What Will Your Child Remember?

  1. There's the words of wisdom you intend to impart to your child, the pithy saying you WANT your child to remember and then there's the thing you've said that he or she not only ACTUALLY remembers but repeats . . . to the teacher, the pastor and perhaps her biological parent . . . .

    I admit that I thought *I* taught her to swear at other drivers until I got into the car with her mother at the wheel. Now I'm positive she wasn't lying when she said "Don't worry, Ruby. I've heard worse than that from my mother." OK, that doesn't make it a GOOD thing that I taught her the word "peckerhead", but her mother probably DID teach her some of her more colorful descriptions of the other drivers on the road.

    Among the more socially acceptable things the child remembers learning from me:

    "If we've got a full tank of gas and empty bladders, we're not lost, we're having an adventure." (Driving around Washington DC in the pre-GPS days, trying to find our way from her ballet lesson to her mother's house. I wasn't used to city drivers OR Washington DC and the child couldn't remember exactly how to get home.)

    "In a situation where you'll either laugh or you'll cry, you might as well make up your mind to laugh because it's a lot more fun than crying." (Probably while the gas tank was still full and the bladder was still empty, driving around Washington DC without a map, GPS or cell phone. But it could have been after I drifted off to sleep in the passenger seat on a cross country trip and woke up in the wrong state. Who knew a grown man couldn't read a map? Wichita is in Kansas, Wichita FALLS is in Texas. Just sayin'. But we made really good time, and it was a really nice nap.)

    "This will make a great story someday." Maybe when the bladders were filling, the gas tank was emptying and I couldn't remember whether I had cash in my purse. Or as I was trying to figure out the fastest way to get to the right state. But there are other incidents that come to mind, like the time my farm-bred mother came to visit us and both she and the child wanted to go shopping. Mom was in the early stages of Alzhiemer's and the child was about 12. The malls in the DC area are really big and really, really crowded. I told Mom I needed help keeping track of the child because my husband would kill me if I lost her. I told the child I needed help keeping track of my mother "because she gets confused easily and Dad would be really upset if we lost her." It wasn't until I looked up from reading a label and found them BOTH gone that I realized I hadn't mentioned to either of them that they needed to keep an eye on ME. When I found them, they were together, having a great time and each very proud that she hadn't lost the other.

    "And if you laugh until you cry it makes a much BETTER story." This after the child painted Dad's fingernails blue (without waking him) when he was taking his daily post-prandial nap. Dad woke up, saw the nails, and thinking he was being really clever, snuck out to the woodshed to try taking the polish off with gasoline. Or lighter fluid. He was considering the dremmel tool when the child went outside to see what he was doing. And no, she hadn't remembered to bring any nail polish remover with her. Mom started to giggle. Then I did. The child was laughing uproariously and even my Dad, who always had a practical joke to play on someone ELSE, began to smile. And then we couldn't STOP laughing -- at least Mom and I couldn't. We laughed 'til we cried and then we laughed 'til she peed and then we laughed about that . . . . We laughed so hard we woke up the dog who started barking incessently which woke my husband from HIS nap and then we had to explain what was so funny only none of the female family members could talk and Dad wouldn't explain.

    So what is YOUR child going to remember you saying?
    Last edit by Joe V on Mar 17, '17
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    About Ruby Vee, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 14,179; Likes: 59,385


  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Moved to Parenting / Family Center for others pearls of wisdom shared with children.
  4. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    I have no children of my own, so I have to approach this from a different angle.

    I remember words of advice from my mother, specifically "Go before you go." It has stood me in good stead for years and it is something I share freely with anyone I am taking out in my car.

    I also use her phrase, "Oh, go chase a butterfly." when I am being pestered, even by the dog. Oddly enough, one day when the dog and I were outside, a butterfly actually flitted in front of the dog , who opened his mouth and snatched it out of the air mid-flight. I guess it fluttered in his mouth because he immediately opened his mouth, None the worse for the wear, the butterfly kind of tottered for a moment and then continued on it's way.

    I remember my mother starting an expletive, "Shhhh-" and ending up saying " Shhhhh-ugar!"

    My sister-in-law realized she had to clean up her language when her three year old complained that the hamburger they'd gotten at the drive-through window had mustard on it, which she did not like. When the mother had asked her why she wasn't eating it, the three year old began her explanation by saying, "Mom, it really pisses me off......."

    One more thing......When my mother would ask one of us to run down to the store around the corner to get something for her, and we'd say, "I can't go ! I have curlers in my hair!" she would answer, "Nobody's going to look at you." So it all came back on her the day we were all in the car and she stopped in the parking space and asked one of us to go in and get something, "because I have on my old nursing shoes" (which, when they were worn out, she then used for gardening, so they were all muddy), we ALL piped up in unison, "Nobody's going to look at YOU!" It became a saying of great hilarity in our family.
  5. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    How can 173 people view this thread and not have one thing to contribute? I would think it might trigger all kinds of anecdotes!
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    "It's a natural human function." That's what I used to tell my kids whenever someone farted, threw up, bled etc. I just didn't want them making a big deal out of it.....you know how kids are with body noises and effluvia.

    But I couldn't help laughing when one of them broke wind at supper one night and when I scolded him for it, the three-year-old piped up with, "But Mom, it's a nat'ral hooman funkshun!"
  7. by   heron
    "Look under things." This was my standard reply when my son used to kvetch he couldn't find something. Nine times out of ten, I never heard another word.
  8. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    Quote from heron
    "Look under things." This was my standard reply when my son used to kvetch he couldn't find something. Nine times out of ten, I never heard another word.
    And with regards to the refrigerator, look behind​ things!
  9. by   Eleven011
    My adult son says he always remembers me saying to him "911 then me" as he was leaving the house to go skateboarding or rollerbladeing. It was his reminder if he got hurt bad (broken bone, head injury) he was to call 911 first for help, and then call me.