Friday, January 15, 2010

Be careful what you say...in case they ARE actually listening

I often forget that my kids don't quite have the same sense of humor as I do...not yet, anyway. They take almost everything I say literally...but that's only if they HAPPEN to be listening (every once in a blue moon).

Two nights ago, I was making turkey meatballs and spaghetti...one of the meals I make on a weekly basis since the kids practically lick their plates clean. I love to spend quality time with them in the kitchen, as they help me prepare dinner. That is, until someone slaps someone else upside the head for no reason...that's when quality time turns into excuse-me-while-I-stick-my-head-in-the-oven time.

Okay, so back to the meatballs...Bella was helping me roll the meatballs and placing them in the pan. Immediately after we got the pan in the oven, I said, "Please make sure you wash your hands since you were handling raw meat".

Did she hear me? Of course not.

10 minutes later, as I see her throwing a ball back and forth with Cole, I asked her, "Did you remember to wash your hands because I don't recall hearing the water running?"

She looks at me, guilt written all over her face, "No, I forgot". As I walk her into the bathroom to wash her hands, I mutter, "Great...it's no big deal if we all die from salmonella poisoning, right?"

She bursts into tears...I mean, sobs that cause her nose to drip snot all over the place. Having just had 3 of us suffering from nasty colds over the last few days, as if I need even MORE snot to clean up?

Then Cole rushes in..."What happened?" and before I could say anything, Bella starts babbling something that sounded like, "Mommy said....all gonna die...I don't wanna die...oh my God...we're all gonna die cuz I didn't wash my hands". More snot dripping down her face, mixed in with teardrops the size of dimes.

Next thing I know, Cole starts sobbing, "I don't wanna die either...why didn't you wash your hands?"

I kneel down to their level and take them each in my arms and say, "Guys, I didn't mean we were all LITERALLY gonna die right here, right now. I mean, we'll die eventually but that's only when we're old and gray."

Sob, sob...and more weak attempts of them both sniffling the snot back up into their noses, unsuccessfully of course..."But you said we were all gonna die"

Out of all the words that had left my mouth that day, that's the ONE thing they heard?! Goodness gracious. Whoever said parenting wasn't easy was NOT bullshitting, were they?

I tried to explain the whole salmonella issue...raw meat has bacteria in it, which if eaten could lead to a painful tummy ache, resulting in really bad hershey squirts and puking up chunks of intestine. Okay, maybe now was not the time to try to add a smidgeon of humor to the situation. I was just trying to make them smile but it only made them grab their tummies and dry heave.

I said, "This is a lesson in sarcastic humor, okay? I was trying to be funny about you not washing your hands so I made a joke about us all dying from salmonella poisoning. I get now that it wasn't funny".

Bella asked, "So we're all not gonna die because I didn't wash my hands?" I hugged her and said, "No, we'll all be fine...but just please remember in the future to wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat, next time you help me in the kitchen".

Just when I thought the conversation was over, they began asking me questions about death. "When are you gonna die?" and "How do you die?" and again, I explained that I wasn't going to die until I was old and my body was very tired.

Cole broke down into tears again, "I don't want you to die, Mommy. Who's gonna take care of us? I don't want to live alone in this house without you"...sob, sob, sniffle, sniffle...and even more snot than should ever be allowed to flow out of a human nose within a 10-minute period of time.

"Listen, I'm not going anywhere. You will never be left alone in this house to fend for yourself. Do you understand me? You will always be taken care of", I explained. They nodded their heads as if they fully understood me. I added, "Geez, you all cry more easily than a 12-year old girl who just got her period for the first time!"

"Huh? What's a period?" Bella asked. Oh, forget it...just forget it. Good God, why do I do this to myself? And why were they suddenly paying attention to every little word out of my mouth anyway?

A little while later, Tim came home from work. Bella said to him, "Guess what, Daddy? We're not gonna die until we're really old".

Tim responded, "Well, sometimes you're not old when you die. Sometimes people die when they're young too".

Cue the sniffling and tears...snot city, here we come...again...causing me to walk up to Tim as calmly and quietly as I could and say, "WTF is wrong with you??!!"

He answered, "As if YOU'RE the expert in the correct way to explain things to a child? WTF? I'm not the one who started this whole conversation in the first place!"

Yeah, whatever.....

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76 comments:

SkylarKD said...

LOL!!!!
Oh, what a day!

blueviolet said...

Don't even talk to the kids today. You're not to be trusted! ;)

Robin said...

Nothing like throwing a wrench into a perfectly mended "faux paux" or however you say it.....Daddys need lessons in kiddy lingo sometimes...!!

BigSis said...

OMG, that is so funny. They totally have selective hearing!

Em said...

Bet they'll wash their hands now.

Evil genius.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

That was too, too, funny! I can't believe what your husband said!!!!

I say things like that too and it always comes back to bite me in the....

Have a great day :-))

Resh Rene` said...

Bahahahaha So refreshing to hear that my house is not the only one in which completely age inappropriate comments are made and then the week long, possibly therapy following damage control follows. And from what I have seen...it doesn't lessen as they get older! Hopefully you'll be able to look back at it and get a great laugh :0) SOMEDAY

HT said...

So very true! They interpret everything literally that comes out of our mouth!

Read a book the other day that it is only when they get to around age 11 or 12 that children develop the ability to understand nuances in language we take for granted.

We have not had a discussion about the concept of dying yet and will leave it until it is brought up! But I remember when I was a child I went through a stage where I was absolutely petrified of dying myself, or that my parents might die!

Buckeroomama said...

These little ones can be so literal...

How come they hardly ever listen when we want them to and the moment we say something not entirely appropriate, they're all over it in an instant?

Cristina said...

This made me feel so much better. I was trying to find something to get rid of the guilt of watching Kill Bill Vol. 1 with Alex. Yeah. He loves it. Knows it's all fake but can't get enough of the samurai swords. I just love that the girls kick ass.

Reading over. I feel guilty again. He's only 5. He's gotta learn at an early age not to mess with women!

I know that doesn't work.

xx

Cristina

Mayhem and Moxie said...

Just reading through the different posts that I have missed lately. I must say, Helene, the post entitled, You're Gonna Miss This, really hit home. I love reading your blog and understanding that I am not the only one who has days like the one you described.

Oh, and what you described here really made me smile. I can totally envision Bella and Cole's reaction. Too funny!

When is your next trip to the Bay Area? Giancarlo still talks about meeting your kids. If you are ever up for a drive, we'd love to see you again!

xoxo

Neo said...

hahaha! still laughing. at least they didnt ask to have all ur money when u were dead like i heard some 5 yr old ask his Dad and when dad said fine he was like "so when r u gonna die?"

Brooke said...

hopefully she'll at least remember to wash up next time :P

Colton's Mommy said...

I love reading your blogs. You sound so much like me and how I explain things. I get a good laugh everytime I come here!!!

Jack said...

I have had that experience more than once. Little bodies, big ears.

The Mother said...

Hilarious.

At my house, the first mention of salmonella would have won the lucky kid a forty minute lecture on bacterial virulence and toxin structure. At which point they immediately forget their original question and just look for a way to get out of the lecture.

Everyone handles those tough questions in different ways.

Joy said...

freakin' hilarious!! My kids are much younger than yours so I'm not at the explaining stage yet. But now that Leia is starting to repeat everything, I'm trying to be cautious about what she hears. Yesterday, I was trying not to say "whore" so she wouldn't repeat it. (long story of why I was saying that in the first place!) Well, Aaron goes ahead and says it. Then, we're watching tv and someone says b*tch and THEN...Aaron starts watching Analyze This and DeNiro screams F**K like 20 freakin times! I'm like, "Hello...our 2 year old is listening." He just laughed. He won't be laughing when she repeats it to my parents!!!

Heather Kephart said...

Oh my Heavens, Helene! I know what you mean - Joe often repeats things back to me or asks about things I discussed in conversations with his father. I need to be more careful too!

But I've yet to have to deal with a similar misunderstanding! You make it so funny!

Nezzy said...

Oh boy, poor Tim walked right into that one didn't he? Yep, as you know be careful what ya say and how you say it or it can be shot right back at you included with snot!

Have a great day minus the meatballs!!!

God bless :o)

melissa78 said...

Oh my God that was to funny!!! I can picture the whole story playing out in my head. I love reading your blog and I expecially love reaing the conversations haha so funny!!

Hope you have a better day today! :)

Carly said...

Who would have thought that makin meatballs with your kids would turn into that. LoL. Poor Bella will become a complusive hand washer. LOL . Funny Funny Story. Glad they feel better now!

Eva Gallant said...

Oh my! What a riot! Poor you, with four of them to deal with! lol
Keeps you on your toes!

Kristina P. said...

Haha! So funny. Kids are just hilarious.

Together We Save said...

Oh wow.... to funny.

Booklover1212 said...

"hershey squirts and puking up chunks of intestine." -- were you peeking in my windows again? LOL! We're dealing with that now.

Seriously -- I loved reading that. It was like another version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...."

Hugs!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com

Belleicious said...

I love reading your blog. it is just feel good and makes me smile. Just followed you and I am giving you an award on my blog. Check it out!

Sadia said...

*hugs*

Jessica's started talking about death a lot, but Melody DOES get sarcasm. Sometimes, she reads sarcasm where there is none, but this girl will have a very sharp tongue when she's grown!

Flory said...

You should get credit for explaining yourself.

My three year old told me she wanted to cross the street (a busy street). I said, no because kids who try to cross the street get crushed by cars. What was I thinking.

Thanks for the nice comment you left on my post! :)

Nicolasa said...

haha, this sounds hilarious yet exhausting at the same time! I think next time you make dinner you should talk about sex. ;-)

MrsM said...

Kids only listen to the things we wish we never said LOL.

Ms Bibi said...

That's too funny. It's just like children...they hear only what they want to hear.

It's funny have little innocent comment from mom can cause such a havoc. Same in my house.

Mommy Taylor said...

Oh goodness. What a mess... It's amazing to me the stuff they decide to pick up on!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. :)

yonca said...

Oh yeah, we are having the same conversation over and over again. I tried to explain my son everybody dies one day.But he is not ready to this answer. So I told him 'you will not be alone, you will grow up and have a family and children.'(i hope)

Briasmama said...

OMG!!! I was laughing hysterically at my desk reading this, so funny!! Seriously the one time they listen!!! My daughter has done that to me, I told her to "watch her mouth" one time when she was talking back and she said "but mom I cant see my mouth" I started laughing at her. It's amazing how kids take things so literally and never listen to you until you least expect it!!! Great blog!

shortmama said...

I have done the same thing where I said something to my oldest that she took very literally and left me going Oh Shit!!

LucidLilith said...

*gasp* lol *sputter* *loooool*
Oh my...i will buy you a drink.

Mighty M said...

Tee hee....sounds like something I might do too! All because of a few meatballs! :)

Karen said...

Oh my gosh. Your kids are too much!

Five must be the age that kids start thinking about death. This is the second such post I've read today!

Nancy said...

Oh my gosh, my twins are starting to hit the death talk as well!! HUGE tears for a grandmother they'd never met (she passed away before I even married their dad) that went into "I don't wanna die!!!" Yep. 5 must be THE age. Oy.

Charlene said...

LMAO....I love your honesty and parenting style ;) too funny!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I can't believe what your husband said!LOL.
Too hilarious!
huge hugs

Amy said...

Wow what a day you had. I love it. I will keep this in mind so I will not say silly things. But I know I will. Again Husbands...

Shell said...

It just figures, doesn't it? I think my kids don't hear me at all, unless it's something that I shouldn't say.

mudmama said...

OMG- they don;t listen until it is something they are not really supposed to hear! And, oh, the sarcasm understandling unfortunately doesn't kick in until later. We are having issues with the death thing too, one of my latest posts was all about my guy pondering it. I say in respone to the death thing that so and so was really really old and really really sick, except for Michael Jackson who had "too much medicine" these issues are tough!!! :)

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I know those days oh so well!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Poor babies. At least they are listening to you and not tuning you out! In a few years, they may experience selective hearing.

KK said...

Ha, I just busted out laughing reading this!

allycupe said...

HEY! How cool you came to my blog! I linked you on my site, I'm here all the time...bizarre...Thanks for coming by my blog on my SITS day, I really appreciated it and now I'm here to spread the comment-love!

Merri Ann said...

My husband and I have a real contest going on here to see who can upset our kids the most ... he's in the lead currently with "Well who's this beautiful girl?" when my daughter walks in to the room ... she breaks down in tears saying "I'm Jamie daddy ... don't you remember me?" and he never thinks to say "I'm just kidding" ... bring on the teenage years ... I can hardly wait.

This kind of stuff is always funny when it happens to someone else ... maybe we could all start a link up to a party called "How we ruined our kids today"

Very, Very funny ... thanks for the laugh

Corrie Howe said...

We've had some conversation over the years. The most recent one was after we watched a TV show (reality) and the father died of cancer three days after the show was filmed. The kids were really impacted by that and didn't want cancer growing in their brains.

Janet said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

I have a sarcastic streak too, and I taught junior high forever. Those kids loved my "jokes." Then I moved to fourth grade, and I quickly realized they did NOT get it. Thankfully I didn't cause any tears.

Hey, at least maybe your kids will truly learn the handwashing lesson now!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm stopping by from SITS because I noticed your comment about the garage door.... Wow, you have great stories! Have lots of fun with all those little ones, and keep that great sense of humor!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I agree completely Helene. Parenting is hard. So hard, especially those times we speak and scare the kids. We've all been there.
You know the bottom line? You are an amazing mother. I am a teacher and see so much. You are doing amazing.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I agree completely Helene. Parenting is hard. So hard, especially those times we speak and scare the kids. We've all been there.
You know the bottom line? You are an amazing mother. I am a teacher and see so much. You are doing amazing.

Debbie said...

Oh Helene. What a mess! Yes, I have had days like that too. That's when you go back to bed:)

Jenny said...

LMAO!! Poor kid!

Sara said...

Oh my gosh, what a hot mess.

I, too, forget that kids tend to go the literal route and over half of what comes out of my mouth is really dry, sarcastic or an out and out lie.

My kids are going to be so messed up someday.

kys said...

LOL!!! Just another day in paradise, eh?

JoeyRes said...

That's a rough one! I found myself trying to explain the phrase "pipe dream" to my daughter. She wants to know why I say stuff like that - I do too!

Mrsbear said...

Oh no! I can see something like this happening at my house. I hate the death talks, every time I walk right in to one I just want to smack myself in the forehead. God forbid, they walk in to the room when we've got the news on. People are always clinging to life or dying horrifying deaths. Ugh. Next time, maybe use meatball making gloves. ;)

Alicia said...

Aww! Your poor babies!!

It's hard for the little ones to grasp that concept of death, but they do know that in the end, we'll all be together again one day when we're all in heaven. But, of course, there's always question after question...

F and M said...

LOL... Wow... And then the period comment... And then the thing about people dying young as well... LOL... Seems like a day that would go down in history...

Jen said...

I too have been bitten by sarcasm that the kids that literally.

Donna said...

LMAO, Helene!!! Why in the world did they all of a sudden decide to HEAR you?? Hystercial!?! You are too funny!

I once played "monster" with my "death defying afraid of nothing" kids and I was SO convincing when the "monster" yanked me off the bed, they lost their frickin marbles!!! And wouldn't come near me for the rest of the night. My husband had two 3 years wrapped around his head SCREAMING their insides out and he kept looking at me like WTF did you do to our children?? ...I was just playin...whatevah!

Happy scarring! (you know neither one of us have finished providing the reasons behind years of future conseling appointments!)

Frugal Vicki said...

okay, I had my comment all planned out....but as I started this my son just said "you are killing me children!!" Wow do they listen

Anyway....you really stuck your foot in your mouth huh. Oops. Poor mommy, I bet that was a rough one, huh? But you are a good mommy to know how to fix it!

wife.mom.nurse said...

Oh my gosh what a scene. And then daddy...yikes. No win!

mudmama said...

ps0 I tagged ya on a meme :)

Mrs Montoya said...

So damn brilliant. I always shoot myself in the foot, too and somehow my husband loves to make it worse. The talks about dying are my least favorite of all. That and the ones about how the baby comes out. Oooooooohhhhhhh!

Kimberly said...

Great stuff!

Damn seems to be my cuss word of choice, and I think I may use it more often than I even know (realize).

Try to get some rest (I said try)

HUGS!

Erin said...

I can totally relate to this. My kids walk around saying things like, "Mommy is going to shoot herself if we don't stop arguing." so funny.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

You write the funniest things ever! I love to read your conversations with your kids--it always makes me laugh out loud. That is really funny how they hear and pay attention to the sarcasm. One day, I'm sure they will have great senses of humor too. How could they not when you are so funny!

I look forward to your posts when they are teenagers! I bet you'll have some real doosies!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Well, they have to have SOMETHING to complain to their therapist about in 20 years!

Sharlene said...

Okay this one had me laughing for like five minutes. I can only imagine finding Bella sobbing thinking she was gonna kill you all by not washing her hands. Has she suddenly become OCD with the hand washing? I learned my daughter is actually listening to me cuz yesterday she started dropping the f bomb. She's three. Lord help me control my mouth.

Zeemaid said...

hey you were on to something here... wash your hands or die... *LOL* okay a little extreme. Amazing what they take to heart, eh?

Tina... said...

I love Bella...I've laughed so hard that I've cried all my makeup off.

Tami TwinFactory said...

OH MY GOD! Do you have a freaking nanny cam in my house? This is definitely a conversation I've had before. Complete with the snot, tears, and stupid husband contradicting all the damage control that took hours to achieve.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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