‘Money Does Not Grow on Trees’ + 14 More Ridiculous Things Mums Say to Their Kids

You know those nonsensical phrases that your mum used to always say to you when you were a kid? The ones that have figurative meanings that are different than the literal ones? They’re called idioms and just the other day I repeated one of my mom’s favourites to my kids: “Money does not grow on trees.” It occurred to me that I can’t be the only mom using these gems on my kids — and an informal survey of my mum friends confirmed that I was right. Here are some more of my favourites.

1. “Do you try to piss your mother off on purpose?”

Just once, wouldn’t it be great if some kid answered, “Actually, yes”?


2. “When you’re the mother you can do what you want.” 

This one is particularly hilarious if you say it to your son.

3. “Don’t wear your rubber boots in the sunshine. It will give you a headache.” 

This phrase is clearly used to confuse children into submission.

4. “Don’t make me come in there.” 

When has any mum not come in there after saying this?!

5. “What does this look like, a circus?”

When our kids hear this, they must think, “No it’s not a circus. It’s our house, silly!” Then they go back to acting like lunatics.

6. “Do you want something to cry about?”

Quite possibly the most terrifying thing a parent can say to their child.  And yet, we all say it.

7. “You weren’t raised in barn.”

Depending on the behaviour in question, this one can be an insult to all animals actually born in barns.

8. “Do you have potatoes in your ears?” 

Any child who doesn’t hear what his mum says, or pretends not to hear, is accused of having everything from potatoes to socks in his ears. As if!

9. “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

I challenge any mum to get through a day without saying this. It’s utterly impossible.

10. “Close the door. We aren’t heating the outside.”

Is there a parent on Earth who doesn’t have some version of this? My Dad always said, “I’m not supporting the Gas Company.” Like anyone thought he was.

11. “I’m considering trading you in for a monkey.”

The implication here is that a monkey would be easier to discipline than some kids. That’s definitely true in my house around 5 p.m.!

12.A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.” 

Wait, what bush? And why are you holding a bird?

13. “You’re pulling my leg.”

Or, “You’re not telling the truth!”

14. “Bite your tongue!”

As in, don’t say that again!