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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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The Parent-To-Kid Dictionary

I used to be convinced that my kids just flat out didn't listen to me.

I'd say stuff that had no impact whatsoever on their behavior, or - worse yet - they'd do the exact opposite of what I'd asked them to do.

But then I realized the situation is far less sinister than all that. They're listening to me, they just speak a different language. And since few adults still speak Kid fluently, due mostly to the fact that the roots of Kid language are deeply embedded in nonsense, gobbledygook, and idiot talk, often our kids' responses don't seem to make sense.

That's why I'm here - to clarify why our children appear to be ignoring us and defying our wishes, with a breakdown of what you say, versus what they hear when it's translated to Kid.



Parent says: Dress warm - it's cold out!
Kid hears: This would be the perfect day for you to wear a tutu and some legwarmers pulled up to your knees.



Parent says: Stop pouting about walking to school in the rain.
Kid hears: If you keep pouting, a limousine will fly down from the sky and take you to the Video Game Planet, where all they eat is cake and buttery popcorn and nobody ever has to go to school or walk anywhere, which I never told you about before because I'm mean.



Parent says: Let's go, we're late!
Kid hears: Go in your room, change your shirt, start looking for a toy or book you'd like to bring along, find a piece of gum under your bed, chew it, get gum stuck in your hair, stab your sibling with a pencil, and wait for me to yell for you again.

Parent says: Don't get too far ahead.
Kid hears: Call me from Timbuktu when you get there.



Parent says: I'm going to check in a minute to make sure your room's clean.
Kid hears: Keep playing with your toys, then shove everything under the bed when you hear me coming.

Parent says: I want to get a nice picture of all of you together.
Kid hears: ...with your butts sticking up in the air.



Parent says: Quit jumping on the couch!
Kid hears: Quit jumping on the couch... until I leave the room. Then continue jumping on the couch.

Parent says: Don't make me come in there!
Kid hears: You're safe, I'm way too tired to get up.

Parent says: Don't do that - you could get hurt!
Kid hears: I don't know anything about safety. Go ahead and try it your way.



Parent says: Stop making faces - you're in trouble. It isn't funny.
Kid hears: Make at least fifty more faces to show me how wrong I am.



Parent says: Don't touch that.
Kid hears: Get four inches away from that and hover over it like a starving vulture.



Parent says: Don't get your clothes all dirty.
Kid hears: Do whatever you want.



Parent says: No more Froot Loops.
Kid hears: Eat whatever you want.


Parent says: That's not how we wear sunglasses.
Kid hears: Wear whatever you want.



Parent says: No.
Kid hears: Maybe.

Parent says: No!
Kid Hears: Probably.

Parent says: I said no!
Kid hears: Ask me again in two minutes.

Parent says: NO!!!
Kid hears: Yes.

Blogger says: I love you so, so much.
Reader hears: Please click on the banner below to vote for me!
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Reader says: Hey, was this post featured on BlogHer?
Blogger says: Well, yes it was. Thanks for asking.




I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


46 comments:

  1. LOVE! Couldn't be more perfect/accurate.

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  2. The hovering vulture is adorable.

    I think, "Don't roll your eyes at me," is interpreted as, "Muttering some back talk as you walk away would be nice."

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    Replies
    1. Hahahaha - perfect! That one's going in when the revised edition is published.

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  3. Loved it!! The pictures had me dying.

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    1. They certainly give me plenty of material to work with. ;) Thanks!

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  4. Kid hears: I don't know anything about safety. Go ahead and try it your way. (Best one!)

    I think the only parent who speaks fluent kid is you judging by the genius of this post.

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    1. Thanks, mama. I'm just guessing won these translations - but the smart money says they aren't thinking anything at all. ;)

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    2. The picture for this one cracked me up!!

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  5. seriously one of your funniest ones yet, you comedic genius you :) plus i'm in love with maddie's mean muggin don't even ~think~ about touchin my froot loop, yo shot...
    i would add one though, as a blanket mis-translation from the ages of 11-16...
    Parent: you should listen to me, i do know what i'm talking about
    Child: you have never and will never understand anything that remotely pertains to anything i have ever felt or gone through

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    Replies
    1. Totally! It makes me wish I'd believed my mom when she used to insist she'd once been my age. I can't believe it turned out to be true.

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  6. Parent says: Stop jumping on the couch.
    Kid hears: Jump on the very edge of the couch right next to the pointy cornered coffee table.

    True Story.

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    Replies
    1. **cringe** We finally, FINALLY got an oval coffee table - I couldn't stand the corners anymore! So I feel your pain, many times over.

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  7. If Reader's Digest prints your dictionary, it would come out as, "Parent says: Don't ... Kid hears: Do/Eat/Wear/Say whatever you want."

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    1. That is so, so true. ::shakes head sadly::

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  8. ahhh the kid language I know it so well but that was before we had this great invention the internet loved the photos as always very funny Robyn. ~Janice~ I can now be found at lovingtheday22.blogspot.com please follow me there now I will be dumping or putting the old blog private for the sainity of ME.

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    1. Ahh, the Internet. A great place to look up information that you can never unsee or unknow, no matter how hard you try. Good luck on the new site, btw!

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  9. Yeah. I'm going to have to disagree here.

    My Cherubs? Are seriously all deaf.

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    1. I bet they still sass you in their heads, though - kids can do that, even when they didn't hear a word you said.

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    2. Yeah, I think they are born with hearing but they lose it about the age of four....mine did!

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    3. It's selective hearing - if you ask them to do something... they can't hear a thing. But if you blurt out a cuss word three blocks away, you can be sure they'll hear it and repeat it, usually to their teacher.

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  10. I love that even the baby has her butt in the air! Oh and you'll love this one. When my older kid was almost 4, he found a piece of wood that had been a decorative swing in the mural in his room. He was standing on it. I told him not to b/c he would scratch the hardwood. He picked it up, walked 2 steps put it on the carpet, stepped on it, slipped, hit his head on the coffee table and ended up with 3 stitches. What could I say? He LISTENED to me!

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    1. Oh sure, THE ONE TIME! I think kids do that occasionally on purpose, like husbands who finally throw in a load of laundry but add a red sock to the whites so we never ask them to do it again.

      And to Gerry, before you feel a need to defend yourself, I'm not talking about you. If it weren't for the laundry you (correctly) do, our whole family would be walking around in tattered, filthy rags.

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  11. Great pictures! This is all so true. I love the hovering starving vulture. Ellen

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    1. I think she was waiting for the power drill to start on its own. She loves loud noises. She's weird.

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  12. These are awesome and I love the pics. The first one is my favorite because I'm saying it's cold out a lot lately and they keep wearing sandals and shorts and no coats, blah, blah, blah, mom doesn't know squat. And I think I recall my mom saying the exact same thing and I did just as my kids are doing. So, I'm giving up. Let 'em wear what they want. When their toes fall off from freezer burn (or whatever it's called) I won't need to say, "I told ya so."

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    1. Freezer burn - too funny! Yeah, I have one who thinks he's always hot (it's a boy thing, Mom - you wouldn't understand), a girl who dresses according to cuteness without regard to weather or activity, and a baby who either refuses to wear clothes or wants to wear three outfits and fifteen pairs of socks at once. It's a daily wardrobe struggle.

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  13. The tidbit about stabbing the sibling with the pencil had me ROFL! Brilliant all around, but that is my favorite...maybe because it's comforting to know it doesn't only happen in my house:-)

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    1. I can't make that stuff up - I wish I could, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one, too. :)

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  14. awesome!! And, the pics are just so cute!!!

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    1. Thanks! They do have their adorable moments. ;)

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    2. I liked your story so much, I featured it. check it out here: http://momofbigalittlea.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-ive-been-reading-this-week-16.html
      Feel free to share!

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    3. Thanks so much, Roshni - I really appreciate the feature!

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  15. I love you enough to clip your kids' fingernails for you.

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    1. I've clipped a lot of fingernails - I hope you know how much this means to me. I feel like our friendship has reached a new level. I'll ship the children over immediately.

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks! And these are just the ones that've come up in the last few days - I bet if we put our heads together we could fill volumes.

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  17. That's hilarious!!
    And so so true!!

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  18. Haha this is hilarious! And so true!!
    Makes me feel better that my child isn't the only one.

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    Replies
    1. Not the only one, for sure! Though I shouldn't complain - once they hit the teen years they probably WILL be ignoring us, and we'll long for the days when we were just mistranslated. ;)

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  19. Maybe they would listen if you got their attention first like they do to you ("Mom...Mom....Mom....Mom...MOM!"). I'm always amazed when I hear this in public and the Mom can ignore it. Because all those unanswered "Moms" attack a nerve in my neck amd make me twitchy.

    I recently wrote my own dictionary too, but to translate man speak into English. At least kids are lovable...well, I'm assuming your kids are lovable.

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    1. I did my best ignoring ever yesterday - I was in the middle of lecturing my kid, and he interrupted to ask me something completely unrelated. So I started giving him the silent treatment. When he asked his question again, I explained I was giving him the same amount of attention he gave me. Totally immature, or parenting genius? I'll ask his therapist in a few years.

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  20. Replies
    1. You'd think parenting would be easy after decoding everything with a dictionary, but there must be another book I'm missing... ;)

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  21. Hi Robyn, just wanted to let you know that I featured this post in the Best of the Weekly reading series of 2012: http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/2012/12/the-best-of-the-weekly-reading-series.html

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    1. You're absolutely too sweet - what a lovely Christmas gift! Thank you!

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