If you’re like me, once you became a parent you became a lot more talkative. Some of your extra talking is to help your child develop their speech and language skills. But some of it is based on your knowledge that no matter what you tell your child, there will always be questions and misunderstandings about what you’re saying versus what they want to hear. So you learn to add in precautions, known as caveats.
You can have a play date after school. Unless you get sick. Or your friend gets sick. Or it’s cancelled for some reason.
Yes, we can get an ice cream cone. But only one scoop. Kid-sized. And don’t ask for more ice cream or toppings. And don’t tell your brother when we get home that you got ice cream.
We’ll sign you up for piano lessons, but you have to practice. Everyday. Without whining. Before bedtime. Without whining. Seriously, you have to practice without whining.
We’re going to the playground. You have to go to the bathroom before we leave. And don’t play in the sandbox when we get there. And don’t touch any food or trash on the ground. And when I say it’s time to go, it’s time to go. And remember to have fun.
Sure, you can help me bake cookies. Wash your hands first. With soap. Don’t touch the oven. Or get near the oven. Here, stand far away from the oven. What do you mean you aren’t helping bake the cookies if you’re in the living room?
Often times these caveats fall on willfully distracted ears. But saying them at least gives me the sense that I am going to control the upcoming situation. Which rarely happens. But it could. One day. Or maybe not.