Lying is bad: “Mom, you don’t actually have eyes in the back of your head. I checked under your hair when you were sleeping. That means you weren’t telling the truth, and you have to sit in time out for 33 minutes because you are 33 years old.”
He has perfected the eye roll and he’s only 6 years old.
Rules are rules: “Mom, what does S T O P spell? Then why didn’t you stop at that corner back there?”
Don’t be mean: After Levi got his blood drawn, I was so impressed with how great he did. No tears or fear. I was telling someone about how proud I was of him, and how I couldn’t believe that the grown man next to him was scared and crying. “Mom, that’s mean to talk about that man like that. He has feelings too!”
Boundaries are healthy: We are at the airport, and a kind-looking man in a suit leans down toward my 2 year old daughter Monroe and says, “What a pretty girl you are! How old are you?” She looks up at him, puts her arm out quickly in a Heisman move with her palm close to his face and screams, “GO AWAYYYYY!” He tries one more time with the same result. Guess she didn’t want to talk to you, dude, and it’s ok for her to say it.
Sometimes it’s good to be sassy!
God lives behind our sofa: “Mom, there is a man in the front room behind the sofa.” “Oh, don’t worry, Mom. It’s just God. Mrs. Sparks told the class that God is everywhere but he’s invisible so you don’t always see him. So, I just wanted you to know that right now he is behind the sofa in the front room.”
I’m a bad mom for turning on Disney movies: We were watching Ferdinand, and toward the end, Levi started to cry (more like sob.) “What’s wrong?” “Ferdinand sent his friends to the farm and he didn’t make it! Now he might die!” Then, at the end, after everyone was reunited and happy, Levi starts to sob again. “What’s wrong? It’s a happy ending!” “I’m so relieved!” Then, he starts to get mad. “Why did you MAKE me watch this? It was so sad!!!!”
Sometimes, it’s just time for bed: Monroe, when she is tired, will grab her blankies and hug all of us and say, “Bye, bye, night, night.” Then she goes upstairs to her room and sings herself to sleep.
Honesty is the best policy, but if you know they won’t like your answer, end with a compliment: “Monroe, are you going to use the potty?” “No, mommy. Love you! Awww. So pretty.”
If it hurts someone’s feelings, it’s not worth saying. (Also, avoidance is a strategy too.): Levi was upset because someone at school wanted to marry him and he didn’t want to marry her. “So, just tell her you love her as a friend only.” “No, mom, that’s mean. I just won’t say anything at all, and then when I am older I’ll marry someone else.”
Spiders have feelings, too: “MOM! I didn’t tell you about the spider so you would kill it!! It deserves a chance to LIVE!”
Time is relative: “Four more minutes, Levi!” “You didn’t say five minutes yet, so I still have five more minutes to play!” (We can also place this in the category of: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, did it make a noise?)
Make sure you dress the part: “I can’t go outside to play basketball until I find my new basketball shorts!”
Believe in yourself. The sky is the limit: “Mom, you know how you help people make money? Can you help Cracker Barrel make more money so they can add a drive thru so I can get their chicken dumplings whenever I want?” “Well, honey, they aren’t my clients.” “Well, why not?”
Everyone you meet is a potential friend, and deserves a chance: “Mom, someone was mean to me at school today.” “Well, Levi, you don’t have to play with them if they are being mean.” “Mom, that’s not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is become their friend so they learn to be nicer.”
It’s never a bad time to sing a song: Especially in the grocery store, when you can get some nice amplification of your voice without much effort. Monroe’s favorite tunes, including Moana, Maui, Coco, and Frozen, sound especially great in the dairy aisle when sung by a 2-year old.
Margo is a financial advisor, software developer, and married mom of 2 who is surprised and delighted when she makes it out of the house in the morning fully dressed for work.