Being a mom is often like being the White House Press Secretary. Both jobs require spending a lot of time fielding questions and/or requests, then figuring out how to snow your public by massaging the truth a bit.
Fortunately, the creative spin that a mom does on a daily basis isn't as dangerous as that of the White House. No, moms don't sit around conference tables coming up with ridiculous phrases like WMD's on a regular basis.
I've noticed that the type of propaganda I push on my kid has to do with temporal markers, such as:
1. When I say "LATER", I really mean "I'm hoping you'll just forget your request, or find a toy to distract you."
2. "MAYBE" actually translates to "NEVER".
3. Saying "SOON" means "Bug your father about that when he gets home."
4. In the bathroom, I say, "I NEED A MINUTE." Translation: "I need an hour…a day…a week, maybe. A minute will suffice."
5. "HOLD ON" is shorthand for "Take it down a notch, if you want me to handle your request in a timely fashion."
6. When we're in the car and I say, "FIVE MINUTES until we're there", I know Claire actually hears "ETERNITY". I'm just hoping that my "FIVE MINUTES" will buy me another FIVE MINUTES before she loses it again.
7. It's truly dire, when I say "ALMOST THERE!" in the car. The toddler translation is "Get me out of this car NOW!" Mama's thinking "Get me the F@#K out of this car NOW!"
8. Toddlers can get in on the action too, though…when I say, "NEVER touch that electrical outlet", I really mean "NEVER". My daughter thinks that "NEVER" is a suggestion to "Wait until mom's not watching."
We often perceive time the same way, though. When we say, "I LOVE YOU", we both know that we mean "ALWAYS and FOREVER".
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