Oh, dear children. I’m so glad you can’t read yet. Because I’m about to offer you the Rosetta Stone for parentspeak. Below lies the translation of the things I say to you. In case you want to know.

“Thank you for cleaning up, sweetie! You’re a great helper!”
really means
“You’re damned right you picked it up: you’re the one who threw it.”

“Okay, time to get ready!”
is the stand-in for
“We have to leave in just under an hour but I know you and refuse to get stressed at the next four battles you choose to wage before getting ready.”

“That’s a good idea. Let’s remember it for later!”
actually means
“I hope you forget that adorable but improbable plan, but in case you don’t, I need time to invent an alternative that you’ll fall for.”

“Say excuse me when you burp.”
“That was awesome, though I’m totally going to beat you in burping contests when you’re older.

“Hey, don’t you come help me with laundry! No way! I want to sort by myself! Oh, no! Are you putting away your own clothes? That’s terrible!”
“There is no way I’m sending you out into the world as one of those jackasses who doesn’t do his own laundry so let me use the oldest trick in the book for the three hundredth time today.”

“Someday, when you’re in college you’ll get to decide what you want to do ..”
really means
“You might not like my rules, but it’s my house. And your days as a freeloader in this joint are numbered, Bucko.”

“Oh, I would love to help you but I just can’t understand what you’re saying. Can you take a breath and try again?”
actually means
“Holy Mary, Mother of My Cousins I want to run away from home when you whine.”

“Well, please take two bites so you can see if your tongue is different today.”
actually means
“Wipe that ‘yuck’ look off your face or you’re eating cat food for the rest of the week.”

“Uh-oh. Looks like you’re making a mess. Can we clean it up or are you still working?”
really means
“I need a drink.”

“Oh, honey. Ouch! I’ll bet that hurt!”
really means
“Oh, honey. Ouch. I’ll bet that hurt. Just like I said it would. As long as you’re not bleeding or concussed, I’m going to tell you ‘I told you so.’ Because I told you so. Maybe next time you’ll listen. But probably not.”

“Of course we can add cheese!”
“Of course we can add cheese!”

“Look what you did all by yourself!”
“Look what you did all by yourself!”

“Good night. I love you. See you in the morning.”
“Good night. I LOVE YOU! See you in the morning.”

34 thoughts on “Translations

  1. “Mommy is going to take a nap, too.” means “I’m so tired, I think I can sleep for a month straight. If you value your life…do not wake me!”

    Unfortunately, kids have their own translations that often occur in places like the grocery store check out. I really believe marketing people have it in for us because they knowingly put things we don’t want our children to have at their eye level. My daughter thought, “We’re not buying candy, today.” meant “She didn’t really mean that. I think I’ll try this one today.” (grabbing one anyway).

    Your last line is the BEST!

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth! “Let’s remember that for later!” I’ve run the same version (and for the same reasons!) in my house a million times!

  3. Love them all! While reading through your list, I realized that at some point I made my comments more transparent to my children. I don’t know what age I decided they could handle my real responses, but I know that I did make a change. For example, I stopped politely asking them to have a taste of something and instead I told them it wasn’t very nice to make that yucky face and tell me they didn’t like the dinner that I just spent a long time preparing. They don’t seem too emotionally damaged….yet. ;)

    • Excellent point, Rita. I taugjt my oldest that “This is gross” hurts feelings but that, “wow, I can tell you spent a lot of time making this and I wish I liked it, but it’s just not my favorite, so can I have hummus instead” spares feelings.

      Of course they’re not damaged if you’re honest about not liking a behavior. I’m only go to script when my patience is thin.

  4. If I may add one that I use on a near-daily basis:

    “Your hands feel cold. Let’s go inside and get some nice hot Ovaltine to warm up!” Means, “I’m freezing my ass off; my back is about to break from carrying your brother around; and I really can’t stand here one second longer and watch you hammer nails into that old board.”

  5. You crack me up!

    I especially love this one, as the former credo in our household was “Only interrupt Mom working if there’s blood…”

    “Oh, honey. Ouch. I’ll bet that hurt. Just like I said it would. As long as you’re not bleeding or concussed, I’m going to tell you ‘I told you so.’ Because I told you so. Maybe next time you’ll listen. But probably not.”

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    (Translation: Eat, Burp, and Be Merry. Then catch a nap if you can!)

    • The only thing I’ve ever found for whining is Daryl’s patented technique. “Oh, my heavenly goodness, I WANT to help you. I’m just DYING to help you. I’d love to CATER TO YOUR EVERY WHIM. But I can’t understand that voice. Can you take a deep breath and try again in your normal voice?”

  6. “Let’s remember this for later.” I will remember this for later, for real, to use on my children who are much much older than yours. But it should still work on them. Thanks!

    So… when are you going to come out with “Translations. Marriage edition”?

    • Always. Has cheese and you need more? Yes. Has no cheese but you think it would add a certain something? Yes.

      In my house the only question is: sheep, cow, or goat?

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