Kids say the darndest things. As it turns out, so do their parents.
We were out and about with the kids recently when one of them started crying over something inconsequential. I repeated words I often said:
“There’d better be blood!”
Another adult nearby turned and stared at me, wide-eyed. My children knew the words’ meaning: I don’t want to hear any crying unless someone’s so injured there’s bleeding. We expect legitimate injuries before they start the water works.
It’s an oversimplification to try to address children who resort to tears the second they don’t get their way. Still, the kids in my care know what it means, even if aghast adults nearby don’t.
It’s just one of those phrases that, taken out of context, stuns strangers.
Similarly, someone gave me the side-eye when I wondered aloud to my wife if my oldest daughter was high.
To the person overhearing it, I’m sure they thought I accused my 16-year-old of drug use. In the world of parents of a diabetic, it just meant her behaviors left me wondering if her blood sugar was well out of range. In that particular moment, it was, by the way. There is a surprising overlap between people high on drugs and my daughter when her blood sugar is too far out of range, by the way.
There are plenty of others worth of a chuckle if you’re out of the loop:
• “Do we need to cut it off?” That’s our standard response if someone says something hurts. It’s a quick way of finding out how serious they think the injury is.
• “Thanks for the nomination for worst parent of the year.” It’s a sarcastic but always valid response to a child second-guessing our parenting.
• “You need that like I need a hole in my head.” This is one of my favorites when we’re out shopping, and a child and I clearly don’t see eye to eye on something’s worth.
• “We can get it when the money tree in the back yard starts blooming.” In other words, never.
Apparently I’m not the only one who says borderline inappropriate things to my children. A quick post on Facebook yielded these gems:
• “Go play with your balls.”
• “Go play with yourself.”
• “Just suck it up.”
• “I’m going to skin you alive.”
• “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
• “Fight your own battles.”
Some day, when my children are grown, I’ll learn if these witticisms had any adverse effects on them. Until then, I’ll just have to keep imploring them about the level of pain: “There’d better be blood!”