Parents beware, sarcasm and black humor may backfire when testing such phrases on your kids. These might be considered innocent jokes, but your kids might not necessarily pick up on the minor subtleties and nuances in your comments. I speak from experience, based on something that happened to me a few days ago.
Last week we decided to go on a fairly impulsive road-trip to visit Connecticut. There were no other reason to go there other than they did it in Madagascar. The closest to a plan was to visit one of the coastal towns and walk along the pier, while eating ice cream of course.
We punched in Greenwich (CT) into the GPS and started off the road-trip According to the friendly GPS voice, the overall journey was just under an hour. Not bad, but everybody were still forced to visit the toilet before departing. From previous trips, kids tend to forget to go before we head off and we are forced to stop within 20 minutes of leaving the house.
So, with the bodies drained for various fluids and other solids, we left for Connecticut.
We had no incidents on the way and we made good time across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut states.
First stop in CT was Greenwich, looking at boats from the car and we continued to Stamford where we did some book shopping in Barnes & Noble, followed by a lovely ice cream pit-stop.
As per usual routines, we did our bathroom visits before heading back home, and there were smiles all around which normally indicates that we are good to go.
About halfway home, I spotted a village/city that I absolutely had to visit – Mianus. It’s amazing how many jokes can be made about this name and I still wonder why anybody would even consider this as a name for a village/city.
I believe Jackass already milked this by having parts of an episode dedicated to Mianus.
Anyway, we drove through the country side to find the city sign for Mianus, but failed. instead, our daughter started to ask for how minutes until we would be home.
At that point, the alarm bells should have started to sound in my head, but I was more concerned about Mianus! Excuse the punt.
Shortly after leaving the suburbs of Mianus, my daughter asked again when we would be home. Again I failed to understand the urgency and calmly replied to her “about 20-25 minutes and if you have to pee do it in a cup”.
Silence followed. In fact, it was very quiet for the next 10-12 minutes and suddenly my daughter’s face appeared in the rear-view mirror. She was smiling from ear to ear, so my parent instincts told me that she was up to something.
I calmly asked what she was happy for to which she replied “I did it!”. Suddenly my mind started spinning and I was fearing that I had sparked some strange reaction with my previous comment. My fears were about to come through.
My daughter shouted, while laughing, “I peed in the bottle!”. How was this actually possible without getting pee on the seat, clothes or floors? Not that I’m trying to reenact the incident and I was still a little dubious as to the validity of her claims.
BUT, then she raised a bottle, shaking the yellow-ish content and exclaimed that it was still warm and had a funny smell.
Now, the trick is not to burst out laughing or yelling as this might have a somewhat negative impact on future behaviors and laughing would just encourage the other two kids to copy their older sister.
As we pulled into the driveway we quickly assessed the claims and can confirm that she indeed did pee in a bottle. I had to clean the carpet slightly, but no other damage (wet spots) were found in the car.
Afterwards we all laughed about it and I learned not to joke about these things with the kids, as they might just take me up on it – literally!