It's the hip hop happenin' thing, so I figured I would throw my hat into the ring with my own list of 10 things every child (in my house) needs to hear (CONSTANTLY.) If you're looking for a deep and meaningful list, there are plenty out there and I don't really want to beat a dead horse. However, if you'd like to grab a cup of coffee and some head-shaking empathy, I'm here for you.
above photo is by Melanie Reimer
- GET OFF YOUR BROTHER. This applies to both the two year old, who, granted, probably took one of your things and ran off with it so I can see where you're coming from, and also to the baby, who appreciates your affection but also oxygen.
- GET OFF YOUR SISTER. I do realize that both the four year old and the seven year old often have it coming, or were having fun with this about half a second ago; but ear-splitting screaming is a solid 'no, I am not enjoying this game' so move along.
- BATHROOM TALK IN THE BATHROOM. As fascinating as your private parts are, and as hilarious as the noises they can make can be, we don't discuss face-farting at the table. I'm looking at you, girls.
- PUT YOUR PANTS ON. Okay, the baby is exempt, because that's probably my bad. But the rest of you, pants, skirt, leggings, whatever; you're making the pizza guy uncomfortable.
- YOU'RE NOT BLEEDING. This is a critical bit of assurance, often followed by denial of a bandaid. Bandaids don't grow on trees, and we both know that you intend to rip it off the second you leave my line of sight, then somehow sneak back and place it on the bottom of my sock.
- WOULD IT BE FUNNY IF I KICKED YOU? No, it really wouldn't be, it would hurt and it wouldn't be nice and nobody would be laughing. The police would probably get involved, even. So why do you think it's funny that you've kicked your brother?
- NO STANDING IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW NAKED. We live right on the 't' of a 3-way road so at night, with curtains open and the light on, your butt can be seen from a solid block away. I don't care if your dad just pulled up, he doesn't want you standing in front of the window naked, either.
- SIT WITH YOUR BUM ON THE SEAT. Perhaps I seem like a cruel and relentless dictator of a mother, but we started getting really strict on this rule after a fall from a chair, fork in hand, ended with a flesh wound. This was naturally the same child that has been the star of every near-death experience that our family has encountered so far and is solely responsible for taking several years off of my life, at least double the four short years she has been around.
- BRUSH YOUR HAIR OR I'LL CUT IT SHORT. What, is this not the motto of every family? It's not an idle threat, either, just ask Nicole. Short hair is not doom and gloom, I think a well-done short do is quite cute, but if it's not your cup of tea you're going to need to get up close and personal with a hairbrush once in a while. Do as I say, not as I do. I have more hats than you do.
- OFF. Off your uncle, off your dad, off any poor bystander who looks strong enough to withstand you taking a running leap at them. It is not considered socially acceptable to literally jump on people without at least clearing it with them first.
(I'm assuming it's clear here that I'm being tongue in cheek, but just in case this disclaimer is necessary, I love my children to bits and I am eternally optimistic that they will someday grow up to be kind, thoughtful, witty, and productive members of society. Hopefully all of those in one, but I'll settle for one of each too, as long as the productive one can afford to pay someone nice to change my diapers some day. Y'all owe me, I've seen some things.)