Literally Children (For the "sarcastic" Moms) enjoy!

Jackie - posted on 05/19/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I found this and thought it was a funny and true! Has anything like this ever happened in your home?



Literally Children

By Daring Young Mom on Wednesday, May 19, 11:28 am EDT

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Sometimes I forget that my kids are not mini-adults, they are actually literally children. This has a few implications. First -- they like chocolate milk… a lot. Second -- they believe sleep is a punishment. Third -- they take everything very very literally.

Kids don't do sarcasm. I wouldn't say I'm a hugely sarcastic person but I do like to try to be funny and inside every jokester resides a healthy dose of sarcasm. It's sort of a cheap laugh-inducer and it comes out when I can't think of anything truly witty to say. I'll be honest. I'm sarcastic far too often.

I really have to keep myself in check though because if I use sarcasm with the kids it just confuses them. If they ask to stay up until midnight on a school night and I say, "Yeah. That's a great idea. Why don't you just stay up tonight and skip sleeping altogether?" they get really excited that they will get to stay up all night playing UNO. Then when I usher them off to bed, they are ticked and confused.

The side-effect of this is their practice of "tricking" me by telling bald-faced lies and then when I catch them in the untruth saying, "Tricked ya!" I think they're doing what they think I'm doing when I say something sarcastic and then later explain that I wasn't being serious.

So I keep sarcasm to a minimum with my kids. I try to eliminate it altogether when they're around and it would probably be great if I eliminated it completely from all my interactions. I think I'd find that people weren't annoyed with me nearly as often.

The kids' literal minds aren't just befuddled by sarcasm. They also try to dissect and understand common phrases or colloquialisms and end up with some strange ideas about the world. You can just see the little wheels in their heads spinning out of control when they hear things like "That car is a steaming pile of poo" or "If I hear that sound one more time, I think my brain is going to explode" or "It's gonna take me forever to mow this lawn."

No matter how hard I try to account for their literalism, there are always things that I

miss. Mostly they just walk away scratching their heads or, with frequent use, they figure out what things mean but every once in a while one of them will call me on something that I had no idea was an issue.

Yesterday Magoo made his nightly journey down from bed to tell us he was hungry. I offered him the usual crust of bread and he declined.

"Nope. I'm just hungry for some milk."

"Okay. I'll get you a glass of milk. Go have a seat at the table."

He stood there eyeing me suspiciously.

"Are you really gonna get me a glass of milk?"

"Um...yeah."

"Because you always say, 'I'm gonna get you a glass of milk,' and then you give us it in a plastic cup. Why do you always do that trick to us? You never give me a glass cup of milk but you always ask me if I want one. I don't really like that trick but you always do it."

Yes. APRIL FOOLS! I said, "Glass of milk when I really meant plastic." Best gag ever. All this time I've been "doing that trick to them" and I had no idea how diabolical I was being. In this house, word choice is everything… literally.

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5 Comments

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Carolee - posted on 05/20/2010

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My son, who is 2, fell down while walking with my husband and father-in-law. My husband said, "you're okay, just rub some dirt on it"... and my son picked up two huge (for him) handfuls of dirt and rubbed them into his pants at the knees! He was okay and didn't even cry after that... lol...

Sarah - posted on 05/20/2010

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Yep! I have the exact same thing. I forget that Cadence is only 5 and hasn't yet mastered the art of sarcasm!
I have to try and watch what i say, but being quite a sarcastic person, it's hard sometimes! :)

Suzette - posted on 05/19/2010

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You definitely reap what you sow... lol. My niece started picking up sarcasm at the age of 6 or 7 and she's a pro going on 11 now. She's a little shit, as Gillian said about her 11 year old... LOL. Some of the things that girl says all I can think is, what have I created!!! Because while her mom is sarcastic at times, she's not as bad as my mom and me so I know where she's picked it up from. lol. I'm so in for it with my daughter, both my husband and I are just awful.

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I think it's around 8 when kids start to understand sarcasm until then I'm probably going to have some explaining to do. Hubby and I both have off-beat senses of humor that include sarcasm so I'm thinking that I'm going to end up like Gillian and reap what I sow.

Lady - posted on 05/19/2010

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My kids are as sarcastic as I am, but they do call me out on a few things which always annoys me. I just say I didn't mean it literally and now the two older ones understand what I mean. I thinnk they do find it a bit strange sometimes but my 11 year old has to be the most sarcastic little shit that ever lived, and it's probably entirley my fault!! You reap what you sow!

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