But then I had children.
No, not swear words (although those little darlings can drive a normally calm and patient person to the brink of sanity.) And not the standard, I vowed I would never say that to my kids statements like, “Because I said so.” or “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
No, I knew I would say those things. I’m realistic enough to know that what numerous generations of parents were unable to avoid in their speech would likely be incorporated into mine as soon as I joined the club.
But there are other things I just never considered and somehow years of babysitting still didn’t prepare me for. Things that, after said, kind of hang there in the air, boasting of their presence, taunting me with the fact that, yes, I did just say that, yes, it actually needed to be said, and yes, someone else probably overheard it.
Here are a few I can’t seem to erase from my memory:
1) Eat with your fingers, not with your toes.
2) Everyone doesn’t like to have someone lick their arms.
3) Roly-polys don’t want to sleep under your pillow.
4) M&M’s that will still be eaten by humans should not be kept in a bug box with bugs.
5) Yes, rolling your eyes downward is just as rude as rolling them upward.
6) “Stinky bum baby” is not an “affectionate nickname” for your sister.
7) Take off your shoes to jump on the trampoline. Not all of your clothes.
8) Peeing in the sink is not “pretty much the same thing” as going in the toilet.
9) Trying to trap a squirrel on the trampoline to see if it will jump is a really bad idea.
10) Children do not grow up to be real live horses.
11) Yes, I would still like you if you did become a real live horse. And bring you sugar cubes.
12) I do not make snacks when I’m taking a shower.
13) I do not make snacks when I’m changing a diaper.
14) It is not necessary to have a snack while waiting for a fried egg to cook. (Yes, we have snack issues.)
15) Ketchup is a condiment, not an entree.
16) “Chunky Monkey” is a cute nick name for a baby, but not for a mommy.
17) When I said “clean your room” I didn’t really mean “put everything on the bed and spread the comforter over it”.
18) Do not invite strangers to go on vacation with us.
19) Underwear always goes on before pants. Not after. Always.
20) The jelly packets at Cracker Barrel are not meant to be put in your pocket to take home for a snack in your room later.
21) The mail lady does not want to know when you last threw up.
22) A pile of acorns big enough to feed all the local squirrels does not belong in the sock drawer for safe keeping.
23) I am not a jungle gym or a slide.
24) Promising not to fall off will not earn you the privilege of playing on the roof.
25) My shirt sleeve is not a kleenex.
26) Actually, I don’t think I would prefer gravel floors over carpet, but thanks for the effort anyway.
As I got going I realized this list could go on and on. Not only do kids say the darndest things, but they make their parents have to do it too.
Feel free to add to my list with your own incriminating statements in the comments below.