Sometimes I hear myself saying things that I never imagined would come out of my mouth. Here are some of my favorites:
1) “If I hear any more fighting over the (INSERT NAME OF TOY HERE), it’s going to toy jail.” – For the first 10 years of parenthood, I had only one child. So this whole sibling rivalry thing is still new to me. And still baffling. The concept of “fairness” has taken on a whole new dimension. Toy jail is one of my favorite concepts. It’s located on top of the refrigerator, and it’s where toys go to pay for the sins of their owners. Depending on the crime, the sentence can be LOOOONNNGGG. The Lego building set has been in toy jail for a week and a half.
2) “You get what you get and you don’t complain about it.” – This is usually in response to David (age 5) crying because I gave him the “wrong” cereal bowl, or because Margaret (age 2) got peach yogurt and David got blueberry, or because one of them perceives that the other got a bigger piece of brownie more grapes.
3) “I can’t understand you when you whine.” – This works like a charm for our kids. I wish I had heard of this phrase about three years earlier than I did.
4) “Stop tormenting your brother.” – I never in a million years thought I would say this to Emma, as she’s ten years older than David. Doesn’t matter. He’s a little brother. By definition, she has to torment him.
5) “It’s okay to cry, but no one wants to hear you, so you’re going to have to go in the other room by yourself.” – I used this one tonight when David kept screaming at the top of his lungs because I gave him the wrong plate for his eggs and toast.
6) “If you get out of bed one more time, I’m going to take your beano (blankie) and close the door and you’re going to be in the dark. By yourself.” – Okay, this is mean, but I only use it as a last resort and sometimes it’s the only thing that works with Margaret, the child who laughs when you punish her.
7) “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo…” – A perennial favorite to determine who gets out of the tub first. (Although David has now figured out how it works, so he rigs it so that Margaret is always “mo”.
8) “You need to eat that (INSERT NAME OF FOOD HERE) in the kitchen.” – Okay, this one rarely works, and our couch is testament to that fact. Ai yi yi.
Anyone have any favorite parenting lines?