People are often known for the things they say. Quote books are still ever so popular and pinterest is just filled with endless inspirational and funny sayings.
Well I think I’m known for saying 3 things quite often:
Life is good.
I don’t have to be perfect to have something to offer.
You are your choices. That’s a good choice or a poor choice.
I took a parenting class when Rebecca was 6 months old. I was a single parent and was desperate to be the best mom I could be. In this class, I remember the teacher saying, “Now listen here ladies! Your kids are not bad or good. Their choices are.”
It really stuck with me. So I have always told my kids that when they make a poor choice – that I’m not happy with their choice, but I love them regardless.
So my kids would always ask, “Is that a poor choice?” or tattle on each other by saying, “Mom, Ben made a poor choice!”
To put the following story into context, I’ll need to give you a little background.
My grandfather was a Southern Baptist Minister. My mom was the oldest of 3 children and was the good, never strayed, pastor’s daughter. My mom was straight as an arrow and remains that way to this day. She never cursed or used ANY proper anatomical terms. It was just my sister and I, so she was spared from discussing boy parts with us very often. To this day, she still refers to our parts as muffins or doodlebugs and states that boys have wingy wangies (is there a proper spelling for that?)
I swore to myself that when I had children I would use proper anatomical terms.
Later in life, I had 3 children, ages 3, 4, and 7. Our only son Ben, was sandwiched in the middle. The day inevitably came when Emily noticed that Ben looked different than her in the bathtub. When she asked for an explanation, I plainly told Emily and Ben that we are made different and unique, just how God planned it. I then told them exactly what they were called.
Well Emily became beyond obsessed with the terms. She must have said, “Ben has a penis and I have a vagina,” at least 1,000 times. Soon, it became over the top. If Ben would play ball and it would hit her leg, she would scream, “Mom, Ben threw the ball and almost hit my vagina.”
The final straw was at the park when she screamed it once more and every adult’s head turned and then looked at me. The time came for the talk…
“Emily, it is now a poor choice to use the words penis or vagina, unless it is to Daddy, Mommy, or your doctor. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Mom. So vagina is a poor choice?”
“Yes, Emily. Vagina is a poor choice.”
About 2 weeks passed and we were in our local Safeway. Our checkout guy, Bob, was really friendly and he always helped me unload my cart when I was sick the year prior.In front of us, was this 50 y/o ish man who had just finished buying several bottles of wine. Ben was outside the cart unloading groceries and standing right next to the man. Emily was in the cart and unloading the fruit, her favorite thing to do at that time.
All of a sudden, the man walks away and notices something is not right on his receipt. Bob had already started scanning my groceries. The man yells “Hey, you charged me wrong. This was supposed to be, $7 per bottle, not $11.” Bob takes a look at the receipt and politely says, “No, it is correct. If you will wait just a few minutes, I’ll take you back to see the $7 bottles.”
The man slams his checkbook down on the conveyor belt and screams, “God dammit, fix it now!”
And before Bob could say a word, Ben taps the man on the back and states “God dammit is a poor choice!” And without missing a step, Emily exclaims, “Vagina is a poor choice too!”
At this point all color from my face had been depleted and I’m looking for the nearest cart that I can hide behind. The man picks up his checkbook and walks away. Bob looks at my kids and says, “Thanks kids. Each of you can pick out your own free candy. It’s on me!”
And that only illustrates to me that children do listen to everything we say. Sometimes literally.
Disclaimer: I normally don’t write about penises and/or vaginas. I’ll probably get a few interesting followers on twitter as a result. Also just typing exactly what was said. Not a fan of writing profanity personally :)
I would love to know what you are known for saying! Please share.