by Erma Bombeck
Another mothering tool used universally is "motherese." It's a language
unto its own, spoken and passed down from one mother to another. There
are hundreds of phrases, oldies but goodies, that will get a mother
through the first eighteen years of a child's life.
Consider these examples:
This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you.
I'm doing this because I love you.
Don't talk with food in your mouth. Answer me!
Never mind, I'll do it myself.
I'm not going to speak to you again.
Children should be seen and not heard.
I'll give you something to cry about.
Keep your hands where they're supposed to be.
Why don't you grow up?
When are you going to act your age?
I'll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one.
You'll always be Mama's baby.
I'm going to send all that food you left on your plate to all the
Do you want mommy to leave the house and never come back?
You're going to drive me to an early grave.
That's what you get for not listening.
Just wait till you have children of your own!
Wait till your father gets home!
That does it. I'm sending you to your room!
Where did I fail?
What's a mother for but to suffer?
What am I? Your maid?
Fool me once, shame on me--fool me twice, I'll kill you.
If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?
If you fall off that swing and break a leg, don't come running to me.