Humbly I concede. They’re probably right.
Driving home from a dentist appointment, in the rain, 6 kids in the car, mind wandering to dinner preparations and making a mental checklist for grocery shopping the next day, apparently my kids took full advantage of my less-than-coherant state.
Intending to seem engaged and attentive to their chatter, allegedly through a series of nods and “u-huh’s“, I agreed to buying each of them a personal pan pizza.
….and a unicorn.
Got me thinking of the things we as moms dont say that we meant to say….or say that really mean something else…
And so I offer, to our poor kids, a “mom decoded” cheat sheet.
Here’s what she really means when she says:
1) “Would you like to ____“
This is traditionally followed by, “____help me sort sock?” or “____clean your room?“. Word to the wise, regardless of what you’d like to do, the answer to this is “yes!”
(with a smile and a willing heart of course!)
2) “What were you thinking?”
An acceptable answer is not, “I dont know“. An apology is typically appropriate right about now.
I remember my siblings and I driving our poor mother crazy with this one. After blank stares and shrugged shoulders from us, she’d prompt; “…Im sorry?…drop dead?…go jump in the lake?“
My gutsy brother called her bluff and tried “go jump in the lake” once.
3) “We’ll talk about it later”
Trust me. You dont want to drive her to this point. This means that what she wants to say to you cannot be said in the company you are in. It means a storm is brewing.
4) “What do you want to say?”
This implies a question, but dont be fooled. What you want to say about the Bunny-foot-pink-pajama set from Aunt Clara or the big wet one the church pianist planted on your cheek would best be kept to yourself. The expectation is that you’ll smile serenely and express appropriate gratitude.
5) “If you dont _____, I will ___!”
She probably doesnt mean it….
…But you dont want to find out.
This may be whispered to you through a forced smile if your answer to #4 is not the right one.
7) “Just give me five minutes”
Use this timeframe loosely. It will likely be longer.
A true 5 minutes only applies when she’s telling you how long you have to watch TV before you need to come unload the dishwasher.
Never mind this one. It will be a foreign concept until you are much older and nothing she can do or say is likely to accelerate your comprehension of this verb.
9) “I mean it”
Words are superlative really. Her eyebrows stapled to her hairline when she hisses this will leave you in no doubt that she means it!
10) “What did you just say”
Whatever it was that you actually said, you dont want to repeat. Think quickly and spout off something totally irrelevant that rhymes with the phrase you just said.
11) “Because I said so”
Her answer when you ask “why“. It means she doesnt have a good reason and it means the conversation is over!
This gets tricky. While she may use this as a response to your “why“, do not ever…under any circumstances…use it when the roles are reversed! Failure to adhere to this guideline will result in #10.
12) “Ill think about it”
This is what she says to buy some time. Its code for “I hope you forget about it”.
13) Blank stare
As exemplified above, this means the lights are on but no one is home.
Now would be an excellent time to ask for a puppy!