13 Signs You Are An '80s Child Who Has Become A Misunderstood Parent

by Jennifer Barbara
Originally Published: 

If you find yourself saying any of the following things and consistently receive a blank stare or an eye-roll in response to your sage words, you may be a child of the ‘80s trapped in the body of a modern-day parent.

1. “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”

When your child says something unbelievable, do you find yourself doing your best Gary Coleman imitation?

2. “Whatever you do, don’t get them wet.”

Maybe your toddler doesn’t turn into an evil Gremlin at bath time, but mine sure did.

3. “And don’t call me Shirley.”

My kids will argue they’ve never called me Shirley, but I use this Airplane quote whenever either of them uses the word, “surely.”

4. “Look, he likes it! Mikey likes it!”

If you’ve never exclaimed this when your picky eater digested something that wasn’t deep fried or packaged in a box with a cartoon character, then you must be under 30.

5. “Don’t drink soda with those Pop Rocks.”

You don’t want your kids to suffer the same fate as the aforementioned Mikey.

6. “Ooh, my nose!”

I’ve been known to say this well before I say, “Are you OK?” when a kid accidentally gets whacked in the face with a ball. I’ll accept my Mother of the Year award now.

7. “Mom always says, ‘Don’t play ball in the house!'”

Another Brady Bunch reference that gives your kids a beat or two to skedaddle before you go ballistic that they just broke Great-Grandma’s antique vase.

8. “De Plane! De Plane!”

A tradition when our flight pulls into the gate. This, of course, is an homage to Fantasy Island, a show way too scary for us preteens to watch and responsible for countless nightmares during Friday night sleepovers.

9. “You can’t really dust for vomit.”

Thanks to This Is Spinal Tap, we can laugh at the voluminous amount of puke that comes with child-rearing.

10. “They’re hee-eere.”

Generally said when the family arrives for a holiday dinner, not when there are poltergeists trapped in our television.

11. “24 hours a day. 7 days a week. In stereo.”

This early MTV slogan has been applied to both screaming babies and fighting children.

12. “I’ll be back.”

Always spoken in a Terminator/Austrian accent and usually addressed to the poor parent left holding the screaming child who just this moment began suffering from separation anxiety.

13. “Where is my AUTO-MO-BILE?”

Without skipping a beat, the other spouse immediately responds, “AUTO-MO-BILE??” Sixteen Candles reference frequently used when we can’t find the car in a large parking lot.

Our kids may be laughing at us, but I know all you fortysomething parents are laughing with us. I pity the fool who doesn’t get the joke.

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