Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I know scary two-word phrases

I know scary two-word phrases
1 October 2013

I know scary two-word phrases.  And I’m not afraid to use them.

In fact, I find that they are super-efficient in browbeating my kids into submission.  To get them to do my bidding and be obedient most times. 

No need for physical violence to get them to toe the line.  No corporal punishment required.  No stick.  Nor rod.  Or whip.  No raised voice either.

My handy arsenal has no physical weapon.  Instead I unleash scary two-word phrases on them.

And truth be told – it really works like a charm.  It can make them go pale.  And scurry along.  Moving with haste and with pace, lest I unleash yet another.

And surprisingly enough, my verbal weapons cache is rather rich.  Filled to the brim with fear-inducing words.  Who would’ve thought, that is all it would take?

When whinging about schooling and teachers and homework, all I do is say, “HOME SCHOOLING”.  It truly has a wonderful effect.  Books are opened, intellect is applied and the whining miraculously stops too.  I’m surmising that the thought of me teaching them fills them with equal portions of horror and fear.  They’d never escape me.  School might not be all that, but at least it offers a safe haven of sorts.  In addition, the “HOME SCHOOLING” threat is also applied for many other misdemeanours too.  Not behaving at school?  Don’t like wearing a uniform?  Hate getting up early for school in the mornings?  I just “delight” them with wonderful tales of “exciting” excursions to the shops, and the Post Office, the bank and the municipality.  All in the name of education of course.  Is it really any wonder that it is predictably, one of my very favourite two-word phrases?

However, it is not all that I have hidden up my sleeve.  Perish the thought.  I also utter a few other gems on occasion.  And to name but a few, there is “COMPUTER PRIVILEGES”, “TV TIME”, “PHONE CONFISCATION”, “NO PLAYDATES”, “NO FRIENDS”, “CHORE DUTIES”, “BED TIME”, "TIDY BEDROOM", etc.  And each of these, induce their own unique level of fear.  Few things are more precious to the child of today, than the computer, the TV, their cell phones and their friends.  And the threat of increasing their chores, makes them shiver and shake.  Most especially, when I deem that their chore duty is “TURD PATROL”.  Yet another charming two-word phrase.  Or should I say threat?  Aaahhh, the joys of owning pets.

And do give me my due.  I try to be original.  To shake things up and keep them fresh.  Rather than adding the word “NO” to every two-word phrase, I aim to be inventive and tend to make things up as I go.  Creativity flows wonderfully at times, I must say.  When my buttons have been pushed to the limits, all it takes is for me to say, “DARK SIDE”, and they completely understand.  The phrase, “VEGGIE STIRFRY”, also works wonders, I’ll have you know.

I like to save the potent and powerful ones for really special occasions.  When I need to impress them with the level of my ire.  Then, I haul out the big verbal cheese.  All it takes is the phrase, “FAMILY MEETING”, to make them moan and groan.  They pretty much know they’re done for then.  As the term, “FAMILY MEETING” usually means I’ll haul out a few other two-phrase words and nuke them in my path.

And thanks to the effectiveness of the two-word phrases on my kids, I’ve thought that I should try some out on my husband too.  To see exactly how powerful I am.  Because what is the point in having a great weapon, if you don’t get to use it on those you love most?

And all I can say, is that it is an unmitigated success.  The phrase, “I’M LATE”, is enough to make him go as white as a sheet.  To back down into the nearest chair, with his hands in his hair.  And so clearly the thought of another baby, would not go down well.

Then there’s a two-word phrase that has been worked into a question, “BIG BUM?”.  Cause let’s face it.  This is not a win-win for a husband at all.  What is the correct answer?  Honesty over self-preservation?

Additionally, before breaking really bad news, I’ve been known to tell him, “STAY CALM”.  I think he most likely hates this one the most.  He knows it heralds the announcement of something really bad.  My idea of cushioning any blow, tends to have the opposite effect.  Cause invariably, it means that the kids have been up to something.  Or me.  Something’s broken or gone very bad.

Another two-word phrase that fills him with cautious and weary dread, is “PRE-MENSTRUAL”.  Though quite naturally, I’m a firm believer that I’m not a sufferer at all.  It is but a mere coincidence that he is particularly annoying and irritating round about the same time each month.  And if that happens to coincide with my cycle, it is just one of life’s great little ironies.  Purely accidental, I tell you.

On the other hand, when he’s annoyed me, I have been known to use two-word phrases to scare him.  To bend him to my will.  When it comes to meal times, I simply say, “YUMMY SOUP”.  Not his best treat.  Occasionally, it even leads to an offer of take-out.  What a most wonderful outcome for me.

And so mothers around me, I urge you:  Do invest in a handy verbal arsenal of your own.  Start stockpiling two-word phrases.  Add on it all the time.  See it as a work in progress.  Only you will know what works best for your family.  Open up a little folder in your head if you like. 

Mine is called, “CODE RED”.

And it’s big.

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  1. You are too clever!!
    I really enjoyed this!!

  2. Superb!! A very good read!! Thanks Helene! Love the way I start my days with your blog!