Santa: The Best Bribery Tool In The Parenting Playbook

, , , , , , | Related | September 20, 2018

(I am behind the bar, out of sight of customers but not out of earshot. A child having dinner with her family is acting up, running about, making lots of noise, etc. I hear this from her family. Note: it’s early August.)

Parent: “If you don’t sit down and behave, Santa won’t visit, and there’ll be no presents!”

Grandma: *gasps* “Did you hear that? No presents!”

(The little girl immediately shut up, and sat down!)

They Didn’t Have THAT Scene In The Babysitter’s Club

, , , , , , , | Right | September 18, 2018

(I am babysitting for two boys, ages two and seven. The two-year-old is still in diapers, and is very wriggly when I try to change his diaper. He even kicks me in the face sometimes. On this particular occasion, he has diarrhea, and it’s a mess. I’m attempting to change his diaper, but he keeps moving and making more of a mess. The seven-year-old comes over.)

Seven-Year-Old: “I can hold his legs for you while you change him.”

Me: “Are you sure? It’s going to smell pretty bad when I fully open the diaper.”

Seven-Year-Old: “I’m sure.” *grabs his brother’s legs* “Whenever you’re ready.”

(I open the younger boy’s diaper. A smell like death fills the room. I try to clean him up and change him quickly, but the older boy and I both are gagging and having to turn away repeatedly. I finally finish changing the boy’s diaper, and he runs off. The older boy and I quickly dispose of the diaper and run into the kitchen to wash our hands and get a breath of air that doesn’t smell deadly. I get an idea.)

Me: “Are you hungry at all?”

Seven-Year-Old: “Yeah, a bit.”

Me: “How about some cookies? I think we deserve them.”

Seven-Year-Old: “Yeah! Thanks!”

(We begin eating cookies when the younger boy comes over and looks at me expectantly.)

Two-Year-Old: “Cookie?”

Seven-Year-Old: “NO! NAUGHTY AND STINKY BOYS DON’T GET COOKIES!”

(I didn’t stop laughing for an hour.)

Unfair Thing To Do At A Fair

, , , , , , | Related | September 13, 2018

(I am seven years old, and a traveling carnival is in town. At this carnival, they give matching stickers to children and parents with their names on them, usually including a simple unique drawing on each in case of repeat names. As a reward for good grades, I am able to go. My mother takes me, but there are conditions she doesn’t mention beforehand. We are exiting the car and approaching the ticket stand.)

Mom: *grabs both of my shoulders and forces me to look at her face* “Remember, you have to say to the nice people that you’re five, or else we are going home.”

Me: *disappointed* “Dad says lying is bad.”

Mom: “Well, I divorced him, and he isn’t here, so do as I say!”

(We arrive at the ticket stand.)

Cashier: *cheery* “Hello, how are you today?”

Mom: *flat and tensely* “One adult, and one child under six.”

Cashier: *somewhat surprised by my mother’s tone, turns to face me* “And how old are you, sweetie?”

Me: *awkward and afraid, totally uncomfortable, or “shy” as some people call it* “Five.”

Cashier: “Great! What’s your name so I can write it on your tag?”

Me: *so nervous I can only hear my heart pounding in my ears, and I regret wanting to come here in the first place* “Five.”

Cashier: *blinks* “Well, all right, then. One moment!”

(She wrote up the parent and child tags, each saying that “Five” was my name, and a quick drawing of a pine tree. Probably because I was scared stiff? I didn’t end up having much fun because I was so scared I was going to get arrested for lying about my age.)

Let’s Dive Right Past This One, Shall We?

, , , , , | Learning | September 12, 2018

(I teach older kids who can already swim, but who want to improve their swimming. I usually have mixed groups, where the oldest are eighteen years old and the youngest eight. I also teach a brother and sister, ten and fourteen years old respectively. One day, only the boy shows up. The group has gathered for roll call.)

Boy: “[Sister] is not coming. She told me I had to say she was sick. But she’s not really sick. She is MEN-STRU-A-TING.”

(The group snickers, but the boy doesn’t understand why.)

Me: “Yeah, that’s understandable, and completely normal. Also, [Boy], I don’t think your sister would have wanted the whole group to know that.”

Boy: “Why not?”

A Self-Sustaining Meal

, , , , | Learning | September 11, 2018

(Lunch is over in our toddler classroom, and we are putting the kids down for nap time. It’s fairly dark with the lights off, and my co-teacher and I are sitting on the floor patting the backs of toddlers. My co-teacher looks around me.)

Co-Teacher: “Hey, what is [Child] eating?”

(This child’s nap time mat is near the lunch table, and he will sometimes eat off the floor if we miss something during clean-up. I turn to look at him. He takes his fingers out of his mouth, gets a refill, then puts his fingers back in his mouth.)

Me: “Boogers.”

Co-Teacher: “Gee… Glad I asked.”

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