“Did You Use Soap?” and Other Crazy Things I Say As a Parent


Parenting brings with it an entirely new way of using the English language. It doesn’t matter how well educated you are or how extensive a vocabulary you boast; the things that come out of the mouths of parents to children are sometimes straight up…I’m not even sure of the word. Incredible? Ridiculous? Nonsensical? 


Let me give you a few examples. 

Earlier this week, I asked my six-year-old daughter to go out back and grab a few tomatoes from the garden. As I looked up a few minutes later, I heard myself say, “Put down your purse and you’ll be able to grab more tomatoes.” Just read that sentence again. Have you ever used the words “purse” and “tomato” in the same thought? 

How ’bout this one: As we were sitting down for dinner the other night, I noticed we were short one fork. Then I saw it. Turning to my three-year-old, I said,”Get the fork out from under your armpit.” Again, a new combination of words I didn’t know could hold real estate in the same sentence. But there’s plenty more. “Have you really been sleeping with all of these Legos in your pillow case?” “Is that pee in the bathroom sink?” “No, you can’t sell our used paper plates to the neighbors.”

But it’s not just me. My husband got a good one in this morning with, “Stop wiping your feet on mom’s desk.” We both just looked at each other after the words came out. Parenting makes you sound like a crazy person

Sometimes the craziness is less about the combination of words and more about the concept behind them. The fact that I have to ask my children if they used soap while taking a shower, for example. Now, using the words “soap” and “shower” in a sentence seems perfectly ordinary. Expected, even. What feels insane is having to construct a question to see if while in the shower, they actually made contact with a cleaning agent at some point. 

I’ve actually started to carry around a notebook where I can record for posterity the bazaar assortment of words that escape my mouth daily. I’m thinking of turning the collection into a calendar or something to give my kids as a gift when they become parents. Better yet, I’ll keep the calendar for myself and just hand them a new notebook!

What sort of crazy things have you said while parenting that you never thought you would?

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Amber is wife to her elementary school crush and mother to three kiddos, ages 10, 7, and 4. Having recently moved to Portland from California, Amber is embracing her “new normal” as she navigates parks in the rain (bring a towel), the line outside Pip’s Donuts (it’s worth it), and where to find good Mexican food (still searching). As bio mom to her two oldest and adoptive mom to her youngest, special needs child, Amber understands and appreciates the importance of “mommy-time." Amber is also a grad student and soon-to-be Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapist. She shares the highlights and gems of what she's learning on her Instagram: @learnandliveproject.