Communication within a family is very important.
For example, it may be really hard to understand what your toddler just mumbled, but if he or she ended it with a tearful yet perfectly understandable “I’m sorry,” you know you want to understand. Need to.
At the very least so you know if you need to grab a broom, a mop, a towel, a bundle of sanitary napkins, the first aid kit, or some combination thereof.
My vote is on the combo with the first aid kit and something else. For serious injuries inflicted on siblings, I find that sanitary napkins make excellent blood-stoppers, which you can slap on a wound before wrapping it in gauze.
They also minimize any environmental cleanup by absorbing most of the spilled hemoglobin.
You can thank me later for that little tidbit. If you have kids, that day will come.
But there are more sinister forces at work that highlight the need for clear, open lines of communication.
I speak, of course, of the inherently deceptive nature of toddlers.
If you have kids and also a partner you somehow roped into conceiving/birthing/raising them with you, you know what I’m talking about.
The rest of you blessedly lucky childless lot are almost certainly familiar with that old saw:
Satanic spawn larva: Mommy, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it.
S.S.L (sounding petulant, stamping foot on floor): I said, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it.
Mommy: Oh, I don’t know, ask Daddy.
S.S.L. (running to Daddy, who was out of earshot in the other room): Daddy, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it!
Daddy (who was napping on the sofa, the only place he ever gets any sleep these days, since locking himself in the bedroom results in a flurry of tiny fists pounding on the door while shrill voices shout, “Daddy! Daddy! Where are yoooouuuuuuu?): Huh? Wha?
S.S.L. (sounding petulant, smacking his fist in Daddy’s gut): I said, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it.
Daddy: Oof! (has coughing fit, recovers, rubs his red, burning eyes that tire of the harsh, caustic light of reality): What did Mommy say?
S.S.L. (sounding jubilant): Yes!
Daddy: OK then, let’s go get that chocolate milk.
S.S.L.: And Snacky Stix. Mommy said we could have Snacky Stix with it!
This, of course, is the sanitized version you see in pop culture. This is a conscious choice by the blue-helmeted world government that tightly controls the content of our television, radio, book, blogs, and every other aspect of our lives.
This vast conspiracy is necessary in order that naive, childless people still want to have kids and thus sustain the human population.
This is also where the myth that a baby’s first poop is odorless comes from. Don’t believe the lie! The stench is overwhelming!
If the childless amongst us knew the truth, they would sterilize themselves. Yes, sterilize themselves. Even if they had to do it themselves with little more than a bottle of whiskey, a rubber band, a lighter, and a pair of wire cutters.
Oh, how I dream of that day when I had all four of those items, but being clueless, threw them away. I was so young, so foolish then. And now the blue-helmeted world government has made it nearly impossible to obtain all four items at once!
So here’s the raw, unsweetened version, the way it really works, and why we need better communication within a family unit:
Demonic hellspawn maggot: Mommy, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it.
Mommy: Ha ha ha! At 9am in the morning? No!
D.H.M. (squirming its way to Daddy, who was out of earshot, in the other room): Daddy, I want chocolate milk with jelly beans and ice cream mixed into it!
Daddy (massaging his throbbing, sleep-deprived temples): What did Mommy say?
D.H.M. (sounding jubilant): She said ‘Yes!’
Daddy: Right then, let’s go get that chocolate milk.
D.H.M.: And Snacky Stix. Mommy said we could have Snacky Stix with it! (beat) I love having you for a daddy, Daddy.
Because of poor communications, Daddy gives in to every one of this child’s whims, and the family ends up with a morbidly obese, extremely spoiled child who grows up into a heartless investment banker.
All Daddy had to do to prevent this was shout out to Mommy, “Hey, are you crazy, OKing this chocolate milk thingy beverage? It’s only 9am!”
To which Mommy would have replied, “Hell no! Did that brat say I did? Take him to the Room of Unspeakable Discipline and fire up the Spank-A-Thon 2000! We’ll show that little lying bastard!”
To which Daddy responds (sounding crushed): Bastard?
Because Daddy wasn’t getting any sleep, or eating properly, he let himself go, and Mommy didn’t say anything to him, so he didn’t make any effort to stay healthy and look good, and by not doing that, Mommy thought he didn’t care about her wants or needs, so she satisfied them elsewhere.
With someone who, you better believe, had good communication skills.
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