Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top Ten Threats (That We'll Never Actually Enforce)

 When I had kids, I promised myself I'd never say the one phrase I heard far too often as a kid:

"Because I said so..."

In retrospect, I might have been a little hasty. "Because I said so..." seems to have some magical powers that I wish I could have. Namely, the ability to invoke the power of oneself.  Instead, I have involuntarily ceded that power to dad, teachers, the principal, the karate instructors, neighbors, the mailman and, possibly, the dog.

Now, with the power in the hands (paws?) of others, I'm forced to come up with awesomely creative, yet completely impotent threats that either defy physics and logic, or that I'm simply too exhausted to enforce...

...or possibly, it could be that I'm the stupidest person on earth for letting phrases such as these escape my lips:

10. "If you don't stop touching each other right now, I'm going to SuperGlue your foreheads together and with any luck you'll all pass out from the morning breath and stop complaining about who's touching you...now go brush your teeth."

9. "Must you yell? Tell you what, I'll go make you a little felt hat, and then we'll get you a job as Town Crier. And then you can stand in the Town Hall building and holler out the time and weather and news every hour and people will throw oranges at you and tell you to shut it, and it'll be cold and rainy and you'll wish you never started yelling in the first place, not to mention the fact that you don't know how to tell time...no, I'm not making you a hat."

8. "If you don't eat your dinner, you're just going to see it again for breakfast. And then lunch. And dinner again. And every meal after that until you decide to eat it. Forever."

7. "No you will not get a piercing. I don't care if I have one. If you get any piercings, I'm not paying for college. And you can get used to saying, 'Would you like fries with that?'"

6. "If you don't take a bath -- and I mean right now -- you're not going to school tomorrow."

5. "STOP IT OR I'M GOING TO SMACK YOU INTO NEXT WEEK!"

4. "If you don't stop ordering your sister around, I'm gonna put you in a uniform, make you stand guard duty all night and when the sun comes up, you can clean the bathroom with your toothbrush."

3. I know. I'm the meanest mommy in the whole wide world. You can go get another one. I'll help you pack for your journey."

2. "Just so we're clear. You don't have a job, you don't have any money and you don't know how to drive. There's about two weeks worth of food, heat and entertainment in this house and then you're on your own. Do you really want to continue arguing with me?"

1. "Did you hit your brother again? Did I tell you to cut it out? C'mere for a minute. Let's look at some orphanages you might like."


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

55 comments:

  1. *Standing ovation!* LOVE this! I think you should get points for creativity on # 9...my kids would have asked for the hats too. I live this. I thought (HA!) that explaining why was a good thing at a young age. Now I have to explain EVERY STINKING ORDER given around here. And I fear a mutiny is coming...

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  2. #9 is my favorite, too! I also use #8, 7, 5, 3 & 2 on my kids. My personal best and the one that gets the most odd looks when I yell it in public is..."I'm going to BEAT you, with a wet noodle!" I always say the second part softer and most strangers don't hear it.

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  3. I love this. Especially #8 because I have said that. Given that I'm an attorney, my favorite expression at my house is "You are not 18 and therefore you legally own nothing. It is mine, all mine. Now get in your, I mean my, room and clean up your, I mean my, stuff or I'll throw it all away."

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  4. now see.. I must REALLY be a MEAN Mommy because I have actually put dinner in containers and fed it to them the next morning for breakfast.. suffice to say they usually eat their dinner at dinner time now.

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  5. AHAHAHA!!!!

    My son told me the other day if he had to clean his room he'd die....I told him I'd start digging a hole for him in the backyard.....sounds kind of like #3....

    yeah.....why do we say these things?????????

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  6. My son would say "Really? Cool! Let's do that right now!" to every one of those threats. It's not easy raising a little smart-ass. :-/

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  7. Love this post!
    A common (never enforced) threat in this house to our five wild monkeys when an attitude adjustment is needed, "You can get happy or you can get SLAP HAPPY. Your choice."

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  8. My peditrician has actually recommended #8 on several occassion everytime I have told her I have had trouble getting my kids to eat something. And she has 2 that are the same age as mine and let me in on where there have been mqany occassions of her kids having spaghetti for breakfast that they wouldn't eat the night before. It really does work. I may have to look into using number one and number 9 though.

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  9. I hated the phrase "because I said so" growing up, although, for me that just made me look forward to using it on my own kids and I do. My daughter is only three so I don't think I have gotten this creative yet though.

    I do remember when I was in high school putting temporary maroon stripes(school colors were maroon and gold, hey, I just had school spirit ;) ) in my blond hair before school one morning and when my mom saw me she screamed, and then told me if I didn't wash it out right then she would lock me in my room then call the school and tell them I had skipped.

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  10. We've had what feels like 19 million snow days lately so this is EXACTLY how I feel. With the exception of #6 because even if they reek of rotten tomatoes, THEY ARE GOING TO SCHOOL!

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  11. Cali In Jersey/ Cinematic Grand PotentateJanuary 19, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I do a variation of "Because I said so." It's "I am the mommy, I am in charge." Works well. So far, it ends the why cycle.
    I love #8 and will employ it at my earliest opportunity. I'm sure it cure pickiness.

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  12. I am so glad I work from home because I am sitting at my desk laughing - no, CACKLING - so loud that the neighbors can probably hear me.

    THIS. IS. THE. AWESOMEST. POST. EVER.

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  13. These are great! One that I always use is "Hurry up or I am leaving you here!" Thankfully, my 5 year old hasn't yet figured out that I am not serious.

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  14. Love these, especially #9. My daughter would totally demand a felt hat if I said that to her. My dumbest threat was, If you don't stop that right now then no TV this morning. Stupid, stupid, stupid...that is my only half hour of peace all day. Why did I just threaten to punish myself...?

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  15. LOVE #2 and #9, just because. Thanks for making coffee come out of my nose this morning. ;-)

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  16. I've taught toddlers and preschoolers. My go-to threats: "I'm going to sacrifice you to heathen gods" and "I'm going to sell you to gypsies."

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  17. Love #6 because I've said it myself and it's just so stupid, but it flowed right out of my mouth anyway! And, yeah, #9. My oldest would totally focus on the hat-making part and miss the whole point of the rest of my "speech".

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  18. I tell my 9 year old that if she doesn't want to shower then she will be the stinky kid in class the next day and everyone will talk about her behind her back and no one will want to get close to her...that always works! ;-)

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  19. Oh I am so going to use #1 today. I've been home with my heathens for 7 days straight. I use the "because I'm the Mom and I know everything" and there have been times it has bitten me right square in the ass. So be careful with that one. But feeding them their dinner for breakfast has been awesome.

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  20. A common one that I use (that my mother also used on us) 'IF YOU DON'T STOP IT RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO RIP YOUR LIPS OFF!'..and if it was really bad she added 'AND STOMP ON THEM!' You really should have seen the looks she would get in the stores until people realized #1 we didn't look abused at all,a dn #2...we weren't scared a bit!

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  21. I use lines on other people's kids more than my own, but my son is not quite 2 and the other is in utero...

    My favorite thing yelled at my house? IF YOU BREAK MY SON'S TOYS I AM DRIVING TO YOUR HOUSE AND TRASHING YOUR FAVORITE THINGS!

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  22. Some of the threats I've made to get my two year old daughter to brush her teeth:

    - If we don't clean your teeth then they're going to get rotten and hurt SO BAD and you'll never be able to eat anything you like again. (Then, being the little drama queen she is, she walked around for weeks grabbing her cheek and saying, "Oh, owch! My teese.")

    - If we don't get the sugarbugs off then they'll crawl all over you when you're sleeping!

    - Your breath smells bad. If we don't brush your teeth then nobody at daycare will want to play with you.

    ... And the latest one, because she's crazy and loooooves when I floss her teeth...

    - If we don't brush your teeth, then no flossing!

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  23. My mom always said "because I'm the mom and I said so." I have always thought that was one of the *best* reasons to have kids. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to use it on her!

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  24. I split the difference between the two extremes, so sometimes my kids do hear the "Because I said so..." line. But I've been known to use other more creative threats from time to time. My favorite one was (and still is): "If you don't stop being such a grumpy-gus, I'm going to sit on you and tickle you until you pee your pants!" Even though my youngest is now 15, it still works ... he'll giggle through the scowl on his face, then lighten up. :D

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  25. I just about DIED the day I heard myself saying: "DO. YOU. WANT. A. SPANKING?" And I was completely serious, because I could not believe that this child was doing what she was doing with the full knowledge of what I had threatened out of desperation... and there we were in a Mexican standoff to beat em all. Dammit.

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  26. My mom used to threaten to rip off my arm and beat me with it. Even as a kid I knew that one was unenforceable.

    Although once she did actually follow through on putting all the stuff from my floor into garbage bags and throwing them out back. I had to earn my toys back by keeping my room clean. Now I am borderline fanatical about keeping a clean house. Coincidence?

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  27. Told my son the other night that if he didn't shape up I'd serve fish for dinner. Two kinds - fishy fish and fishier fish. It kind of backfired because he stopped carrying on about...whatever it was and started wailing about fish.

    I have in the past threatened to make them sleep in the yard, and also to break their arms or legs (this is best done in a cooing tone, as in "C'mon sweetie, put your coat on nicely and don't make mommy break your little arms.")

    But I'm afraid "Because I said so" is in heavy rotation too, because I just get REALLY impatient having to explain myself and then repeat myself when the selective deafness invariably kicks in. I'm going to start using "I am the mom and I am in charge" like the poster above. My oldest has already started telling me "Because you said so isn't really a good reason,mom."

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  28. Thank god my can't talk yet... Although when I was a high school teacher, I told a kid I was going to knife his tires.

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  29. As a mom now I totally get the Orphanage tour I got at age 8 with along with my 7 year old sister. In the Buffalo, NY area you grew up with the "I'll take you to Father Baker's" threat. Father Baker's being the local catholic orphanage. I think I may be the only one that puched her mother far enough to actually see the insides...

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  30. These kinds of things don't work on my developmentally disabled autistic 4 year old with ADHD. But i have on more than one occassion threatened to leave him in a box in the woods.

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  31. I fell into the same boat as Jolie above, started explaining now my 3 year old requires explanation about all orders and commands. Because I said so doesn't work unless I growl it in the most dangerous, low, calmly masking rage voice I can muster.

    I really like the SuperGlue and passing out from the bad breath. Funny!

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  32. LMAO. My daughter informed me one day that she was tired of how mean I am and was going to run away. I said okay, get up I'll help you pack. She didn't appreciate that a whole lot.

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  33. One time my second brother and I were fighting so bad my dad said he would call the cops and had us hauled to "kids jail." I was 4 or 5 and he was about 3. We didn't listen and so he got us in the car and drove us to some big building and parked out front (I think in hindsight it was a postoffice LOL) and said that if we didn't be nice to each other he would take us in and we would be in jail "FOREVER". I still remember it, it worked at the time. LOL

    With my own I have used the "If you don't clean it up, I will throw all your toys away," "NO TV," (UGH My quiet time) and a few others. LOL

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  34. and you say these threats don't work???

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  35. I use #6 so much but I know that will end at some point. My Mr Bean loves, loves, loves preschool so that threat really changes his attitude immediately.
    I still have yet to find something that actually works on 2 yo Little Miss Adventure.

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  36. ROFLOL! #8 works like a charm! I don't do "because I said so" but instead "I'm the mommy, that's why." It's losing its effect. The ultimate threat in my house is "If you make Mommy crazy, Daddy will have to do all the cooking." Totally works.

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  37. I have also helped my kids pack for their trip when they were going to run away. I had to lol when I read the one about making the hat and being the town crier, because that is all my son would've heard too.

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  38. I'm usually an explain it kind of mom, but the occasional "Because I said so!" works wonders. Especially when it is followed with, "I've lived a lot longer than both of you combined - I might not be any smarter than you, but I've got a heck of a lot of experience to back up my decisions, so no, I don't have to explain every time...unless you want to hang out with me for a few hours instead of your friends, and I can go through all of my reasons really slowly so you understand." Yep--it normally ends any argument!
    Jen Deming

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  39. Sounds like I lucked out from my babysitting experience. I swore once I would never say "because I said so". I didn't make it past 16 without saying it. Honestly though, I felt guilty for doing it and did end up explaining to the child I was babysitting why he could not get a ladder to climb up on the roof to get the frisbee. It was a long night! By the time I had my own kid 10 years later, I had no qualms about that phrase.

    Your explanations are hilarious! I remember a friend of mine who told me that one time her kids were hitting each other. She had them stick their hands out and she smacked their hands while saying "We do not hit in this house". LOL!

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  40. Good to know I'm not completely alone in the "Random threats" category.

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  41. I always say, "Because I'm a Mean Old Mommy." THey always then say, "No, you're not!"
    THen I say, "well, then I must be RIGHT."

    They pretty much have nothing to say after that.

    Also, Sell them to the gypsies. Or put them out in the front lawn with signs that say "free."
    --kate in michigan

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  42. Oh my gosh, this post is priceless!! The other day I actually said to my 5 year old daughter, "If you want to keep those eyes in your head, I suggest that you do NOT roll them at me again!" Talk about an idle threat...that TOTALLY WORKED. She went to do it again later, and then said, "I'm sorry, Mama. I didn't mean to almost roll my eyes at you." lol

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  43. I once said to my 4-year-old daughter that if she didn't stop fighting with her brother I was going to get very angry. I followed with "Do you know what happens when Mama gets angry?"
    Her response: "You go see the doctor."
    I started laughing so hard that it distracted me from the fighting.
    (I'm seeing a psychiatrist for help with PPD, and we explained it to her that the doctor helps Mama with her emotions.)

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  44. This is awesome, and so true. True parenting confession here
    My 2 (age 6 and 9) can really get to fighting with eachother and my husband always threatens to duct tape them together if they don't shape up. Well one day during holiday break they just wouldn't stop so sure enough....hubby grabed the duct tape and basically made some hand cuffs (no tape touched any skin) and attached them together for 20 minutes. In that time they had to clean up their toys together and prove they could work together. For every whine we heard he added more minutes. Now we just have to yell the word "DUCT TAPE" and they shape up. Works wonders!

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  45. I brought you into this world, I can take you out again! :)

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  46. I love these! At our house we use...Does this look like my happy face???? I'm not sure what my mad face looks like but it must be bad cause it works everytime!

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  47. When I was 8, my sister was 3, we fought the entire 12 hour road trip to Connecticut. My father was so on edge that he threatened to leave us on the side of the Jersey Turnpike. I was 8 and knew that he wouldn't, but when he pulled over and told us to get out my sister got hysterical. He actually shut the door and pulled up 50 feet or so, and wouldn't let us back in the car until we swore we had taken on a vow of complete silence for the rest of the trip. This was 30+ years ago, so social services wasn't involved, but I have gone so far with my spawn of Satan to actually pull over and tell them to get out....my oldest was 10 at the time and explained to the other two that it was illegal (she's too smart for her own good).

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  48. I have used "Because I said so, and I'm the queen of the world" so many times that my boys (7 and 4) now finish my sentence. "and your the queen of the world" is usually said with some eye rolling.

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  49. I have told my 3 1/2 year old to "hurry up or you can stay here all by yourself while we go". Thankfully she doesn't know yet I can't actually do that, and it usually gets her to hurry up.

    And I was totally channelling my mom the other day when I told her "stop that crying (over something totally ridiculous) or I'll give you something to cry about".

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  50. I forget where I linked here from but I am so coming back.
    ROFL

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  51. My mama always said she would "slap my teeth down my throat"! How terrible. :( I haven't used it yet but I'm not saying I never will.
    I have 2 boys, 5 and 2. They're already tired of the "because I said so".

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  52. To piggyback on the "kid jail" comment from above--my hubs is a cop (military police) and my friend Beth had him come over (in uniform) one day and "arrest" her 9-year-old daughter, who had been caught shoplifting earlier that day by her mom. Besides making her apologize to the store manager, her mom had my husband slap her in cuffs and put her in the back of the MP car, as well as write up a "report." Apparently the "suspended sentence" was for her to write 200-word letters of apology, one to her mom and dad, one to the store manager, and one to the base commander. Priceless.

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  53. In the house I grew up in, when you entered the front door, right in front of you there was a railing and it just ended up that the newel post was a very convenient spot to throw your jacket. It just HUNG there all by itself. Something that drove my mom INSANE!!! She was famous for saying, "If you put your jacket there again I'm going to cut off your hands at the elbows!" I have the feeling her mom used to say that to her.

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