There you are, minding your own business on a perfectly normal and completely uneventful day- breezing through whatever tasks you set out to accomplish with ease-
when out of nowhere your child utters a phrase that takes the entire thing and flips it on its head. Very similar to the one the Fresh Prince experienced when he got sent to live with his aunty and uncle in Belair.
After a few years and dozens of heart-stopping moments, we adults kind of get the hang of those whole “parenting” business. We get to know these mysterious little creatures that came screaming into this world via our nethers and after a while, they become a little bit predictable. When I say a little, I mean very little- but every bit counts. Maybe we realize that they’re big fat fucking liars when they promise not to make a mess with their snack after the 5th time we catch them grinding potato chips into the carpet and proceeding to make it rain chip dust over their own heads- or it could be something a little smaller, like knowing they don’t REALLY have to go pee every single time you are in public and they pass by a restroom. I don’t think I will ever understand what is so fascinating about a public bathroom- but I guess some things are meant to remain a mystery to us.
One of the most valuable lessons I have come to learn over the time from the moment I officially became a parent until now is that not EVERY cry needs to immediately have me running to one of my children’s sides. It wasn’t that long ago that whenever I heard a thump, bump, or screech- I would sprint like an Olympic hopeful to the scene of whatever crime I was positive had been perpetrated by one of my tiny dictators. If I heard a scream? Something MUST be wrong- they MUST need me to intervene and save the day. More often than not, the screeching or screaming or crying was over something so pointless and stupid that I actually started to get disappointed that I wasted much needed energy on getting there in record time. I could have used that energy in so many more useful places- like when dinner time rolls around and I’m tempted to pretend I forgot to take anything out because I’m exhausted and the last thing I want to do is handle raw chicken. Barf. I could definitely use some during early morning tantrums. It’s too bad energy doesn’t offer a roll-over plan.
Some people might think plopping my ass on the couch while a kid is shrieking about something in another room is poor parenting- but kids need to be able to work out things on their own, and they gotta learn that somewhere.
If you broke a piece off of your damn lego castle- I will not be flying to your aide. Even if
you are acting like it’s the end of the world. I sometimes like to joke that I will now only get uap for the smell of smoke or the sound of broken glass- but that’s not completely true. There are a few phrases that my children can utter that will have me literally teleporting to their fucking sides. I know there is no teleportation- that’s how serious it is. I instantly create it out of thin air just so I could be there faster as to prevent disaster- because when these things are said- there is ALWAYS disaster closely following behind.
I think the following phrases make every parent on earth cringe in fear of what comes next:
“Look what I can do!”– Yes, you’re going to want to look. Someone is either jumping off something high, or trying to fly. Note: children may learn very quickly, but they will NEVER learn to fly.
“I have the poopies”- See also “I think that was a wet fart” and the terrifying “my tummy hurts”- it takes many years of experience and perhaps one mortifying accident to understand that a fart should NEVER be trusted, and we parents of school-aged kids know that a tummy ache might mean an impending shart in the pants or the beginning of a lovely round of the stomach flu.
“I didn’t do it”- This phrase is HIGHLY dangerous, especially when in rapid response to “what are you doing?” They most definitely DID do it; brace yourself for what “it” is.
“WHY?”– oh, this one will have you running. In the other direction. STOP ASKING ME WHY! I DON’T KNOW! WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME WHY?! More seriously- thank you sweet grilled cheezus for Google. I don’t know how my parents dealt with this shit every day without it. They probably just lied to me. It would explain why for so long I thought a scrunchee was called a “doodle”- and also why everyone laughed when I asked if they had a doodle I could borrow. Thanks for that, mom.
“I’m sorry!”- If a child comes to me, and without any explanation tells me they are sorry- I know something has gone horribly awry. Broken lamp? Bedroom completely destroyed? Dumped out the content of the refrigerator? Dropped an entire roll of toilet paper into the pot and then used their hands to try to dig it back out? Entire bathroom floor flooded with poo water because the poo that came out of my child was literally so big that it clogged the toilet? All of those have been what I found when I got the random unprovoked apology. I love it when my kids apologize- but now those two words put together make me seriously paranoid.
I read somewhere once that parenthood is the only thing in life that will have you running TOWARD projectile vomit with your hands extended in front of you instead of away from it like any other sane human being- and it’s true. Raising kids is a strange and confusing job. And gross. And annoying. And awesome- but still really confusing.
We might never make sense out of any of it- but as long as we learn some tricks along the way- I think we might just survive this thing. Key word: might.
What phrases does your kid say that instantly has you running in their direction?
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