There was so much that I did not expect when I became a parent; the mind-numbing exhaustion, wearing my child’s blowouts, and the things I would end up saying to my offspring. There is great joy in the stereotypical, “Because I said so,” or, “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit,” but then there are these choice nuggets:
- No, I will not wipe your butt. You’re 7. Which probably leads to…
- Please don’t wipe your poop on the wall. I mean, seriously. How messy can they get when wiping up? And how, after using a half a roll of toilet paper, do they still manage to get it all over their hands? And why do they think their poop hands should touch the wall? There is so much I just don’t understand.
- I don’t care how nicely you ask, you cannot have a Ring Pop for breakfast. My kids somehow think that if they put “please” in their request that I will acquiesce. Then, they are sent into hysterics when it doesn’t work. “But, you said to ask nicely! I did ask nicely! YOU LIED! I’m never going to ask nicely again. I’m going to eat this Ring Pop anyway! As soon as I can get it open!” Tears, rolling around on the floor, and leg kicks ensue.
- Why is there a used pull-up in the middle of your room? My daughter still uses a pull-up at night, because she has a bladder the size of, well, a small child’s bladder. I don’t care about pull-up use, as long as it doesn’t extend into the teen years, but what I do mind is going into her room after a long day and finding a sodden pull-up or two in the middle of her floor. Why doesn’t she throw it out? Does she like the smell of rotting urine in her room? Is it like fresh napalm for her? I mean, I don’t leave my feminine products lying about after I’m done with them. Because that would be DISGUSTING. I might lose my mind if, as a teen, she does the same thing with pads that she does with her pull-ups. I might even get nostalgic for the days when it was just a pull-up I found.
- Yeah, well, you smell like rat-patooties. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have been known to sink to my kids’ level when I am at the end of my rope. I would love to be the perfect parent who always takes the high road and is so awesomesauce that they never even get into a fight with their child because they and their child are so well behaved, fighting is not in their lexicon. Since our family is on the opposite spectrum, I end up saying things like “rat-patooties” and, “no… you are!” We’re all 5 in this house.
- You have lost TV in the morning, TV in the car, and when you get out of school. This is something that sticks out, not for the words themselves, but because I said them while trying unsuccessfully to get my daughter to bed. I start by offering her rewards to stay in bed, like watching Sheriff Callie in the morning or snuggling when she wakes up. Then, after about the third time, the punishments get doled out. I try not to take too much away at one time because I’ll run out of bargaining chips pretty quickly. There are nights when I do run out and have to make things up, like, “Your grandparents won’t pick you up from school now.” They weren’t planning on it, but dammit, I don’t know what else to say. It’s either that or, “Go the f to sleep!” in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice. I like to think I made the right choice in that situation.
- Who pooped in the hall and ate it? Oh, wait. That’s something I say to the dogs. Nevermind.
While I’m glad I haven’t had to resort to the violent, old-school chestnuts such as, “I’ll give you something to cry about” or, “If I have to come up there….” I still wonder on a daily basis, what the hell am I saying? Is this normal? Am I raising some seriously screwed up kids? I guess as long as I don’t have to ask the kids if they ate their own poop, things can’t be too bad, right?