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10 Things I Said Today That Reminded Me I Was a Parent

There are things you say on a daily basis, phrases that come out of your mouth now that you have kids that would probably never have passed your lips before you became a parent. You are in a different place in life, in a different world, and you say weird stuff — stuff that sounds totally normal to you, but taken out of the parenting context, is really not. Here are 10 things I really said today that illustrate my point.

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1. "We'll be there in 1 Peppa Pig."

Somewhere down the road after you become a parent, you start referring to your child's favorite cartoon as a unit of time. In our house, we keep time in Peppa Pig units. My almost 2-year-old is crazy about that pink, British doodle of a pig. Sure, she has no idea yet about the running time of each episode, to her it could be a minute or an hour. But, the simple fact that we are referring to Peppa Pig is enough. And hearing that we'd be there in "One Peppa Pig" helped my daughter calm her wailing and wild flailing to escape her cars eat down to a soft, bearable whimper for the duration of the ride home in rush hour traffic. I'm starting to adapt this time-keeping method with my 12-year-old son and my husband (e.g. If you don't get over here in 1 Vine video, you're grounded. Or when I tell my husband that he doesn't need to spend a whole "Dances With Wolves" in the bathroom).

2. "Hold on, you have a gummy shark on your butt."

Gummies are everywhere: on the floor, in the closet, stuck to my pen in my purse, half-eaten in my child's hair. At least once a week, either my husband or I go through a third of the day with a gummy strawberry, gummy Nemo or gummy Scooby Snack stuck to our butt. Sometimes we tell one another, sometimes we don't. Today I chose to tell him.

3. "Wait a minute, babe. I can't do this with Dora watching."

My daughter has a Dora doll. It's a really weird one, actually. It's "Slumber Party Dora" or something like that, and she has her hair in pigtails and is wearing a blue, not-cute mumu. It's one that I bought in a moment of weakness and desperation during a meltdown at the grocery store. And of course, my daughter loves it and totes it around all over the house. She left it on our bed last night so that when my husband woke up this morning feeling frisky and then got me in the mood, Dora and her dumb mumu were there to un-sexify the moment. Hola! I'm no longer horny!

4. "Are you sure that's chocolate on your elbow?"

Everything, everywhere could be either chocolate or poop.

This kind of question is a staple of conversation in a household with kids. Everything, everywhere could be either chocolate or poop.

5. "Oopsie!"

You want to say Fu**, but your toddler daughter and 12-year-old son are standing right there observing how you react to stepping on that (effing) Lego. It's so hard when you're a parent, and you want to blurt out an expletive because the occasion SOOO warrants it, but you have to keep it cutesie and under control because you know your child will adopt the word into her vocabulary, but also learn your flash anger behavior. I said "OOPSIE!" so many times today, but in my heart I was saying "*&^$!".

6. "Get your toothbrush out of your diaper!"

Why do kids like sticking things down their diapers? Why do they always insist on grabbing their butts when you're changing a poopy diaper? Why? I use this phrase at least once a week, changing out "toothbrush" with anything from "spoon" to "yogurt" to "the remote control."

7. "Are those poop nuggets in my closet?"

Yes. Yes they were. They were three little poop nuggets on the floor of my closet.

8. "I promise, there are no mean koalas waiting in the car."

My daughter seems to think that there are bears of all species living amongst us, hanging out everywhere we go. Yesterday there were "scawy" brown bears on the side of the freeway eating fish. Today there was a family of mean koalas sitting in our car waiting for us. I had to open every door and do a thorough and visible sweep of the car and then show her how I came out unscathed and unharmed by any koalas before she finally allowed me to strap her in the car seat. Wow.

9. "If you eat one more bite, I'll do the 'Hot Dog Dance.'"

This is not so much a brag as it is a cry for help.

You only know what this is because you have a young kid. And kids, boy, do they love their "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." But they especially love that catchy, yet grating hot dog song and dance that ends each Clubhouse episode. I have learned and practiced each character's rendition of this hot dog dance, and can perform any one of them on my daughter's request. This is not so much a brag as it is a cry for help. In any case, it took me performing the Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy versions for my daughter to finish her chicken and rice tonight.

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10. "Because…" 87,309 times

Of course I used this word before I had kids, but today I used it nearly 100,000 times, I swear. Kids ask "Why?" a lot. And being their parent, we usually have to answer.

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