I tell my boys to play safe at least 50 times a day. Regardless of my efforts, someone always gets hurt. One day, I got hit over the head with a light bulb [in other words, I had an epiphany in my male-dominated household (MDH)]. I realized that the words “play” and “safe” are contradictory terms when spoken to boys even when one of the boys is a grown man. By realizing that telling my boys to “play safe” is an oxymoron, I can finally accept the fact that the boys will not and cannot play safe. Think of the breath and energy I will save by not repeating this phrase several hundred times a week.
That got me thinking about other MDH oxymorons that I waste breath on every day, and I came up with this list:
Wrestle gently – O.K. This should have been obvious to me from the beginning. But I’m a mom and phrases like this just pour from my mouth naturally.
Unbreakable toy – If you’ve found one, let me know. In my house, the sheer fact that the manufacturer claims it is unbreakable is like throwing down a gauntlet and challenging my boys to a duel.
Quiet voices – This applies anytime the boys open their mouths.
Remain calm – How can boys “remain” something that they never were to begin with?
Clutter control – Clutter can never, ever be controlled. Ever.
Tidy bedrooms – As long as clutter control is on the list of oxymorons, tidy bedrooms will be too.
Clean underwear – See An Inconvenient Poop.
Friendly competition – Not possible when the winner always gloats and the loser goes ballistic.
Quick fix – Have you ever tried to rebuild a Lego set after the pieces have fallen off and the directions are lost with a crying boy looking over your shoulder and breathing into your ear?
Short errand – Applies when referring to a quick trip to Walgreens or the grocery store or the bank with kids in tow.
Short list – What I start with when heading to Target that somehow doubles or triples in size by the time I’m finished. Also, the packing list when travelling with two young boys no matter how short the trip.
Hit a little – What Luke says when he is in trouble for getting mad and hitting Jack - “I only hit him a little bit.”
Behold, The Unicorn Frappuccino
1 week ago