“…It may be too late to train our hubby’s to dole out the ego boosting compliments, but our children? Yes, yes (twist handlebar ‘mooostache’ if you have one), we can work with this. Here’s a list of phrases I’d like to teach my children to say. Feel free to borrow it – it’ll make you feel good…”
The other day my daughter said, “I bet people who just meet us think we’re sisters.” Frankly, that’s a bet I wouldn’t take, but who am I to sneer in the face of lovely sentiment? I mean, that’s the kind of phrase you would have to train (or pay) a child of 7 to say, but no, she did it on her own volition. No, coaxing or prodding, not even in the hopes of getting a new Barbie out of the deal. Though I think a phrase like that deserves a new iPad – at a bare minimum.
The effect of this simple observation, that my clearly brilliant child made, was utter joy- total narcissistic mirthfulness – and that’s not a phrase I use often, as you can imagine.
This got me thinking: If this tiny guileless thought could make me feel so great, why can’t we train our children to say things that will make us feel more hip, young, or smart, and less twitchy or stabby?
Truth is, I’ve tried for over a decade to teach my hubby to say those types of lovely things and I’m still “ahem-ahemming” him when I walk out in a fabulous dress, though to be fair, the years of nagging and passive aggressiveness may have worn him down.
But children. Why didn’t we think of the children? They’re malleable, like fresh play doh: colorful, bright, mushy, and they smell somewhat edible.
Yes, yes (twist handlebar ‘mooostache’ if you have one), we can work with this.
Here’s a list of phrases I’d like to teach my children to say:
- Mommy, how come all the other mothers look so old and you look so young? Was I a teen pregnancy?
- Mommy when I ask you for yet another toy, I’m simply testing your wherewithal to be a good parent and provide limits.
- When I have a tantrum over said toy, I’m utterly impressed when you don’t give in! (Also, for the times that you do give in, I promise not to tell anyone.)
- Mommy, even though you can’t seem to convert fractions into decimals, I still think you’re smarter than daddy.
- Mommy, your butt doesn’t look fat in that insert any item here ie. dress, pants, skirt, shoes… toothbrush.
- Mommy, I don’t want to play another game of Barbie’s right now, because the amount of time you give me each day is just too much – even if you’ve been known to nod off in the middle of a ballroom scenario where you’re the ugly Barbie with the hand that’s been mauled by the dog, and I’m the other 50 one’s you’ve bought me during tantrums (ooops, sorry).
- Mommy, I don’t know what you’re talking about… you don’t have any cellulite.
- Mommy, remember when I said, “I want you to live next door to me when you’re older, so you can babysit my children whenever I want to go shopping at Justice?” What I meant was, I want you to live next door to me when I’m older so we can be the best of friends forever. Just like our heart charms say.
- Mommy, you shouldn’t feel guilty about checking your email, updating your facebook status, tweeting or playing Words with Friends while only half paying attention to me. Nay nay, I’m in awe of your ability to multitask.
- Mommy, I know I said I wished someone else’s mom was my mommy because their house had stairs. Oh and I may have said it about my grandma’s because they don’t yell as much. And also the babysitter because she’s just awesome. But I just say that to keep you on your toes. No mommy could be as perfect as you.
- I’m done with my book, now I’ll just go clean my room, run myself a bath and get along with my brother.
- Mommy, you’ve had a hard day, I can be exhausting, I know. Cab or Chard?
Look, it’s just a few more years before she hits the teens and I have to deal with all the adolescent angst. The phrases that don’t make you so mirthful like, “Can you drop me off here? I don’t want to be seen with you.” “Oh, mom you’re so queer.” “Mom could you not smack your lips when you eat? OMG, you’re so gross,” and “Please stop singing songs in the car, you don’t know any of the words!” Then I’ll have to get a new dog, a new therapist or a new hubby and lots of Botox and a boob job to fill the void that will be my shattered ego.
Until then, I say, let those little sponges use their powers for good and not evil!