Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


He’s not allowed in the oven
January 28, 2013 6:32 AM   Subscribe

46 reasons my three year old might be freaking out. May be familiar to people with small children.
posted by MartinWisse (186 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you for your assistance in affirming my long-held belief that having kids *sucks*. *Continues not to breed*
posted by Mooseli at 6:36 AM on January 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


We are just wrapping up a few months of turmoil (screaming, nudity, &c.) that all started with the seams of our now-5-y.o. Princess's socks. Oy.

Thankfully things are better now, so I can laugh at this -- but last fall, I would have teared up.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:36 AM on January 28, 2013


Several of these are applicable to cats.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:38 AM on January 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


These were hilarious just because we all know kids like this, where you're like WTF is wrong with you, little dude? I'm sure I'll have a kid like this eventually, but ours have been pretty mellow at least this far. *looks up, makes sign of the cross*
posted by resurrexit at 6:38 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Related: The Lamentations Of The Father
posted by jquinby at 6:39 AM on January 28, 2013 [29 favorites]


He's not wrong on most of these.
posted by mullacc at 6:39 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This list makes me so happy.
posted by The World Famous at 6:40 AM on January 28, 2013


Our list includes:

We took him at his word that he wanted "just one more" Fireman Sam.

Milkcup is not in the correct location.

The sun and all its shininess.

The ghost in his room won't go away.

He's not cleared for knives.

Rinsing.

He's not Smee. You're Smee.

Daddy is late.

Daddy is early.

Daddy is standing in the wrong place.

There's poop in his butt.

The rabbit has not yet decided to join his pirate crew.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:41 AM on January 28, 2013 [35 favorites]


Stupid indecisive pirate rabbit.
posted by The World Famous at 6:42 AM on January 28, 2013 [42 favorites]


The sun and all its shininess.

To be fair, the sun makes me cranky too, and I'm 41.
posted by Foosnark at 6:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


If I had a three-year-old complaining that Netflix was slow I would allow her/him in the oven.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [29 favorites]


Adding to this list, were it my just-turned-nine at three:

The Rooster is outside his (second story) window. Watching.
posted by mph at 6:48 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair, the sun makes me cranky too, and I'm 41.

Don't even get me started about the fucking indecisive rabbits.

C'MON, PETER BLACKCOTTONTAIL, GET WITH IT OR I'LL KEELHAUL YA!

Jones be taken them. You never get this sort of gripe from the duckies.
posted by eriko at 6:51 AM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


If I had a three-year-old complaining that Netflix was slow I would allow her/him in the oven.

Yes, that's the unreasonable complaint on the list.
posted by The World Famous at 6:53 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Thank you for your assistance in affirming my long-held belief that having kids *sucks*.

But this is not the part that sucks. This is one of the fun parts where your kid starts developing a personality and a sense of self and begins to understand that everything external to that is just really f-ing annoying.

They grow up so fast!
posted by three blind mice at 6:53 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


The yellow guy who drives the truck is missing. Not that one, the OTHER yellow guy.

ALL WEEKEND LONG.

Also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:54 AM on January 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


Yes, that's the unreasonable complaint on the list.

Sorry, I'll rewrite: If I knew of a three-year-old complaining that Netflix was slow, I would allow the parents in the oven.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:55 AM on January 28, 2013


I really hope when/if I am a parent I will not go on and about How Special It Is and how others Could Never Understand because man is that annoying.
posted by sweetkid at 6:55 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I'll rewrite: If I knew of a three-year-old complaining that Netflix was slow, I would allow the parents in the oven.

Why?
posted by The World Famous at 6:57 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


sweetkid: I really hope when/if I am a parent I will not go on and about How Special It Is and how others Could Never Understand because man is that annoying.

Is anyone Doing That Here, or is this just something that is Generally Annoying about Parents?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:59 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Sorry, I'll rewrite: If I knew of a three-year-old complaining that Netflix was slow, I would allow the parents in the oven.

This comment crashed Chrome for me. I have to increase the size of the smugness buffer I guess.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:00 AM on January 28, 2013 [46 favorites]


Only an article about children and their silly antics can cause such animosity in comments. Post stuff your dog or cat does and it's the best ever.
posted by Sweetmag at 7:01 AM on January 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Is anyone Doing That Here, or is this just something that is Generally Annoying about Parents?

Generally annoying about some parents, definitely.
posted by sweetkid at 7:02 AM on January 28, 2013


First off, this is awesome. My son, who can't pronounce anything, is scared of geckos but likes to talk about echoes. If he says "do you like mekkos?" You have a 50% chance of an answer making him scream. And he asks it like 50 times a day...

Also, for those hating on kids, or even worse, parents - what kind of thread did you expect it to be? This discussion is guaranteed to annoy you - treat it like I do circumcision posts, and move on grateful that you never clicked [more inside] where we will be talking about our adorable MeFi-spawn
posted by blahblahblah at 7:07 AM on January 28, 2013 [25 favorites]


Also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy.

Oh, so that's not unique to my son. That's a bit of a relief. We've tried and tried explaining that penis time is private time and he seems to understand but the minute his attention goes elsewhere his hands wander right back in there like it was magnetized or something.
posted by ook at 7:10 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


My daughter's favorite thing to proclaim for ALL meals "It's to spicy". Everything is always to spicy...
posted by Sweetmag at 7:12 AM on January 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


You could call the list "46 Reasons My Drunk Roommate is Freaking Out" and I'd still believe it.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:12 AM on January 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


A freakout doesn't count unless it's in public, in front of less than sympathetic witnesses. Bonus points if they scream out, "Get your hands off me!" or "You're not my daddy!" while you're trying to get them back into their car-seat.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:12 AM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, there are few things in life more hilarious than telling the little kids of your friends that whenever mommy or daddy tries to make you do something you don't want to do, the best way to express your displeasure is by yelling STRANGER DANGER.
posted by elizardbits at 7:15 AM on January 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


Bonus points if they scream out, "Get your hands off me!" or "You're not my daddy!"

ಠ_ಠ
posted by zombieflanders at 7:15 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sweetmag: My daughter's favorite thing to proclaim for ALL meals "It's to spicy". Everything is always to spicy...

My daughter thought the chicken at Bojangles' was too spicy. My wife wanted to go there for breakfast one morning and told my daughter, "They use a different recipe for their breading in the morning. It's not spicy at all." My daughter loved the chicken at Bojangles' in the morning!

NB: They do not use a different recipe for their breading in the morning.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:15 AM on January 28, 2013 [23 favorites]


A freakout doesn't count unless it's in public, in front of less than sympathetic witnesses. Bonus points if they scream out, "Get your hands off me!" or "You're not my daddy!" while you're trying to get them back into their car-seat.

Oh man, I think about how many times I screamed "child abuse!" in stores because my parents were, I don't know, trying to get my to stop playing with the pickle jars. That must have not been fun for them.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:16 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm taking notes so I can deal with my new nephew.

I was on the T last week and a mother was with her little kid who was eating Pringles out of a can. Something made the kid freak out and he dealt with it by flinging Pringles all over the train car. Gotta love kids.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:17 AM on January 28, 2013


backseatpilot: Something made the kid freak out and he dealt with it by flinging Pringles all over the train car.

Oh man, I can think of a dozen things that are little-kid-freak-out-able about Pringles off the top of my head.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:18 AM on January 28, 2013


All of these things freak me out. It is only by dint of my marginally successful training for adulthood that I am sometimes able to not visibly react to them.

But inside, I am screaming. DEAR LORD I AM SCREAMING.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:18 AM on January 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy

It's true! They always want their hands in their pants! God, it's unsettling! It's weird enough when it's someone else's kids; if I had my own kids this would make me really damn uncomfortable.
posted by windykites at 7:19 AM on January 28, 2013


Be thankful the kid is not Canadian -- where Netflix is not only slow but doesn't have many movies in it.
posted by anothermug at 7:19 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


flinging Pringles all over the train car

This is okay if some land in my lap, unharmed. Otherwise, BE QUIET BABY YOU ARE BAD.
posted by elizardbits at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I am sure there are medications that could help.
And some of them come in a nice velvet bag.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2013


I've worked with people who are always putting their hands in their pants, so maybe this never changes.
posted by sweetkid at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2013


Pro tips: it's not just kids.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yes, close to 100% of the boy toddlers on the 1 train on any given day are recidivist handsinpantsers.
posted by elizardbits at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


And some of them come in a nice velvet bag.

... scrabble tiles?
posted by elizardbits at 7:21 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Polyhedral dice
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:22 AM on January 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure you can repurpose most animal-restraint products to fit children.

Just, y'know, FYI.
posted by aramaic at 7:23 AM on January 28, 2013


... scrabble tiles?


CROWN
 O
 Y
 A
 L

posted by zamboni at 7:24 AM on January 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


Also I guess I sympathize about the oven thing, especially since I climbed into the still-warm dryer the other day, mostly because there is no one to tell me not to do so.
posted by elizardbits at 7:24 AM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, for most of my childhood I thought Crown Royal was the Scrabble manufacturer.
posted by elizardbits at 7:25 AM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Want apple. Want apple PLEASE. No, not that apple! Want to pick it. This apple. No, don't wash it. DON'T WASH IT! DRY IT OFF! Okay. Cut it. What? Please. What? I said please. I SAID PLEASE! Cut it please, Daddy. NOT LIKE THAT! YOU CUT IT WRONG!

[inconsolable for an hour]
posted by 256 at 7:27 AM on January 28, 2013 [41 favorites]


That must have not been fun for them.

I don't know why, but that comment had me in stitches. The things we did to our parents....
posted by letitrain at 7:28 AM on January 28, 2013


Daddy look at the moon look at the moon lookatthemoon themoonthemoonthemoon. AAaaaAAAAH where's the moon where's the moon it's gone themoonisgone BEUHAAAOooOOooAAaaAAHHHHH THE MOON IS GO-O-O-O-NE
posted by elgilito at 7:33 AM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


his hands wander right back in there like it was magnetized or something.

So, this penis thing, it's important to guys or something?
posted by Melismata at 7:34 AM on January 28, 2013


Newsflash for parents of three years olds: It doesn't magically stop when they get to four.

Where's my firetruck? - I don't know - Where's my firetruck? - This one? - No the other one. - This one? - No the other one. - This one? - No the other one. - Which fire truck? - The other one. - What does it look like? - Like this! (etc.).

Also how to turn "Put on your coat it's cold outside" into a 45 minute argument/philosophical discussion.

And, vegetables for dinner.
posted by carter at 7:34 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Where's my firetruck? - I don't know - Where's my firetruck? - This one? - No the other one. - This one? - No the other one. - This one? - No the other one. - Which fire truck? - The other one. - What does it look like? - Like this! (etc.).

Also how to turn "Put on your coat it's cold outside" into a 45 minute argument/philosophical discussion.

And, vegetables for dinner.


Replace "firetruck" with "shoe" and make no other changes and this is precisely the experience of my marriage.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:40 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Really, being a toddler must be like being on an ecstasy/coke high twenty-four hours a day.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:40 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


So true.

And in the midst of these moments, you rub your forehead and try very hard not to ask yourself why you did this.

But then, as I did last Friday night, you set up a card table in the living room, and you cut up a cold plate of meats and cheeses and veggies and crackers and hummus and stuff, and you put on Harmy's despecialized edition of Star Wars Episode IV and plop your child down at that card table.

And you watch rainbows explode out of his face.

You watch him cheer when Luke and Han and Chewie shoot up the cell block, you hold him and reassure him that no, no one's going to get hurt by the garbage smasher, and you watch his skull almost literally split in half as he jumps up and down and claps and yells AWE! SOME! when the Death Star explodes. You agree with him, that yes, it totally darns it that we don't get to have lightsabers, and you admit to him something that you'd never admit to a coworker: you've been thinking that same thing for 35 years.

And, in that moment, it is 1977 and you are in your jammies waving a stick and going VOOM VOOM CSHHHH VOOM and you think holy shit, I never thought I'd get to feel this again and then, you know what? Let him freak out about nothing later. Because stuff like this is why.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:42 AM on January 28, 2013 [97 favorites]



Also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy.


I swear it is like little boys think it is going to fly away if they let it go. My nephews, all of them, from the youngest to the oldest, all did/do this. We are working on teaching them that hands on your penis is for bedroom time, but really, I think they are afraid if they wait until then, it won't be there anymore.
posted by SuzySmith at 7:46 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


you are in your jammies waving a stick and going VOOM VOOM CSHHHH VOOM

Yeah but I don't have kids and I feel like that every day.
posted by elizardbits at 7:48 AM on January 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


And, in that moment, it is 1977 and you are in your jammies waving a stick and going VOOM VOOM CSHHHH VOOM and you think holy shit, I never thought I'd get to feel this again and then, you know what? Let him freak out about nothing later. Because stuff like this is why.

And then he hits your knuckles so hard with his toy lightsaber that you sort of understand Vader for just a second. But when he notices that you're hurt, he feels bad and starts crying. And now you'll never be able to get his teeth brushed in time for bed. It really is awesome, actually.
posted by The World Famous at 7:50 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


> My wife ... told my daughter, "They use a different recipe for their breading in the morning. It's not spicy at all." My daughter loved the chicken at Bojangles' in the morning!

NB A similar technique also works with clients reviewing your logo designs.
posted by ardgedee at 7:50 AM on January 28, 2013 [35 favorites]


A freakout doesn't count unless it's in public, in front of less than sympathetic witnesses. Bonus points if they scream out, "Get your hands off me!" or "You're not my daddy!" while you're trying to get them back into their car-seat.

My friend took her friend's 5-year-old child shopping at Walmart, as a favor to the mom. When my friend refused to buy a toy for the child, the charming tot began screaming "Get away from me! You're not my mommy! Help!"

Let's just say that store security was not amused. And that there are no more favors for that mom.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:53 AM on January 28, 2013


My wife ... told my daughter, "They use a different recipe for their breading in the morning. It's not spicy at all." My daughter loved the chicken at Bojangles' in the morning!

As far as lying to kids goes, getting them to like Bojangles' is doing the Lord's work so you're totally in the clear.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:54 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am sorry to report to you that in my experience the kids that are this sensitive as toddlers/preschoolers turn in to hellteenagers. Marshall your resources accordingly.
posted by readery at 7:54 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ah, three year olds. I like lists like this, because it helps remind me that no, my 3 year old is not especially insane, they are all like that. Plus it is too funny.

My 3-year old is 100% responsible for my current level of alcohol consumption after I've finally gotten him to bed. Your bedtime was an hour ago. There are no ghosts. You already had a snack. I already sang your songs. OK, just one more. Your night-light is already on. The wall is not scary. That wall is not scary either. You have your blanket, your animals, etc. etc. etc. No, you cannot change your pajamas again. I said No More Snacks. Goodnight.

I need a drink.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:57 AM on January 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


We have a two-year-old and this is already starting. No, you can't take this rock to daycare. You are going to forget about it within 20 seconds anyway. Stop freaking out. -or- You're crying because you're tired. It's fucking midnight. We have been trying to get you to go to sleep for three hours. GO TO FUCKING SLEEP. IF YOU SLEEP YOU WILL FEEL BETTER. -or- I'm sorry I took my phone away from you. If you want to watch Youtubes we can do it on my computer, no need to do it on my phone. This does not give you the right to bite me on the fucking hand, wtf?

And then he goes away to his grandparents' house for the weekend and for the first 10 minutes it's so quiet, and then it's TOO quiet and I miss the big smiles and the singing "C is for Cookie" to himself and how he's so goddamn proud of himself when he successfully followed directions and how he tries to be a big boy and how he says "thank you!!" so happily when we give him a food or drink he really wanted and sigh. Parenting is nuts. In a good way.
posted by agress at 7:58 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


We've been doing Star Wars in the recommended IV, V, I, II, III, VI order and I get your exploding rainbows, middle class tool, but it all came crashing down yesterday when we sat down in front of the fire to watch Phantom Menace and saw my child, my child, laughing hysterically at the antics of Mr. Jar Jar Binks. I should have trusted my instincts and skipped I.

The thing I can't wrap my head around with this list is why, as a parent, I'm so drawn in to the argument over the peanut butter jar with the red lid instead of the blue lid instead of laughing hysterically and the 30 minutes of crying if I choose the wrong color. Because temper tantrums really are fucking funny.

As I'm typing this on the iPad, he is freaking out because I won't press the exclamation point. "Why won't you do it? Why won't you do it?" Ok son, for your benefit, here you go: !
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:58 AM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy.

I notice adults, (well chavs) walking around with their hands down their track suit bottoms and I always have the urge to suggest that they go and get it checked out because it shouldn't require that much attention. If I did that I would probably get my skull kicked in but maybe it would be a good blog to start naming and shaming them into submission.

I can forgive a kid doing it but a 17 year old not so much.
posted by koolkat at 7:59 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I notice adults, (well chavs) walking around with their hands down their track suit bottoms and I always have the urge to suggest that they go and get it checked out because it shouldn't require that much attention.

Watching video of Michael Jackson always makes me want to ask him if he needs to go potty. (See also Tupac; 50 Cent.)
posted by The World Famous at 8:02 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can forgive a kid doing it but a 17 year old not so much.

My wife seems to think it's inappropriate for me to manhandle the goods in public. I don't understand. Sometimes you gotta adjust things.
posted by tippiedog at 8:03 AM on January 28, 2013


Exclamation Point Child is now curled up in a tight ball next to my chest telling me he loves me. So yes, worth it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:04 AM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


We've been doing Star Wars in the recommended IV, V, I, II, III, VI order and I get your exploding rainbows, middle class tool, but it all came crashing down yesterday when we sat down in front of the fire to watch Phantom Menace and saw my child, my child, laughing hysterically at the antics of Mr. Jar Jar Binks. I should have trusted my instincts and skipped I.

Yeah. And I can't skip Ep I because he's already learned about it from Lego Star Wars. My plan there is to get The Phantom Edit. Worse: he knows that Anakin is Vader and kept calling Stormtroopers "clones".
posted by middleclasstool at 8:13 AM on January 28, 2013


Also how to turn "Put on your coat it's cold outside" into a 45 minute argument/philosophical discussion.

The fix for this is "Do you want the blue coat or the green coat to go outside?" Make the choice about which coat, not about coat or no coat. (Oh, thank you, thank you, excellent pre-school instructors for helping this mommy.)
posted by _paegan_ at 8:16 AM on January 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


I can't wait for JJ Abrams to create a time-traveling death star that blows up naboo twenty years before jar jar happened. That's going to have been awesome.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:17 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Calvin and Hobbes is not a humorous, touching and philosophical comic strip about a 5-year old and his imaginary tiger friend.

It's a documentary.
posted by elgilito at 8:19 AM on January 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


I could create such a list for why my 11-year-old is freaking out, but I will spare you. This time.
posted by briank at 8:20 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man the first time I saw this the comments were full of loons insisting that the poster's kid had sensory processing disorder or whatever they were calling it. No one could possibly convince them that no, the kid was just three years old.
posted by kenko at 8:21 AM on January 28, 2013


I'm not following this. Neither of my kids were anywhere near this sensitive, even though they seem pretty normal (or maybe it's their parents who are insensitive?). They weren't allowed in the oven, but I've got a good picture of them in the kitchen cupboard with both of their diaper-clad bums sticking out. They loved that!
posted by sneebler at 8:24 AM on January 28, 2013


The fix for this is "Do you want the blue coat or the green coat to go outside?" Make the choice about which coat, not about coat or no coat. (Oh, thank you, thank you, excellent pre-school instructors for helping this mommy.)

Not one of my three kids ever fell for this trick. Here's what worked for me: "OK, but let's bring the coat along just in case." And then, two minutes later when they say they're cold and need their coat, no "I told you so!" Just say "here you go" and hand it to them.

My oldest has gotten through the whole (admittedly mild) Michigan winter so far in a sweatshirt hoodie. Sometimes you just have to trust them.
posted by not that girl at 8:29 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adults are not 'saying princess words.'
Heaven forbid your describe something as cool. The only adjective allowed is beautiful.
posted by hot_monster at 8:32 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fix for this is "Do you want the blue coat or the green coat to go outside?"

He's quite capable of rejecting both winter coats, and picking one of his stylish but completely inadequate summer jackets ;)

For some reason this makes me grin enormously as I am typing this.
posted by carter at 8:33 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my wife and I have given up convincing my daughter that even a beautiful princess would wear pants and a long sleeve shirt outside instead of a sundress, and just bought her a bunch of thick warm winter dresses. She has been known to wear a dress on top of another dress if she can't decide which one to wear.

I'd also like to thank DJ Lance Rock for teaching her to say that things are totally awesome as she spins in a circle with her eyes closed and her arms stretched out, because it is hilarious.

She's also started describing things she likes as "shiny", but I don't know how to break it to her that there are only 13 episodes of Firefly. Also, I don't know how to swear in Mandarin, not that the cast of Firefly did, either.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:39 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, get your hands finger out of your pants nose, buddy.

Yeah, our list would've included: where 'spinach' could be one of peas, hotdogs, milk, chocolate milk, asparagus, squash, beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, cereal, bananas, bread, crackers, jam, water, pizza, pierogi.

Hell, it could be anything edible.

Because of these moments, my wife and I implemented our "we do not negotiate with terrorists" rule, which was second after "in this family we have the barest trappings of civilization" (which thankfully has been upgraded to "in this family, we have a modicum of civilization").
posted by plinth at 8:41 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


no "I told you so!

This goes against thousands of years of cultural traditions.
posted by elizardbits at 8:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Farts and burps are the most hilarious thing to ever happen to this house.

The need to hide any time someone comes over or down the stairs (we ALL know you're under the kitchen table, because you've been hiding in the same spot for the last 2 years)

They still don't understand how "BOO" works. You can't scare someone when they know exactly where and what you're doing.

And last: NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR BUTTHOLE.
posted by Sweetmag at 8:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I can't tell if your comment is about kids or cats.
posted by elizardbits at 8:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


The fix for this is "Do you want the blue coat or the green coat to go outside?" Make the choice about which coat, not about coat or no coat. (Oh, thank you, thank you, excellent pre-school instructors for helping this mommy.)


My four-year-old now uses this tactic on us. Typical scenario:

"Time to go to bed. Now do you want to wear your dinosaur pajamas or your batman pajamas?"

"NO DADDY. Here's the deal. You can read me a book or you can let me watch you play Mario Galaxy. Those are your choices."

He then crosses his arms and sets his face in this little determined squint.

*sigh* "Sorry my dear, it's much too late for that."

"NO DADDY THESE ARE YOUR CHOICES THAT'S THE DEAL"

*sigh*
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:44 AM on January 28, 2013 [54 favorites]


You can't scare someone when they know exactly where and what you're doing.

Come over to my house sometime and try to cook. I bet my 2-year-old can scare you even when you know exactly where he is and what he's doing, whether it's climbing up on the counter to try to grab the knife out of your hand or using the oven handle as a climbing route to whatever smells good on the stove.
posted by The World Famous at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fix for this is "Do you want the blue coat or the green coat to go outside?" Make the choice about which coat, not about coat or no coat. (Oh, thank you, thank you, excellent pre-school instructors for helping this mommy.)


My four-year-old now uses this tactic on us.


My wife was taught this tactic as a classroom management technique and once or twice I caught her using it on me. I didn't like it, but it was better than the times she tried to make me say "May I please have a..." instead of "Can I get a..." to a bartender.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


You know what I really appreciate about being a parent (besides the drool-covered kisses and random hugs and big smiles when I get home from work or even just come back downstairs or when he built something awesome and incomprehensible out of bristle blocks and is super proud of his "duck")? It has opened my eyes to the fact that that dad/mom in the grocery store with the freaking out kid that s/he's just totally not trying to control and is basically ignoring while they freak out has simply chosen not to fight that particular battle because there are others to be fought and s/he has limited energy to fight them all. I know because that's how I do it.

So next time your nephew refused to eat a hamburger (which he normally loves) because "what's this white stuff in it I don't like white stuff I'm not eating this NO I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!" you should remember that your brother/sister has to live with him and maybe think about not judging too harshly.
posted by that's candlepin at 8:57 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems really inconvenient that you can't just put them in their crates with a squeaky toy and a kong full of kibble and just turn off the lights.
posted by elizardbits at 9:04 AM on January 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

Oh my god this is the funniest thing I have ever read in the history of my having a daughter.

And if you think having kids isn't awesome -- and admittedly sometimes it is the absolute complete opposite of awesome, lots of times in fact, but I'm not going to dwell on that -- wait until they're seven and you can bring them to the grocery store, hand them baskets, and say "okay, you get this and this and this, and you get that and that and that, and the first one back can carry the dog food" and they do it. I grocery shop standing perfectly still now, so if you're ever in Toluca Lake and you see a guy just standing there looking mildly amused while his kids bring him offerings of granola bars and cheddar cheese, you know you're looking at me.
posted by davejay at 9:05 AM on January 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


but oh my god the years of the "my sock feels weird" freak-outs...I just tried to remember that they had huge adult teeth growing out of their skulls, pushing their little baby teeth out, to keep the perspective that being a kid sucks
posted by davejay at 9:06 AM on January 28, 2013


It seems really inconvenient that you can't just put them in their crates with a squeaky toy and a kong full of kibble and just turn off the lights.

Wait a couple more years and that works like a charm, though I'm not sure I would describe my iPhone as a "squeaky toy" or their room as a "crate."
posted by The World Famous at 9:09 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


So next time your nephew refused to eat a hamburger (which he normally loves) because "what's this white stuff in it I don't like white stuff I'm not eating this NO I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!" you should remember that your brother/sister has to live with him and maybe think about not judging too harshly.

Too late. I'm soo judging my brother for his kids.

Luckily he has awesome kids.

Incredibly annoying kids sometimes, but awesome.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:11 AM on January 28, 2013


zamboni: "... scrabble tiles?


CROWN
 O
 Y
 A
 L
"

I think you'll find this scores better and is perfectly legal in the current (degenerate) rules for scrabble:

CROWN
  ROYAL

posted by boo_radley at 9:12 AM on January 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: Choices. Yes, I use this method with my 5 year old son. He's a picky eater so I always him offer him what he IS having for dinner and something that disgusts him. "Do you want chicken or Arugula Salad". It makes him very excited about his chicken. He uses it on me too. This week we were at the dollar store and he found a toy he wanted. "Would you like to buy me 1 set of nunchucks or 2 sets of nunchucks?"
posted by beccaj at 9:13 AM on January 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


My Daughter was an angel who quietly drew on the walls once she was able to walk. She got out of the freak out over pretty much nothing stage fairly young. Yay!
posted by NiteMayr at 9:15 AM on January 28, 2013


1) S/He's not outside.
2) See #1.

(If they're outside, and you can't hear them scream, are they really screaming?)
posted by madajb at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fortunately, amusement and mockery worked on my boy.

Unfortunately, I've seen a reinforcing negative feedback loop where the parents would take the kid's freakouts seriously which made the kid power mad.
posted by whuppy at 9:32 AM on January 28, 2013


One of the key rules of life is that you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

How this applies to parenting is that up to a certain age, kids aren't really reasoning themselves into any position*. Positions spring fully formed from their heads like Athena. If you believe you have successfully reasoned with a three year old, first of all congratulations on your luck and second of all you're delusional. You should hold on to that delusion with both hands, because your luck could run out before snack time for all you know.

It really is the best course of action to find the irrational behavior of children hilarious as often as you can see the humor in it, or you will go bonkers.

*and even after they do acquire some ability to reason, it's pretty touch and go for like, twenty plus years.
posted by padraigin at 9:32 AM on January 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


My daughter's favorite thing to proclaim for ALL meals "It's to spicy". Everything is always to spicy...

I could say the same thing about my 31 year old boyfriend.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:34 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's even sweeter when it's done by a grandchild!

The latest thing. Need shoes. No Mommy, Grandmom do it. Need a snack. No Mommy, Grandmom do it.

But when Grandmom cuts a giant muffin in half, he melts onto the floor like I've denied him food of any kind.
posted by byjingo! at 9:35 AM on January 28, 2013


I think you'll find this scores better and is perfectly legal in the current (degenerate) rules for scrabble:

SOWPODS, but not TWL.
posted by zamboni at 9:37 AM on January 28, 2013


that's ny unbelievable.
posted by boo_radley at 9:40 AM on January 28, 2013


"but there's crisipies in the mac'n' cheese!"

That's a feature not a bug, dude. SHEESH SOME PEOPLES' KIDS
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:50 AM on January 28, 2013


Calvin and Hobbes is not a humorous, touching and philosophical comic strip about a 5-year old and his imaginary tiger friend.

It's a documentary.


Hell, I read it when I was a wee sprog growing up... it's a training manual.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:51 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Positions spring fully formed from their heads like Athena.

This is truth and my four-year-old confirms it. When he says something new I ask him "who taught you that/where did you learn that?" and he invariably says "nobody, I dreamed about it!" which is pretty much his way of saying "I'm just making up shit as I go, maaaan"
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:52 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


It seems really inconvenient that you can't just put them in their crates with a squeaky toy and a kong full of kibble and just turn off the lights.

As the parent of a one year old and a three year old who both currently have 12 hour jet lag, this is what we have resorted to, including a bowl of dry cherrios and a glass of milk left on the floor near their doors.

It's not working
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:00 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


It seems really inconvenient that you can't just put them in their crates with a squeaky toy and a kong full of kibble and just turn off the lights.

This is basically our toddler bedtime routine, and it's working great.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:10 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is basically our toddler bedtime routine, and it's working great.

I'd imagine the hard part is talking your kids into letting you out in the morning.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:22 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


His sleeve is touching his thumb.

I agree with the three year old; this is perhaps the worst, most distressing feeling a human being can experience.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:25 AM on January 28, 2013


octobersurprise: Really, being a toddler must be like being on an ecstasy/coke high twenty-four hours a day.

As this previous post shows us, it's also like being a drunk tourist misbehaving in a bar.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:31 AM on January 28, 2013


1. He found out eggs "come out of chicken's butts" and realized he has eaten many eggs.

2. I was going to eat the same kind of noodle he was eating for dinner, but kids eat curly noodles and adults eat straight noodles so WHY AREN'T YOU EATING PASGHETTI! EAT THE PASGHETTI! (Stomps off to room, does not emerge until he hears Star Wars on TV.)

3. I refused to "talk like a bird" (?) the entire time we were picking up a pizza from the pizzeria.
posted by pineappleheart at 10:32 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mom threw away broken, chipped, cracked, sharp edges, useless yet oh so useful plastic Captain America shield. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by stormpooper at 10:34 AM on January 28, 2013


One of the key rules of life is that you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place. How this applies to parenting is that up to a certain age, kids aren't really reasoning themselves into any position*.

My very reasonable 8-year old had a big unreasonable 3 year old period. For example, he always wanted to go home the long way from daycare, and sometimes got really upset if we went the normal way. A couple of years ago he said, "do you remember when I was 3 and I thought that if we went home the long way, we'd go to a house that was just like our house and had the same toys as our house but was actually different?"

You could have knocked me over with a feather.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 10:41 AM on January 28, 2013 [56 favorites]


NB: They do not use a different recipe for their breading in the morning.
posted by Rock Steady


This may belong in the "Alaska isn't an island" thread, but my brother didn't realize until years later all the kinds of vegetables my parents made up didn't exist, and he'd been eating broccoli and green peppers the whole time.
posted by RobotHero at 10:45 AM on January 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


My most unreasonable childhood behavior was apparently the 18 months or so when I would not eat anything that wasn't either mac & cheese or grilled cheese sammiches cut into triangles, and woe betide the poor fool who cut them in any other way. There was no tantruming or screaming or hysteria involved; instead when faced with something not on my limited menu I would stare angrily (unblinking, for extended periods of time, accompanied by quiet hissing) at the offender in a way that made them really uncomfortable. Occasionally there was biting.

Very little has changed.
posted by elizardbits at 10:49 AM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


my brother didn't realize until years later all the kinds of vegetables my parents made up didn't exist

Asparagus is known in our house as "Dinosaur Grass." Why they'd want to eat grass is beyond me, but hey, dinosaurs.
posted by ambrosia at 10:54 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I was a baby, I used to store chicken in my chubby little cheeks when my parents were feeding me and then spit it back out. Charming.
posted by sweetkid at 11:13 AM on January 28, 2013


One of the key rules of life is that you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

How this applies to parenting is that up to a certain age, kids aren't really reasoning themselves into any position. Positions spring fully formed from their heads like Athena. If you believe you have successfully reasoned with [one of your kids], first of all congratulations on your luck and second of all you're delusional.


I have tweens/teens and this is my new mantra, thanks padraigin
posted by ElGuapo at 11:16 AM on January 28, 2013


> As the parent of a one year old and a three year old who both currently have 12 hour jet lag, this is what we have resorted to, including a bowl of dry cherrios and a glass of milk left on the floor near their doors

You're a doctor. Surely you have access to better stuff than that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:20 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


woe betide the poor fool who cut them in any other way

My kids' favorite meal was invented when the then-3-year-old refused to eat grilled cheese sandwiches under any circumstances and I disappeared into the kitchen and then reappeared having cut them into pieces so small that he no longer recognized them as a grilled cheese sandwich.
posted by The World Famous at 11:21 AM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


How this applies to parenting is that up to a certain age, kids aren't really reasoning themselves into any position.

I think actually they are reasoning themselves into positions from from a kid's point of view, and this pov is inaccessible to you. And you can't use 'adult' reasoning on them.

It's a fairly regular occurrence that I will have an argument with my son and I basically think he is being a 4.5 year old asshat, and then lying awake in bed later that night, I 'get' what he was trying to accomplish.
posted by carter at 11:36 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think most of these have come up in my office with one or more co-workers.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 11:50 AM on January 28, 2013


To be honest, the cat doesn't let us touch his eyeball either so you're not missing out on anything.
posted by arcticseal at 12:02 PM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Asparagus is known in our house as "Dinosaur Grass." Why they'd want to eat grass is beyond me, but hey, dinosaurs.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:05 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


We have two boys, 7 and 3.

The 3-year-old is Very Serious about penises, and has been for some time. To the extent that he has taken to enumerating the number of penises within approximately a 20-foot radius.

Several times a day, we are treated to:

"My penis."
"JT penis."
"Daddy penis."
*long pause*
"Mama NO PENIS."

Until very recently, this also occurred in public. I am here to tell you that there are a lot of people in the world who believe that if your child is loudly declaiming the existence of penises, you have Probably Done Something Wrong. They look at you a certain way.

Informally, it appears that grandmothers are most amused by being told that they have no penis, whereas middle-aged white men seem to be most offended by being pointed out as having a penis.

In addition to the people, the penis-havingness, or lack thereof, of every object within reach is likewise rendered with great thoroughness. We have lately been existentially intrigued by the fact that the following things, apparently at random, have penises, or not: We've decided that this is pretty much why we had kids in the first place, and why 3-year-olds are categorically awesome. It's like living in a Picasso, with rules by Dali.

Also, everything everyone who has a 3-year-old has written in this thread is true. Simultaneously. It's kind of the point of being 3. They are weird, and they contain multitudes, and if any of you have any advice on getting one to actually crap in the toilet, please memail me.
posted by scrump at 12:20 PM on January 28, 2013 [32 favorites]


It's even better scrump if you've taught him about "wagina" too. Then he gets to tell ladies what THEY have in the middle of the supermarket.
posted by emjaybee at 12:32 PM on January 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's even better scrump if you've taught him about "wagina" too. Then he gets to tell ladies what THEY have in the middle of the supermarket.

The way this was phrased it seems like 'scrump' is a synonym for 'fun.' Which is a thing I think should catch on now.
posted by sweetkid at 12:36 PM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


The other day I said to my kid "son, you've disobeyed me after I asked you so nicely not to do that. What do you think we should do about that?"

"Well," he said, "can we put YOU in a timeout this time?"
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:38 PM on January 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


My nephew, 4, and niece, 3, both live with me and the allure that genitalia holds over children is absolutely fascinating to me.

At any moment during the day, in private or in public, we are liable to be regaled about the fact that one or the other of them has a "pena". One evening at bedtime my niece began talking about her pena. When she was corrected, she became completely inconsolable, crying for at least an hour at the loss of her vital organ.

She's quite happy with her "toochie" now.
posted by BrianJ at 12:38 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my friend's daughter went through that phase where she would announce to any even vaguely female-ish stranger of any age YOU HAVE A VAGINA, followed by the smug pronouncement I CAME OUT OF A VAGINA AND SO DID YOU.
posted by elizardbits at 12:38 PM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


As the parent of a one year old and a three year old who both currently have 12 hour jet lag, this is what we have resorted to, including a bowl of dry cherrios and a glass of milk left on the floor near their doors.

I never knew how much cereal my dogs were eating off the floor during my kids' meals until we were traveling and I fed the kids cheerios while waiting for the rental car. When they were done, there was cereal everywhere and I was shocked!
posted by davejay at 12:39 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


also we never used the fake words for body parts, and consequently my very young daughter was the one who taught her preschool teacher the difference between a vulva and a vagina, because her teacher was confused. her teacher didn't believe her until we arrived and were told that our daughter didn't know the right names for those body parts, and we had to say "yes, well, actually..."
posted by davejay at 12:41 PM on January 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


middleclasstool: "you put on Harmy's despecialized edition of Star Wars Episode IV and plop your child down"

See the trick here is the timing. My little tadpole was introduced to Star Wars via Harmy's version, but he got Ep IV first, followed by V and VI, and the only Lego game he knows about is the second one made for Gamecube, which follows the original trilogy. I might let him play Lego Star Wars I at some point, hey, might even let him watch Ep II and III, but not now, and not any time soon.

The repackaged "Complete Series" or whichever games for Wii that had all six episodes in it? Makes it hard to skip Ep I. Thus having the old versions around has saved me so much pain.

We did have an awkward moment yesterday, when we watched Dumbo on Netflix and I had to stop the movie to explain that some people used to lie to their kids about storks, he is right that babies really come from Mommy's tummy, and yes, the birds delivering babies are just pretend. The pink elephants bit confused him but at least it didn't scare him. He didn't ask about the crows so I didn't bother to explain because how do you even explain that.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:41 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The 3-year-old is Very Serious about penises, and has been for some time. To the extent that he has taken to enumerating the number of penises within approximately a 20-foot radius.

As a kid I mixed up the words "ankles" and "testicles." I also liked to announce things, like a lot of kids. This led to a time where I went into a bathroom with my dad, saw a man's feet under a stall door and loudly proclaimed "I CAN SEE THAT MAN'S TESTICLES."

I think that was probably the most embarrassed I had made my parents, although it was really nothing compared to two years later when I saw my first little person and just screamed and pointed in the middle of a discount department store because I had no idea what was going on.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:43 PM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


elizardbits: "Yeah, my friend's daughter went through that phase where she would announce to any even vaguely female-ish stranger of any age YOU HAVE A VAGINA, followed by the smug pronouncement I CAME OUT OF A VAGINA AND SO DID YOU."

Oh man my sister did this to my best friend in elementary school. He has an older brother but no sisters so girls were a total unknown to him. It didn't help that when my sister did this, she marched out into the living room stark effin' naked, shouted out that she had a vagina, then stormed out of the room. He was so embarrassed he didn't know what to do, so he just went home. My mom was laughing so hard. I understand now what was so damn funny.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:45 PM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


The correct preschool teacher response to a student proclaiming in explicit detail their proud ownership of a set of genitalia is, of course, "I hope you've brought enough for everyone!"
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:54 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I officially love this thread.

It is kinda nice to see that MeFi aged with me: I started reading the site before I was married, and I think I never would have even clicked on the link at that stage. Now, not only did I send the link to a half-dozen other parents, but I was strangely happy at how many MeFiers I have "known" have similarly aged kids. And to see a thread with some of the lowest snark factors anywhere.

Anyhow - MeFi Playdate Meetup anyone?
posted by blahblahblah at 1:04 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The BEST thing about kids that age is that they have no idea what double entendres are, nor that they're making them all the time.

While playing Candyland yesterday: "There's Mr. Mint! Everybody likes to eat Mr. Mint! He's minty! There's Mr. Mint's beaver! Everybody likes to lick Mr. Mint's beaver!"

This makes slightly more sense than you'd expect in that in the version of Candyland we have Mr. Mint is in fact depicted standing next to a candy beaver for some reason.

Hours later he announced, apropos of absolutely nothing, "You get more sugar if you lick it." I was unable to disagree.
posted by ook at 1:05 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


And, vegetables for dinner.

Try being a vegetarian. OY.

A couple of years ago he said, "do you remember when I was 3 and I thought that if we went home the long way, we'd go to a house that was just like our house and had the same toys as our house but was actually different?"

This is really what I try to be remember when my 1 y.o. is all "WATER" and then starts bawling inconsolably when I hand her her water bottle.

?!?!?!?!

There is so much that they cannot say, or cannot clarify. My 4 y.o. is a very advanced talker and has been talking in sentences for years, but still there are so many nuances (and idioms, etc.) to language and communication that they are still so frustrated sometimes.

One of the key rules of life is that you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

How this applies to parenting is that up to a certain age, kids aren't really reasoning themselves into any position*. Positions spring fully formed from their heads like Athena.


I don't think this is true. There is always a source for almost every idea they have. You won't be able to figure it out, but it's there. And it's totally rational--by their own worldview. Once you can examine and discuss that particular opinion/belief of theirs and debunk it--you can move on. But good luck with that. I was able to do it with my daughter and her reactions to bedtime and "time-outs" but it took about a year.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:07 PM on January 28, 2013


MetaFilter: marching out into the living room stark effin' naked and shouting out that we have a vagina
posted by scrump at 1:09 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The way this was phrased it seems like 'scrump' is a synonym for 'fun.'
AT LAST MY LONG LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN HAS BORNE FRUIT
posted by scrump at 1:11 PM on January 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm not sure anyone in this thread is arguing the point any more, but I just want to offer this justification for why being a parent is worth it:

That instant when your child has been trying to no avail to "crunch" his chewable vitamin C tablet and finally succeeds and is incandescently happy about it. Being around that kind of joy, heck, even the potential for that kind of joy, makes the world a brighter, happier place to live.
posted by that's candlepin at 1:22 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


> It's even better scrump if you've taught him about "wagina" too. Then he gets to tell ladies what THEY have in the middle of the supermarket

"Supermarket" is an unusual euphemism.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:23 PM on January 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


This is one of the very best threads Metafilter has ever produced.

The Rooster is outside his (second story) window. Watching.
posted by mph


This gave me a thrill of fear strong enough to make my stomach drop. If I can't get to sleep tonight, mph, I'm blaming you.

Oh, so that's not unique to my son. That's a bit of a relief. We've tried and tried explaining that penis time is private time and he seems to understand but the minute his attention goes elsewhere his hands wander right back in there like it was magnetized or something.
posted by ook

his hands wander right back in there like it was magnetized or something.

So, this penis thing, it's important to guys or something?
posted by Melismata

Also, get your hands out of your pants, buddy.

I swear it is like little boys think it is going to fly away if they let it go. My nephews, all of them, from the youngest to the oldest, all did/do this. We are working on teaching them that hands on your penis is for bedroom time, but really, I think they are afraid if they wait until then, it won't be there anymore.
posted by SuzySmith

We have two boys, 7 and 3.

The 3-year-old is Very Serious about penises, and has been for some time. To the extent that he has taken to enumerating the number of penises within approximately a 20-foot radius.

Several times a day, we are treated to:

"My penis."
"JT penis."
"Daddy penis."
*long pause*
"Mama NO PENIS."

Until very recently, this also occurred in public. I am here to tell you that there are a lot of people in the world who believe that if your child is loudly declaiming the existence of penises, you have Probably Done Something Wrong. They look at you a certain way.
...
posted by scrump


Well, the evolutionary significance of penis panic remains obscure, perhaps, but its developmental trajectory is now significantly illuminated.
posted by jamjam at 2:05 PM on January 28, 2013


My now almost 18 year old son used to do the penis survey when he was three, though for some reason he also called his penis a "tone" which we never understood. He also seemed to believe that like himself, all adults had an ongoing pretend game that they had just stepped away from, and so, had a pretend identity already established. So he would routinely and quite seriously ask people "what animal are yoooouuuu in the Lion King?" as though everybody had to be some animal in the Lion King, and was quite indignant with those who refused to play along. It was safer to just answer "a gazelle" but some people like to argue with 3 year olds.

Currently, he doesn't pretend to be anything. And he's stopped asking people about their genitals. He's really no fun anymore.
posted by Biblio at 2:31 PM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ah yes, telling children the true anatomical names for their netherparts, a sure-fire recipe for success and funtimes in public. ...aaaand yet another fun episode, this time from potty-training time:

Son: [examining himself whilst standing in front of the toilet] Look daddy, the pee comes out of my meatball!

Me: [taking on a professorial tone] technically, son, that part right there is the glans of the penis

Son: nope, it's my meatball! [proceeds to pee on every surface that isn't inside the toilet bowl.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:39 PM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I specifically remember when I was a toddler making a connection between the word "penis" and the city of Phoenix and wondering what my parents had against this town I knew really nothing about.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:51 PM on January 28, 2013


Y'all keep these joyous moments in mind when they're surly fucks who won't even grunt back when you remind them of their imminent voice lesson which they then decide to skip out on for Skyping with gaming buddies over LoL, let me tell you I would be delighted to hear him shrieking abt his penis or whatever. It would be the most words since 2009.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:57 PM on January 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


And he's stopped asking people about their genitals. He's really no fun anymore

I imagine an 18 year old boy is very interested in other people's genitals.
He's just not asking around you...
posted by madajb at 3:13 PM on January 28, 2013


davejay: "also we never used the fake words for body parts, and consequently my very young daughter was the one who taught her preschool teacher the difference between a vulva and a vagina, because her teacher was confused. her teacher didn't believe her until we arrived and were told that our daughter didn't know the right names for those body parts, and we had to say "yes, well, actually...""

My kids have learned the proper names for everything, and my son uses them without a problem. But they also learned the word "tushie," which is the one they latched onto. Probably because my in-laws are teaching them Yiddish words. So, my daughter (nearly 5 now,) has established that "tushie" means everything in the general crotch area.

Leading us to confusing, yet thankfully safe-for-public conversations that go like this:

"Daddy, my tushie hurts."
"Where?"
"In the front."
"Okay, when we get home I'll give you some cream and it will make you feel better."

Moments like that are a small victory. You've cleared a parenthood hurdle: successfully navigating a potentially embarrassing public conversation about body parts without having people look at you like you're a perv.

As they did when my son proclaimed, "DADDY MY PENIS IS SO BIG!" in line at the grocery store.

Or when he (at two years old) told a cashier at Target that "I HAVE A WOODY" prompting me to stammer that he meant a Woody doll from Toy Story while she glared at me as if I were the Worst Daddy Ever.

But all of that is only SLIGHTLY less embarrassing than your kids doing this while waiting on line to check out at the supermarket:

My son (pointing): "Daddy, that woman's chest is HUGE."
*Daddy begins to make panicked shushing noises."
My daughter: "Yes, you're right. It's very big."
My son: "Her chest is HUMONGOUS!"
My daughter: "I've never even SEEN a chest that big before!"
My son: "They're called breasts."
*Daddy considers muzzling children*
Me: (sotto voce) "Hey guys, let's talk about something else! Look at that cool Dora balloon! Isn't it awesome?"
My son: "Daddy, her chest looks like TWO balloons"
My daughter: "Daddy, can I have a Dora balloon?"

And yet, I count my blessings that they're no longer walking up to random strangers and proudly showing off their underwear. "Look! It's Batman!"
posted by zarq at 3:16 PM on January 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


This was a really great post! I got a huge kick out of reading everyone's stories all day. It made me feel like my own two crazies aren't alone lol
posted by Sweetmag at 3:40 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yet, I count my blessings that they're no longer walking up to random strangers and proudly showing off their underwear. "Look! It's Batman!"
This is the traditional point in the thread where elizardbits shows up with a comment that starts with "tbh" and ends up silencing us all in awe.
posted by scrump at 4:16 PM on January 28, 2013


yeah thanks no pressure or anything
posted by elizardbits at 4:26 PM on January 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


yea awkward.
posted by sweetkid at 4:38 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


> "I think actually they are reasoning themselves into positions from from a kid's point of view, and this pov is inaccessible to you. And you can't use 'adult' reasoning on them."

Could you please explain this to my father. Throughout the entirety of my childhood, he was convinced that my brother and I were idiots. (I am not exaggerating for effect. He quite literally believed we were idiots.)

One would imagine that, when my brother and I grew up and mysteriously turned out not to be idiots, he would have learned the valuable lesson that everyone had been trying to explain to him for years and years.

He did not, and recently expressed to me his belief that my niece must be some kind of idiot based on her perfectly normal behavior while I tried to explain that "No. She. Is. EIGHT."

Gah.

> "I think you'll find this scores better and is perfectly legal in the current (degenerate) rules for scrabble ..."

Whatever the "official" rules may be, the correct rule is, and always shall be, that it is a word if you can find it in the dictionary - no, not a ridiculous "Scrabble" dictionary, I mean that PERFECTLY NORMAL DICTIONARY SITTING RIGHT OVER THERE THAT ACTUAL PEOPLE USE IN REAL LIFE WHEN THEY WANT TO KNOW IF A WORD IS A WORD.

(Nice thick dictionaries are OK, if you're a literate type and that's what you own, but it must be a real one designed for people who want to look up words in freakin' English. Merriam-Webster, Random House, New Oxford, what have you, all good.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:54 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah thanks no pressure or anything
I am a terrible person, and I am sorry. All the 3-year-old references did something to my self-control.
posted by scrump at 5:43 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


As they did when my son proclaimed, "DADDY MY PENIS IS SO BIG!" in line at the grocery store.

Once upon a time, a girlfriend told me the following story about her childhood: she was a very young girl, and she had a favorite uncle who sometimes took care of her when her mother was working. One day the family is together in a shopping mall, and the uncle is there, and she walks into the group of conversing adults to announce, apropos of nothing: "COCK."

And points to her uncle's crotch.

As you can imagine, there is silence, and her uncle nervously asks her what she had said, and she repeats, in a more demanding tone of voice, with a very specific finger-point: "COCK."

Nervous laughter all around, and the uncle is blushing, but then has a moment of clarity, smiles, reaches in his pants pocket to pull out his pocket watch. He hands it to her, she smiles, points to it, and joyously exclaims: "COCK."
posted by davejay at 5:45 PM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


I have scotch-taped together a nicely crisp piece of bacon. Because it was broken. And OH THE HUMANITY.

Gimme my Mama cred.
posted by clever sheep at 5:45 PM on January 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


I really hope when/if I am a parent I will not go on and about How Special It Is and how others Could Never Understand because man is that annoying.

well, i can tell you that the childless among us can never appreciate how difficult it is keeping a straight, sober face in front of a laughing 3 year old and a shuddering cat who has just been anointed with toothpaste

somehow i managed to be serious and tell my daughter that this was not allowed

somehow, i even managed to wash the toothpaste off the cat - fortunately, the cat hated toothpaste much more than she hated water

by the way, her fur was silky smooth afterwards - perhaps i should contact heloise with my discovery
posted by pyramid termite at 5:50 PM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Kids:

You can't live with 'em, you can't serve their delicately braised and roasted carcasses for Christmas dinner.
posted by item at 5:54 PM on January 28, 2013


I really hope when/if I am a parent I will not go on and about How Special It Is and how others Could Never Understand because man is that annoying.

well, i can tell you that the childless among us can never appreciate how difficult it is keeping a straight, sober face in front of a laughing 3 year old and a shuddering cat who has just been anointed with toothpaste


I liked your story because I like cats and kids but I would have liked it better without the "never appreciate..."
posted by sweetkid at 6:16 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing is that you can appreciate it. Because it's hilarious. You don't have to have kids to think COCK is a funny story, or that zarq's kids are awesome.

I think that maybe what parents are talking about with the "you don't fully get it" is something like this.

It's like when you get the giggles with someone, who, because you love them and trust them, and because you feel safe with them, feed back into your laughter with theirs.

And suddenly you're not just laughing about the funny thing; you're laughing about everything that makes you laugh, and every silly thing you say makes it even funnier.

There is a species of, I don't know, relief that comes from realizing, oh my God, that thing that happened to me where I thought I was the worst parent in the world, that happens to a bunch of other people, too!

Parenting can be terribly, terribly confusing and isolated, even in a room full of kids and parents. You never know for sure if you're doing it right, and you realize at some point you will NEVER know.

So a lot of us exist in this kind of constant state of low-level nerviness that, cripes, am I the only person here who has no idea what the hell they're doing?

And threads like this, where we get to hear, hey, no, you're NOT nuts, kids are weird? And get to tell others the same thing?

It's that same sense of semi-hysterical relief giggles. And that can be really hard to articulate, so sometimes maybe it's easier to just say "you'll get it when you get there", and accidentally be patronizing and dismissive.

I'm sorry if I've made anyone feel that way, because it's not deliberate and this is way too long so thanks, and, uh, COCK.
posted by scrump at 7:12 PM on January 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


And also that being a grownup kinda sucks at times, and it's nice to have a break from SERIOUS BIZNESS with delightful three-year-old whimsy from out of nowhere.

Like you're raking leaves, and they're in a couple of sort-of lines, and Mr 3 points out that you've made a zig-zag, and you ask which bit is the zig, and of course it's THIS one, and THAT one is the zag, and look Daddy, I drive my car on the zig, and now I'm stuck and I'm a leaf, and leafs go in the bin put me in Daddy, only I'm not really a leaf I'm a MONSTER and I want a bikkie. PLEASE Daddy.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 7:37 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I sent this link to my friend who has a three-year-old. She responded by sending me back a picture of her crying son and told me that he was screaming because his "bed was too hot."

I think she sympathizes with you guys.
posted by Aquifer at 8:33 PM on January 28, 2013


scrump: There is a species of, I don't know, relief that comes from realizing, oh my God, that thing that happened to me where I thought I was the worst parent in the world, that happens to a bunch of other people, too!

Parenting can be terribly, terribly confusing and isolated, even in a room full of kids and parents. You never know for sure if you're doing it right, and you realize at some point you will NEVER know.

So a lot of us exist in this kind of constant state of low-level nerviness that, cripes, am I the only person here who has no idea what the hell they're doing?


Oh good god, yes. Hell yes.

Cannot begin to count the number of people who tell me on a regular basis, "I don't know how you manage with twins. I only have one that age and they're more than I can handle." The first few times it happened, my kids were infants and I just sort of stared at the person saying it, slackjawed and thinking, "Are you kidding? I'm not managing. At all. Did you not notice that I look like Keith Richards after a two week bender? I haven't slept more than a handful of hours in *four days*. I look like shit. My daughter is not wearing matching socks. I forgot to comb my son's hair this morning. Are you nuts?" I once responded to a kindly older woman who told me I was "so lucky to have twins" with, "My daughter threw up in my mouth last week." She was shocked.

In my daughter's defense, I shouldn't have picked her up, spun her around six times and then held her up over my face. She turned into an adorable little Mount Vesuvius.

I don't know how other parents look at it, but to me parenting is like being constantly behind on the biggest life project, ever. You never catch up. There's never enough time to do everything, and I'm constantly moving between urgent priorities, trying to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

On top of this... and again I don't know how other parents feel about it, but becoming a parent brought out every one of my deepest insecurities and held them up to a spotlight.

sweetkid: I liked your story because I like cats and kids but I would have liked it better without the "never appreciate..."

Totally understand what you mean.

To expand a little on what scrump said, I think a lot of parents, including myself, feel like we were woefully unprepared to be parents. When we say, "OH YOU HAVE NO IDEA" we're really talking about ourselves. Because we really didn't 'get' what this would involve. The depth of our ignorance is just ridiculous. And there's a lot of nervous insecurity wrapped up there, too.

But yes, of course you can empathize and understand.

My wife was a member of a mothers of twins and higher order multiples club for a while. The couples with triplets were convinced the parents of twins had it easy. The parents of twins felt the same way about parents of singletons. It's not that they're competing. It's that the grass is always greener.
posted by zarq at 8:45 PM on January 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Best thread ever. Thank god the Hurf Durf Butter Breeders people are long gone.

Also, I don't know how to feel about peeing in front of my elder son tonight: "I have a small penis, and Sashi [younger brother] has a small penis, and Daddy has a big penis."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:58 PM on January 28, 2013


In fairness to my son, I have a really enormous penis.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:15 PM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


...that you keep, stuffed, in the trophy cabinet
posted by coriolisdave at 9:17 PM on January 28, 2013


Butter breeders?
posted by thelonius at 3:07 AM on January 29, 2013


My two year old is currently crying because his mouth is full of food. Which he will not swallow.
posted by KathrynT at 7:47 AM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think Slarty Bartfast is trying to say that a lot of the more aggro childfree posters are either gone, or have stopped commenting on threads about cute children, and have been replaced with parents of young children.

Here is my daughter being eaten by a Like-Like.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:41 AM on January 29, 2013


have stopped commenting on threads about cute children, and have been replaced with parents of young children.
Please note the very precise language, here. Before you become a parent, you imagine a Venn intersection that is an enormous swath; a verdant field of joy, as it were.

Then you have kids, and, for the first several years, it is a verdant swath of awesome.

Then you enter the period of what gets called the Terrible Twos or Terrible Threes. These labels are completely inaccurate.

This period is more accurately defined as Your Genetic Legacy, Let Me Show You It.

Everything that you loathe about yourself, your spouse, your family, your spouse's family, yea, unto the generations: it's all going to show up in miniature, with the self-discipline of a methed-up schnauzer and the persistence of toenail fungus.

It is at this point that you watch your Venn diagram change. Suddenly, both circles (cute child) and (young child), are the size of, I don't know, Epcot.

And the overlap is an orange slice.

(This is completely normal and there is no reason to be afraid.)
posted by scrump at 8:57 AM on January 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Butter breeders?

When a bucket and a churn love one another very much certain things happen.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 AM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


My sister has 4 kids, 12, 4, 3, and 1. The three year old is the craziest, wildest, most imaginative kid ever. At Christmas time my sister made a construction paper and crayon fireplace for the wall.

You know, so Santa has somewhere to come in. He's magically, he can turn it to a real one. The 3 year old boy, Coren, would set beside it and act like it was hot, "Ouch, that's so hot."

He accidentally touched it. "Oh, no, Pooh (the kids all call me Aunt Pooh) I'm on fire!" We had to get water and put the "fire" out.

I told him to be careful he didn't rip the fireplace, Santa wouldn't be able to get in.

The four year old, Shawn, looked at me, in his most serious logical way, "Aunt Pooh, He can just come in the door, we have two of them."

Yes, so we have a "everything is magical three year old" and a logical serious four year old, same parents, same upbringing such different children.

Coren also gets overwhelmed at times and hides. Not like normal children where he will giggle and show where he is. Oh, no, he will be silent and melts into the shadows.

One night my sister and her fiance were hunting for him all over. We're talking frantic, where is he, they hunted the yard, the house, everywhere they could think of.

Eventually, they thought to look in the china hutch. He was sound asleep, having crawled in there to escape.

Shawn walked to his mother and told her he was glad she finally found him, he was tired of waiting. And, he knew where Coren had been the whole time. Why didn't he tell his Mom?

"You didn't ask me, Mommy."

Oh, I love kids.
posted by SuzySmith at 9:37 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm not like saying we should have these kinds of threads all the time, but it really is nice to swap war stories with fellow MeFite parents. Y'all are mah peoples, and it's nice to see we share in that whole Genetic Terror Wonderland experience.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:02 AM on January 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Look, I'm not like saying we should have these kinds of threads all the time, but it really is nice to swap war stories with fellow MeFite parents

Seriously. I've discovered that my child is the most well-behaved child in America at this point, and I really should start saving for her college, 'cause, man, has she earned it.
posted by madajb at 10:06 AM on January 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously. I've discovered that my child is the most well-behaved child in America at this point, and I really should start saving for her college, 'cause, man, has she earned it.

I was gonna say the list really didn't make me laugh at all--partially b/c I am incredibly empathetic as well as too sensitive (i.e. I might cry if someone knocked over my tower) and I can feel these toddler's pain even when it's completely ridiculous-but also because my 3 y.o didn't do much of that shit....

Then I remembered that she got a sister a few months before she turned 3, and that pretty much changed everything.

I wonder how many of these neuroses (stitches on socks, etc.) disappear when a sibling shows up.

For now, pretty much all of my now 4 y.o.'s breakdown issues arise from her 18-month-old sister (and most of those around jealousy (toys, attention, sheer malevolence)).

The only other major breakdowns occur when she has something (usu. dangerous) that she refuses to give up and I have to take it from her. I need to find a better way of doing that... also, she was an early talker. I think a lot of these (e.g. He’s hungry, but can’t remember the word “hungry.” or I" picked out the wrong pants.") are resolved by the kids learning how to communicate better.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on January 29, 2013


Everything that you loathe about yourself, your spouse, your family, your spouse's family, yea, unto the generations: it's all going to show up in miniature, with the self-discipline of a methed-up schnauzer and the persistence of toenail fungus.

This is pretty good advice, although day care surely throws a wrench in things (e.g. kids in day care are 50% more likely to be overweight, thanks for the additional guilt, btw...).

But yeah, they learned their freakish behavior from modeling, and it was probably you. My 4 y.o. is flirting with a slight case of selective mutism (does not talk in school), and I've had to address that yeah, that comes from me, let's see how we can make it better for you than it was for me.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on January 29, 2013


I didn't know the seams-on-socks problem was a thing with toddlers, but I feel them. I'm in my fifth decade, and I still have that problem. Socks are stupid, the kids are right.

I don't have kids, so I can't share that way, but I can tell the story of my little sister who became increasingly enraged on a Florida road trip. Eventually we were able to figure out that she really, really, really wanted to know when we would be arriving at her Ami... since everyone else had been talking about when we get to My Ami --> Miami.

And one from my dog (reliable source of cryptic confusion and delight for the childless):

pet me pet me pet me now petme petme okay? petmepetmepetme petmeeeeeeee!!!! NOT ON THE HEAD!!
posted by taz at 12:00 AM on January 30, 2013


> I wonder how many of these neuroses (stitches on socks, etc.) disappear when a sibling shows up

None, in my experience as a parent. You got lucky.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:39 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You got lucky.

Or they are just latent while the 2 explore all the possible ways to tease, taunt, and torture each other. Don't worry. I count no chickens.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:07 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


taz: "I didn't know the seams-on-socks problem was a thing with toddlers, but I feel them. I'm in my fifth decade, and I still have that problem. Socks are stupid, the kids are right."

It's not just the seam. A few children's clothing stores (Children's Place, Old Navy) sell socks with rubberized writing on the soles. The socks look like this, but the writing is raised rubber. So when your kids walk, they'll be less likely to slip and fall on hard wood floors. My kids wanted those soles to be lined up perfectly on their feet. If they were out of place when they put them on, or slipped during the time they were wearing them, they would fuss and complain.
posted by zarq at 11:04 AM on January 30, 2013


Living with a larger-than-average family means a bit of guesswork when you come into a bathroom and find a large-ish turd floating...with no toilet paper in the bowl. Someone is doing a launch-and-leave.

We can eliminate the oldest girl and boy from the list of likely Phantom Crappers. Also, too, the 18-month-old, who is still in diapers. These still leaves five possible suspects. It's a bit like playing Clue.
posted by jquinby at 12:13 PM on January 30, 2013


We can eliminate the oldest girl and boy from the list of likely Phantom Crappers. Also, too, the 18-month-old, who is still in diapers. These still leaves five possible suspects. It's a bit like playing Clue.

Something something Colonel Mus-turd something.
posted by davejay at 9:23 PM on February 8, 2013


« Older Quantum Biology -...  |  The Next Parking Revolution... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments