Sunday 2 August 2015

Things I say to my Kids...repeatedly

I read this article last week and it made me laugh out loud. It's a bit sweary but covers all the things you find yourself saying to your kids.

The two that rang most true for me were "When was the last time you had it?" and "We'll see?"

Actually, instead of saying "When was the last time you had it?" when someone inevitably loses something I now say "Sorry, not my day to keep up with it." Sounds a bit callous but it sends the message that something has to be really lost before I'm joining the hunt. And of course, the usual end to that caper is me putting my hand straight on the lost item, so it's prefaced with "If I come in there and find it, there will be hell to pay."

"We'll see" seems to mean different things to different children. One of mine always used to sigh and say "Oh, that means "no", while to another it meant "Yay, she's going to cave." So now I usually don't commit to anything except "If you keep on about it you're definitely not having/doing/getting it."

A few more things that I found myself repeating over the years are -

"Can you please stop talking?". I don't believe that children should be seen and not heard, but I do believe in some thought being put into the talk - thought about the content (don't ramble on about super heroes or horrible school friends ad nauseam) and the timing (when I'm trying to reverse the car into the tightest spot on the planet I simply cannot process questions about playdates or tonight's menu).

"I'm standing right next you". Some parents say "Inside voice please" but the intent is the same. STOP SHOUTING. Americans (ie. my children) have louder voices than Brits, in my opinion. Unless you're on the South West rail line where commuters seem incapable of not talking on the phone, and of talking quietly on the phone. American voices project, -watch any political news show with invited guests. They obviously have no faith in the microphones clipped to their jackets and shout, so that everyone in America can hear them.

"Where are my keys/sunglasses/shoes?" My kids used to do an impersonation of me running around with my sunglasses on my head, yelling "What did I do with my sunglasses?" Very funny. In my defense, when you're walking through the door with multiple children, backpacks, violins, shopping bags etc. it's very easy to lose track of where you put things. When you live in a house with multiple drivers, (you know who you are) - all bets are off when it comes to locating car keys. Ironically, the ex-Queenager bought me a clapper-key locator last year for Christmas (I know, because I was with her) and then forgot to give it to me. I only remembered about it a few months ago and I have no idea what happened to it.

I can't be the only parent who says the same thing over and over?


  1. "Clea your bathroom."

    "Don't leave your stuff lying around."

    "Put your clothes away (or the variation, get your clothes out of the dryer)."

    "How old ARE you??!!"

    I could do this all day; there are SO MANY things I say repeatedly.

  2. "What's the 'magic word'?"
    "Elbows off the table."
    "Chew with your mouth closed."
    "Be careful! You're going to spill … I'll get a paper towel/sponge/fresh one."
    "No, I know it's not fair." (Id est: "Deal with it.")
    "Did you send a thank you note?"

  3. It'll be funny the first time you ask 'Where are my sunglasses?' and one of them goes 'Sorry, not my day to keep up with it.'

  4. "In a minute"
    "Keep it down"
    "Where are your shoes?"
    "Five minutes until we leave!"
    "Finish your level and turn it off!"

    And all of the things you say. What is it about sunglasses, I can never find them. Or my phone. I usually have to ring it from the landline to find it, which makes my children laugh.

  5. Oh believe me, Mwa, they already do!


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