If you’ve been a parent to a toddler or older for any length of time, then you know that certain phrases that come out of a child’s mouth are, well…nerve-wracking. That is, they may signal that something is very, very wrong. Or, they may just be like nails on a chalkboard.
Either way, there are certain phrases that moms never, ever want to hear again. Because sanity is a good thing.
10 Kid-Phrases That Make Moms Cringe
This is the universal word for “something really bad has happened.” If you hear it from another room, you can be assured you will find a mess, something broken, or some other kind of problem. If you hear it, move fast — maybe there’s still time to save the situation.
2. “What would happen if we…”
This is a real problem with older kids. It means they’re scheming. They want to try something that may or may not be safe, just to see what will happen. If, for example, they’d like to find out if their Slinky really walks down stairs, that’s cool. If they want to see if the dog will take a bath in the washing machine…not so cool.
3. “Don’t tell mom.”
Secrets from mom are (almost) never good. (There’s the rare exception of a birthday secret that’s good, but usually there is another adult in on that. Or the kids are older.) Often, this means, “I know what we did here today was pretty much devastating, so we should never tell mom about it. Maybe we can get away with it.” Of course, when you find the mud in your bath tub and a frog in your closet, you will know.
4. “I didn’t do it, it was _____!”
It’s almost always to get out of trouble, and usually said by multiple children at once. Or, said by older children about the youngest child, who is not in a position to defend him or herself. My own kids usually blame my fourth child (the youngest who can walk — they know the 7-month-old didn’t do it). However, he is almost 3 and can also talk, and readily accepts blame when he did do something, so if he denies it — I know they’re lying. And yes, it is weird that my almost 3-year-old accepts the blame, but, he does.
The whine. (And not the good kind.) You can hear it now. It’s from the child who does not need anything, but cannot stop bugging you. Perhaps it is the tattler — “He looked at me again! He was thinking about touching me!” Or perhaps it is the overtired child who refuses to nap. Whatever it is, even if there is a good reason (perhaps they’re sick), it is grating to hear, over and over and over again….
6. “I wanted to see what would happen.”
Usually follows a little “experiment” gone wrong. I got a similar excuse from my 4-year-old when I caught him pouring mustard onto the living room carpet. It’s when kids try completely ridiculous stuff and really don’t have a reason why they did it. Well, they’ll grow up to be something really creative or amazing. Probably.
7. “So, don’t be mad, but…”
…this is absolutely going to make you mad. That’s what it means. They’re just preparing you for that right now.
8. “I didn’t do that.”
A complete, obvious, and ridiculous lie. This is the child who is holding empty chocolate wrappers, with chocolate smeared on their mouth, but when questioned, claims “It wasn’t me.” Sometimes, even when you point out the evidence, and the fact that it could not have been otherwise, they will still deny it. Future lawyer?
When this happens, one hopes it is something simple…like a stainless steel water bottle falling to the ground (those are surprisingly loud, but no harm done). However, it may be a glass dish…or a broken window. Something expensive and unfortunate, that will take you hours to clean up properly and a lot of money to replace.
Silence is golden…said no parent of a young child. If you’re sure that they are asleep, or watching TV, or putting together a puzzle (or some other quiet, harmless activity), then silence is good. But they might be silent because they are spreading your cocoa powder all over the living room floor (I had a 2-year-old do that once). They might be silent because they have gone upstairs and are trying to give themselves a bath. There are all kinds of bad reasons for silence — so you absolutely want to check on that, sooner rather than later.
Kids sure do keep you on your toes!