Thursday, July 22, 2010

That should be the least of your concerns, my love...

Recently, my friend, Marianne, and I were chatting about "stranger danger" and how difficult it is to explain to children, without scaring the living daylights out of them.

I'll readily admit that I'm an overly cautious mother. My eyes are constantly roving the playground, looking for that one stranger who could be stalking my children.

Hell, I avoided going for walks around our neighborhood when I was pregnant, out of fear that some psychopath would kidnap me and rip my unborn babies from my loins.

Stop rolling your eyes...it could happen. Don't any of you watch Law & Order, for crying out loud? All of those stories are based on "true events", you know.

So, in my attempt to keep my children hypervigilant about their surroundings and the strangers who lurk, I've attempted to explain on many occasions how they should handle various situations.

Here are some of their reactions:

Me: We always need to be able to see one another. If you can't see me, then that means I can't see you. Got it?
Cole: Yeah but what if we're playing hide-n-seek? The whole point of the game is for you to not be able to see us.
Me: Geez, you always have to have a come back, don't you?

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Me: Never ever talk to strangers. Even though some strangers are nice people, there are some who are mean and hurtful and don't know how to be kind to children. Those are the people you need to look out for and since you can't tell the difference between a nice stranger and a mean stranger, it's just best that you don't talk to anyone you don't know.
Bella: Do the mean strangers take you to their house?
Me: It's possible that they would do that.
Bella: Well, would they feed us lunch?
Me: That should be the least of your concerns, my love.

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Me: Remember, if someone tells you that I sent them to pick you up, what are you supposed to say?
Cole: We ask them what the password is.
Me: That's right.
Bella: And if they say the wrong one, we tell them, "No! The password is XXXXX. Then they'll be able to tell us what it is".
Me: Okay, NO! If they don't know the password then obviously I didn't send them to pick you up!
Bella: Oh, I get it. So we do NOT tell them the password. If they don't know it, we just tell them, "Too bad. You don't get to steal us today".
Me: Yeah, that's better...much better.

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Me: If a stranger calls you over and offers you a cookie, what do you say?
Garrett: Me loves cookies...me take it and say thank you.

Me: Uh, not exactly, cookie monster. Let's go over this one more time.

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Me: What should you do if a stranger grabs you?
Bella: I yell, "Help me! This isn't my mom...it's a STRANGER!" And then I'll try to bite them.
Cole: I spit on them and kick them in the nuts. And then I tell them that I don't have to apologize because you said it was okay to do that.
Me: But what if it's a woman who tries to grab you?
Cole: Uh, I'll give her a titty twister.
Me: Hmmm, yeah, that'll work too.

So, obviously, it's a work in progress....but we're getting there.

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45 comments:

The Ninja said...

I love the titty twister!! LOL!! I told my kids to not talk to strangers and even if they are with me and someone says something to them, they give them the stink eye. It cracks me up and makes me proud. Oh, will please come visit me...I think you might be surprised, and no, I'm not some crazy lunatic stalker stranger danger!!

Ms Bibi said...

I know stranger danger is serious, but your kids responses are hilarious. Love the lunch part and of course the titty twister.

Our conversations are pretty much the same, but without the witty come backs,lol.

When did I become my Mom said...

I'm a Macaroni Kid Mom and we recently ran a great article about Stranger Safety (instead of Stranger Danger).

Without realizing it sometimes we make it confusing to our kids because we teach them to keep their distance with strangers, but then force them to "talk to strangers" in the grocery or at the bank...

Check it out here: http://safety.macaronikid.com/article/15405/keeping-our-kids-safe

Eva Gallant said...

Sounds like those kids will be safe! lol

Alicia said...

Out of the mouth of babes.....

:)

shortmama said...

Seriously I dont know how you make it through a day with those kids...they are hilarious!

Leslie said...

Do you know about this DVD?. My daughter has watched it over and over and over (it's about stranger safety) and made by the woman who created Baby Einstein along with Adam Walsh.

Here's just one bit of it: They teach the kids to practice shouting, "Help! This is not my father!" "Help! This is not my mother!" My daughter would never practice shouting it, although I tried to get her to, until once when she was about 3 and we were on an airplane. I was dozing and I awoke, horrified, to hear her chanting, "Help! This is not my mother!"

I thought I would die. Fortunately, nobody else heard. Funny now though!

I highly recommend this DVD.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I'm LMAO, I don't know what's funnier, cookie monster or the titty twister!

The Lane Family said...

OMG!!! What a great post!! I like how Garrett responded about the cookies!! At least he is honest :)

It may be a work in progress but at least they are getting the message!!

blueviolet said...

A titty twister! I like that methodology!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Gosh, they're funny!

Love the titty twister and Bella's got her priorities right LOL I would also be interested in the food :)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Gosh, they're funny!

Love the titty twister and Bella's got her priorities right LOL I would also be interested in the food :)

Tina... said...

omg, I think Cole is my evil spawns twin....

Nezzy said...

Ya sent me into a full ugly laughin' fit here. Oh my, and I just love you little "Cookie Monster" response. Let me tell you right here and now, I'd sure hate to be the stranger who picks up one of yours....man or woman!!! I'm cryin' here...........

God bless ya'll and have a happy and SAFE weekend!!!

The Mother said...

My boys were always so rowdy in public that I figured I'd have to pay someone to take them.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Oh, my heavens...I'm laughing out loud at the last one!

And I was also very cautious when I was pregnant. At first I was very proud to tell people I was having twins...but then I started thinking how unique it is, and how it just might trigger some crazy person to do something crazy. My friends laughed at me..."Nothing to see here, folks! Nothing to see!" (But you never can be too careful!) :)

Brooke said...

lmao @ "Too bad. You don't get to steal us today" and of course the titty twister comment!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Ummm. Yeah . . . I was good until the titty twister and then I spit my coffee out on my lap top. Too funny! Incidentally, my son also has the kick the stranger in the nuts mentality. I fear that someday an old family friend will approach him, the little dear will not recognize him, and then he will Karate Kid him in the jewels, thereby severing a friendship. :)

Twins Squared said...

That is so funny! I don't know what I laughed at most but I liked the one about the password. Plus that is a good idea - never heard of doing that!

As for being pregnant and abducted, would you believe that when I was pregnant the first time the man 3 doors down from me (in a fairly upscale neighborhood too) was taken into custody when the SWAT team beat down his door for being a serial rapist. He was married and had 2 kids and yet while his wife was at work he was bringing women back to the house. Horrid! So yes, things DO happen, even in places that we think are safe. Even though he was sentenced and his wife moved, the house never really sold and different people would come in and lease it I think. I didn't want any ties to him whatsoever. I was so glad when we moved about a year later! Creepy!

Oh yeah, and titty twister...nice.

Creative Junkie said...

I love the "you don't get to steal us today" bit! I let my ten-year-old-next-month ride her bike to her friend's house for the first time the other day. I made her take my phone and call me when she got there and I watched her for as far as I could until she turned the corner. She called me 10 seconds later as her friend's house was on the corner. Right before she left, her 16 year old sister yelled DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL YOU.

Carly said...

I was taking a shower upstairs and the baby was napping and my Logan who is 5 was sitting in the livingroom. The doorbell rang and he opened the door to a stranger. he did come and get me,but after he almost invited the door to door salesman in. I got rid of the man and then proceded to scare him by telling him about stranger danger. We later were going to Target and he was still trying to comperhend all that I told him. He started crying in the Back seat about how he was sorry to open the door and how he is now more and more afraid of strangers. Yes I totally agree its hard to get the point across,and not scare the crap out of them.

Aging Mommy said...

Hilarious! Who needs martial arts classes when you can render a swift kick in the nuts or a mean titty twister :-)

Heather said...

Your kids are hilarious! It's hard to explain stranger danger to them, isn't it! I'm having a difficult time with Noly understanding.

Charlene said...

LOL....Those are funny!

Ashley said...

I am howling at my desk, those are the best comments ever. You are doing such a fine job, keep it up and please keep filling us in. :)

melissa78 said...

Your Children are hysterical!!!
To be a fly on the wall in your house.

LucidLilith said...

te he he ... telling the stranger the secret password if they don't know it. Oh my. Priceless.

WarriorTherapyMom said...

I totally watch Law and Order SVU all the time. My husband thinks that I am crazy b/c I will get nightmares and think crazy things b/c those shows are crazy and "based on true stories". I am glad that I am not the only one!

Crossed Fingers said...

hahaha "sorry you don't get to steal us today"

Out of the mouth of babes...

Jen said...

So far I have not been able to convince Hayden that there are bad people out there.

I too, am working on it.

MiMi said...

Your kids are stinkin' hilarious!!!
You don't get to steal me today! LOL

Marianne said...

HAHAHA! Titty Twister. Cole is a spit-fire.

I think I told you this when we were talking about it, but maybe not. The rugrats and I were riding to the park and Griffin said hi to every freakin person we passed. I had the, "Don't talk to strangers" talk with him and he was like, "But, Marianne, I'm just being nice!!"

WTF kid, worry about being nice to the brother you punched in the face 5 minutes ago, not the Buxom Blonde at the park, OK?!

Kids. Sheesh.

Oh and Bella's "Too bad. You don't get to steal us today," had me crying I was laughing so hard. I want to claim her as my own. She cracks me up!

Erin said...

We are having similar issues at our house and mine just do NOT get it...so frustrating. I am trying not to get too worked up about it yet. But this is funny!

Beth said...

LOL - it's a work in progress, eh? ;) New follower from MBC, I'd love for you to come visit me over at http://www.createyourtraditions.com. :)

Sharyn Essman said...

Helpful addition to the arsenal: my nephew once freaked out when a lady asked me the time and I told her. After a moment's thought I told him you can talk to a stranger who's your size. We refined that to being able to ask for help from a kid who's your size who's with his mom. It gives them some security in knowing they might be able to use an intermediary to get help from a grownup if they're in a bind.

Heather B said...

I worry about evil people all the time too. Thanks for the incredible laugh on this most ominous of subjects! The titty twister remark had me on the floor holding my belly with laughter. Out of the mouths of babes!!

KK said...

Hilarious!

Mrsbear said...

I almost spit out my cereal at the titty twister comment. I love those sharp little minds. This topic scares the heck out of me too though, I think I need to revisit the stranger danger conversation too. You can never stress it enough. And when all else fails, aim for the nuts. :)

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

One time at our school carnival, when Bo was about 3, my friend saw him walking off & went to get him. He yelled, hit her & said you're not my mommy! I think I taught him a little too well.

Kim said...

Ha! This reminds me of the time I was talking to my daughter about stranger danger, and gave her hypothetical situation: What would you do if a stranger asked you if you wanted to come see his puppy in his car?

All my advice went completely ignored, as she enthusiastically responded, "Oh! I'd go! I love dogs! I want to hold a puppy!"

Kate said...

Titty twister??~!!?!?! That boy is GENIUS!

Yellow said...

lmao @ "Too bad. You don't get to steal us today"

OMG That is so my daughter! Thank you for the laugh today. And good luck!

Wendy said...

I absolutely LOVE the conversations you have with your children!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

You are nicer than I am. I totally just scare the shit out of both girls along the lines of, "You will get taken and never see me again or play with toys and you will cry all of the time, so stay by ME!!"

Is that bad?

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

What I want to know is how did Tim have time to teach the boys about tittie twisters?

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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