“Don’t you wish you could…” is not a concept present in the mind of a child.
It is truly amazing to watch little ones discover the world – unencumbered and uninhibited by impossibilities. They don’t wish they could. They just do. For better or worse.
Because more often than not, this translates into, “You know what sounds like a good idea?” (For those of you not intimately familiar with my beliefs, nothing good ever comes from the aforementioned statement – at any age.)
I knew there would be some awkward conversations as I prepped myself for initiation into this parenting gig. I didn’t flinch at questions like, “Do you have any concerns with 14 men and women in the delivery OR that is the size of a standard work cubicle?” Because, you know, some people might.
So I asked around. What parenting moments have you had that made you think, “How the hell does that not go without saying?” I learned a couple things.
1) Nothing goes without saying. It’s the dark side of imagination.
2) Similarities abound. It is truly amazing any child lives to adulthood. (Solidarity, peeps.)
Below are phrases I have actually uttered. Or shouted a reasonable facsimile from what was shared with me. Please add your own in the comments. I know you’ve got them. Because small people are completely and utterly wackadoo.
Do not lick the railing of the pig enclosure at the zoo.
Do not wear the frog potty as a hat after going pee-pee in said potty.
Do not ride the dog. Do not lick the dog. Do not bite the dog.
Do not try to “clean” the dog with a hotdog.
Do not climb the outside of the staircase; it makes the stairs sad.
The entertainment center is not a jungle gym. Please stop trying to climb into the TV.
Do not eat snails.
Do not Hulk-smash rip the electrical socket off the wall because you don’t want to nap and couldn’t dislodge the safety plug.
Do not liberate every diaper from the package and then shut your brother inside a closet shelf.
Do not build “castles” with pull-ups for bricks and wipes for mortar at 2 a.m. (Or any other hour, really.)
Today is not a no-pants day. Yes. You need to wear clothes when we go out.
Do not lock mommy out of the house so you can drum-major shirtless around the living room.
Do not throw the iPhone into the turtle tank.
Do not break Mommy’s nose.
Do not turn books into confetti.
Do not conduct grand scale baking soda/vinegar volcanic science experiences in the bathtub.
Why do you have Avocado mascara? Dinner is not a full-body sensory experience.
Poop is not finger paint! Excrement is never an artistic medium.
Do not color your brother. Do not color the dog. Do not color the walls. Do not eat the crayons.
Stop flushing the toilet. (Funny because most parents of older children reported the opposite.)
Get out of the toilet.
You climb right back out of that garbage can.
That’s not a pirate, that’s Jesus.
Do not climb out the window while mommy’s in the bathtub. You know what – don’t climb out the window period.
Do not drop Mr. Potato Head in the potty with pee in it. I suppose if there’s no pee, fine. Let him swim.
Remember to breathe. In. Out. Forever. Please.