You know those annoying statements (such as “I will turn this car around!”) that parents are famous for making? My parents were big on those. When I was younger I swore that I would never repeat them to my kids, but now that I’m a Dad my resolve is nowhere near as strong. Is it possible that I might say one of them (or, gasp, a bunch of them) to Annie? For her sake I’ve decided to take a closer look at the most annoying things parents are guilty of saying.
“Because I said so.”
If there were an official scorekeeper for parenting he’d dock ten points every time a parents uttered this one. It is perhaps the most annoying parent-ism of them all. Even as a kid I knew that when a parent said this it was only because they didn’t have a real answer.
CHANCE OF USAGE: 80%
NOTES: Who am I kidding? The odds of my having a real answer 100% of the time are very low. Crap.
That’s it! I’m canceling Christmas!”
Okay, this one is just evil. Telling a kid you are going to cancel Christmas? That is messed up (and almost certain to be brought up in therapy one day). But it’s also guaranteed to work. Seriously… every kid I knew growing up whose parents dropped this chestnut spent the rest of December acting as sweet as a choir boy.
CHANCE OF USAGE: 5%
NOTES: It’s just too evil… but I reserve the right to use it in a last case scenario should Annie ever turn her brattiness level up to “11.”
“Bye! I’m leaving you here!”
Oh, crap. I’ve already used this one. When Annie is in the backyard and refuses to come inside I’ve pretended to leave her out there. “Bye, Annie!” I’ve yelled from the door. “Dadda’s going inside. Have fun outside by yourself!” Annie always comes running, but I feel a little dirty afterward.
CHANCE OF USAGE: %100
NOTES: I’ve already failed at parenting.
“And if Tommy jumps off a cliff, are you going to jump off too?”
This one always drove me nuts. My parents and I would be talking about how my friend and I were late returning to class from recess, and then my parents would say this. I always thought, “How did we go from coming in late from recess to jumping off a cliff? What do those two things have anything to do with each other?” As much as I’ve always hated this comment, however, it does get the point across to a kid.
CHANCE OF USAGE 95%
NOTES: Every kid needs to hear this one at least once. It’s a rite of passage. Not only that, but saying this line lets you pretend you are very wise. I might even stroke my imaginary goatee after saying it. It will be epic!
“Careful or your face will freeze that way!”
My mom used to tell me this when I was making silly faces and I believed her – so much so that I spent a lot of time smiling as handsome as possible and thinking, “Man, if my face freezes now I am set. I will be handsome FOREVER!!!” Of course, when I realized faces do not freeze (silly, handsome, or otherwise), I was very, very annoyed.
CHANCE OF USAGE: 30%
NOTES: I have to be honest… There is a part of me that wants to see Annie’s eyes widen as she tries to process the idea of her face freezing. So I might say it. But I probably won’t. Probably.
Sorry, Annie. I love you more than I can say but it appears as though I’ve gotten the parent disease and will be annoying you a lot in the years to come. Please be nice to me when I do. If you don’t I’ll cancel Christmas.