My two favorite things about living in a two-story house are:

1)      We can have company over till the wee hours of the morning and we can be noisy without worrying about waking the kids. 

2)      When the kids are driving me nuts, I can send them upstairs to play.

There is a caveat with that second one there, which is that I can’t keep a literal eye on them like I can when they’re downstairs. But I have the super-hero ability that all moms have, and that is the ability to hear a car-door slam in the neighbor’s driveway, even with all the windows closed. In other words: I have Super Hearing.
Every parent knows that when it gets “too quiet,” you have to go check to make sure no one’s dead, dying, glued to something or otherwise incapacitated.
But then there are the out-loud phrases that, when uttered by a child who is out of sight, send chills down a mother’s spine and fill her heart with dread. Here are a few, taken directly from the mouths of my children:  
1)      “Fine then. I’m gonna tell mom!”

Because it means they’re coming back downstairs to bother me about something so monumentally idiotic that I’m sure I’ve fallen asleep folding laundry and I’m just having a crazy dream. For example, when my son came downstairs yesterday all righteous and indignant, whining in the most irritating voice ever heard on the planet Earth, “It’s not fair that Mar gets to play Princess Luna when it’s daytime because obviously Princess Luna is the Princess of Night, and she’s supposed to be sleeping during the day!”

Pre-children, if someone had warned me that I would be refereeing My Little Pony disputes I would have punched them in the face for spewing such nonsense. On the bright side, can I get a high five for not submitting to gender stereotypes?    

2)      “Ooooooo, when mom finds out, you’re gonna be in trouble.”

Oh sweet baby cheeses, when mom finds out what? I wish I had a How-Bad-Is-It meter, so that I could adjust my consternation to the appropriate level. That phrase is just too vague to gauge my reaction. It could mean anything from someone knocking over someone else’s Lego tower to someone putting a giant gash in the furniture. The not knowing is the hardest part!  

3)      “Quick! Let’s wash it before mom sees.”

It’s too late kids; we all know that whatever it is, it’s not gonna come out. Well, maybe after an hour with the steam-cleaner, like that one time with the paper and the leaky pen on the white carpet. HOW does a kid not notice that the pen has long ago ripped through the paper and they are now scribbling through a raggedy hole in the paper directly onto the white carpet? And how do they justify this scenario in their minds?

When I first saw the giant black stain, I threw my hands up in surrender, cried, and whimperingly asked the Hubs if now might not be the time to call the wood-flooring company and get a quote on those Brazilian Cherry floors. It is thanks to an hour of Hubs’ time that you can hardly see the stain now!

"Oh no he did NOT just say what I think he said."
“Oh no he did NOT just say what I think he said.”


4)      “Great! Now it’s broken.”

Just throw it out, kids. Don’t even tell me what it was. I once lived out of a single suitcase in Italy for five weeks and laundered my clothes in a sink. I’m sure whatever it is that’s broken, I can live without it.

5)      “Is it dead?”

Again, unless it’s the dog, just put in the trash; I don’t want to know.

6)      “Uh-oh. It’s about to overflow!”

This is definitely NOT a situation where I don’t want to know. My son, with his giant super-human shits, clogs the toilet at least once per week. And when I hear these words, I immediately possess two additional super-powers: Super-speed, and the ability to fly. My feet don’t even touch the stairs once I’ve retrieved the plunger from the downstairs bathroom at light-speed. One second I’m sitting at the computer writing a blog, and the next second I’m splashing poop-water on my ankles. Better than a poop-flood all over the floor though, am I right? And then I take a nice relaxing bath in a vat of bleach.

7)      CRASH!!!!!

Okay, no words in that one, but it still sends chills down my spine, and I don’t think we need any more elaboration than that, do we?

What do you hear your kids say that sends chills down your spine?


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  1. Karen flint

    Great blog!! I was Laughing so hard I had tears. It’s just so true, so honest because we know if you are a mom, you have most likely experienced one or more on the list.

  2. So Funny! Here’s one…When I hear the bathroom sink running for longer than it should and I yell, “what are you doing in there?” and he replies, “don’t worry, it’s almost clean.” What? Who?….AAHHH WHY?…Why me!? Boys are so fun!

  3. “I didn’t touch it!” – YES you did!
    “Mommy’s going to spank your butt!” – for the record here… I very rarely employ that method of parenting. It wouldn’t work so well if I did.
    *whispers*…”Don’t tell mommy. She will be super mad.” – The one saying it DID IT.
    “I didn’t mean it.” – this one usually contains tears in the words making it difficult for me to scold.
    Damn kids have me wrapped around their tiny fingers.

  4. Any type of screaming or screeching. I automatically think someone is hurt. Usually just screwing around though! Enough to give me a heart attack.

    • Awww, you’re so kind and loving. If my kids are screaming or screeching I generally assume they are just being a-holes. =)

  5. Tania Goddard

    When my three year old walks in my bedroom and flashes me a smile and sweetly states “mommaI love you, don’t get mad ok.” I look at her wondering what on earth could she have possibly done now. Then she pauses for a second and says “I spilled.” I grab a towel and head to the kitchen expecting to find an over turned cup of milk, instead I find that she washed her hands in the egg yolks to her sunny side up eggs and slathered it all over the table and chair, up her arms and clothes as well as her hair.

  6. I had put my son to bed for a nap. Put a movie on, and he normally falls asleep. Thinking that he was asleep, I started catching up on my DVR shows. An hr later, he sheepishly peaks his head around the corner, whispers “hi, mommy” and ducks back into my bedroom. I call him back out…..He is covered in a white goo. I quickly jump and go look. That said goo was all over him, my bed, pillows, EVERYWHERE!!!! It was my tub of coco butter. Fml!!!

    • Oh man… yeah when they’re supposed to be sleeping… is when a parent is at her most vulnerable. *shudder*

  7. along with CRASH is THUD. like something (or more frequently here) someONE hit the floor. I cringe. but my favorite thing ever is when you hear crash or thud immediately followed by “I’M ALL RIGHT!” Pretty sure it’s one of the first phrases my toddler strung together.

  8. Judith Hughes Hunt

    When my adult kids in California call and say “First of all, everybody is okay…”

  9. Jill Lillis

    My “favorite” was the blood-curdling scream, guaranteed to instantly flood your body with a mind-altering jolt of adrenalin so powerful that time ceases to exist and you seemingly teleport yourself to the source of the scream. A scream that should only be released if say, your child had been set on fire. A scream that was always the reaction of a thwarted or teased little sister whose miniscule rage was now being pathetically vented on her hysterically laughing older brothers while you stand panting and disoriented in the doorway. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.