The Magic Phrase That Gets Your Little Ones To Listen

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Let’s not pretend to be something we’re not. Most all clever moms lie to their children (especially to toddlers) at some point or another just to get things done. I do. Not ashamed to admit it. 

This chocolate isn’t what you think it is, it’s really mommy’s medicine and tastes really yucky.

I’m going to take my nap right now too.

This iced tea is very very yucky.

The Guy’s gonna come and shut down the beach.

What, you haven’t heard about “The Guy” who comes to shut down the park swings, lock the pool up, get little boys and girls out of the bath (when it’s time to get out of the bath and they refuse) and close down the kitchen at bedtime? (Sometimes there’s even a few “Guys” depending on the urgency of the situation and how much patience I have left.)

I’ll break it down for ya: The Guy/Guys are completely fictional, and only come around after I try the logical and calm It’s-time-to-go-now-sweetheart-just-like-we-talked-about-before-we-got-here thing a few times. “The Guy” is my last (imaginary) resort, but he always works best.

I credit my new trick to my little sister. Last time we visited my mom’s house and my older toddler refused to get out of the pool at 6:30 pm (in a screaming and bratty toddler way that I was sooooo not in the mood to deal with), my brilliant, Kindergarten-teacher sister busted out with “Hurry! The Guy’s gonna come and lock up the backyard and we can’t be here when he gets here!”

I’ve never seen my girl scramble so fast to get OUT of a pool and go inside… ever. Even my 18-month old looked alarmed.

So it’s official: “The Guy’s gonna come!” is working like magic. Moms in my neighborhood can now hear me talking about The Guy almost everywhere… the grocery store, the swings, at any given restaurant. Some of them giggle and we exchange winks, while others probably think I’m just some tightwad who needs to relax and not have such rigid time-limits. Guess what: I don’t care what I sound like. The Guy is proving to save me time and sanity in the most hurried of situations.

Sometimes I will even point out The Guy in public places if I see a distinguished gentleman in our view that looks like he could possibly have the power to shut down a situation (Look! There’s The Guy!). It’s almost formulaic at this point: My girls get quiet quickly and then pretty much stare at him… half angry and half intimidated. And ahhhhhhhh, order is restored.

The Guys are everywhere, always at your immediate disposal. This is FABULOUS, I tell you. If you don’t have a Guy yet, you gotta get one. NOW. (And sometimes, The Guys actually do come and teach YOU a lesson… but that’s a whole other story.)

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