I Was Previously Unaware That Such A Bridge Even Existed

Well, today is my birthday, and I am 27 years old. IN MY MIND, AT LEAST.

Birthday delusions aside, I’m happy to tell you that Mamaw’s sciatica subsided over the weekend, though I seem to have added a sinus infection to the mix. Later in the week I plan to wrestle with a bout of bursitis and then maybe deal with an angina flare-up. So needless to say I am SASSY AS EVER.

As far as birthdays go, today has been a good ‘un. My fellas sent me some beautiful flowers, and since pedicures are in fact my love language, they gave me a gift certificate to my favorite nail salon. I rarely get manicures because I can’t stand it if my nails are longer than two centimeters, but the last time I got a pedicure (OPI Suzi Takes The Wheel – can’t recommend it enough), I totally caved and got a manicure, too. OH, I DID ENJOY IT. I loved having polish on my fingernails for, no kidding, the first time in approximately eleven-ish years, and I felt very hip and with it and now for the five whole days that the manicure lasted.

So I’m thinking that the whole manicure thing may wind up being more of an annual treat than a regular habit.

Tonight we went to Chuy’s for supper (SHOCKING, I KNOW), and it was delicious, as always. We came home and enjoyed some birthday cupcakes, followed by an extensive discussion about an upcoming math test. The eight year-old in this house is typically super self-motivated when it comes to school, but he’s concerned about a timed math test that’s coming up later this week. His daddy and I explained that we’ll just practice until the timed part doesn’t even feel like a factor, but the little man expressed some concern that practicing math isn’t quite as fun as other after-school activities.

And y’all, I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly found myself dropping every single cliche’ about Why School Is Important. At one point I actually said – I ACTUALLY SAID – “Well, what you need to understand is that until you are totally prepared for this timed test, the bridge to after-school fun is SHUT DOWN. But when you take your test and do well on your test, the bridge to fun will re-open.”

Seriously. THE BRIDGE TO FUN. Who says that? Besides A CRAZY PERSON, I mean?

Eventually I realized that I didn’t need to run the risk of implying that A might wind up living in a van down by the river if he doesn’t do well on his timed math facts quiz, so D and I tried to lighten the mood with some silliness. All was happy and well within a few minutes, and we ended up having a sweet little prayer time that pulled the whole issue back into perspective. However, I have to say: for about ten minutes there I barely recognized myself. I’d had three glasses of unsweetened iced tea at the Chuy’s, gotten all amped up on caffeine, and before I knew what hit me I was wearing my academic police cap, mapping out a strategy for Math Success and SHUTTING DOWN THE BRIDGE TO FUN.

Sweet times. Precious memories.

So, to make my birthday joy complete, I would love it if some of y’all would jump in and share some parenting words of wisdom that you can’t believe you actually said. Maybe you threatened to turn the car around RIGHT THIS SECOND because CLEARLY WE DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO HAVE FUN IN THIS FAMILY, or maybe you gave an excellent lecture on how failing to plan is planning to fail and THERE WILL BE NO PLANS FOR FAILURE IN THIS HOUSE. And if you’re not a parent, don’t let that stop you from participating, because I bet you’ve offered some mighty fine words of wisdom to your nieces, nephews, siblings or godchildren.

I guess the bottom line is that if you’ve ever had an Oh my word I cannot believe I actually just said that teachable moment with someone who was under your care and supervision, now is your chance to share the joy of that moment with the internet. And we will laugh with you. Because even though the whole caring-for-children thing is hard sometimes, it can also be endlessly entertaining.

I’ll round up a few bloggy people to vote for the funniest comment in a couple of days, and just to make everything all official and fancy, the prize will be a $50 gift certificate from Amazon or iTunes (winner’s choice).

And listen. If that doesn’t re-open THE BRIDGE TO FUN, then I don’t know what will.

Fire away, my friends.

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  1. First of all, happy birthday! Sounds like it was fun and arthritis free.

    My worst can’t believe moment… There are little girls in other countries who would give anything for the freedom to go to school, so don’t complain and do your best. (So true, but not the best parenting nonetheless.)


    While I will not be a parent for a few more days, I have jinxed us (according to the hubs) via my proclamations regarding how our children will never be picky eaters….I think my exact words were, “if they are hungry, they will eat what is served.” I’ve set us up for a child who will eat nothing but hot dogs and pop tarts…

    • Yes dearie – I said the same thing. There will be no second meals or options for the kids. Since they are toddlers, I have decided that they can have a peanut butter sandwich instead of whatever the rest of the family is eating if they don’t want the healthy, nutritious meal I slaved over.

      They eat an awful lot of peanut butter sandwiches.

  3. This was a few months ago, but it was so memorable, I wrote it down. My then 8 month old had spit up a little and then started playing in it before I could get to him. I found myself saying, “We don’t play in our vomit… or anyone else’s either.” Good life lesson.

  4. As a college advisor, I encourage students regularly. During the college application season in the fall, seniors can be particularly delightful in the worst possible way. They sit and whine about completing college applications. (Which are all done online, by the way! No paper, pencil and liquid white out like we all had to use!)

    One student spent a good 30 minutes lamenting over the copy and paste function, when finally I said, “Do you know what? You don’t have to fill it out. Don’t fill it out, and then you don’t have to go to college. You can work at the cookie company in the mall forever!” I’m not sure how I got to said profession; I skipped over all other options–like working on it the next day or attending junior college. But the reaction from the studnet wasn’t what I was expected. He said, “That’s awesome! I’d get free cookies forever!”

    • Your second-to-last sentence cracked me up. I used to work in our church as publications coordinator. Almost every single time I would type “studnet” instead of student. I *think* I always caught it. :)

    • I also work at a college and can so relate to this! I have a tendency to forget to engage my brain before things like that spill out of me. “These kids” give opportunites like that so frequently!

  5. Happy geek says:

    I had a 3year old with motor planning difficulties so we did lots of fine motor activities. Which was not at all his cup of tea.
    At one point I told him “I don’t care if you don’t like it, you will pick up that crayon and colour until I tell you to stop or you will have a long timeout.”

    So clearly I have never even opened the bridge to fun. I forced my kid to colour. At age three. We won’t even get into what I said about play dough.

    • This reminds me of the years when our son was superman, with wads of paper stuffed in his leotard to make him look muscle bound. My very favorite things to yell at a kid was “if you don’t stop flying around the house I”m going to take away your muscles” or “please pick up your muscles and put them away.”

    • I had to force my three year old to color all the way to the lines, because she only wanted to stay in the middle. “No! No! It’s better to color outside the lines than never reach them at all!”

      My elementary school art teacher would have had a heart attack.

  6. Camille (shocker this story is about Camille) was pitching a fit in the car a few weeks ago. I actually said, “If you don’t stop crying, I’m gonna pull this car over and give you a reason to cry.” (I KNOW. I’m SO my grandfather). Camille then said, “No you won’t” and continued to wail. So I HAD TO. Pulled the car off of 459, into the McDonalds on Acton Road, and gave her a reason to cry. Totally shocked her that I kept my promise. But she believes me now. :)

    • Keri Always says:

      BTDT more than once with both kids. Fully expect to repeat it at some point with the 4 y-o this week.

  7. I wish I got paid for every time I use a cliche or bizarre parenting statement…apparently that’s a part of how I roll.

    I have an almost 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. (And a 7 month old boy, which tells me that I’m going to be facing “boy issues” for many, many years.) I have informed them that they are currently not allowed to play games that involve saying the words “shoot”, “kill”, or “die.” I’ve also informed my daughter that I may revisit that rule, as we do have a majority of boys and my husband and I haven’t made a definitive decision about “war games,” but, for now, that’s the rule.

    Because I don’t want our BRIDGE TO FUN to involve the death of innocent hypothetical people. :-)

    Happy birthday!

  8. First off, happy birthday. And secondly, someone in my family brings this up every once in a while: About 10 years ago, my niece and nephew were over the day after Thanksgiving, and they kept arguing and arguing and finally I punished them by making them watch “Oprah.” You would have thought I was making them watch a video of puppies being set on fire. After about 10 minutes, they claimed they’d learned their lesson.

    • my 8 years old’s (boy) punishment is making him go to publix with me while i decide to coupon that day so he knows it will be a long trip. he once wrote me a note that said ‘i forgive you for all the mean things you do to me’ all because i made him go to the grocery store for acting up.
      i used to carry a fanny mae (wooden spoon) everywhere i went ‘just in case’ :)

  9. I’m sure we’re the only ones with this problem. Certainly everyone else’s children have this completely together. But — my kids are a little pokey around bedtime. One day a few months ago, the Husband had HAD IT. So he instructed them in the bedtime routine in a more military fashion. I say that as people who have zero military experience, by the way. In any case, it went like this:
    Daddy: You have 30 seconds to get pajamas on. GO! GO! GO!
    8 yr old Daughter, sprinting off to her room: What if we don’t make it on time??
    8 yr old Daughter, shocked (shocked!): OH MY GOSH!!

    We laughed for weeks.

  10. First of all, happy happy birthday!

    Secondly, seriously! You are going to have to just tone down the funny! My husband thinks I’m insane. I was already being questioned for chuckling out loud at the BRIDGE TO FUN when I was blindsided by images of Chris Farley “LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER” and just had to laugh and laugh and laugh. Oh, Boo Mama… You are a funny funny girl!

    Thirdly, I admit that although my eldest is still pre-school aged, I’ve already heard myself saying some crazy stuff. Right now, I’m too sleep deprived to think of any specifics, but I promise to come back to share if I think of anything noteworthy or remotely funny.

  11. My nephew was about to get a Wii gaming system while they were away on vacation eight hours from home and i was giving a little lecture on perhaps not becoming too obsessed with it. When he mentioned that it was too bad he could not play with it during the car ride, any serious aspect to the moment was shattered with the spouting of chocolate milk from noses when I said, “Oh yes, then you could go Wii Wii all the way home!”

  12. Lisa@SliceOfLife says:

    My daughter came home from school complaining that her band teacher had taken points off her grade because she said she could tell that C hadn’t practiced. Oh the outrage! So I asked ‘DID you actually practice?” and she replied “well…no! But!…” so I busted out my fave go-to parenting line–“Well, it sucks to be you!”

  13. Happy Birthday! I’m an “oldtimer” whose kids are about your age but when they were little and didn’t listen and drove me nuts continually throughout the day, I have been known to tell them that “I a real nice lady who had been kind enough to take them in, but if they kept this kind of behavior up I would be calling their REAL mother to come and get them!” They never believed me that I wasn’t their mother, but they immediately stopped what they were doing, just in case. The best one, however, was when I heard my Dad tell my hyperactive son, “It’s a good thing you are such a good looking little boy because otherwise I just don’t know what I’d do with you!” My Dad was the sweetest, gentlest man who ever lived so I knew he was aggravated whenever he said this to my boy.

  14. Happy birthday! I’m sans husband or child, but I do volunteer with my church’s youth group. I don’t think I’ve said anything really dumb during disciplinary moments lately (though maybe the kids would disagree!), but the youth group is starting to hit adolescence almost en masse, so suddenly I sound like every aunt I ever had, commenting incredulously at how tall they’re getting. Remembering how much I used to resent the middle school principal calling us “youngsters,” though, I am trying to steer clear of that.

  15. Me telling my 3 year old at the time:
    “You have to eat something of substance. How ’bout a hotdog?”

  16. I got grounded every other day for my attitude problem in high school. No joke. My precious angel is a mere 7 years old, and I actually gave her the old “I don’t like your attitude or your tone of voice” speech that I got every other day in high school. And, I added the ever irritating, “young lady” to the end of it. And then I stared long and hard in the mirror, wondering if I’ll make money channeling other people’s parents in my future.

  17. When Manning (23 months) came to me with his hand and leg covered in poo last week I actually said, “Poop is not fun or funny. We keep our poop in our diaper.” Maybe it would’ve been a good time to keep it singular instead of making it plural?! Because WE don’t wear diapers, only HE does. Haha!

  18. Melissa S says:

    LOVE the ‘bridge to fun” – and girl, I am going to use it tomorrow! I am already a ‘fun hater’ to my kids most of the time. And now I am in control of the bridge to fun!!! Happy Birthday!

  19. Sarah Kate in WA state says:

    First of all, happy birthday!!! I always forget that you share the same birthday as my husband. (His birthday dinner request? Pioneer Woman’s Macaroni and Cheese…..which he absolutely drooled over after seeing it on her show a couple weeks ago. It was divine!) Perhaps he can join you in your 27 year old state of mind….since I did have to break it to him this morning that he was, in fact, turning 43, and not 42, like he thought he was.

    From the files of “I can’t believe I actually had to say that to my child”…..

    “We do not put ham on our sister’s head.”
    “I don’t care if you’re hot. You may not play out in the snow in a short sleeved shirt with no coat!”
    “There are no such thing as ‘mini-nightmares’. I just walked out of your room from praying for you three minutes ago. You have not had time to fall asleep and have a nightmare. GO BACK TO BED!”

  20. I love this.

    I’m not even going to try to compete, because really, who could surpass the comment about the vomit? To an 8-month-old? I nearly laughed my own head right off.

    My personal shining moment was when I, totally preoccupied, marched into the living room, pointed vigorously at the blaring TV, and yelled, “Turn off that lunchbox! Now!” My daughter just stared at me. I mustered whatever addlebrained dignity I could find and stomped out of the room.

    • Keri Always says:

      ooohhhhh! You made this very pregnant woman laugh till her stomach hurt and made her quit!!!

      “lunchbox”!!!! LOVE IT!!!

  21. Oh, oh, oh – and in the spirit of complete brainlessness…..I’m so sorry I forgot to add very happy birthday wishes!

    And if A is 8, and I remember 8 correctly, the dreaded math test is the multiplication one – like 53 questions on the sheet? I cannot begin to tell you how many photocopies we made of that thing, how many practice sessions we had, how many tears and “just-missed-its” and stress. It took most of 3rd grade for the Girl to get the time/score she needed (even though she was in the top of her class!) and I just want to assure you that it falls into the category of This Too Shall Pass and UGH For Life. The Girl is just out of college and teaching second grade this year, and she has a great fondness for math now!
    Love to you.

  22. First of all, Sarah mommylogues made me laugh out loud for quite some time.

    Second of all, Happy Birthday!

    (the above list is not in order of importance)

    As for the thing I’ve already heard myself say (that I heard at least a million times growing up),”Pretty is as pretty does.”

  23. I’m totally blanking on my parenting advice foibles at the moment (although I did have to explain to my 5-year-old why he shouldn’t pee on his 2-year-old sister; didn’t anticipate that one back in my pre-kid days). But I have to say Happy Birthday–my birthday is October 3rd, too! :-)

  24. My son and daughter were probably around 4 and 5. They were fighting over a large bag of peanut M&M’s. Neither wanted the yucky brown ones, both wanted the red ones, etc. After several warnings, suddenly, I became a crazy woman. In my pajamas and slippers, I swooped down on them, snatched the bag of M&M’s, ran out into the back yard and started turning circles while emptying the bag. I ran back into the house carrying the empty bag, waving it around, breathless and wild eyed. I then screamed “No more candy in this house EVER AGAIN and I mean it!”

  25. Happy Birthday!

    My 9-year-old doesn’t do well with timed anything. At all. We’ve learned to extend lots of grace around here on those type tests. I know you don’t have that option, but I’m glad you’re not going to shut down the bridge to fun because of it. ;)

    I try to forget those type things I say. I mean, I don’t write them on the calendar with all the cute blog worthy sayings that come out of my children’s mouths. I can tell on my husband though. He has a military history. This one stands out in my mind:
    The kids were older doing something obnoxious when my husband had had all he could take. He looks at them and says, “Did your mother have any kids that lived?”
    You should have seen the stares and their faces while trying to figure that one out, then heard the giggles that ensued when it finally hit them.

  26. This isn’t something I said, but something my 3 (almost 4) year old granddaughter just said to her mom last night. She was getting a stern talking to after disobeying and my precious girl said to her mom “Wowee! Those are some ugly words you’re using!” Needless to say, she makes us laugh ALOT!

  27. “Lola, stop licking the headlight on the van and get in this house NOW!”

    Never, ever dreamed that I would utter these words or that my kid would willingly lick the nasty, bug-covered headlight.

    I figure these definitely qualify as words of wisdom since, for my child at least, learning that it’s gross to lick headlights is a teachable moment of the highest magnitude.

    • Keri Always says:

      similar one here:

      “Dude, don’t lick the refrigerator”

      “Dude, don’t lick the dog. I don’t care if he licked you first. He’s nasty and has probably rolled around in cow poop or a dead animal. Now go wash your tongue.”

      “Do not lick your brother on the head!” in line at the Target service desk

    • Too funny! It is amazing what kids will lick!

      • Along these same lines….last night I uttered “Drew – don’t lick the gum under the restaurant table”

  28. Oh, I think I have too many mom-isms to even write down. My favorite is, “Are you two? then why are you acting like a two-year-old?” (They’re 8 and 11)
    Once, when I was a summer nanny to a very obnoxious kid and his sisters, I heard one of the sisters telling her brother to stop doing something. I said, “Danny, stop it!” from the other room, to which he responded, “I wasn’t DOING anything!” I promptly said, “I don’t care what you’re NOT doing, STOP IT!” (I’m sure he WAS doing something!)

  29. Danielle Johnson says:

    Just last night I heard my 4 yr old scream in pain. When I walk in my husband was trying to calm him down and he said “It will feel better when it quits hurting” I busted out laughing which caused my son to laugh too.

  30. Every time my sister or I would even think of saying a not-so-nice word, my dad would have an uncontrollable bout of “CUSS WORDS ARE A WAY FOR AN UNINTELLIGENT MIND TO EXPRESS ITSELF FORCIBLY” and then proceed to look the naughty words up in the dictionary to prove they weren’t there.

    Looking back, I now realize that my dad must have been very careful with the words he chose to research, because some of them–I’ll refrain from listing them out of the public interest–most certainly were there.

    This also explains why to this day if you pick up our dictionary and open to a random page there is a 99% chance it will be a page where a cuss word should be, but to my dad’s rejoice, WAS NOT.

  31. One of my finest parenting moments came at the supper table when my youngest (who is oh, so picky) wouldn’t eat his green beans. I couldn’t believe it when I said the words “There are starving children in Africa who would give their left arm to eat those green beans!” He looked at me and said, “Can we send them?”

  32. Driving my son to college in the middle of nowhere, I stopped his fiddling to find a station by informing him we were officially in Radio No-Mans Land.

  33. The Christmas that my oldest was 2, we set up our Fisher Price Nativity on the bottom shelf of the entertainment center so it would be easily accessible and within his reach. One day, I was on the phone with a friend in the kitchen and looked over to find him teeing up the baby Jesus to hit with his plastic golf club. Apparently, he thought the sweet replica of the King of the Universe would be a nice substitute for a golf ball. I yelled out just as he made contact “no sir-we do not hit baby Jesus with our golf clubs!” My friend who was on the phone with me died laughing and said, “that’s something you won’t ever say again.” She was right-with all the Christmases that have passed, I have never again had the occasion to repeat that sentence-lesson learned.

    • Keri Always says:

      I got my daughter a Hummel-looking Nativity set when she was 2 also. It said it was a “composite” material, so I thought it shouldn’t break or at least it wouldn’t break into sharp slivers that would require an emergency session of vacuum cleaner use.

      We still have the set. One wise man’s head is glued back on, a little crooked, since he clearly lost the Ninja battle between him and Joseph. But, it’s there and makes for a great story every year.

    • Bahahahahaha!

    • Awesome.

    • This is my laugh out loud moment of the day.

  34. My favorite “I can’t believe I just said that” was “we do not squirt Mommy’s fancy soap down the heat vent”. (Apparently squirting the cheap stuff down the heat vent is a-okay!) It was then that I realized I am indeed a mom.

  35. I never thought I would say, “Do you want me to give you something to cry about??” but when faced with a constantly-whining 4yo, it just slipped out one day.

    • Margaret says:

      I always thought that was the dumbest thing when my father said it to me. Made much more sense when I had two children 14 months apart.

  36. I say things on a daily basis that a) I never thought I’d say b) Dr. Dobson NEVER mentioned in any of his parenting books. My favorite though?
    “I’D BETTER NOT CATCH YOU POOPING IN THE YARD AGAIN!” And I MEANT IT too! Once was enough. Oh the joys of raising boys in the country.

    • My 2 1/2 year old went through a pooping in the yard phase! Oh my gosh….I asked my husband if he had any dog blood in him that I didn’t know about!!! We shut that down realy quick! Thankfully now he only poops in the toilet!

  37. Happy Birthday Sophie!

    I’m not even sure what to say for the funniest parenting comment…with 4 boys it’s always something…The one that popped in my mind was when I was trying to get a fun mom and bought my oldest 2 ice cream cones from McD’s a few yrs ago and they didnt want to eat them all, in fact my oldest asked me to “wrap his in a napkin for later” ???I told them if they didn’t eat all their ice cream they would be in big trouble…sigh…

  38. “Fine, if you two can’t get along, I’m going to make you hold hands for the next 15 minutes, and I don’t care if people see you.”
    13 year old boy & 11 year old girl. Clearly the bridge to fun has fallen down!

  39. Holli T. says:

    When I was 10, my Mom took my best friend and I to Busch Gardens. We were on the little gondola thingys, and my mother – terrified of heights – told us to quit breathing because we were shaking the gondola. We laughed. She slapped us both on the arms and told us she wasn’t kidding.

    When we were at Fall Creek Falls State Park in the spring, we crossed a ravine on a swinging bridge. Never before afraid of heights – I grabbed my daughters shoulders in the middle of the bridge and told her to quit moving, she was making the bridge shake. Yes, I then told her to quit breathing. I died a little bit that day.

  40. Fanannie says:

    Regurgitated straight from my mother (but she said it to me when I was 12) and stated by me to my 4 year old: “Well, all fun must come to an end!” Really?! Why MUST it come to an end?

  41. Almost every morning I tell my 10 month old twins (who have yet to both sleep all night, the same night…) that “it’s a good thing you’re cute or I’d give you to the highest bidder”. I’m thankful that at *this* point they don’t remember what they’re crazy, sleep-deprived mama says. :)

  42. I have four kiddos. My daughter is almost 16 so of course I find myself saying things to her my mom said to me and which I vowed never to say to my own kids. Crazy how that works. My youngest three are boys. ALL boy ALL three of them ALL the time. They will have nothing to do with anything pink or purple. So… I have threatened to make them wear pink panties on the outside of their clothes to school if they disobeyed. ;) I would never actually follow through with it but they’ll never know it.

    Happy Birthday!

  43. Ok, it is not so much what i said as what i did. You know how your mom used to lick her thumb and wipe somethinng gross off of your face and you swore an oath that you would NEVER do that to your children…. Yeah, well, broke that promise. Numerous times!!

    My favorite words lately are, “who is the mommy? Are you the mommy? Than let me be the mommy!!”

    Happy birthday, sounds like it was great!!

  44. Kimberly/OKC says:

    Once when my kids were about 7 and 8 I’d heard it would be interesting to say this to the kids to see what their reaction would be…so I did:
    ME: Kids, due to our recent lack of finances we are going to have to let one of you go.
    DAUGHTER (as they look at each other): Which one?

    Oh, that broke my heart and I was instantly sorry I said it…but funny as I look back.




  46. Hmmm… here’s a jewel for you: “We don’t stick our fingers in our butts and use it as a weapon to chase our sisters!”

    • Holli T. says:

      OH… mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am crying… Bless your heart!!!!!!!!

    • Keri Always says:

      This is the last one I can read. Big, full-term, pregnant woman is hurting from laughing so hard and may just wet her pants!!!

    • Amanda J. says:

      Oh, this one had cracked me up the most.

    • Glad I could entertain you ladies! I can laugh about it now but at the time I was DISGUSTED! I can still pricture the maniacal look on her face….yes, her…this was a 3 year-old girl chasing a 5 year-old girl.

  47. I am trying to get my kids to eat veggies and branch out in their “menu” of foods that they like. However, I am the pickiest adult eater known to man. So, I have found myself cooking broccoli, asparagus, etc and telling my kids, “No, mommy is allergic to this vegetable, but you have to eat it or you will go to your room for the rest of the night.” At least my children will have something to tell their therapist one day. : )

    • If I had kids, I would so have to use this trick! I’m a picky eater also and drove my mom crazy when I was little and even pickier.

  48. I have twin 7 year old boys. Both have a very funny side. I can fuss and lay down the law to them. The oldest of the two will then look at me and ask “Was that neccessary?” How do you answer that?

    Happy Birthday!

  49. My 11 year old is constantly running back in the house to get things that he needs for school. I told him the other day, “if you don’t hurry up & get in the van, I’m going to leave you.”

    My 13 yr old girl just gave me a look that clearly said, “DUH!”

  50. My Dad is the Father of cliche’s. The best were his own made-up cliche’s like, “never do today what you can put off tomorrow.” Or my absolute fav-o-rite, “don’t worry about nothin’ cause ain’t nothin’ gonna be alright.” Notice the double negatives. Surely that means the opposite of what it sounds like. He once told me to go back to school and tell “that teacher that your father said, ‘two pie ARE NOT squared! Two pie are round.’ ” I kid you not.

    So he totally beat me on anything I could possibly say to my kids. But apparently his cliche’ effectiveness and teachable moments carried over to my own children. My 18-year-old was recently discussing the eating habits of my five-year-old. Apparently big sis was concerned about little sis. She informed her that, “eating too much when you’re really not hungry anymore is called gluttony. And did you know that gluttony is a sin?” To which five-year-old responded, “oh!!!!” And then she shoved her plate away.

    • My dad said the pie are round thing, too, but I never told my teachers that!

      • I’m totally familiar with the cheesy dad clichés. Whenever my sister or I would respond with “Huh?” when we didn’t understand and/or hear what my dad said, he would always follow immediately with “Huh? What are you, a goose?”

        My grandpa liked to get in on the game, too. When he would call us and my sister or I would answer the phone by saying, “Hey, Paw Paw,” he would inevitably respond with, “Hay is for horses; better for cows.”

        • If we whined that we were bored, Dad would say “Does that explain the plank look on your face?” bored/board – made us so crazy when he would say that.

  51. I don’t have kids yet, but I assure you that my poor husband is on the receiving end of many mamaw-statements.

    My latest was “I just don’t understand why the clothes don’t make it to the hamper! It’s RIGHT THERE, 3 feet from where you left them on the floor! It might take you a whole ONE second more to get them there!”

    I had to literally look around the room for my mama. I swear it was an out of body experience.

  52. Keri Always says:

    “Calling Their Bluff; Mom Goes a Little Nuts for a Few MInutes”

    cast of characters:
    Sissy, 10 y-o
    Dude, 4 y-o
    Mom, 40 and clearly certifiably insane

    Scene: arguing and fussing and fighting between SIssy and Dude. all-around can’t-get-along fun with which Mom is fed up.

    Mom: come here, Dude. Stand right here [in middle of living room] Sissy, come here and get on your knees [directly in front of Dude.]

    Now, you two can’t get along and want to fuss and fight. So, let’s get it over with. If you really want to fight, then fight. But here are the rules: Dude you hit Sissy on her arm as HARD AS YOU WANT one time. Then Sissy you hit Dude on his arm. If you still want to fight, then you get to take turns hitting each other again.

    Dude: I don’t want to hit Sissy!!! [crying now]

    Sissy: I’m not going to hit him. [with a worried look on her face, thinking that Mom may have truly lost it this time]

    Mom: GOOD! New get up from there, go play, have fun and be nice to each other!

    [The rest of the day went actually pretty well.]

    [I proudly told their Dad about the proceedings. He brought me back down to Earth, and I’m doing my best to stay there for a while.]

    [I’m still a little proud that my insanity had a quasi-positive effect on SOMETHING!]

    • Ha! My mom tried that one on my (18-months-younger) sister and me. My sister had been harassing me all day (and allegedly hit me, I don’t remember), so I whined to my mom about it. She said, “Well, the next time she does that, I give you permission, just this one time, to whallop her right back.” Cut to seconds later, in which I march out into the backyard and punch my sister in HARD the face for NO REASON.

      She didn’t bug me for MONTHS.

  53. “We DO NOT go pee-pee on the church lawn!!” (to my daughter)… Mortified!!
    “Do NOT lick the mirror during dance class.” (to my other daughter)… Mortified, again…
    “I don’t know why baby cousin John’s bottom looks different than yours… Ummmm… ask Aunt Sarah!!!” (to my other daughter!!!) Mortified, YET AGAIN!! :-)

    Happy B-day!

  54. A week ago Sunday, in the middle of big church, you might’ve heard me say to my boys, “IF JESUS CAN DIE ON THE CROSS FOR US, THEN YOU CAN STAND UP DURING THE WORSHIP MUSIC!”
    Very spiritual, indeed.

  55. Happy Birthday!!

    Several times over the last few months, I have caught myself saying OUT LOUD – about both people I’ve met in real life or people on the teevee – “He seems like such a nice young man.” Apparently I’m channeling my future 69 year old self instead of my current 39 year old self.

    It’s probably a good thing I don’t have kids, I can’t even imagine the things I’d say to them.

  56. Oh dear. I am not a parent yet but I am an auntie. I have some nieces and nephews and one happens to be mini me. She was complaining and not minding (which is spot-on where my mini me should be at seven years old) and I looked her in the eye and said, “Look at me. This is old you speaking to yourself. You need to stop being strong willed and simply obey. It will be better for you. And please don’t waste so much time talking on the phone as a teen. You’ll regret it when you’re 34.” She then rolled her eyes and walked off. Again, precisely what I would’ve done.

    • ha! I’m an auntie too(with no kids myself) and the teenage nieces and nephew were visiting this summer. the 16 year old girl was fussing about the jacket I gave her to go fishing(up here in Alaska—they brought nothing warm enough for a fishing outing that they wanted to go on) which she thought was too big(very cute Columbia pullover with hood by the way) and I heard myself saying “this isn’t a fashion show!” and gave her the option to go or to stay back. I had had enough of the teenage angst. no room for that on a fishing boat, which she discovered and was mighty glad to have the warmth of that jacket.

  57. Talking on the phone with my brother yesterday, he yells to his 4 yr old son, “Whyyyy?! Whyyyy, Braden??!!!! Why are you climbing on my car??!!! I NEED TO KNOW THE REASON!”.

    I couldn’t stop giggling. Next he will feel the need to find some sort of “closure” about why his 5 yr old stuck a cheerio up his nose. Kids don’t even develop reasoning skills until they are 28. Which reminds me, Happy Birthday!

  58. I have one. In fact, I stunnned myself so much I blogged about it back in Aug. I have two 3yr old boys and a 5 year old girl. We were in the van coming home one day and I heard one boy say to the other:

    “ewww gross… Turner, don’t eat your boogie.”
    Me:” Turner, Please don’t eat your boogies. Do you know what they are made of?”
    Turner: “No. What?”
    Me: “Dirt. Do you eat dirt?”
    Turner: “No. But I don’t have any tissues back here. So I HAVE to eat them.”
    Me… out of things to say.

    Definately a conversation I never thought I’d be having. BTW… I only think boggies are make out of dirt. i could be wrong. Either way… I’m standing firm on the not eating part!

  59. My nephews were climbing a tree and going higher than I thought they should. I actually said. ” If you fall and break your leg, don’t come running to me.”

  60. Happy birthday to you! Thanks for another year of bringing joy to my life.

    Not a bad parenting moment, per se, but a phrase I couldn’t believe came out of my mouth: “The dog is not a step-stool.”

  61. Happy Birthday!

    Mom quote to almost 2 year old re: our puppy “HENRY (son), please quit eating the dog food, leave some for Stella she needs to grow big and strong too!”

    Note: He’s the 3rd child- which is why there was no screaming shock and horror – just a resigned polite suggestion along with the rationale.

  62. Things I never thought I’d hear myself say:
    “Don’t sit on your brother’s head.”
    “Stop trying to pull his arm off…it won’t work.”
    “Mashed potatoes are to eat, not to wipe on the bottom of the table!”
    “Puzzles/books/legos/any-number-of-things are for playing, not for eating.”
    And, the most popular sentence in our house at this stage….
    “Stop picking your nose and get a tissue!”

  63. I’m not a mama yet, but my first year of teaching had TONS of these moments. My favorite go-to that I learned from my own Mom? “This is not up for discussion.” My mom was practically giddy that I was finally wrangling chatty, stubborn and dramatic kids of my own :)

  64. Happy Birthday Boo!

    OK, so when my son was about maybe 2 or so he would go visit his Nannie & Grampa (my parents) quite often. (SIDENOTE: He was their 1st grandchild) One day, when my son got a little “active” or “uncompliant” my dad said “J, you better be a good boy or I’m going to have to get out the can of whoop *ss” (I know. Seriously, wait it gets better.) Well, obviously my son had no idea what he was talking about, but it was so funny to my dad and it became somewhat of a running joke. J thought Grampa was just about the funniest man ever so he giggled everytime. This only made it funnier to my dad. Well, one day J called him out and wanted to see exactly what a can of whoop *ss looked like… so my dad when to the pantry and pulled out a can of crunchy chow mein noodles and that became “The Can of Whoop *ss”. This went on for awhile and mostly it was just a funny joke to the grown ups. My dad would NEVER have even spanked the sweet bottom of his one and only grandchild let alone open a whole can on him… Life went on. Fast forward about 6 months. Mama and J at the grocery store one day. J sitting in the cart and we are happily humming Jesus Loves Me This I Know (Ok maybe not, but it could have happened). Anyways, we’re strolling through the aisles when all of a sudden J yells (not whispers BUT YELLS), “Mama, look WHOOP *ASS!!” pointing to the chow mein noodles on the shelf.
    Oh. No. You. Didn’t. I’m not sure if I ever shopped there again. Oh, and my dad thought this was 10 kinds of funny of course!

  65. My kids are self-motivated eaters, which is to say that they will not eat anything unless they themselves feel motivated to do so. Night after night, this is a huge battle, wherein there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and I think we have become so accustomed to fighting at dinner time that we may or may not have lost sight of the goal the other night:
    Me: “Charis, eat your dinner.”
    Daughter: “Can I just have more broccoli?”
    Me: That is your THIRD helping of broccoli! You will NOT have any more broccoli until you EAT YOUR CHEESEBURGER!!!!”

    Clearly my parenting skills and nutritional expertise are TOP NOTCH.

  66. Honey, while you wanted to close down the bridge, I was ready to BURN THE BRIDGE TO FUN because my two young boys forgot something in their locker to complete their homework, this AFTER BEING REMINDED IN THE MORNING NOT TO FORGET ANYTHING and (AND!) being asked if they had everything when I picked them up. My choice of demolishing the bridge you ask? Well…….”FOR EVERYTIME YOU FORGET SOMETHING, THERE WILL BE A Wii/PLAYSTATION GAME CONFISCATED AND SOLD!” Bless their hearts, they hardly get to play and now mom wants to sell off the games. Of course, I made admendments to that declaration after they sweated for awhile.

  67. Jabber Jaws says:

    I pincky swear these are TRUE. One was said to a darling 3 year old little girl (who is now 14 and still lovely), ” We don’t wear panties when we feel like it. We wear panties when we go out from the house. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.” At the time, we stashed all kinds of panties in purses, glove compartments, etc because cutie pie would take them off and stash them — think planters at restaurants — so she could BREATHE.
    Second, and probably my favorite was said to my son as he went through a biting phase, ” Ryan Mills, don’t show your teeth. Just put them up. RIGHT NOW. ” I said this on a daily basis for a summer because he would flash his teeth – yes, it looked exactly like you are picturing including the spit noise – before he would bite anyone. It always cracked people up because I would be yelling it across the playground or McDonalds etc because when you have a biter, MAMA needs a break! Plus, he flashed so you could intervene.

    Happy birthday Boo Mama! May this year be the great kind of memorable. You know, as opposed to the memorable that you just wish wasn’t. I think ya know what I mean!

  68. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yesterday)!

    I’ve only ever been a doggy mom (and my niece isn’t old enough for words of wisdom yet), so the funniest thing I’ve ever said to my dog was,

    “When you pee in the pool, the party’s over!”

    I cracked myself up with that one! I don’t know where it came from. Thankfully, it was only a wading pool and didn’t require too much work to clean.

    Another favorite is “I brought you into this house, and I can take you back out!” which is funny since I always love my dog children too much to follow through!

  69. Michelle Washington says:

    My 14 year old daughter has ALWAYS had a flare for drama, and believes that every stubbed toe, papercut, etc. needs to be announced with great theatrics! Because of this and after much babying through the years…I actually found myself telling her one time that, “You won’t feel it when you get married!” She was not impressed with the expression that my parents used from time to time. Apparently I used to complain about my aches and pains as a kid too. :-)

  70. This is one of the funniest post and comments section I can remember. About 2 to 3 times a year this mama napalms the BRIDGE TO FUN.

  71. Happy Ailment-Free Birthday! Well, almost ailment free, except for the sinus bit. Oh my the allergies right now. Let me just tell you it is hard to move from wayyyyy up North down to the wayyyyyy down South. My sinuses have rebelled for about six straight seasons now.

    I KNOW I have said creative things like closing the bridge to fun, but of course I can’t remember any of them… however I do use the lines that I SWORE I would NEVER use. Now I use them OFTEN:
    “When you own the car, you can be in control of the radio.”
    “When you pay the cable bill, you can change the channel.”
    And there are a whole bunch more. A whole bunch of those. I have BECOME my parents.

  72. The funniest one happened when my daughter was 3. She was playing with a toy nativity set at Christmas time. She picked up the baby Jesus and popped Him into her mouth! So, concerned that she would choke, I stood there, with my hand in front of her mouth, saying ….

    “Spit Him out. SPIT JESUS OUT!”

    This is a funny story because she DID spit Him into my hand … no worries!

  73. Happy Birthday!

    I’ve said all kinds of goofy things to my kids over the years, but the most memorable was… “Tic-Tacs are not an acceptable substitution for proper oral hygiene.”

  74. This is not from me, but from my mother, who once told her grandson, who had just changed clothes before dinner, “Don’t wear your shirt for tomorrow. (beat) You might barf on it.”

    Barf on it? As though that’s a regular occurrence for him to barf on his shirts.

    Still makes me laugh.

  75. Happy Birthday!!! And thanks for making me laugh about shutting down the bridge to fun…gonna have to pull that one out later :) Ha ha!
    One of my favorites would be telling my 2 year old, who was not loving the meal choice I made for her, that “There are children all over the world who would love to eat garbage for dinner because they have nothing for dinner, so stop crying and eat your macaroni!” Hmmm, something about that just doesn’t seem right??? There is probably no one who would LOVE to eat garbage…food, yes. Garbage, no.
    Not my best moment :)

  76. When I was little cars did not have seat belts. My mom would say on long car rides when my brother and I would fight, “if you are sitting on it I can’t hit it!”

  77. I have 4 nephews who are very close in age. One Christmas they all got toy laser guns that had flashing lights and made all kinds of noises. One of which sounded very much like the ring tone on my parent’s phone.

    So between Christmas and New year – callers were often greeted with someone yelling – “it’s the phone its not a gun!”

  78. I loved the whole bridge to fun reference…very funny! And I needed that today.

    During a very-bad, no-good parenting day, I know I unleashed a “there are starving children in Africa (actually, I said the Dominican Republic because that’s where our Compassion kids are)” like I know my mom used to. And I know lots of parents do that, but I was so fed up with a few things that I called a family meeting (featured here: http://heresthediehl.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/family-meeting/) to discuss the issues we were having.

    And my 5 year-old’s insightful response to me talking about how he was going to need to adjust his attitude was what took the cake:

    “I am going to have to change my whole life.”

    Which led to me dissolving in fits of laughter and calling an end to the meeting.

  79. Holly S. says:

    I have used several I recall:
    -we don’t eat dog food (as she picks up a piece on the floor in Wal-Mart
    -we don’t eat used gum (another time, again from the floor of Wal-Mart)
    -don’t lick the apple sauce off the bottom of your shoe
    -while chewing on a drumstick, she says is this a human bone? “No, we don’t eat human bones”
    -“go the the barn” uttered by my father frequently when my brothers and I rough-housed even when we didn’t live on a farm anymore. I said it the other day to my kids too. They didn’t get it.

    Happy Belated B’day! Thanks for the laughs on the blog!

  80. Happy birthday!! I have said so many words of wisdom to my daughters I can’t remember any at the moment though. But I guarantee they had wisdom.

  81. Happy birthday, Dear Boo Mama!

    As the mother of 10 year old twin boys, stuff comes out of my mouth all the time that is truly alarming. Most recently,. it was something like this: “Would the owner of the cup (the kind boys wear in their underwear while participating in contact sports) and cleats please remove them from the dining room table so I can set the table for dinner?”

    My husband suggested we go out to dinner that night….

  82. I sometimes threaten to beat my kids when they misbehave. (Not that I ever do, I just like to make them think that I will.) A few weeks ago I told my 11 yr old to fold his socks and put them up. A few hours later I passed by and those socks were still sitting there…..unfolded and not put away. I started fussing at him and said “Lane, if you don’t get these socks put up right now I’m going to beat you with them!” He immediately burst out laughing and started begging me “Please Mom, please don’t beat me with my socks!” Next time I’ll choose my words more wisely ;)

  83. My six year old son likes to skip the underwear part of getting dressed. One morning at church it was apparent to me that he had done so, and I whispered to him, Did you put on underwear this morning? He answered No, I’m going commando. To which I replied, We do NOT go commando to church!

  84. Happy birthday!!!
    Mine was more of an irrational organiziation moment. After spending HOURS (okay, minutes) every, single Sunday morning looking for my 5 and 6 year olds’ Bibles, I placed my hands on my hips and declared, “When we get home from church, you will put those Bibles on the shelf, and I had BETTER not see them until NEXT Sunday!” At which point my older daughters and husband burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter…and we were late for church. :)

  85. Speaking of bridges…Whenever my kids are complaining about something…(ie. life being SOOOO unfair) I tell them, “You know what? You just need to BUILD a bridge and GET OVER IT.” Then I top it off with this little advice gem…”the sooner you learn this world does not revolve around you; the better off we’re all going to be.”
    Where’s my mother of the year award? Anyone?

  86. I remember my father disciplining my brothers (who were always doing something stupid so they deserved whatever discipline they got!) and they’d start crying and my Dad would say “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” hahaha. Was never a dull moment in our household with 6 of us kids!

  87. Hope your birthday has been as special as your blog! Wishing you a day & evening, even year, full of love & goodness!

  88. Glad to hear your special day was so great! We’ll be praying that A aces his timed math test!

  89. “If there’s time to lean then there’s time to clean!”


    “Are you working hard or hardly working?!”

    I’m actually not a parent, but I’m married, so I think that counts.

  90. I’ve said all kinds of unexpected things over the past 15 years of child raising. My favorite was directed at the middle child- “Stop licking your elbow and eat your macaroni.”


  91. I don’t have any children yet, but I do babysit for a family with three little boys. Several weeks ago they discovered the joy of “arm pit farts,” and would. not. stop. doing. it. I finally had them all calm down and sit down to say their bedtime prayers, when the nine year old arm pit farted. I could not believe my own ears when I heard myself saying, “DO YOU THINK THE LORD APPRECIATES ARM FARTS??!!” Yikes.

  92. I babysit for a family with three little boys, and a few weeks ago they discovered the joy of arm farts. At bedtime we all sat down to say their bedtime prayers, and the nine year old arm farted. I could not believe my own ears when I heard myself saying, “DO YOU THINK THE LORD APPRECIATES ARM FARTS DURING BEDTIME PRAYERS?” Yikes!

  93. Laura Knapp says:

    My toddler boy has really out-classed me in this category. He was observing his dear, sweet great grandmother play a game of cribbage. She was disappointed in how the game was going and exclaimed “Oh, nuts!” My toddler very seriously looked her in the face and said “Grandma, it is not nice to talk about other peoples’ privates.” I could have died (of laughter and embaressment!).

  94. Here’s one of my recent ones:

    My boys, ages 7 and 4, were in the den yelling at each other. I came from the other side of the house and say, “There will be no yelling in this house!” Problem is – I yelled it!!

    What an awesome example I was!

  95. I have a little girl now but way back in my early 20’s I was the lead counselor at 4-H camp. When we were getting the camp ready for the kids I found myself telling my counselors to ‘go do X then come back to me and I’ll give you something else to do’. Classic Mom. Means they can’t wander off or lose focus. I can’t wait to pull that on my kids.

    Happy Birthday!!

  96. When I was potty training my daughter she would get really distracted by the toilet paper, the door stop, the cabinet doors, etc. So much so that she’d forget to actually use the toilet. After a few unfortunate incidents of stalling, I found myself hustling her into the bathroom saying, “No dinking around baby, in this family we potty with purpose.”

  97. I have my 8 year old son convinced that every time he lies to me a dot appears on his forehead that only I can see. What he doesn’t understand is the way I automatically know that he is lying is his hand “conveniently” moves his way up to his forehead in hopes of “covering the dot” before I see it. It’s a sure giveaway.

  98. Playing outside in the 412 degree heat, my then 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy wanted to play in their water table. I grabbed the hose from the front of the house and screwed it in to the backyard nozzle. It still had a sprinkler attached to it so I secretly placed the sprinkler right next to where they were playing so they would get sprayed when I turned the water on. I sneak back, turn the water on full blast, drenching the kids. I hear screams like I’ve never heard and I start laughing hysterically and yelling, “Suck it up BABIES!!!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!”. Then it looks like they’re screaming in pain and they start running around the back yard (out of the sprinkler and now in tears). What in the world? I go to feel the water thinking it must be made of nails and HOLY COW the water was about 412 degrees itself. The hose had been sitting in the sun for a good week, baking the idle water inside. Awesome.

    Mom of the Year.

  99. I realized I was becoming my father when I could no longer remember my children’s names, or the animal’s names for that matter. “Bay…Emm…Dak…WHOEVER YOU ARE stop hitting your sister!!!”.

    I also caught myself telling my 3 yr old that she had to get something “healthy” at the soccer concession stand, like nachos or hotdog. I now use my words more appropriately and say “you cannot get ALL candy.”