Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Extreme Hyperbole = Good Parenting?

There is no way that Isabella is not going to discover, if she hasn't already, that both her parents are huge drama queens. That's the only way to explain the fact that she already exhibits most of the symptoms herself.

Example: As I was looking at online home listings last night, she watched awhile, and then asked, "You looking at houses, Mommy?"

Me: "Yes. Mommy and Daddy are trying to find a new house for us. Would you like that?"

Bella: "Yes. I would. We need a big house."

Me: "I know, Honey. That's why we're looking, so we'll all have more room to work and play."

Bella: (waves hand dismissively around in a circle, indicating our present living space) "This house is not big."

Me: "No, it's not, is it?"

Bella: "This house is tiny."

Me: "OK, Darling, I get the point. We're trying, all right?"

Bella: "I can't even fit my toys in the living room."

Me: "OH. KAY."


So I should not have been too surprised at the following bit of parental wisdom that I overheard her father impart to her this afternoon, when she was trying to get him to change the batteries in one of her toys--apparently she'd gone and found batteries and brought them to him:

"Bella, you can NOT get into the batteries! You do not touch them, ever." (Bella mumbles something inaudible to me) "Because you could get hurt." (pause) "They could EXPLODE."*

And now I'm wondering...during those times when I'm out of earshot, how much of Daddy's "instruction" to his child is in this vein. Probably a lot, is my gut feeling.

*Actually, ever since a Vinnie Testeverde appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman" years ago, in which he described the destruction of a pastrami sandwich perched on top of a Christmas tree upon being struck by a football thrown by Jay Thomas, we nearly always say "asplode" in this house. But I was too far away to tell for sure this time if that was the incarnation of the word used. Vinnie T: "He made da sandwich ASPLODE!"


  1. Ha ha.. batteries=boom Good one!
    I'd be freaked out too if my kid was playing with batteries. I remember being scared of them when I was kid. There used to be these kids that would stick them in their mouths to "test" them, (a tiny shock would apparently tell you that they still had juice in them) and it would totally just freak me out (still kinda does).

  2. Funny - your husband does what I use to do when working with the public. If I didn't know the correct answer or I couldn't give the person the answer they wanted, I would just make it up. Bad I know, but it worked everytime!

  3. I never knew that about batteries..

  4. me neither. But now that I know....

    Everybody I'm related to including me is a drama queen. Makes for fascinating conversation between my sister and I.

    My sister: "have to show you Whole Foods."

    Me: "I want to make the train. Whole Foods hasn't even opened yet."

    My sister "but you have to see it."

    Then she calls me immature for wanting to make a train and we begin screaming. Like I said, totally fascinating

  5. actually, he should have used reverse psychology. telling a kid something could explode makes it all the more tempting.he should have said "it's good for you...like spinach"

  6. Oh, wow. So years from now she'll tell people how she used to imagine huge, science-defying explosions emanating from tiny AAA batteries.

    Too cute.

  7. It's so funny...my sister and I spent our lives "double-checking" with Mom over much of what Dad would tell us. He'd say it, and we'd look over at mom for confirmation or refutal (if that's not a word, it oughtta be).

  8. That was more than funny. I'm still laughing at the equation.

    E=MC, like, a million!

  9. I often find myseld resorting to the drama after endless rounds of "but Why's". "Why can't i go for a walk by myself?" "But why?" Infinity. To which i reply "because you'll die."