Mommy Language – The Rules


On a recent car trip, my kids were discussing with each other – I was merely the taxi cab driver – all the things for which I was to blame.  Dash had scraped his knee earlier that day.  It was my fault for sending him to soccer practice when he was tired.  Tallulah had dropped her rare Japanese eraser on the floor of the car.  It was my fault for allowing her to bring the precious object in the car to begin with.

Then, like a light bulb that has just not been turned on these many years, the dust accumulating day by day, the screw slowly turned in the socket…’cos mom also does nothing fast enough these days…and the brilliance of the light bedazzled.

It was time to introduce my children to the time honored tradition of Mommy Language and The Rules.

No doubt, many of you have had the rules memorized and implemented from the moment your children took their first breath.  But for those of us, with post-traumatic, OMG – an eight lb living barbarian just barreled out of me, the Alzheimer’s kicks in for a few years.

So here are the few Mommy Language Rules as I remember them so far:

1.         Mom is ALWAYS right (even when she is wrong).

2.         Mom is NEVER to blame for anything.  In fact, the words “Mommy, it’s your fault that…” do not exist in Mommy language.  Those words are understood to mean “Mommy, I love you and you are the greatest mom in the world.”  So when you get a great big hug and kiss, after a good griping, please recognize that you just told your mama that you love her.

3.         The Complaints Department is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm if your child is in full time school.  Otherwise, it is only open from 1:00 – 2:00 am.  We are wise and recognize that it is difficult to complain when you are sleeping and looking angelic.  After-hours complaints can be put into the Suggestion Box, generally named Dad.

That’s it for now.  My kids were fairly gob-smacked by the Rules, for approximately five whole minutes, before picking apart the concept by the seams, looking for loopholes, and generally telling me how terrible all my ideas were.

I do love ’em.

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Sassing Kids- Soap or Humor? OR Soapy Humor?

I’m at my hairdressers the other day.  Somehow we have fallen into a routine, where she gives me hair cutting tips for my homespun hair cuttery.  I cut my own children’s hair “Chez Nicole’s Backyard”, which allows me to pay a small fortune to have my own hair professionally cut and deliciously pampered.  Somehow, this backyard hairdressing “thang” has attracted other children in my neighborhood, whose ears have been unsympathetically clipped by less that caring professionals.  So a child might walk out of “Chez Nicole’s Backyard” with a very crooked lopsided doo, but they will have their ears intact.  A fair deal, I believe.

I digress, in exchange of hair tip favors, I, in turn, propel child-rearing advice out of my mouth at a rate of rocket speed torpedo’s zooming through inter-galactic space.  Somehow Joni, keeps returning for more of my thoughts and I sincerely hope my hair cutting skills are improving.

Give me an example, Joni, I can’t just advise out of the clear blue sky.  (Not entirely true, but ya know, ya wanna be polite.)

How about this one, Nicole….my eight year old son woke up this morning with:

“Hallo A–wipe!”  So I wiped his mouth out with soap.  I can’t help thinking there might have been a better way to deal with this.

Hmm… It took a moment for me to process this joy.  It must have been painful to hear, as a parent.  Probably, some anger from the son.  Definitely had a funny side to it.

I’m thinking humor might be a good way to break into this one, Joni.

Humor?

Humor!

For instance…?

Well, instead of jumping directly into anger and confrontation which is what he is expecting, try…

A–wipe?  Now that is an original greeting first thing in the morning.  Does my A– need wiping?

OR

Good morning Sass-wipe.  That’s a good way to wake me up quickly.

Hopefully that, or your own funny take on the situation will break a smile out on your little angel’s face.  At which point you can address that whilst you appreciate the originality of the morning address, it was a little hurtful.  It was inappropriate and if he is feeling angry, you are more likely to listen if he tells you that he is angry with you and you would like to know why.

Let us say that your wonderfully humorous approach does not make the little darling smile.  He just gets in a darker and darker mood.  Then try to recognize that he did indeed get out of bed on the wrong side this morning, and discuss the name-calling later that day once you and he have calmed down.

Always let him know that name calling is offensive and hurtful.  But washing his mouth out with soap will always be remembered as “the day you washed my mouth out with soap!”  Not WHY you washed his mouth out with soap.

Again, I reiterate…I am not a professional, just a mom with some experience behind her and once upon a time I had a great A–.  But I did not know it at the time.  Another story for another day.  Remind me of the drug dealers on 10th and A back in NYC.