Are These Things Really Coming Out Of My Mouth?

Motherhood has taught me many things, chief among them that you can’t take anything for granted.

And you probably think I mean that in the really sweet Hallmarkian way of "oh-you-divine-child-I-will-never-take-you-for-granted."

Yeah.  Sweet thought.  Not what I’m talking about, though.

What I mean is the baffling phenomenon of raising children in which you hear yourself, the parent, having to expound on the most common-sense notions, because if you did not, your oh-so-divine child would flub the whole thing.

For example, just the other day I heard myself say the following sentence:

"Joseph, go take a shower AND USE SHAMPOO."

One would think that using shampoo should be implied in taking a shower, wouldn’t one?  But then, one hasn’t met my boys. 

Here are a few other this-should-be-obvious sentences I find myself saying:

"Boys, go brush your teeth AND USE TOOTHPASTE."







See?  I can’t take any of it for granted.  Much of the time I think my children are brilliant little creatures with an infinite amount of promise, but there are moments when I wonder if the follow-through mechanism in their brains is hopelessly stuck.  Please tell me this isn’t a phenomenon unique to my children.  What ridiculously obvious things do you find yourself saying?

146 thoughts on “Are These Things Really Coming Out Of My Mouth?

  1. Sarah Joy says:

    It’s naptime. Lay down, yes with your head on the pillow, and nothing in your hands. Relax the body; you look like you are about to explode out of the bed. Close your eyes. No talking to your sisters. No communicating in any way with your sisters.
    (While playing) Your sister can touch the floor is she wants to. It’s just as much her floor as it is yours.
    When you change your underwear, you take the old underwear OFF.

  2. Sue says:

    I can’t think of any right now, because if I leave my happy place and think of any of the ten million things I had to tell my children today, there is a very strong possibility that my head will explode.
    But I totally get this. You have no idea.

  3. Ashleigh says:

    And I thought it was just because my oldest is a toddler that I give instructions this way…
    “Please hand Mommy that toy and DO NOT THROW IT AT BABY BROTHER.”
    “Yes, you can give baby a hug, BUT DON’T SQUEEZE HIS NECK.”
    I guess it doesn’t lessen as their understanding grows?

  4. Sarah says:

    “Get dressed…get dressed…get dressed…get dressed…” (first sweetly, then through gritted teeth, then growling, then shouted in big scary booming voice)
    then…”Mummy’s sorry for shouting…but pllleeeeaaassseeee just.get.dressed!”
    Oh and…
    “please don’t put a cushion over your sister’s face and then sit on it”
    Daughter: “why??”

  5. Alice says:

    Brush your teeth. Brush them. Don’t just hold the toothbrush in your mouth. Move it around on your teeth. Spit. Spit. SPIT! Rinse. Spit. SPIT!

  6. Andrea Payne says:

    My favorite, My oldest daughter was about 12 when she was asked to put the new light bulb in the fridge at church. A couple of days later when someone went back to the fridge, they wondered why it was so dark. They found the light bulb sitting on the shelf in the fridge. My daughters response, You didn’t tell me to change the light bulb.
    My son tried to tell me one day he could take a shower with out water..So now the instructions are – Go take a shower and turn the water on, get in, get wet, use soap and shampoo, rinse and then you can get out…..

  7. Stephanie says:

    Here’s one I’ve actually had to use quite a bit with Twin #1: “Take you pajamas OFF and THEN put your clothes on.” If I just said “Go get dressed” it never occurred to him NOT to take the pajamas off first. He just put his clothes on over them. And he’s an “A” student. Go figure.

  8. karen says:

    Isn’t that the truth? My son didn’t want to “bother” me with the fact that he had run out of shampoo so he spent a couple of weeks just kind of running his hand over his head in the shower. Argh.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Yep, I learned that from my mother, who always had to ask my brother if he had used his toothbrush, toothpaste, a washcloth, running water, etc. Friend-I-Live-With thought this was so odd the first few times he heard me roll through that line of questioning, but now he does it, too!

  10. stacy says:

    “Bear go put your clean underwear ( or whatever ) IN the drawer” If I am not specific he just puts his now clean clothes back in the hamper.

  11. Kim says:

    It sounds like you are at my house. I STILL cannot tell my 16 yr. old to wash her clothes- I have to say “wash your clothes, then put them in the dryer and TURN IT ON!” and that cleaning her shower does not mean just pulling the shower curtain across the tub to hide it! *sigh*
    I am sorry to say that it does not get better as they get older. I think it is all a conspiracy to drive us parents crazy!

  12. Kasi @ ReynoldsRap says:

    Oh My Goodness! I’m so glad to hear all of this! DH and I were getting worried about our 12 y/o. I have to say:
    “Go take a shower, use shampoo, rinse, use shampoo again, rinse.” Then I have to call him back to pick up his clothes!
    I also have to say:
    “Take out the trash, get the full bag out, put a new bag in, shut the pantry door, on your way outside shut the door behind you, when you come back in, take off your shoes and shut the door”
    I’m glad to know it’s not just us 😉

  13. Antique Mommy says:

    Me: (picking coat up from closet floor) Sean, I told you to go put your coat in your closet.
    Sean: But you didn’t “say” to “hang it up”.
    I have no idea how he speaks in quotes, but he does.
    Nothing is implicit these days.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Please put your clothes away and this time make certain they get IN your dresser and not left on the floor in front of it. I’d like to think I didn’t fold them all for nothing.

  15. Katie says:

    Everytime I say to my middle son, “You didn’t use shampoo this morning, did you?” He always asks, “How did you know?” in complete amazement.
    Finally his little sister informed him, “She can smell the shampoo in your hair!”

  16. Angie says:

    Did you flush the toilet? Did you wash your hands? Did you use SOAP?
    And my personal favorite, “No, we can’t put your baby brother in the microwave and see how long it takes to cook him.”

  17. Melissa Markham says:

    Please go wake up your sister…GENTLY.
    Put on your shoes AFTER YOU PUT ON YOUR SOCKS.
    Yep, you are definitely not alone!

  18. tas says:

    “go have a shower, and use soap in all the places”
    “no mom, i’m fine”

  19. Meg says:

    Brush your hair, all of your hair, even
    Wash your hands, and USE SOAP.
    Put the dirty clothes in the hamper, NOT THE CLEAN CLOTHES.
    Go potty and FLUSH THE TOILET.

  20. Dawn says:

    I am about to purchase a white board for this one, so I can illustrate things like football plays, you know?
    I think your post may have convinced me.

  21. Teri says:

    “Son, you have to lift both the lid & the seat when you pee. Not when you have to have a bowel movement. Then it’s just the lid!”
    My person favorite: “ANDREW!! You & your friends can not give your little sister a dollar to be a moving target when you have your paint guns out!”, “KIRSTEN!! You are going to be bruised beyond belief! I don’t care if it is a dollar each!”
    No, you’re not unique. Over the years I have caught myself saying many, many things I never thought I would.

  22. The Thrifty Blogger says:

    Get in the car please. Don’t play in the snow, mud puddle, _______. You’ll be all wet! Stop writing on the window and get in the car please! Into your booster seat please. Not the front seat please! Turn around. Legs in front. Legs straight out in front. Put toy down until your seatbelt is on. Sit back. Kiss cheek!
    We’re almost there! Put your shoes back on. Where are your socks?? Find your socks and put your socks on first. We’re there! Come on, it’s cold out! Put your shoes on. Wrong foot. Hold on, I’ll do it for you. Next time, leave your shoes on please.

  23. Amanda says:

    Go put these clothes in the hamper, not the trash can, the hamper for dirty clothes by the washing machine.
    I’ve pulled more dirty socks out of the trash than you would believe.

  24. Rachel May says:

    Oh, yes…. it’s amazing the number of times I’ve simply stared at my son, blinking, mouth somewhat agape, trying to figure out WHY, exactly, he has to be TOLD XYZ.
    He just tilts his head, and stares and blinks back at me.
    Shoulda got a dog — they’re cheaper. (JUST KIDDING!) 🙂

  25. Edi says:

    My 8 yr old recently told me she wanted to be more independent and would I please NOT keep reminding her of the obvious.
    So I’ve tried to back off on reminding her to wash her hands when we’ve come back from town and telling her what to do before bed.
    It’s not so much a reminder – but they’ll just kind of dawdle around if I don’t say “ok go do such and such and then to bed.”

  26. Kelly says:

    This post was absolutely great!! Made me laugh, too.
    I have tons of those types of things I have to say to my, only I can’t remember any of them at this moment (pregnancy brain).

  27. voni says:

    Haw Haw…..”go take a shower AND USE SHAMPOO.” I use that one on e my son all the time along with: Is that the shirt you were wearing yesterday…did you wear that to bed too? Are your underwear clean? If you just took a shower why does your hair feel dry?!!

  28. Aunt Murry says:

    Oh the things I say…I turned into my mother about 10 years ago.
    Five of Five was found in the dog kennel just this past weekend. “Five, please get out of the kennel.” I think he is practicing for jail.

  29. Veronica Mitchell says:

    My sister laughed one day because while I was on the phone with her she heard me say to my daughter, “Put your pants on. Put your pants on OVER YOUR BOTTOM. PUT THEM ON AND KEEP THEM ON.”

  30. Jean Stockdale says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of mothering. You have about 20 years per kid to invest in creating a adult child who can move out into the adult world and live well. It is a long and daunting task and it is not for sissies! Thanks for your transparency. Blessings.

  31. fullheartandhands mama says:

    Last night, I had to tell my daughter that we don’t take a bath in our clothes. She actually stood in the tub partially clad. Though, now that I think about it, maybe this would cut down on my laundry pile. Hmmmm.

  32. Jessica says:

    I think I am mostly saying these things to my HUSBAND! Not my son, at least not yet. He’s only 2. I know I have a lot to look forward to! 🙂

  33. Teresa says:

    My pre-teen daughters, for some reason, were the worst about this. Arriving at the store, I had to say, “Now walk in the door. All the way through the door. Keep walking. Keep walking. People are piling up behind you.” Now, at ages 18 and 15, this is no longer a problem. I have no trouble getting them to walk into a store. Now it’s time to leave…

  34. hogphan says:

    I’ve believed for a long time that when we give a kid some instruction, they think it only applies while the sound is in the air. Once the sound is not hearable, the instruction no longer applies, therefore needn’t be followed!

  35. Crista says:

    Have you ever read Bringing Up Boys by Dr. Dobson? He mentions that with boys and giving directions, you have to be VERY specific, telling them every detail of what you want them to do. It made me feel so much better, because I can’t just tell my boys to clean up their room, I have to go up and point out all that needs to be cleaned and where things go. I can’t just tell them to shower. I have to mention that the toilet needs to be flushed, their pajamas need to be put away, their towel needs to be hung up, they need to wash with soap, and comb their hair afterwards, etc…. It is definitely not unique to your boys alone.

  36. Mrs. Who says:

    I’m glad so many others had sons that did not use shampoo. It used to drive me crazy!! Finally, I resorted to smelling his head every time he got out of the shower. He’s 25. I don’t do that anymore.

  37. Dawn @ Baby Addiction says:

    I have two adolescent bonus daughters, so some of my redundant requests include:
    “We are leaving the house right now, so please put on your coat AND your shoes and do not wait around in the kitchen until I am ready and you are making me late.”
    “Please tell your sister it is dinner time and do NOT yell for her from the bottom of the stairs because I could do that myself and wouldn’t need to ask you for this favor if that is how I wanted this done.”
    “Stop bothering your sister, which means DON’T even look in her direction.”
    “Please leave the bathroom exactly as you found it before your shower, which means the shower curtain is closed, the towels are hanging on their towel bars, the bath mat is drying on the side of the tub, there is no toothpaste in the sink or on the mirror, and there is more than one sheet of toilet paper available.”
    I’m sure I could think of more…

  38. Beckie says:

    Sean put your clothes away neatly in your drawers. Then shut the drawers. Please do not unfold it before you put it away.(He’s 13)
    Matthew, when I asked you to clean up around your bed that includes under and beside it as well. (He’s 8)
    Sean, put the hot pan with egg on it back on the stove. I can’t tell if the egg is bad in the dark hallway.

  39. seized by hope says:

    For my 12 year old son….
    “Take a shower and wash your hair…and get your hair WET!”
    For my 16 year old daughter…
    “Clean up your room, including the clothes on the floor…and the clothes on the floor in YOUR CLOSET too.”
    You are not alone!

  40. Jeni says:

    I just have a toddler, but I have told her things like:
    Don’t bite the kitty. (yesterday)
    Come here. Come here. Come here come here, Wendy, come here…(until I start to sound like Bill Cosby)

  41. Karen @ Simply A Musing Blog says:

    Please put these clothes I have folded away – NOT ON THE FLOOR OF YOUR ROOM, BUT IN YOUR DRESSER DRAWERS.
    Go take your bath now – AND USE SOME SOAP.
    Son, please stop using your daddy’s pants and GO GET A TISSUE.

  42. brittany says:

    When my boys were toddlers I was on the phone when they were using hangers as weapons. My childless friend teases me to this day (4 years later) for saying “Son, a hanger is not a bow & arrow…It’s just not!”

  43. Jean says:

    It’s just wonderful to find a community of mothers and children who do and say the exact thing.
    I’m right there on telling the oldest to shower and use shampoo, and not the whole bottle.
    He’s also gotten in a mode where he just wants to go to bed in his clothes and shoes!? He says he’s quite comfortable. Boys…

  44. jenny says:

    You are so not alone! Look at all these hilarious things we mothers say on a day to day basis! Some of my most common ones? “When I tell you to put your clothes away, I don’t mean lay them on your bedroom floor.” and this one… “Get your things for school and get in the van. Um, your backpack (or lunch box, or coat, or…) is still sitting here. Don’t you need it?!” Oh, it is exhausting!

  45. Gina says:

    Along with all the “use soap/shampoo” ones:
    “If the back of your head isn’t even wet, then NO, you did NOT wash your hair!”

  46. Gretchen says:

    LOL! I was just asking ds–11 if he had washed his hair. To which he replied, bending over, “Yeah, I did. Smell.”.
    Glad I’m not the only Hallmarkarian mother out there. 😉

  47. NancyB says:

    Every morning…..have you brushed your teeth? Did you pick up your towel? Is your bed made? Get your shoes on. Get your backpack. You need a coat, it’s cold……My kids are in 9th grade and 6th grade. You’d think after we’ve had thousands of school days that they would know what to do each morning! But, it NEVER fails that if I don’t ask questions or tell them what to do, there’s no way we’d make it out the door on time!

  48. kelli in the mirror says:

    I can remember my mom telling me to go take a bath and GET ALL THE WAY WET because I would sit in the water and wash my legs and then try to get out with dry shoulders. 🙂

  49. Jill says:

    You’ve made my day! I thought I was doing something wrong since I always have to check to see if my son has used shampoo and toothpaste. I’m not alone, yeah!!

  50. Nicki says:

    It’s all in the details. My biggest is: “Take this downstairs and put it away. Where it belongs, don’t just throw it in the doorway of the playroom!” They make me crazy sometimes.

  51. ttlyeightmom says:

    Lol Thats so funny just yesterday I discovered my number 3 punk has not been washing his hair with soap only water for 3 days! arghh!
    The funniest Mom Line I ever heard though was my Mom’s friend in mid convo with my Mom saying to her little girl “No you cannot have a cookie and go take my bra off right now!!!!!”

  52. Missy says:

    Last night at dinner it was “Pancakes do not go on your head. They are for eating, they are not hats.”
    Of course the pancake was covered in syrup, which dripped all through my son’s hair and down his face. And he had the biggest grin on his face. It was so hard not to laugh…

  53. Ranelle says:

    To my 21 month old son, I say at bedtime, “Lay down, don’t get up, and don’t kick the wall.”
    Just two years ago I was telling my then-9 year old daughter the same thing you tell your boys, “Do not just stand in the shower with the water running! USE SHAMPOO AND SOAP! SCRUB YOUR BODY AND YOUR HAIR!” I thought I was the only one facing these hygiene battles.
    I have also said, “Sam! Don’t hit your sister in the head with the toilet seat!”
    To the three year old, “Please sit down in your seat so I can buckle you in and we can LEAVE!”

  54. Alli says:

    My personal favorite, said on the way to school, “You did put on underwear, right?” And, sadly, yes, we have had to turn around and run back home!!

  55. Melissa says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that has to tell in explicit directions how to get things done. Who would have thought you would have to tell your little one to wash their hands AND USE SOAP!!

  56. Emily says:

    OH this is so good…I’ve had to explain to everyone at work why I’m laughing out loud. There sure is more to parenting than I ever thought…you guys are giving me good info for the future when I have little ones.

  57. Tara says:

    “You have to eat EVERY day, more than once a day” (in response to my 5 year old son saying “I don’t want to eat supper, I ate yesterday!”). “Go pee IN the toilet, not around the toilet and not in the garbage can beside the toilet”. “Don’t put dirty underwear in your mouth”. “Go put CLEAN underwear on, from your drawer, not from the floor or from the diry laundry.”

  58. Autumn Dahlia says:

    Response to, “does this go in the recycling?”
    “Yes, it goes in the recycling. Not the paper bag, that’s paper recycling. Go to the back of the basement door (which you walk past 85 times a day) and put the cans in the bag. If the bag is full, tie off the bag, put it in the bin, take a bag from the bag holder (right next to the hanger) and put the new bag up on the hook.”
    And I know it sounds painstaking…. and I would think so too, if this wasn’t the 40th time to have this conversation.

  59. Auburn Gal Always says:

    “Don’t lick your brother.” Said in line at the service desk at Target
    “Don’t sit on your brother.” Said at home when I found her sitting on him.
    (Her brother is almost 1.) (She’s almost 7.)

  60. Alice says:

    I’m a pediatrician and you would not believe (well maybe you would believe) the number of boys I see who forgot their underwear that day. I also saw a 16 yr old yesterday who when I asked her to unzip her sweatshirt jacket so I could listen to her lungs was totally mortified as she had “forgot” her shirt! Her excuse was that she “was in a really big hurry”. 🙂

  61. Michelle says:

    I am SO glad that it isn’t just me!! If I don’t remind my just turned 11 yr old son to “use shampoo on your hair and soap on your body” he doesn’t! Or, “take out the trash and make sure the bag gets inside the dumpster, not on the ground!” You gotta love boys!

  62. Amy says:

    “Mommy is driving the car.”
    I swear my kids must think the car drives itself. They are forever asking me to read them a book, grab a dropped toy, re-fill a sippy cup…the list is endless. For some reason, my two preschoolers cannot grasp the concept that I am ACTUALLY DRIVING the car and cannot meet their every need immediately. Patience is a virtue that must be re-taught each and every day – or at least each and every car trip.

  63. Nancy says:

    Over the break we went to Grandma’s house, an hour away, and got home after midnight. We had stopped to get milk at the Walmart and I asked my 18 year old DS to please bring it in while I got the 9 year old DD up to bed. You guessed it, the next morning DH found ALL FOUR GALLONS of milk ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER. Obviously, I did not say, “Put the milk in the REFRIGERATOR.” He is a brilliant Senior in High School taking all AP classes. sigh.

  64. Laura says:

    My husband began referring to our oldest daughter when she only managed to do things part of the way as “Half-way Hazel”. Here is a normal conversation in our house: “Whomever, did you clean Whatever assigned?” “Yes” is always the answer. “Did you clean it MY clean or Your clean?” That usually sends them packing for another round – or two.

  65. Nancy says:

    My thoughts about this whole situation are that children are excellent loophole finders and are really just trying their best to get out of doing anything at all. The older they get, the better at avoidance they become. I was so good at this that my Dad used to tell me I was going to be an attorney. It sharpens the negotiating and persuasive argument skills you know.

  66. Melissa says:

    “No, underwear do not go on your head” – said to my 14-month-old daughter while she was “helping” me fold clean laundry last week.

  67. jennielynn says:

    To my thirteen year old daughter:
    “Did you wash your face? With Soap?”
    “When you sweep the kitchen, could you please sweep under the kitchen table as well?”
    “No, you may not date. Because you are 13. I don’t care if the entire world is copulating in a writhing mass on your school lawn, you still can’t date. ”

  68. Marian says:

    My personal fave, and not just a one-time occurance either:

  69. Debbie says:

    Sounds like my house just this morning. I would almost think there is a bug planted here some where. 🙂 I better go check just.
    The Real World Martha(S)

  70. Anne says:

    Not exactly the same but similar! Let me set the stage for you.
    Daughter (age 4): Natalie
    Son (age 21 months): Levi
    Me: “Natalie leave Levi alone!”
    Say that one ten times fast! 🙂

  71. aimee says:

    Did you ever have that assignment in speech class where you had to teach the class how to do something assuming they were all from Mars? Little did I know in 10th grade that it was really a parenting lesson!

  72. Caryn says:

    “Okay, knock it off!”
    What I obviously mean is… I am respectfully requesting that you immediately cease the obnoxious behavior you are enacting at this moment. Do you really need me to be any more clear?

  73. Susan G. says:

    I feel much better about my children.
    A couple from my house:
    “Get dressed and CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR!”
    “Take your toes out of your mouth!”

  74. Donna says:

    TOTALLY relating to this one…it’s ALL gotta be spelled out! I can’t just say “clean up the floor of your bathroom”…I have to identify all the things ON the bathroom floor that SHOULD be picked up! Hello?? Does last night’s PJ top belong on the bathroom floor?

  75. Judi says:

    This was my conversation last night with my five year old.
    Me: Logan, stop touching mama’s boobs.
    Logan: But you grew me in your belly.
    How is that his response??? Crazy.

  76. Teresa says:

    My son is supposed to clean the schoolroom each morning. But of course I would go upstairs to find paper, pencils, crayons, etc. in plain sight all over the floor. His explanation was always, “Well, it’s almost clean!” I cured him of this habit one day. I served his half-cooked lunch on his dirty breakfast dishes. Now he knows that if the job isn’t done properly, he will receive food that I have “almost cooked” on dishes I have “almost washed.”

  77. Michele says:

    Please don’t kill your brother.
    We don’t fly in this house.
    Dude, do you have to pee? No? Our penises are not toys.
    Look at the water when you go… THAT’S HOW YOU AIM.
    Please don’t strangle your brother – no that is not a game.
    Don’t sit on your brother.
    There’s a lot of Don’t ____ your brother.

  78. vika says:

    I tell my husband to take a shower ‘and use soap’. Not that he has poor hygeine, he just doesn’t think soap is a daily requisite. I guess his mom didn’t know you can’t take anything for granted. I’m trying to change his habits before we have kids…

  79. Cindee says:

    Go potty. Whoa…I mean in the bathroom…in the toilet!
    Stop biting the Christmas lights.
    We just don’t take bites out of our glassware. (to 4 y.o. son as glass is falling out of his open mouth)
    (to 7 1/2 y.o. daughter)
    Why is your baby brother’s head wet?
    Why were you licking him?
    No, he’s not your little cub.
    No, spraying down the entire kitchen with the sink hose is NOT helping me.
    “Put the towels in the dryer” also means to TURN IN ON!

  80. Mamacita says:

    Oh my goodness – I am so glad I am not the only one who has said “Wash your hair – and use SHAMPOO this time!” I don’t know what it is with boys and their aversion to a little soap. 🙂

  81. Amy says:

    I remember laughing hysterically when Bill Cosby talked about telling his son to DRY OFF when getting out of the shower. It was not so funny when my own 8-year old boy came down with water running down his neck onto his pjs and his pjs were completely STUCK to his body. So now, I remind him to use a towel before putting on his pjs.

  82. Laura says:

    What I should have said today to my 3 year old daughter:
    What I said to my daughter today:
    Don’t use that dry erase marker on anything other than your new dry erase book from your grandma.
    What I should have added: That means, no drawing on your shirt, or your pants…or your arms, or hands or all.over.your.entire.face while hiding in the corner behind the big chair.
    I’m learning that parenting is requiring a little more verbal specificity on my part. If only I could more than stuttering out more than half the time.

  83. Lisa in California says:

    I am constantly telling my 3 kids to “Go wash your hands, and USE SOAP”. Really, can you do it any other way? They do…alot.

  84. Laura says:

    Oh, and, I’ve apparently been saying something like “go do x. THAT MEANS, do this specified x thing this way at this specific time (NOW).”
    So now, when I ask my daughter to repeat herself if I didn’t understand her she says this:
    Daughter: “mommy, fvmkdopav!”
    Me: “What did you say?”
    Daughter “fvmkdopav. that means, fvmkdopav.”
    Oh. ok. That cleared it up.

  85. Donna says:

    My 7 yr old daughter brought home her pencil box from school one day when I discovered that she had kept every single pencil shaving after she sharpened her pencils! Her box was a disgusting disaster! I never thought I would have to say “We do not need to keep pencil shavings! You can throw them away!”

  86. Hazel says:

    Washing hands does NOT mean sticking them under the tap and then wiping them down your jeans!
    Unfortunately it takes them about fifteen to twenty years to learn this (if male) and then in later life they forget the putting them under the tap bit — to judge by the jeans my husband presents me with on a regular basis!

  87. faithful chick says:

    “Go to the bathroom AND flush the toilet, please.”
    “Blow your nose AND put the dirty kleenex in the trash, please.”
    “Clear your place from dinner, BUT please don’t throw your silverware in the trash.”

  88. 3 little munchkins says:

    Oh this made me laugh. My oldest (5) is named Joseph so I laughed a little harder as I have said that exact sentence before. The other day I had to send him up the stairs 3 times to wash his hands. “Did you wash your hands?” (he turned around and went back up) …”Did you use water?” (turns out he just used the hand towel) “Did you use soap?” (finally! We have clean hands!)

  89. Tammie says:

    Phew! And I thought it was just MY boys that I had to remind to wet and shampoo their hair, use soap in a shower and to change their underwear! It’s not a good sign when you do the week’s laundry and realize you have not one pair of underwear from your boys in the hampers! Not until that day did I realize I had to actually include that in my daily instructions.

  90. margalit says:

    I say all of those things. And then I add “When you wash the dishes use HOT water” and “After you take a shower put on CLEAN clothes.” Sigh.

  91. Jenn says:

    This is great…I now know I am not the only mom who has to remind her boys to use shampoo. Some of my favorites are go brush your teeth and make sure the toothpaste is on the brush before you brush them and go change into your pajamas but be sure to take your clothes off first.

  92. jen says:

    Please do not fork your brother in the eye. I have lost count of the number of times I have said that to both boys.
    And I’m getting one of those wall rub-ons to go over the hall sink that says: Nice try. Now use soap. Maybe that’ll work.

  93. Mama Duck says:

    Ha, these are great! I have a whole list of my own with my 3 year old, including “Do not bark at God” (while he was SUPPOSED to be silent while we were praying, “Do not quack at God”, “Do not meow at God”. Then all the licking ones, including “Do not lick Daddy’s computer”, “Do not lick Mommy’s arm”, “Do not lick the UPS man”. Then “Do not bark at the UPS man”, “Do not scream at the grocery lady”, “Chew & swallow your food before cramming more food in your mouth”, “Bring me the soy milk and do not open the soy milk or the sippy cup or take anything else out of the fridge or leave the fridge open or throw the soy milk at me or bring me anything else, especially if it is chocolate”.

  94. Boysmum2 says:

    OMG welcome to my house, and my 2 are only 2 1/2 and 4.
    What joy I have to come.
    Washing, dressing, licking dvd’s, just everything that has been commented on is happening here.
    How do you manage to hit the nail on the head with exactly what is happening here.
    Believe me you are not alone, boys are boys all over the world!

  95. Amanda says:

    My two year old never seems to remember to swallow his food. He loves to chew, but swallowing is another story… And his little brother is following right in his footsteps!

  96. Donna says:

    One of my phrases that I say SO many times each day–is “Let me smell you”
    after they are supposed to have washed, brushed or otherwise cleaned some part of their little selves…..if I can’t smell soap, or shampoo I say, “Do it again, and *this* time use soap!” Or, “Go brush your teeth, and *this time* use toothpaste”
    Sounds a little weird…but it helps! Now I say, “let me smell you”, and 99% of the time, they just whirl around and go back to do it.AGAIN…there may be hope!

  97. Cindy says:

    I was laughing at your post…just a few days ago, I was marveling at the fact that I keep having to tell the children, “Please go wash your hands…WITH SOAP.” Also one for my boys: “Put on some clean clothes. DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR!” Why is that so difficult?!

  98. Lindsey says:

    I’m an elementary teacher….nothing surprises me. You must be specific and explicit when dealing with little people.
    Here’s another good one: Wash your hair and DON’T FORGET TO RINSE IT OUT!

  99. chilihead says:

    Sooooo. Do you even remember when we thought it was a big deal when you had 20 comments? Because this breaking 100 comments thing has my head spinning! (In a good way, of course!)

  100. Frazzmom says:

    I have to admit that I was feeling pretty good- thinking my kids have finally outgrown all that. Then I asked my 15 year old son to move a load of clothes to the dryer…
    He did.
    He just didn’t bother to turn it on! His response- “you didn’t tell me to do THAT…”

  101. Liz C says:

    “No, we don’t use REAL SPIT to make spit curls on the baby. Quit drooling on your sister.” (to the then-6yo boy)
    “God gave you heels. We walk heel-toe, heel-toe.” (Still a near-daily thing, for a tippy-toe walking 11yo girl)
    “Bend your knees to walk. DO NOT STUMP.” (Daily to the stump-walking 9yo boy) (Okay, I have control issues with weird walking habits, but seriously, these kids are just odd! Can’t they just WALK?)
    That bathing/shampoo thing… yeah, that’s normal. Smelly, but normal.
    “Son, why do I have 24 pair of socks for you this week, but not a single pair of undies??”
    “Did you take OFF the dirty clothes before putting the clean ones on?” (During DS’s “Layered Phase”.)
    “DUDE! When you take a shower, you put ALL CLEAN CLOTHES ON AFTERWARDS. Do Not Recycle Any Portion Of The Outfit. No, not even the shirt. Yes, it is dirty. I’ve seen it for the last three days. Yes, seriously, it’s dirty now. No, I don’t feel burdened if you put it in the laundry for me to wash. Really.” (He’s a very considerate, smelly boy.)

  102. Melissa says:

    “Please don’t ride on the dog.”
    “Please don’t share your ice cream cone with the dog.”
    “Please don’t put mascara on the dog.”
    I could go on and on.

  103. Owlhaven says:

    Go get (whatever) and don’t hit your sister when you’re walking past her.”
    Dear little turkeys.
    Mary, mom to 6 girls and 4 boys

  104. edj says:

    Oh yeah. All of the ones you mentioned, sadly enough.
    I think the shower/shampoo thing is normal. I am still telling Abel, “Take a shower and don’t forget to use soap and shampoo your hair!” And, “After taking a shower put on ALL clean clothes, not the ones you just took off.” And also, “Why am I not washing any of your underwear? Where are they?”
    Yep. Fun times.

  105. Tara says:

    I have actually said things like, “new rule, don’t squirt hand soap down the heat vent” and “wash your hands with soap and dry them on a towel”.

  106. Kirstin says:

    Oh, that is too funny! I have girls, but at times do have to be specific about certain things! On my blog under christian humor category, there is a youtube blip by anita renfroe that is a crack up for moms!

  107. Trish says:

    I don’t if anyone has ever seen Bill Cosby’s routine talking about his seven childrens’ bedtime routine?
    “Please go UPSTAIRS, get into the shower, TURN ON the water, PLEASE use SOAP (otherwise they’ll just get in there and wander around the tub), RINSE yourself off, DRY yourself OFF, and get into bed!”
    It’s sooooo true. I find myself saying things that, taken out of context, would probably be grounds for a 72 hr. mental hold.
    AHHH, motherhood!

  108. Anonymous says:

    Not me saying it, but I remember my mom being that way with my little brother. Always, “Use soap, you will stink.” I would think duh?

  109. Angela Klocke says:

    My favorite thing about kids is how you have to break even the simplest statements down so they listen/understand. “Yes, clean the WHOLE table, not just where you sat. Take the cloth and put water ON IT, and then WRING IT OUT, and then wash the WHOLE table.”

  110. Jblieu says:

    Too funny. Our every day line is R… – go take a shower. And use soap. And water.
    Shouldn’t have to be said, never had to with the daughters, but I have been learning that the boy’s world is a completely different one than the one I and the daughters have been inhabiting. One where soap, remembering to eat and remembering to get dressed before you walk out the door are not as obvious.
    Your blog was on my Google Reader recommended list which I never normally check – but glad I did (being lazy putting off mopping the kitchen floor)

  111. Sandi says:

    These are all sooo familiar! I think our strangest comment ever was to our then 7 y.o. son: “Do not lick the bathroom wall at the Y. No matter what Jack (his friend) says, it does not taste like chicken.” And to his older brother: Get the pop-tarts out from between your toes.

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