Some rules parents set are obvious. Don’t hit, don’t bite, play nice.
But we have to point them out anyway, sometimes several times a day. (Sometimes, all three at once.)
And then there are the rules that, even as the words fall from our lips, we are sure no one has ever had to actually utter until that moment.
At our house, it’s: “Don’t sit on each others’ heads.”
But I’ve heard plenty of gems at Target and the park to know I’m not alone in this what-did-I-just-say parenting. So I asked a few local mamas what they’ve caught themselves saying.
Here are a few:
“One child on the toilet at a time, please.”
“Nobody likes being poked in the neck.”
“Close your mouth to kiss your mama.”
“No standing on the table.“
“DON’T PUT YOGURT ON THE DOG!”
“You can’t lie on your cat’s head.”
“Just because it fits does not mean that you should put it up your nose!”
“Don’t drink that! You just peed in there!”
“Don’t slide over your friends.”
“No, you cannot feed your baby brother that rock.”
“Princesses don’t pee in the bathtub.”
“If it isn’t food, get it out of your mouth.”
“Don’t run with your tongue out.”
“You REALLY don’t need to show the mailman your new underwear.”
Rules aren’t the only things that mamas need to coin on the spot. Here are replies to questions local mamas never thought they’d have to answer:
“Yes, you need to wash your body during your bath.”
“That’s a birthmark. Not a hernia.”
“Yes, your butt is clean now.“ Or better yet, “No, your butt is still not clean.”
“Cakes aren’t alive. They don’t eat anything.”
And, finally, here are parenting tactics we never thought we’d employ:
“Stop making me yell at you.”
To a 2-year-old: “You should know better; you’re older.”
“If you pull the puppy’s tail, he will bite you. And you will deserve it.”
“If you go to sleep right now, you’ll dream about fairyland and be so happy.”
“Just wait until your father comes home.”
Beth Vrabel lives in West Manchester Township with her children, Emma, 6, and Benny, 2. Read more Smart Mama columns here.