Friday, February 29, 2008

You can't erase words.

Every time Jay and Lola bicker I remind them that we are the OHmommy family and the OHmommy family uses nice, happy, and kind words. Because the OHmommy family is a nice, happy, and kind family. They get it. I know it is very Sesame Streetish, but they get it.

"We have so many friends that love us BECAUSE we are a nice, happy, and kind family." And they get it. We count our friends and think about the people who lovingly surround us. And it has worked.

Until.

Until, recently.

"You are ruining MY life!" Lola screamed at sensitive Jay. I stopped what I was doing. I was speechless and frightened by the power of her words. Where. In the world. Did she learn to say that? And. How old is she?

"Lola! LOLA! Those words are horrible." I grabbed her with some force and planted her on my knees. "Look at Jay's face. His face is telling you that you hurt his heart. His heart is so sad!" Lola frowned. Jay was near tears. The sadness in his eyes was clear, for no one has ever spoken like that to him before.

"I'm sorry, Jay." She can't look him in the eyes. My OHmommy lecture won't work. They have heard it too many times before. I needed to think fast and think like a four year old. Fast. Simple. Think. Before I lost the teaching moment. Fast. Think.

"Words. Words come out and you can't erase them. Never." I started and I spoke with more volume and more passion. "Words are like toothpaste. When they come out, you can't put them back in." I saw my children nodding along in agreement.

Both of them, children of a dentist, listened to every word. And I realized then, that I was brilliant. There is a new lecture in the OHmommy house.

"You can't erase words." I repeated myself and hugged them both.

It is so simple. So brilliant. It is something that I believe in and I want my kids to believe in.

Jay smiled. Lola sheepishly smiled. And I smiled knowing that I just taught them a great lesson in compassion. You can't erase words.

72classy comments:

Holly said...

Terrific lesson. You really can't erase words. Perfect. You're not only classy, your a smart, cool mommy too! I'm going to borrow this lesson if I may?!

katydidnot said...

i love the good mom moments. i love your subtitle..three organic kids and all that. clever.

Stacey @Real World Mom said...

You. Are. Good!! Way to think on your feet! Score one for the Mom! :-)

Kellan said...

Yes - it was brilliant! Good job OHMommy! A lesson I will try to keep in mind too - you can't erase words.

Have a good Friday - see you later. Kellan

Cecily R said...

OH, you are so wise! I'll have to remember your lesson too. Sometimes my words get the better of me too.

I rarely have them, but I do love those smart Mommy moments!

Melissa said...

That is a lesson we learned early on in our house...it started between Joe and I and now we use the same thing with Hope.

You are a brilliant mommy!

the dragonfly said...

That is a good analogy, about not being able to put toothpaste back into the tube. I'm going to have to remember that. :)

Marie around the World said...

This was like a very important moment for you and the kids and you scored ! This sentence "you can't erase words, it's like toothpaste" will stay in your memories for a very long time !

PS I love love Sesame Street, we always bring back lots of their DVDs.

Karen said...

That was an inspired moment - yeah! If only I'd thought of those things when my kids were younger.

Wendi said...

YOU. ARE. BRILLIANT.

In your spare time...would you come over and have a few "brilliant moments" with my kids. They need a few!

This sounds a lot like our home except I am usually found saying, " Use your words...not your fist!" (LOL)

Stephanie said...

I will have to remember this for future reference when my child(ren) are old enough to speak. What a great lesson for your kids. Brilliant. Words to live by.

girlymom said...

This is a wonderful lesson. Way to be quick thinking in the moment! We have had those situations too and it feels good when they "get it"

Have a great weekend.

Crystal said...

Good Job OHmommy! I like that and I will be totally lifting it for use in my own family. My catch phrase of "You are allowed to be mad, but you are not allowed to be mean" is starting to bounce off of deaf ears.

Kimmylyn said...

What a great lesson to teach them.. and what a great way of explaining it so that their little minds understand what you are saying...

You rock OhMommy.

Stephanie said...

WOOHOO! Great lesson...now if I could only think like a 4 year old the way my hubby says I do...HA! ;oD

renatamic said...

BRILLIANT!! to think on demand like that...something i think every mother needs, but you possess...and with such classiness!! you are THAT mom!! you're great!

...and a great lesson to everyone - you really CAN'T erase words!!

Ashlee said...

Good job OHMommy! It's sooo true too and that you were able to put in into perspective for them so they'd get it was great.

MommyTime said...

Ok, this is so brilliant that I am stealing it to use at my house (is it plagiarism if I don't write it down anywhere?) -- my kids don't have a dentist dad, but they LOVE the toothpaste, so I think this will make perfect sense. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So you won't mind if I borrow this to teach my own kids? :)

Also, I emailed you about the pattern -- send me your address and I'll send it off.

Maria said...

That's really great advice. I think you handled it perfectly. Sounds like you're raising some great kids:)

just jamie said...

Oh, good thinking. Like toothpaste, huh? I like that.

I always remember the phrase, "You can't un-ring a bell," for this lesson, too.

Good job, Mommy.

lattemommy said...

You. Amaze. Me.

I can't get over the stuff you come up with. And, under pressure, too!

You need to write a book.

Irene said...

That is definitely a brilliant statement! I will have to remember that! You should trademark it.

Karen C. said...

Awesome lesson!!

BTW, there's an award for you over at my blog!!

TheVasquez3 said...

cool lesson...and it is hard to erase words..i thin we all carry words that someone said to us from YEARS ago, from childhood...some words can never be erased.

popped over from Karen's blog...i think i need to add you to my google reader so i can remember to come back!

The Schneider's said...

Hi - I stumbled upon your blog from my friend Amy's (the Brat Pack) blog. That lecture was absolutely brilliant. The part about having to think like a four year old is so true. My almost 2 year old likes to tell us to "Go Away" and I've really been trying to explain to him why that hurts Mommy and Daddy's feelings but I don't think he gets it yet! I'm going to have to remember your good choice of words with your little ones!!

Kash said...

Wow, that is really smart. I am going to use it on my friends and family too, no matter how old! Maybe I should listen to this lesson as well...lol.

I love the clever subtitle too! ;)

Miss said...

I love the toothpaste example. Great lesson. Seriously.

girlymom4 said...

That is a great lesson! I am definitely going to use the toothpaste example!

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

So true! My mom used to tell me, you can say you're sorry, but you can never take those words back. Once they're out there, there out. Such an important lesson, you're teaching them well!

Lizzy

Smart A$$ Mom said...

Love it, and am totally using it....along with my new 'don't be fresh.'

PS Did your itty bitty bikini counter just jump up some days??? Do tell, do tell.

April said...

Nice! We're all welcome to steal that, right?

Rachel said...

Good job momma! Way to use that teaching moment and I love the analogy!
You are so cute and so clever.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

LOVE the toothpaste idea! Nice save!

Tara R. said...

OHMommy! You are OHSOBrilliant! Great analogy.

Desiree said...

I'm procrastinating and found your blog. Very good analogy, something I can share with my kids to justify my time on the internet today!

Kristen said...

Great Job! And super quick thinking!

We are struggling with a 2 year old who pushes (constantly) his one year old sister. Got any good ones for that? I feel as though I am blue in the face.

Jenni said...

Excellent! What a wonderful lesson that they will not soon forget.

Amy said...

You are awesome, amazing and you just solved our biggest problem right now. I am emailing this to my husband Right Now so he can give my girls this lecture next time they use their words to inflict pain.
I love you!!!

Natalie said...

I love it! I will have to use it when I get to that point with my son. The worst I get right now is "I'm not your best friend anymore", to which I shrug and tell him that's okay because I'll still love him (boy does that make him mad). When it gets to the point where his words bite a little more, I'll definitely keep this filed!

Dziadek said...

Piekne

Around The Funny Farm said...

Okay.. I just love quotes and I'm going to use this one some day too!

I love that you said "Words are like toothpaste. When they come out, you can't put them back in." Perfect imagery for young children.

And, oh so true.

Great, awesome, wonderful post.

cablegirl said...

Now that's quick thinking. I love the image of words being unstoppable after spoken like toothpaste out of the tube.

blog hop hop hopping

Sarabeth said...

Am I the only one who gives you a pat on the back for quick thinking but who doesn't really agree? Oh, well.

--HP, Blog Hoppers

Flea said...

Oh, well done OHmommy. Well done. :)

LunaNik said...

"Words are like toothpaste"

Something only a dentist's wife would say...I LOVE it!

It's really just too funny...ha!

You did handle the situation very smoothly too. Brilliant.

Susie said...

Wow--speechless! Love the toothpaste reference!

DIXIECHICK said...

My kids argue all the time...I am so going to steal this great parenting lesson and use it on them. Thanks!

Blog hopping!
Dixiechick

Stacey @Real World Mom said...

Happy Friday! Blog Hoppin'!
~"Margarita Mom"

jewels said...

Thank you for reminding ME of that! Sometimes I get so caught up in daily life that my kids hear the same old lecture from me. I have lost touch with my creativity. Keep the inspiration coming!

carrie said...

Thanks for reminding me of this one, I was running out of tricks!

Mommy Bits said...

Great lesson and great job and tailoring it so they could understand. I just might have to Steal, er, um, borrow that!
Hoppin~
Anastasia Beaverhousin

Kelly said...

Words are too often used as weapons. Bravo, that you are teaching them how powerful words can be.Your words are powerful, my dear

The Egel Nest said...

Sometimes...if you squeeze the tube juuust right you CAN get some toothpaste back in the tube :)

Excellent motto and life lesson :)


Bradley
The Egel Nest

Mr Lady said...

You know what is awesome? When Jay is a bit older, and you get to have the What Would James Bond Do talk. I'll walk you through it.... :)

Karen MEG said...

What great words to live by. I love the toothpaste analogy too... so true.
Another question for you ... how'd you get so whipsmart ;)

Sister Sassy said...

Tooth paste! Great analogy! Man I wish I was that calm. But I guess it's hard to get the 2 year old to say sorry when he's screaming and writhing on the floor. Maybe when he's four.

Blog hopping by!

Married Leos said...

Just blog hopping through, have a great weekend.

suchsimplepleasures said...

hey...good advice! that's how i was raised, too! once those words come out of your mouth, no matter how you apologize...those words are out there...they can't be taken back! i try teach my kids that, too!
it worked for a while...when they were little...but now...forget it!
great post!!!
xoxo

chanpheng said...

That was pretty good advice. And very Buddhist - one of stops on the Eightfold Path is 'Right Speech.' I don't think they had toothpaste back in those days.

Thanks for visiting my blog. You'll get a chance to travel some day, I'm sure. Asia is actually a good destination for traveling with kids.

Amanda said...

I tagged you,, check out my blog for details

Lisa said...

Great lesson--mind if we borrow it--not that my kids ever say mean things esp. the girls ;)

Steph said...

Great lesson can I steal that one when my kids get a little too wordy? LOL

John-Michael said...

The simple, honest, and piercing elegance of that message has me near tears. I simply adore you! Such a gift you have for grasping an enormity and making it comfortably approachable. Lovely!

(and there are far worse places than Sesame Street to live!) [smile]

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

So true. Thanks for the lesson!

Grandy said...

BRILLIANCE!!! Give yourself a pat on the back for that one. ;)

Amy said...

OhMommy, you are nothing short of a genius!

Victoria said...

Wonderful lesson. I'm stealing that for my own two bickering siblings...

Amy said...

Good for you! I am so impressed by your mommy powers! This was an awesome lesson.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Just wanted to let you know that I was able to use this today. Because of you I had the perfect thing to say. Thanks!

Kathryn said...

You described it to them perfectly! Toothpaste! Brilliant!

♥♥♥ A- Licious ♥♥♥ said...

hands down - that rocked!

YOU rock!

;o)

i am slowly learning all this stuff with my 17 month old....it is nice to read you PRO-Mommies!

(wink!)

Rhea said...

words are like toothpaste? lol Oh, you're killin' me. That's too funny...

I love that you can't erase words though, that's a good one.

 

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