On a piece of notebook paper, I’ve been keeping a running record of my younger son’s spiteful comebacks since he was 2-3 years old, and I finally decided to type them up and save them to file. He recently turned 4 and the threats continue, only getting better with age. His dad says he gets his spiteful streak from me—and you know what? I’ll take that as a compliment, because I only wish that I’d have come up with some of these myself.
There have been a couple of more recent ones that my son has come up with since his 4th birthday, but I really felt like they’d be better as posts of their own. I’ll be writing those up for a time in the near future, but until then, here are the ones that were good enough to write down from when he was 2 and 3.
As you read, preface each line with the way he always started out, which was, “Okay, you’re not gonna let me _____________?”
“…Then I’m gonna open your computer, and I’m gonna DO tuss to it.” [He had his threats downpat before his full grasp of language. “Tuss” was how he used to say “stuff.”]
“…Then I’m not doing the decorations!”
Me: “Christmas is over, buddy.”
Him: “Then I won’t do ANY decorations!”
“…Then I’m gonna make a loud noise, and you’re gonna be scared.”
“…Then I will pull another booger out and put it on your face.”
“…Then I’m not gonna eat NOTHING!”
Me: “Okay, then, I’ll just throw it all—"
Him, running back to the table: “NOOOOOOO!”
“…Then I’ll rip out the pages of your book.”
After recently having been potty trained: "…Then I will take my underwear off and put a diaper on.”
Him, arms crossed willfully over his chest: “…Then I’m not gonna talk to you NO MORE.”
“…Then I will tell Daddy you’re mean!”
Me: “Daddy already knows.”
“…Then I will make a big mess.”
“…If you do that, then I’m gonna take all of your toys and give them away.” [He may have heard me threaten that a time or two during particularly reluctant cleanup.]
Once, he wanted to eat lunch at preschool with friends instead of going to the babysitter’s, where I was taking him, and we were running really late. I was in a crunch to get to work on time, and he knew it and used that information to add some oomph to his threat: "…Then I will walk backwards and go reaaaaaaaally slow.”
“…Then I will cry.”
“…Then I’ll go AGGGHHHHHHHHH!”
One of my particular favorites, when we wouldn’t let him have a ring pop at Wal-Mart:
“…Then I will grab the bag, and I will start running, and I will go faster than you.”
Me: “HA! You think you can beat ME? You do remember that I got 1st place in my age group at my 5K this morning, and—"
My husband: “Oh, shit. Here we go with the 5K again.”
And finally, our all-time favorite (until he came up with the ones I’ll write about soon). This one included much arm-swooshing and widened eyes to get his point across. He had a vision to share, after all:
“…Then I’m gonna build a DANGEROUS house, and I’m not gonna make a door—so you can’t get out!”
You have to understand my household, peeps. My boys are very well behaved because, like I always tell them, there are consequences for their actions because I refuse to raise little brats who become big jerks.
And I will not take full credit for this because I believe that a lot of it has to do with the personality and temperament of a child, but in any case, neither of my boys (7 and 4) has ever thrown a temper tantrum or a screaming fit.
So damn, when my younger son has a little temper flare-up that, from start to finish, includes only a hilarious one-liner, then I’ll take it. Because two of my favorite things in life are my boys and humor, and when I get a dose of them combined, then man, life doesn’t get much better than that.
Thanks for indulging me!