As Mandy pointed out so well in Mummy Top Forty last week, when you have children, you enter a surreal parallel universe, where you look and feel like you, and yet the oddest things come out of your mouth.
Things like “because I said so,” and “mommy needs a time-out.” But this is only the beginning of a slippery slope of bizarre utterances. Here are some of the things I never would have imagined saying to my children – and yet now are a reasonably regular part of daily conversation.
1. Please don’t step on the baby.
2. No, you may not touch the dog poo, not even with a stick.
3. No, you may not make the baby into a sandwich using cushions from the couch.
4. Yes, you may stand on my back and pretend I’m a surfboard, as long as you let me lie down.
5. No, you may not put your feet in the mashed potatoes. (This one is not actually mine, it was contributed by my friend Sue. I have to say, while I’ve never thought of putting my feet in the mashed potatoes, it does sound kind of appealing.)
6. Yes, I’d be happy to assemble your ninety-four detachable piece $80 transformer.
7. No, if you gag on the broccoli and spit it back onto your plate, that bite does not count toward desert.
8. No, we cannot bring your brother back and get a dog instead.
9. Why yes, I can name 27 different types of dinosaurs, recite the all the members of the Justice League of America, and sing the theme song to Hot Wheels: Battleforce Five.
10. Yes, replacing each word in “You are my sunshine” with “poop” is hilarious, but I’m not going to sing it that way.
I should point out though that children are not the only ones that need to be told the seemingly obvious. A friend of mine observed that he had seen a sign in an airport gift shop that read “no spitting.” He joked to the cashier that this sign probably wasn’t entirely necessary – didn’t most people refrain from spitting while buying their souvenirs? The cashier replied that before the sign’s placement, a small boy had indeed come in and spit repeatedly on the merchandise. When the cashier asked the boy’s mother to curtail said spitting, the mother replied huffily “well, there’s no sign that says he can’t!”