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“Don’t make me count to three” and 8 other things I never thought I’d be saying on a daily basis

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Do you ever hear yourself utter a major mom phrase and think, Wait, what?! Who am I? Here are some of the things I’ve caught myself saying lately—the good, the bad and the totally cringe-worthy:

1. “If you don’t _______, I’m gonna ______.” I really wish I could get through the day without threatening my children but I just can’t. That said, I don’t believe in empty threats so the way I get around that is to say things like: “Alex, if you don’t get your shoes on right now I’m going to….be really mad.” (As Nick likes to point out, I’m not the best disciplinarian.)

2. “Date night.” I always hated this term. It seemed so pretentious to me. And a little sad. But now that I actually grasp—and need—the concept, I can appreciate it for what it is: A quick way to say, "I need a meal out without whiny kids where I can have a conversation with my husband that doesn't revolve around kids and does not get interrupted with 'Mom, I have to poop.'" And now the term flows from my mouth like the wine on a date night.

3. “Overstimulated.” My friend who just had a baby said this word to me recently—then apologized for using such a nerdy new-mom term and I was like, dude, I love that word. And until I had kids I had never really heard of it.  A: overstimulation totally happens to babies (and kids) and B: it happens to me and I freaking love using it in sentences. E.g.: “I had back-to-back meetings in the crazy city today and I am just so overstimulated.”

4. "Vaginal." I couldn’t even say the word vagina with a straight face until I was 25 but I have used the word “vaginal” no less than 20 times in the past few weeks. As in, “did you have a C-section or a vaginal birth?” (I’ve been to a lot of baby showers lately so these things come up.)

5. “Play date.” When I was a kid I used to say, “Mom, can Brooke come over to play?” SO much cooler than saying “Mom, can I have a playdate with Brooke?” Ugh. But when I was a kid we also rode bikes to the beach without helmets and played manhunt at night. Times are a changing!

6. "Holy $*)(&#$!(@&$*^%^%(&@(!!” (If you read my last post, you know I’ve already admitted to having a foul mouth from time to time. When I pictured having kids someday did I also fantasize about cursing in front of them? No. But shit happens.)

7. “Don’t make me count to three.” Counting to three could quite possibly be the best parenting tool ever invented. I swear I have never gotten to three without getting exactly what I want from my children. Which is a good thing because I don’t know what happens when I get to three. It’s to the point now where Alex will say, “No, mom, don’t count!”

8. “White noise.” I didn’t even know what this was until my friend Molly burned some onto a disc and gave it to me as part of her baby gift for Alex. Now I use that very same recording in both of my kids’ rooms every night (it’s only two hours, which is why the ipod in Al's room must be set to repeat—learned that one the hard way). It’s one of the things we do as parents that kind of makes us feel like assholes (“did you pack the white noise?” “why isn't the white noise on?" "ugh, the babysitter turned the white noise up way too high") but, well, we’re assholes whose kids have always slept really well so we deal.

Ok, your turn: What words/phrases do you hear yourself saying and think, Wow, I'm that person now.