I’ve been around children my whole life, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that my vocabulary suddenly included tons of sing-songy phrases aimed at keeping my tiny human safe and on the right path! Now these have become some of my signature phrases.
- It started with one: “blue is best.” My daughter was born prematurely and when she was discharged at three months old, she went home with an apnea monitor. During the training with the respiratory therapist, she explained how the buttons on the monitor worked, and what to do in certain situations. She said if the monitor alarmed and you needed to turn it off, press the blue button.
- “Sit for safety” was the second phrase I added. It’s weirdly effective. As soon as I tell my daughter to sit for safety, she actually sits down. It’s pretty cool. Even if she’s upset about something, she’ll sit down when I say that. Even my friends now say “sit for safety!”
- Closely related to “sit for safety” is “bum to the back.” My daughter likes to sit on the edge of things, or sit the wrong way on a chair, so bum to the back literally means to scoot that butt to the back of the chair/couch.
- As she’s gotten older and new things have popped up, so have new phrases. We recently went through a “hugs not hits” phase…
Beyond the phrases, I’ve found a few things have helped make “momming” smooth (aside from consistency and positivity, which are the two most effective things, in my opinion).
Tips for “momming”
- When it’s time to eat, she gets to eat in her special chair – a kid’s Adirondack chair that she loves desperately. It makes my little peanut excited to eat since she gets to sit in her chair, and because she actually stays in the chair, I know she’s not going to be running around with food in her mouth.
- Her interest in brushing her teeth is hit or miss. But, if I remind her that she’ll be like the character in one of her favorite shows, my daughter suddenly has a renewed interest in brushing her teeth.
- “Hands up” might just be my favorite. I tell my daughter “hands up” often, and it’s immensely helpful. Just wiped yogurt all over her arm – hands up to give me a chance to wipe her hands before she wipes them on the couch. In a public bathroom and don’t want her to touch anything? Hands up while mommy uses the potty. Walking through a department with lots of breakables in the aisle? Hands up until we pass the danger zone!
- “Hug my leg” is another helpful one. Anytime we’re out and I need to use two hands, but need her close to me, I ask her to hold onto my leg. This might be weird when she’s older, but since she’s still a toddler, it’s a good one!
- At bath time, two things help get me through without any stress. First, I soap her up before I put her in the water! Before I started doing that, it could be tough to clean her once she was in the water because she refused to stand or quit playing. Now, as the tub is filling, I soap her up, and when it’s full, I put her in, rinse her off and wash her hair. Second, I got her a bath time visor hat, which keeps her face dry while I rinse her hair. It’s fabulous. So within a minute of getting into the tub, she’s totally clean top to bottom and she can play for the rest of the time.
- Last, but certainly not least… if you’re like me and have tons of those tall/skinny breastmilk storage containers, consider putting crayons in them! The containers are the perfect size to hold crayons, and then you can easily put them in your purse or diaper bag and have them while you’re out.