It’s a well-known cliche that spending time with a child will bring up memories of one’s own childhood in misty sepia, and will turn you, with terrifying rapidity, into your parents. This usually follows along gender lines in the books, but I’ve found myself turning into both of my parents in equal parts. Here is a list of things I have said this month (I’ve officially been here a month! AH!) that prove it.
1. “Why don’t you worry more about what you’re doing and less about what you’re sister is doing.” (For use when someone is tattling, bossing, or attempting to Be In Charge. Credit: Dad)
2. “I am going to count to three and if you aren’t [in your chair, in the car, down from that ledge, listening to what I say] we are not [doing this fun activity]” (Credit: Mom)
3. “Don’t make me say it again.” (Best when said in a stern voice that implies consequences, especially helpful because it does not require you come up with any actual consequences/gives time for thinking of such a thing. Credit: Dad? Probably both.)
4. “Your knee hurts? Well, should we cut off your leg?” (This always annoyed me as a kid, I didn’t realize at the time that the annoyance made me stop crying about the tiny cut on my knee. Distraction is a useful tool with children. Credit: Dad)
5. “Quick like a bunny!” (This is actually the only thing that makes Verena speed up when we’re running late. We then have to put on our seat belt “slow like a turtle” so it doesn’t lock. Credit: Old school, Grandma)
6. “[name of child]” (Only works in stern voice, if done well, can stop child in their tracks. Practice must be done on my end. Credit/The Master of Such a Voice: Mom)
I have also started reading decorating magazines, making jokes no one thinks are funny, and using a variety of words and phrases to replace curse words (my parents went with Jiminy Cricket and muttered swears, I’m busting out Jeez Louise and using the word nonsense a lot more than is typical). Everyone, the future is now.