Friday, January 30, 2009

Do what I Mean, Not What I Say

So, my sister kindly mentioned in her comments to one of my earlier posts that she thought I was a good mother and wanted me to blog on how I've done such a good job disciplining my kids.

Me? GreenOlive, Are you sure you meant me? I'm not worthy of such accolades!

Seriously. I put my pants on one leg at a time and I feel lucky if I remember to wear my bra during school drop-off in the mornings. That being said, I have decided that I will go ahead share some of my "techniques". Rather, phrases I have said or still say when "disciplining" my children.

Author's Note: Results not typical. Attempt these parenting techniques in your own home at your own risk. Conditions may vary and other offers and restrictions may apply. This blog does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of this post. (Ha!)

"I don't speak mumble."
"I cannot hear you when you whine. Come back to me when you can talk like a real boy."
"Sit up while eating at the table."
"Sit up like a real boy."
"How about you act like a real boy?"
"Would it kill you to act like a real boy?"

Note: I use the "real boy" thing a lot. And every time it reminds me of Pinocchio! lol! I am just waiting one day for one of my kids to ask, "Mom, Am I a real boy?"

"Why don't you just worry about yourself."
"You can only manage yourself, so don't worry about him."
"Trust me. When you're a teenager like him, I'll let you do stupid stuff too."
"Look, when you're the mom, you can screw up your own kids' lives. Right now it's my turn."
"Let me be the mom."
"I'm the mom."
"Who's the mom here, anyway?"

Hmmm... I see a pattern here. Yes. They must think being the mom is a glamorous job!

"Because I gave you life."
"Because I'm letting you live."
"You want a reward? How about I let you live? That's your reward!"
"I brought you into this world, I'll take you out."

For some reason, I feel empowered when I get to remind them of my role in their existence.

"If you two don't knock it off, I am going to pull this car over."
"You- look out your window. And You- look out yours. If I see you so much as look at each other, I'm pulling this car over."
"I can turn the car around and go right back home. You don't HAVE to come with me."
"I'm driving and your fighting is going to make me get into an accident. So unless you wanna find yourself on the other side of that pavement, I suggest you knock it off."
"I can see you in the rear view mirror. Knock it off."

What is it about arguing while driving that makes me tense? Perhaps the fact that I can't reach in back and grab them by the neck?

"Feed the dog."
"Let the dog out."
"Someone clean up this doggie accident!"
"I'm not going to be the one to clean this up. It's your dog."
"You said you would take care of the dog if we got one. You want I should get rid of the dog?"
"No - I didn't toot. Musta been the dog!"
"Ummm - No - I didn't eat the last of your candy bar you had hidden behind the can of beans in the pantry. Musta been the dog!"

Dumb dog.

"I'm the mom. It's not my job to entertain you."
"If you are bored, you can always do chores."
"If you say you're bored one more time, I'm giving you chores."
"If you can't figure something out, then go to your room and take a nap."
"I don't want to hear another word about you being bored."
"Come back when the boring's over."

Who am I? Cedric the Entertainer? I think not!

"Are you wearing deodorant?"
"Go put on deodorant."
"When is the last time you bathed?"
"Do you enjoy smelling like a goat?"
"Go get in the shower now or you'll have to go to school naked!"

What is it with boys and bathing? I know - they hardly know showers exist until they figure out girls do!

"Is that a clean shirt?"
"We're not leaving until you put on a clean shirt."
"Go wash your face; you look like a dirty urchin."

I just calls 'em like I sees 'em.

"Knock it off or I'll make you two hug each other!"
"Quit arguing."
"Just ignore him."
"Just pretend like he's not even there."
"Pretend you don't even have a sister, then she can't annoy you."
"Yes. You would miss him if he died."
"You do too love him."
"Cuz if he died, you'd cry. That's how I know!"

You'd think we're charting enemy territory sometimes. Sheesh!

"You know what I meant."
"I don't ever recall saying that; and if I did, I'll never admit to it!"
"Do what I mean, not what I say!"

Crap! I am turning into my mother!

I *hate* yelling, though admit I let it get the best of me sometimes. I love to reason with them, except that I have learned children's brains aren't fully developed enough to be able to reason on an adult level. This is why kids still fight with each other. Did you know that most people do not reach the age of rational thinking until around 25 years old?

I just try to be down-to-earth and realistic. Though I also admit, I am not firm enough sometimes. I use a lot of sarcasm too. (uh - ya think?) But my kids call me on my crap just as much as I call them on theirs. Case in point...

(Overhearing joke being told to friends)
Me: Hey! Don't talk like that.
FunnyMan: Why not?
Me: Because it's inappropriate.
FunnyMan: Well - you were the one who told it to me.
Me: Yeah, well. You're not supposed to tell your friends that.
FunnyMan: Too late.

So, as you can see, I am not exactly the ideal role model for mothering. Nope! Definitely not going to be mother of the year anytime soon. So, I guess I'll take my accolades from GreenOlive as that'll probably be as close as I ever get. Thanks.

What about you? What are your parenting "techniques"?


Yaya said...

'do you enjoy smelling like a goat' is my favorite!

Yesterday I was driving the kids I nanny for to school and I was detoured TWICE bc of stupid ppl driving in the new snow and crashing. So we were so late and this car would not turn at the intersection for like 5 minutes and I said "I wanna get out and punch this person in the car in front of me!"....whoops! Road rage took over! I did warn their Mom that if the kids 'happened' to say something along those lines I 'might' have let something like that accidentally slip out!

Brenda Jean said...

Oh, these are goooooooddddd...I will borrow some if you don't mind. I have said many of them myself but you gave me some new ones. On them "giving it back"-- my oldest is 15 now and I have figured out that they learned sarcasm from my husband and I, so I have no one else to blame. Wait, I can blame my husband. Yeah!

Cindy said...

I think you're a great Mom!
These are great, many I've heard myself when I was a kid,

"Thanks, Mom!"...

Two Blessings From Above said...

Most of those hit home. I like that "Do what I mean, not what I say" Sometimes it is so hard to say the right things. Most of the time my kids only understand me talking like that. I am sure you are a wonderful mother!

Rebecca said...

I LOVED THIS POST!!! I am going to tell my friends (that have kids-because they understand) to come read this.
Thanks for stopping by my blog on Monday from BLOG AROUND THE WORLD.

The Willeyes said...

I think you should write a book!

"101 Things To Say To Your Kids" :)

purplehaze said...

I find parenting is the hardest job you will ever have on this earth. Lets face it they don't come with instruction after all. I find I am doing the same thing in the car! The I'm so bored is another one, it is like will I can find plenty of things for you to do. Clean your room for one! I don't know what it is about driving and them fighting when I can't do anything about it except say like you knock it off. I don't think any of us will get mother of the year, but at least we try right!!

greenolive said...

See, this is what I'm talking about. You can tell that you have a real relationship with your kids and that is why I think you're a great mom.

Ruthykins said...

i hope that the reason you seem to be such a great mom is because your kids are older. someday i hope that my kids can be like yours when they are older. well, maybe not exactly like yours. i don't want my kids to be allergic to water like one of yours apparently is.

Susie said...

Those are great. I use "because I gave you life" all the time.

Blog Stalker said...

You have cornered the market on witty things we heard from our parents that we now say to our own kids. All you left out was, ".....and when I was a kid we didn't complain. We had to walk 5 miles to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways, sometimes naked. And we were happy to do it!" oh, too funny,

Thanks for posting such wonderfully funny posts.

Have a great day!

Vickie said...

Excellent post, Emma!!

Carol said...

I don't speak mumble either.

What a terrific post. Sounds like my boys won't be outgrowing the fight every 10 mins routine any time soon.


RhondaLue said...

You. are. My. Hero.

Those were great! I have said many of those and let me tell you that my kids will find a way to fight about ANYTHING in the car. "She looked out MY window! WAAAaa!" Ridiculous. I'll have to do a post about all the stupid crap my kids fight about. Other moms will either feel normal after reading it or they'll be sure I have the naughtiest kids ever. ;)

Grand Pooba said...

Nice! I love your "real boy" comments. You're too funny. No kids here but if you want advise on raising a dog, I've got plenty of that.

Sabrae Carter said...

I always loved it when my mom said "Becuz I said so" or " I brought you into this world and I can take you out"

Tulsi said...

Some sound so familiar!!! Too funny