Friday, January 8, 2010

The Phrase That Pays

Since becoming a mother, there are several phrases that are used regularly around my house. Some of them I have come up with myself. Yeah, I'll own them. Others, were passed down lovingly from my own mother. Either way, I cannot believe I use them on a regular basis. Some of them are down right ridiculous. Some won't make sense to those outside of my house. I guess they are the language of our family.

Teeth and Face! This little ditty is screamed out each morning at my three children. On average, it gets yelled at least three times and spoken maybe two more each and every morning. It can be difficult to get all three children dressed and out the door in the morning for school. One of the tasks that I believe they can accomplish on their own by this age is to wash their face and brush their teeth. (I do still help R with these.) Somewhere along the way, I lost the patience for asking if they washed their faces and brushed their teeth. So, I start off saying it's time for teeth and face. Did you do teeth and face? (These are the more in control times I mentioned where this is actually being spoken.) Surprise, the children don't always listen to me those first few times I request something. So, it usually comes down to me yelling teeth and face! Let's go! Anyone that walked into my house on a random morning might think I have lost my mind and am just randomly shouting out body parts-arms and legs! I'm open to better ideas on getting them to move in the morning.

Get out of the dining room! I know you will be shocked, but this one is also not always spoken in a calm voice. It is old fashioned and passed down lovingly from my mother. She would scream it at my sister and I each and every time we so much as stuck a big toe in there. It was as though she had a sixth sense about such things. I now know that small children are very loud and not so sneaky. Our house room layout forms a race car track like circle. The children, at times-mostly when friends or cousins are over and they are housebound in the dead of winter and losing their minds, can get rambunctious and start to "lap the house" as we say. Oh look, an added phrase for you! This means running around in a circular pattern through each room. Unfortunately, in order for them to complete their lap, they need to go through the dining room. This is where my catch phrase enters. Now, I firmly believe that houses are meant to be homes and lived in by the family. This is why I do not have a formal living room. We actually use our living room,which looks similar to the family room in our house. It took me about 12 years of marriage and until this house to own dining room furniture. The first week the table was delivered, my son took a match box car and "drove" it across the top of the table. A large scratch was left in a trail behind the car. He is lucky that the table had to go back for a new one for other reasons. The dining room is the only room completely furnished, painted, and decorated how I would like. The white trim work is not dented, scratched or nicked. In other words, if I had a house to myself, it would look like my dining room. However, I don't. So, all I ask for is this one room. So, stay out.

Shoes, Coats, Potty! Shoes, Coats, Potty! When did I become so busy that I apparently cannot speak in full sentences? This is yet another mantra that is lovingly spoken to my children each morning. It comes right after breakfast and before we get into the car to go to school. As you may guess, I am looking for them to get their shoes and coats on and to use the potty before we leave. Such simple requests. So difficult to complete. So, I repeat it many times before it gets acted upon.

When I am old and gray, you may find me rambling around in my bathrobe, drooling, muttering things like shoes, coat, potty, teeth and face! No one will know what I am saying. However, it may not mean I've lost my mind. That will have happened years prior. I will most likely just be remembering the hay days of motherhood and missing my children.


  1. how do we end up sounding like our moms? :)

  2. I say Teeth, Face too!! And I say "Checklist!" in the're right, I've been reduced to syllables instead of sentences!!

  3. I'm glad there are other people out there who bark orders at their kids like a lieutenant!

  4. When house hunting, one criteria for my husband was whether one could "lap the house." It must have been the kid in him....

    I too, just received my long wished for dining room table. Kudos to you for completing the room and keeping the kiddos out!

  5. Ok, Laura....I must add one use fairly often when my kids are bugging me beacuse they did not like that I did not give them the answer that they wanted....they ask and ask, then they complain and complain how mean I am then I look at the am and say, "take a good look at my face...look hard. Are you looking?" When they say yes, I ask them, "Does it look like I care?" They don't love that phrase, but at 10 and 12, how much do they really like after all?