discarded lies: friday, october 31, 2014 6:03 pm zst
grinding the peppercorns of truth
daily archive: 12/10/2008
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Don’t lick the boat!
…and other odd things parents say.
Becoming a parent means that all kinds of things about your life change; what you consider to be appropriate conversation is probably one of the more notable illustrations. For instance, I highly doubt that the bathroom habits of babies would be on your list of dinner conversation topics, but afterward (especially if in the company of other parents of young children), various bodily functions, amounts and circumstances are frequent topics of discussion – much to the horror of any singles who are unfortunate enough to be nearby. And I doubt that any non-parent would fully appreciate the “Yay! You went pee!” and ensuing fuss over a potty training toddler.

As children get older and learn to talk, one begins to foster hopes of the exchange of ideas and the passing on of the wisdom of the ages. Only to find that most conversation revolves around incessant “Whys” or imperatives – “Put your shoes on,” “Clean your room,” “Don’t hit your brother”….

It is in this last category of imperatives that I have found some of the more amusing moments of parenting. Unfortunately, though I remember laughing at what came out of my mouth on a number of occasions, I blame the child to memory loss ratio on the failure to remember most of them. There are a few notable exceptions:

When the girls were little, we lived near Niagara Falls, and most people who came to visit wanted to go on the Maid of the Mist, a boat ride that takes you very close to the falls – you get very wet! On this one particular trip, the youngest was about 3 and couldn’t quite see over the side of the boat. I held her for most of the trip so she could see, but put her down at one point just to give my back and arms a break. A minute or so later, I happened to look down and saw a little pink tongue stretched out to the railing. How could she resist trying out some of those drops of water running down the side? And that was when I heard myself say, “Don’t lick the boat!”

More recently, I found that our son is part puppy. He got teeth far earlier than the girls did, and chews all over everything. After seeing the damage done to my glasses case, I realized that we probably had to take measures to protect our leather furniture, so I heard myself say, “Don’t chew on the couches!”

And little people with runny noses are always fun to manage; I tried to keep up with him and jump in with tissues as often as possible with his most recent cold, but I just wasn’t quick enough a couple of times; finger puppets were far more convenient. And I heard myself saying, “Don’t wipe your nose on the chicken!”

Soooo… those of you who are parents, what odd things have you heard yourself say? If you’re not a parent, what are some things you remember your parents saying to you or that you’ve overheard a parent say?
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