Help! I am facing a vocabulary crisis! My repertoire of words and phrases has diminished significantly since becoming a parent. My short list includes the following (with short description of when they are usually employed):
No! Used most often when babies and toddlers reach out to touch potentially hazardous stuff. Also, when caught in an act of disobedience of defiance. And we wonder why children always reply in the same way when we ask them to do things.
Wait! Hey, there’s only one of me, and I only have two hands! Used when pulled in 10 different directions and replying to numerous requests usually made all at the same time. Especially emphasised when I am busy at work.
Quick! So many things to do and so little time. Definitely, no time to waste at all. Used when the children and everything around me appears to move in extreme slow motion. Sounds best in groups of three … “Quick! Quick! Quick!” Said quickly, of course.
Hurry up! A variation of “Quick!” but with more exasperation and gusto. Especially when someone or something else is waiting in line for my attention.
Stop it! Most effective in breaking up fights, stopping arguments or terminating any activity deemed undesirable (according to me). Could be used politely as a request although there is a strong tendency for it to be ignored. Or emphatically with a big frown across eye brows … recommended.
Pleeeeeze! When all else fails, when I’ve run out of words and energy, when I’m that close to giving up. A cry of desperation and of surrender. Accompanied by a throw of arms in the air, followed by a dropping of shoulders.
Yep. I’ve used the above repeatedly with my six children. No prizes for guessing if our most recent arrival will learn these words quickly too.