a talking doll, at least when it comes to the hours spent with our children.

Don’t touch things that don’t belong to you.
Get that out of your mouth.
Eat over your plate.
Put the cat down.
Get your finger out of there.
Leave the poop alone(we said that at least five times yesterday at the park, in all fairness to the kids, there was both cat poop in the sand and dog poop on the grass that they were entertained by).
Get your hands off the walls.
Use your napkin not your shirt.
Use a tissue not your sleeve.
Use the hand towel not your pants.
Did you wipe?
Knock it off.
Go cry in your room.
Go to bed.

I didn’t make the mess, I’m not cleaning it up.
If you cheat, I'm not going to play anymore.
Is that where that goes?
You’re hungry? Hi hungry, nice to meet you, I’m Daddy.
Not until you finish your dinner.
Not until your room’s clean.
If I told you that you could have candy for breakfast, I bet you’d be able to remember that.
Be nice to your brother.
Be nice to your sister.
Go apologize to your father.
Go say you’re sorry to your mother.
Don’t even think about it.

If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
Do you want to rephrase that?
I can’t understand you when you’re whining.
How do you ask for something?
What did I say?
What did you say?
I said no.
How many times do I have to tell you?
I would advise you to remember who you are speaking to.
I will not tolerate lying.
No one likes a tattler.
We don’t talk like that at the dinner table.
Please just stop talking.

Catch us at our respective jobs or after the kids go to bed and really, we can be interesting people who can carry on real conversation and not just grunt commands and recriminations. Just make sure you don’t sniffle or we’ll tell you to go blow your nose first.

Of course there is the other phrase, the one that all the others stem from, the one we hope they always know, the one they ultimately remember long after they’ve mastered wiping and don’t cheat at Monopoly anymore, I love you.

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2 comments:

Barbara Swafford said... May 27, 2008 at 2:35 PM  

This is funny, and so true.

Our kids are all grown, and it's funny as now the grandkids are hearing the same things from their parents. I guess that never changes.

I agree, saying "I love you" is the most important.

Annie said... May 29, 2008 at 2:18 PM  

Came over here from Motherhood Uncensored...and I can't agree with that list more. I have a 10 y/o and an 8 y/o, and most, if not all of those lines are in my vocab. I'm sitting here reading through and saying, "I say that...and that...and that..." and laughing the whole time. Now that I have a newborn in the house, I'll be saying those words for another 20 years. But you're right--the last words are the ones they remember the most.

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