Friday, September 23, 2011

Empty Threats

The professionals will tell us over and over not to "lie" to our kids.  If you aren't willing to follow through with a threat, then don't say it... But how many of us actually take that advice?  I do most all of the time, but once in a while, in a heated moment, I forget that great advice and, heaven forbid, I become my parents and one of those crazy one liners they said to me about a million times growing up, pops right out of my mouth!

"Do you want me to sell you to the gypsies?!" I shouted out to my kids yesterday as they were throwing their fists around in the back seat.  Where the heck did that come from!? I asked myself.  Good grief, what age are we living in now?!  I couldn't believe that 200 year old line flew out of my mouth and into the backseat before I could take it back.

My kids stopped and looked at me like I was crazy.

"What are 'gypsies', Mom?" Sam asked.  How was I to explain this to my little guys?  So I came up with a quick one:

"They are strangers..." Mwhahaha, the ominous "stranger" that all kids hear about, and explains much.  Whenever we need a good excuse for something, we always bring in the "strangers."  Like: "Mom, why do we lock the doors when we leave?"  Me: "Because we don't want 'strangers' to come in and take our stuff."  Etc, etc. Kids seem to really understand the concept of the "stranger", so it's easy to use it as an explanation.

So now, apparently, gypsies are "strangers" too... which isn't too far off because we don't personally know any right?  So any we did see around would be strangers....  Give me a break, I am trying to explain to the speech/language impaired what it means to be sold to gypsies... me and my big mouth!


My boys were still pretty confused about the whole "selling" them to gypsies or strangers or whatever.  So I rephrased myself and asked if they would be nicer if they went to live with a new family.  Sam called my bluff and said, "I want to live with a NEW family!!"

Then I called his:  "Okay sweetie, we will go home and pack up your stuff and you can go live with a new family..."  He took this seriously and started crying.  "Mom, I don't want to live with another family, I love YOU!  I want to stay with YOU!"

"I thought you wanted a new family?" I asked sweetly.

"No, Mom, I was being silly...." he cried.

"Okay, well, if you want to stay with our family you can."  I told him.

"Thank you, Mommy!!!" He said wiping his tears away.  There was a little pause, then, as I watched him in the rear view mirror, he looked over to Nephi and got a shifty look on his face.

"But Mom," he added. "Nephi wants to go live with a new family!"

I really need to think next time before opening certain cans of worms... lesson learned!



Catherine said...

Oh yeah, been there, done that! Shh, don't tell, but...Since we live so close to the zoo, I'm been known to say, "Do you want me to sell you to the zoo?" Yikes! That's going to give them a need for therapy someday! I really try not to give empty threats or any threats at all. I'm a Love and Logic mama. You've read those books, right? But once in a while, I do it, too, and then I either feel guilty or laugh at my stupid empty threat. ;)

Ruth said...

I was in the store one day and my daughter was having a fit. I told her I was going to put her up for sale and some lady offered to take her in the isle.