Yup, I Did That: 10 Not-So-Nice-Mommy Moves


By Estelle Erasmus

I hate to say it but I have done or said all of these to my daughter when she was younger.

"Mommy, Why Can't I Wear This Dress/Wand Combo to School?"
“Mommy, Why Can’t I Wear This Dress/Wand Combo to School?”

1) Hidden the outfits I don’t want her to wear on the top rung of her closet. Pulease, there is no reason for her to wear her Princess dress/wand set to school.  And barefoot. In February. Or the see-through blouse that long ago lost its sister tank top. And although she immediately rushes home IN THE WINTER, to put on her bathing suit IN THE WINTER, somehow its never quite around when she’s getting dressed in the morning.

2) Taken a bowl of grapes with me into the bathroom so I could eat them in peace (actually I did this today). Substitute chocolate bars, cookies, chips, for grapes for when I’m not on a diet. It all works if you ignore the continuous pounding on the bathroom door, till I’ve finished eating (running water helps to mask the sound of me chewing), and the crumbs are swept or flushed away. Delicious. Wish I could eat all my meals in such a zen state.

3) Announced that Chuck E. Cheese is closed for renovation over the weekend. In fact, it was closed the entire month of December. Sad horns.

4) Every time  I go out to my book, cooking club or a night out with friends, I tell her “mommy has a grown-up play date.” It seems to make sense to her, although probably the correct term should be “mommy is going to a child-free time, and drink some wine play date.” Eh, semantics.

5) Tell her that she can chew gum when she gets older. After hearing this repeated a few times, gum became her holy grail. Well,  I can now cross that off my list. Yesterday, I enjoyed a moment of quiet a bit too long. Felt guilty, went searching for her, and found her nose-deep in my handbag, with my favorite frosted lipstick smeared around her mouth. I saw the wrappers and didn’t need a crystal ball to tell me the truth. Gum. She had found her “precious”. She spit three thoroughly chewed up pieces of gum into my hand and brightly announced, “mommy, I chewed up the gum.” Game over.

6) While she’s in school randomly go through her room and sweep out toys that she doesn’t use or can’t use (or I hate or make tons of useless noise); I’m talking to you box that slinky came in, and Dora “guitar” and I use the term loosely. Good riddance.

7) Got her shoes with little heels on them (I was thinking more fashion-forward Suri Cruise, instead we get the clip-clop effect of Mr. Ed) as she clunks down the hall. At least it’s like a homing device.

8) Told her the pool closed early during the heat wave last year because I couldn’t bear another minute of hearing “I have to go potty.”

9) I never cut up her food into little bites. Never. Not once.  What I did do is spend lots of time teaching her how to chew her food. I also spent hours teaching her to roll over, too, but that’s another story. I wasn’t an adjunct professor at NYU for nothing you know.

10) Told her that the pacifier (aka binky) she was still sleeping with when she turned three years old was the last binky ever– that they didn’t make them anymore and that when it broke or wore out, we would be unable to replace it. Well, she bought it. It broke (ok, I helped it along by poking holes in it). And Ta Da No. More. Binky.

Yup, the binky had to go.
Yup, the binky had to go.

Hey, don’t judge me. You know you’ve done stuff like that. What have you done or said to your children that was sort of wrong, but felt so right?


17 thoughts on “Yup, I Did That: 10 Not-So-Nice-Mommy Moves”

  1. Getting by without overtly lying to kids, who I keep admonishing to always tell the truth, but yeah, hiding somewhere is difficult and eating in the bathroom is so much more comfortable since I put a comfy chair in there 😉

  2. Well, I remember when my child would not get up off of that binky & I told her the factory burned down & they don’t make them anymore. She cried for a short while, but then a few weeks later we were in the store, and she saw some & she said, “Mommy, they’re making binkies again”! I told her so, you’re a big girl now anyway you don’t need one! Wouldn’t you like a toy instead & she never asked for one again! hehehe One more… I remember telling my kids that the liver and onions/bacon was breaded steak (I breaded the liver trying to make them eat it), and my son said, “Mommy, this steak tastes funny”! I said oh be quiet you like steak . Then told him to dip it in his salad dressing & all was good! LOL Have a great weekend. That was fun!

  3. Coming to you from Finding the Funny. My confession: I sometimes hide Reeses Cups in the back of the freezer so the kids won’t find them. And to get them to behave in restaurants I used to tell them that the manager was on his way over, and that he was probably going to ask us to leave. Worked every time.

  4. All of us have done this. it is funny seeing it written here. You are so down to earth. I wish we were neighbors.

    1. Ah, me too Laura. As long as you are the kind of neighbor who doesn’t mind a screaming, toy-throwing visitor from time to time. And, um, I’m talking about me.

  5. I’m pretty sure I’ve used each and every one of those excuses, too. The one that comes immediately to mind is the annoying horse out in front of one of the grocery stores – she always wanted to ride it, but it always scared her the minute it started up and she’d want off of it immediately – but always wanted to ride it again every time we went to that store. I didn’t like wasting quarters for a 2-second ride, so I started telling her it was out of order. Luckily there really was an ‘out of order’ sign on it at a later date when she was able to read. 😉

    1. Hi Stacy,
      Love this Princess Nagger story. I have to remember the out-of-order trick for future annoying “rides” at the mall.

  6. Over 2 decades of mothering, I’ve probably done almost all of these. When we would go to the grocery store and my kids would spot the other cart corralled kids eating the free cookies from the bakery dept., (and of course want one too) I would tell them that it was that childs birthday, and they only hand out free cookies on birthdays. I’ve also hidden many, many “annoys the crap out of mom” toys, clothes, musical instruments. My husband and I have both also been guilty of rushing through a book or two on nights when we just couldn’t take parenting another minute, but the kids needed their bedtime stories. Nice to know that they make it through (almost) unscathed by our devious behavior 🙂

    1. Paula,
      Right on. I skip whole paragraphs sometimes when reading books to her at night. Love the cookie caper; I’ll have to use that.

  7. LOL! I’m not afraid to tell people the bathroom is my office, aka Gibbs.

    Personally, gum drives me nuts. My dd6 has gotten it in her hair a number of times. So has ds4. I don’t buy gum. Dh, on the other hand, never listens to me and always buys them gum. Of course, I’m the one that ends up cleaning up the gum.

    1. Hi Barb,
      Love the bathroom is my office quip.
      Agreed. Gum is the plague.
      Thanks for visiting.

  8. Love the list!! My husband ALWAYS asks “what are you doing in the bathroom” I refuse to tell the truth and say “HIDING FROM ALL OF YOU” instead I tell him to leave me alone

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Good answer. If you can’t be alone in the bathroom, where can you be alone? That includes hubby too.

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