Catch-A-Phrase Redux

Y’all have your favorites, (Catch-A-Phrase, Catch-A-Phrase Reloaded) but you haven’t heard ‘em all!

“If I go up there(/in there) and find it, I am not going to be thrilled…” This phrase is used when the kiddos are losin’ their belongings, and I, in turn, feel like I’m losin’ my mind! I deliver it very matter-of-factly, but the kiddos can tell by my tone they had better retrace their steps just one more time.

“Chill out!” This phrase I deliver either a la, Bob Marley, Zen Nanny way,(with a “man” on the end of course.) to help the kiddos calm down and not get too worked up. But if they are past the crazy point of no return, I’ll deliver it via my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression: much more force, and delivered very theatrically, arms stretched as if being hit by lighting—fingers tensed to the point of quivering. The kiddos are usually dumbfounded at first, then laugh and quit whatever unchill activities they were up to. Like many Miss Cherylisms, it can be a double-edged sword, causing the kiddos to kick up a ruckus just to hear me discipline like the Terminator. That, or they take up the phrase as their new favorite. Nothing is funnier than hearing a mimicking toddler try out an Austrian accent!

“You are not the nanny…Enjoy your life.” Many times, in sibling interactions, the line between being an older sibling, and a caregiver may blur in the mind of said firstborn. Often times they will boss the younger one/s around to the point of extreme annoyance—both for the younger sibling/s, and Miss Cheryl. When it gets to that point I step in and very simply remind the little tyrant, that he/she is not the nanny, therefore he/she is not in charge of younger ones, and in equal measure he/she can stop trying to be responsible for other kiddos and enjoy his/ her life. I feel that by saying this phrase, I put the kiddo in his/her place (and out of my role) and also lift the burden of him/her having to feel like an adult. I am all for the developing of leadership, and taking on responsibility as it is character-building, but there comes a point when a Supernanny knows when her sneakers are being stepped on! The kiddos respond with chagrin to the first part of the statement, but definitely lighten up with the second part. The younger siblings often follow in my footsteps and defend their rights to live in a domestic democracy when it comes to their siblings, employing my catchphrase themselves. I’ve heard many a younger brother/sister exclaim to an overbearing sibling, “You are NOT the nanny. Enjoy your life!”

“You’re in trouble if you smile!” Kiddos are sometimes moody, but the upside of moodiness is that the upswing from bad humor to good humor is just a Supernanny sentence away. If I can present a ridiculous rule or challenge to the kiddos, they have no choice but to smile and laugh. (Plus if they’re being contrary, it serves their motivation to do the opposite of what I say anyway. I don’t have a degree in Psychology for nothing!)

“It’s not giggle time, it’s {insert appropriate time: ‘dinner time/reading time—though I would not recommend it for pre-nap/rest time!}!” Kiddos are almost always having a good time. The kiddos I nanny are all happy-go-lucky kiddos for the most part, and if that levity and laughter spills into mealtimes, reading time, any other time, nothing makes me happier. The only way to up the laugh-o-meter on that is by saying this phrase. The kiddos love it!

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