“I was gonna do that” (frequent response to almost any undone task) is a kid’s go-to phrase most often floated as an attempt to get credit for doing what someone else has just done.
“I did that yesterday” is the handy go-to phrase used to avoid doing whatever was done “yesterday” in an effort to not do it today tasks like washing the dishes, making a bed (really any household chore), brushing teeth, showering (at least for a boy), and so much more. It is almost always floated in a whiny tone and with well-placed eye-rolls plus indignant sighs as kids get older.
“I forgot” covers lots of ground. Floated in response to the pile of dirty clothes in the guest bathroom downstairs, it can also be used in conjunction with big puppy dog eyes when getting out of the car at practice or school the moment a kid realizes he “forgot” to: bring his lunch, P.E. clothes, soccer ball, library book, homework, or countless other things. “I forgot” is often lobbed with sincere hope that someone will take pity, retrieve and bring the forgotten item to said forgetter.
Husband’s learned response to his wife’s question, “Do I look fat?” in any outfit, especially when she’s pregnant or any time within a five (ten) year span around having a baby. Best when used often and without prompting.
The response to any and all home-made dinner fare–especially after a long day of shuttling kids, scrambling, refereeing, bandaging scrapes, grocery shopping and sweating over a hot stove. Circling back to the chef with a little extra honesty is fine–later. But, timing is key. Especially if the chef happens to be of the child variety.
A kid’s age-old response to almost every form of consequence, discipline, bad grade, or a sibling getting to do something that she or he doesn’t.
Parent’s response to kid’s “not fair”.
“What about this?” suggests mom to daughter as they struggle through wardrobe disagreement on the perfect dress for Homecoming or Prom. With dress options falling on the entirely too short, too tight and too low spectrum, “No one wears that” can be heard in dressing rooms across the nation as parents desperately try to offer options so their daughters can understand that they have so much more worth than a skimpy dress.
#whatabouther and #whatabouthim
“What about her” acts like a reflex almost every time one kid is asked to do something with another able body standing nearby. It’s usually followed by the parental response: “I’m not talking to her. I’m talking to you.” … or the classic, “what she’s doing is #noneofyourbusiness.”
“It’s not mine” is the indignant response given when kid is asked to pick up, put away or wash an item left out or on the ground. It is usually met with an equally indignant, “I didn’t ask whose it was, I simply said pick it up.” Sometimes a lovely mini-lecture follows for good measure, “Life is about doing for others, not about having things done for you. Here’s a great opportunity for you to serve. And while you’re at it there are clothes in the drier that need folding and put away.”
“Why me” is widely used to proclaim disdain for whatever task might be at hand that is #notfair. Whether playing goalie, taking out the garbage, being chosen for the role of Humpty-Dumpty in the school play, or having a mother who was caught once again pumping gas in her pajamas, “Why me?!” finds usage in a variety of arenas.
As in, how could I ever be so blessed? Who would have imagined that life could be so good. Because, how else can you describe little hands reaching up to grab hold and squeals of delight announcing their excitement to see you. Or when the same hands morph into ones gripping a steering wheel, pitching in to drive carpool duty. Hands that in the blink of an eye grab yours and take you around the dance floor as everyone gathers to celebrate his marriage to a new love of his life reminding you that no one can take your place.
“Yes you can” fills the self-doubt gaps that lurk in the shadows and hide in plain view. It fills sails that need an extra puff of wind to sail into the unknown toward the land of confidence and independence. It should be used often, following the countless cries of “but, I can’t”. Cries that beg to be countered rather than confirmed by a well-intentioned adult racing in to save.
Whispered over sleeping children, written on napkins that hide in lunch sacks, sewn into the seams of #notfair curfews and boundaries, shouted across college campuses, cried at weddings … “I love you” paves every path of parenthood.
#sapalert, #timegoestoofast, #oldladytryingtobecool