Half the town was gathered in the square for a night of live music. I was chasing my toddler in every direction until he found a couple of dirty street puddles in which to stomp around. No biggie, right? Until he decided to toss aside his bottle of deliciously cool well water, go belly down, and lap up the puddle. Leaving me no choice but to explain (loudly, of course—wouldn’t want to be caught looking uncivilized) that “No, honey, we don’t drink oily street puddles.”

Having a toddler leads to a lot of conversations we never imagined we’d have. I go seamlessly from “Why are you eating the toothbrush bristles,” into “No, love, the dog doesn’t need a handful of poop for dinner” without batting an eye. Here is a collection of some of my favorite submissions from other mamas:

“I know you’re upset, but don’t lick yourself.”

“Please do not put any more peas in your foreskin. Honey, we don’t put any food in our foreskin. Please do not dip your penis in your milk glass.”

“Yes, love, you can eat your boogers, but I think you’ll find it’s not all that socially acceptable in the long run.”

“Honey, Mumma is not going to lay down in this parking spot with you. That seems dangerous.”

“No, you can’t kiss it [daddy’s penis] and make it better.”

“No, honey, there are no babies in the toilet.”

“Don’t lick the carpet. No, don’t lick the tile either.”

“If you want to play air guitar when you get excited, that’s great. Penis guitar, not so much.”

“I know you want to brush your teeth, love, but that’s a toilet brush.”

“We only high-five hands, not faces.”

“Why are there beans in your diaper?”

“Honey, please spit your brother out.”


Author: Ellen Reynolds

Born and raised in the corn fields of Illinois, Ellen currently resides in Hope, Maine with her family. She is mama to Forest (almost two years old) and has a new baby boy on the way. Ellen is currently pursuing her graduate degree from Maine Maritime Academy in International Logistics Management, and is otherwise a Stay-at-Home-Mama. Prior to focusing on parenting, Ellen worked as a Commercial Fisheries Biologist aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. She has an undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in Environmental Studies, with a focus in Marine Ecology. View all posts by Ellen Reynolds

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