There’s nothing quite as hilarious (but also a wee bit jarring) to a mother than to hear her verbal reprimands played back at her when she overhears her three-year-old harshly scolding her baby dolls. Recently, I heard Genevieve read the riot act to her baby doll, “Stella.”
“Stella! I’m not even kidding…this is a serious problem!”
(I could only imagine what Baby Stella had done this time.)
Continuing with her tirade, Mama Genevieve hissed, “I’ve told you a thousand times, that is NOT okay!” (This particular phrase, overused at this point, is one of my favorites. I employ it as many as three or four times a day; hence G’s ability to sling the reprove with ease at her ill-behaved baby doll.)
The different ages, personalities, tantrum levels and anger management issues of my four children elicit different reprimands from me, their mother. At this time, I thought it might be fun to include four different batches of my phrases of anger/reprimands/expressions of exasperation and then you, my readers, could try to guess which batch matches which child of mine. (See below.) I tend to be fairly consistent about which phrases I utilize on each child, but sometimes my mothering tactics enter a gray area, lines get blurry and I find myself using a particular rebuke on the wrong child. Perhaps the child’s actions have been so egregious they leave me completely dumbfounded and grasping for words. That happens sometimes. Or, maybe I’ve momentarily forgotten which child (or species) I am scolding. In the heat of the moment, mistakes – like these – do occur, but even when the correct phrase has not been uttered (or screamed) at the correct child, it doesn’t really matter since my tone and volume are usually enough to convey my anger. Frequently, the best approach is to refrain from speaking altogether. Instead, a mother can moan or growl loudly. This is most effective when coming upon a scene of unspeakable filth, breakage, destruction or injury. A mother has to use her best judgment, often with little or no time for proper premeditation.
If you choose to play this game, “Cassie’s Reproachful Phrases,” I wish you luck. I have no prize to offer for those of you who guess correctly, unless, of course, a particular phrase strikes your fancy and you decide to incorporate it into your own family’s lexicon. I welcome comments about your own favorite, oft-used reprimands. I may steal some, if you don’t mind.
Hint: Max is 14, Chloe is 12, Charlie is 8 1/2 and Genevieve is 3 1/2 years old. (Answer key below.)
- Pleeeaaasse stop telling me what to do!
- Watch your tone, young lady, watch your tone!
- This is none of your business.
- Go somewhere else…Dad and I are talking.
- Stop bossing him/her/me around right now.
- I’m sorry your feelings are hurt but you cannot talk to me that way.
- I think you forgot that I am the mother.
- Very fresh, Missy!
- Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do. Need I remind you? I’m the mother!!!!
- Are you CRAZY?!!!!!
- What did you just do?!!!
- No! No! No! (Please note: also used on the bull dog, Simone.)
- STOP IT NOW!!!!!!!
- Oh My God! I can’t believe you just did that!
- Stop Talking Now!
- Shhhhhhhhh! I said, Shhhhhhh!
- Are you listening?!!!
- Focus! You’ve gotta focus.
- Jesus…..You’re making me nuts.
- One more second, I’m going to lose it.
- Go to your room now….and give me some time… away… from… you. (f*%k, s*%t….Ahhhhhhhh!)
- Stop that gross behavior! That is just sooo gross!!!!!
- Take a breath and bring yourself under control. (Yes, alright, alright, I will too!!!)
- What are you, a dog?!
- Are you Okay?!
- What happened now?
- How did you hurt yourself?!!!
- Get yourself together.
- Stop with that whiny, pesky voice.
- Say it in a calm voice.
- I am absolutely furious with your behavior.
- Naughty, Naughty, Naughty! (Please note: also used on the bull dog, Simone.)
- How could you do that?!
- That wasn’t a very good idea at all!
- I’m so exhausted (sometimes replaced by “exasperated,” depending on my mood) because of this!
- Just stop it right now.
- Oh My God! What happened to this room? (Please note: also used on the bull dog, Simone.)
- Leave that dog alone!!!!!!
- Don’t talk to me that way.
- Don’t speak to your father that way.
- How old are you?
- That’s outta line, mister!
- Not so rough with him/her/the dog!
- Get yourself under control.
- I do actually know what I’m talking about. Stop talking…let me finish!
- Can you show me a little respect, please?!
- Be nice. Be kind. Lighten Up.
Answers: Batch 1 Chloe; Batch 2 Charlie; Batch 3 Genevieve; Batch 4 Max