10 More Dumb Things I've Said To My Toddlers

by Christina Antus
mom said to toddler
kupicoo / iStock

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, since becoming a parent, I say stupid stuff. It’s almost automatic. I get overwhelmed, flustered, frustrated, whatever. Instead of stopping and taking a time-out over in the reflection chair to think about how to use my words with my toddler, I run my mouth like a faucet of ridiculousness, and this is what comes out:

1.’If you don’t go back to bed right now, I’m going to put you back to bed.’

Which is the reason why they got out of bed in the first place.

Toddler = 1

Mom = 0

2. ‘No one is getting any cookies for breakfast. Please eat your Lucky Charms.’

There’s a 99.9 percent chance that there’s the same amount of sugar in a single Lucky Charms marshmallow than in a cookie. So, really, I’m only hurting myself here.

3. ‘Bathtubs are not for splashing.’

Or singing, or fun, or getting wet and other ridiculousness. I might as well just ask my kids to take a bath, but don’t get wet.

4. ‘If you’re not going to learn, I’m not going to teach you.’

Because the first step in early childhood education is to walk away because your toddler refuses to move less than three pegs at a time while playing Trouble.

5. ‘I don’t hear anyone sleeping up there.’

Unless they’re snoring or breathing at 150 decibels, is it even possible to hear someone sleep?

6. ‘If you don’t buckle up, we’re not moving. In fact, we can just sit here all day.’

No, we actually can’t. In addition to the very real possibility of getting a ticket for loitering, we have things to do. By “we,” I mean me. So, no, we can’t sit anywhere all day. I haven’t just sat since the birth of my first child.

7. ‘If you don’t stop crying, I’m going to give you a reason to cry.’

A timeless classic spoken by generations of parents that is possibly the dumbest phrase ever. Obviously, I’ve already given them a reason to cry, because they’re crying. This is like saying, “If you don’t eat your broccoli, I’m going to give you more broccoli.”

8. ‘It’s just a piece of lettuce. It’s not going to hurt you.’

Unless you shove yourself back from the table so violently that you hit your head on the wall, then I guess that would shut my mouth.

9. ‘Keep it up, buddy. Keep it up.

Really, keep it up, so I can continue to say, “Keep it up,” because really, WTF does this even mean?

10. ‘You know what?’

That’s usually where I stop, because as frustrated as I am, I don’t even know what—not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

My kids are already old enough to snicker and snort when I get my words confused or when I say something that doesn’t make sense. Who can blame them? Half of the time, I sound like a complete idiot. One of these days, very soon, someone is going to look me right in the eye after getting scolded and whisper, “Keep it up, Mommy. Keep it up.