Like most moms, I have certain phrases I use over and over, to the point that Ellie:
a) is sick of hearing them.
b) can quote them in her sleep.
c) generally ignores them.
d) will someday say to her kids, "My mom used to say . . ."
For instance, I often say "No, ma'am, we are NOT going to act that way," which sounds like such a mom thing to say, doesn't it? I'm also big on "Use your big-girl voice," "Do what Mama says," "Listen to me," and "Do you want to sit in time-out?" Which is, of course, a monumentally stupid question, but for some reason I ask it on a daily basis. And don't forget the ever-popular "No, no. Don't touch."
When she's whining for something she can't have, I've also been known to say "You know what Mick Jagger says," which is code for "You can't always get what you want." I'm sure the kid is thinking "I dunno who this Mick Jagger is, but he's ruining all my fun."
Something else I say often is "Do you hear me?" This invariably gets a vigorous nod, even though I know half the time Ellie hasn't heard a word I've said. And even though I don't generally spank her, I do sometimes swat her on the butt to get her attention if necessary. This has led to another popular phrase, which is "If you (fill in the blank), I'm going to spank your butt." Which she ignores, because she KNOWS it ain't gonna happen.
So last night Ellie was in the bathtub, and decided to wash her own hair. She actually did a pretty good job, and even managed to rinse it herself. When she was finished, she was quite proud of her handiwork. I reached out to wipe some water off her forehead, at which point she looked at me, pointed her little finger in my direction, and said:
"Mama. No touch hair. I pank butt. A-hee me?"
Yeah, kid. I hear you. Loud and clear. *sigh*