Catchy Phrases (Child Hypnotism)

In parenting some things need no translation, like the mom glare.  In English or Spanish (and I imagine any other language), the mom glare instantly tells a child that mom means business, and that they must start behaving or else!  It took awhile for me to master this look.  It was very hard for me to try to look mad and serious when a cute 11 month old was staring back at me smiling, but eventually parenting is more than just cuddles, diaper changes, feedings and raspberry kisses.

Eventually, I found my inner mom glare in addition to other disciplinary tactics.  My parenting strategy is a combination of ideas I picked up from my childhood, parenting books and teachers, but sometimes my ideas have come unexpected places like cartoons.  For example, my favorite, was saying “Swiper no swiping” when my kids would snatch things away from other kids (thank you Dora for the idea).  It was nice to have a specific phrase to repeat whenever my child took things from other kids.  Because it was short, specific and consistent it made sense to my child, but better yet, I was armed with a plan for that scenario.

A few months ago a friend’s child was crying because she wanted a different color cup.  My friend calmly told her daughter, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.  It was a cute and catchy phrase, but I expected the child to continue crying like my children often did when they really wanted something, but instead the child instantly stopped crying.  Her mom’s explanation apparently made sense to her. You get what you get and you don’t get upset.  I liked it and I stole it! I tried it out that same evening when it was time give my kids their gummy bear vitamin. Usually, I would try to find their favorite color to avoid whining, but this time I purposely gave them the wrong color.  They cried as expected and I said “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”.  They stopped crying, paused and then ate their vitamin quietly. Wow!  Since then I use that phrase whenever fighting, crying and whining starts about who has the biggest piece of cake, and why can’t I give them a different color straw.  It works every time no matter the circumstances.

I was happy to have a new idea to file into my mommy game plan.  I was new to this American mommy parenting thing. I was parented in Spanish and there was little rhyming involved, but there is one Spanish poem I remember and often use with my children when they fall.  My mom would say this to me after a fall, and somehow it made it all better:”sana, sana, colita de rana, si no se sana hoy se sana mañana” (heal, heal, frog booty, if you don’t feel better today, you will feel better tomorrow).  Not only does this poem make the pain go away, but it puts a smile on your little one’s face.

I like to find patterns in life, and it is obvious that we just need phrases that are catchy or rhyme. It seriously, falls short of hypnotism! I am on to something! If there are more rhyming parenting lines I must know them all! Bwahahaha (evil laugh)! Last week I asked local moms to share the catchy or rhyming parenting phrases that they’ve heard or currently use.  I made a list of these phrases, and added a few that I made up. Thank you to the local mom Facebook page for sharing some of these!

Catchy Phrases (Child Hypnotism)

  • “Criss cross applesauce”
  • “Crisscross applesauce with hands on your laps and bubbles in your mouth.” (so they sit still, keeps hands to themselves and don’t interrupt)
  • “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”
  • “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.”
  • “Get a tissue for your issue.”
  • “It’s time to clean your pits, your sits and lady bits.”
  • “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.”
  • “Take a break before you make a lake.”
  • When your kid is whining ask “what do whiners get?” pause and answer “nothing, whiners get nothing”.  I LOVE this one. My kids understand they need to use a different tone when asking for something.

I made up a couple of my own:

  • “Take a nap or mommy is going to snap” (ok, maybe this is not a nice one)
  • “After eight it is too late” (when they ask for snacks after bedtime).

If you know of more phrases in English or Spanish please share in the comments!  


I caught them red handed, but I took a photo and laughed. Sometimes it is best just to laugh at the moment.



We are making it up as we go!
This happens once a week at least. Sometimes moms and dad don’t know what we are saying, and our kids will gladly point it out.


Sanctuary for Moms at Walking Dead Cafe

I am not into zombies, but in my experience as a mother I have felt like one. It was mostly during the first two years of my children’s lives where wiping butts, faces, tables and floors took up most of my day and a good nights sleep was not a guarantee.  In those days walking exhausted and drained with disheveled clothes and hair was a normal day. In fact, one year for Halloween I dressed up as my “old self”, I put on make up and nice clothes. If I was going to wear makeup for Halloween, it might as well make me look pretty, not scary! Nowadays, I look halfway decent. I mean I try to coordinate my clothes, put on make up and do my hair. Not all on the same day. I can usually do two out of three. Jewelry? Lol! Yeah, I am not there yet. Maybe next year. Now, however, with one child that is in school full time and the other goes to school three days a week, I can take a step closer to regain my identity. I can go out of the house during daylight hours to places that are not the grocery store or the park. For example, there is this cafe that I saw next door to my hair salon the last time I got a haircut 5 months ago. It is called the Walking Dead Cafe, in Senoia Ga., Yes, it is the town where the Walking Dead is filmed. It is 10 minutes from my house and everything in this town is adorable, including this cafe with French country decor and the zombies peaking out of the Walking Dead museum next door. I have wanted to visit this cafe, but I did not want to go with the kids. The place is so beautiful and relaxing. I wanted to wait for the perfect time to enjoy the experience.

Today was that day! I set up a date with one of my favorite mom friends after we dropped our girls off at school. The experience was all I ever dreamed and more! I almost did not want to tell anyone about this place and just keep it for myself.

Apparently putting on lotion is something else I should aim for next year.
Apparently putting on lotion is something else I should aim for next year. Can you see my ashy knees?

I felt they made this cafe for me and all other moms. This sign below greeted us at the entrance. It said: “Sanctuary for all community, For all those who arrive, survive” . They are talking about motherhood, right? It is the sanctuary for all the mommies that have survived the zombie stage of motherhood and can now come to a cafe alone and drink warm coffee in silence? That was my interpretation, but then again I don’t watch the show so coffee, sanctuary, survival just mean something different to me.

Walking Dead Cafe: Sanctuary for all community, for all those who arrive survive
Walking Dead Cafe: Sanctuary for all community, for all those who arrive survive
Flat screen TV, fireplace and couches. Perfect sanctuary!
Flat screen TV, fireplace and couches. Perfect sanctuary!
The decor! It's like Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper came to decorate herself!
The decor! It’s like Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper came to decorate herself!IMG_3412
The Walking Dead Museum next door has a jail cell with a bed
The Walking Dead Museum next door has a jail cell with a bed.

The coffee was great, the atmosphere was incredible and with free wifi I sense I have found a great place to write, a sanctuary underground where I can contemplate how I am no longer a mom zombie. I am a blogger now. I taught a Spanish summer class, coached soccer, started an online group of more than 200 members for the Latino community in our area…I am doing more. I still don’t get paid for anything I do, but I am at least following some passions and getting my feet wet before going out into the working world.