MamaWriters are excited to welcome debut author (and my agent-mate) Amanda Forester to the blog! She’s sweet, funny, and writes medievals, so really, what’s not to like?
Amanda is chatting with us about the crazy things we say to our kids. I was laughing the whole time I read it, and nodding my head. And shouting over my shoulder, “Now for the last time, kids: We take turns shoving teddy bears out the window!”
And she’s giving away books! Free books! Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of her debut novel, The Highlander’s Sword.
Please help us welcome Amanda Forester.
“Don’t Lick the Cat,” and Other Mommyisms
My debut novel, THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD is being released this week! Sorry, but that’s pretty much the first thing I’m saying to everyone this week… even if it’s only my husband asking me to pass the salt.
As you probably guessed from the ‘Highlander’ in the title, the book is a Scottish historical (adventure romance). One of the challenges I had in writing the book was trying to write the dialog. If my rugged Highlander speaks like a modern day stock broker, it takes the reader out of the historical setting and leaves the character flat. Too much Scottish brogue and the reader is confused trying to figure out what the character just said.
As I tried to find the right balance of Scottish flavor without jarring dialectical confusion, I found a lot of articles about walking that fine line between too much and not enough. Clearly this is a frequent struggle for writers to find just the right balance, and it got me thinking about my own dialect.
As a mother of two, I found that I speak my own sort of mommy dialect or “mommyisms” – those odd things you say to your kids. Have you ever said things to your kids you can’t believe just came out of your mouth? I have – way too often. Yet if an author was going to write my character, the challenge would be to get the flavor of this strange mommy tongue without writing dialog that sounds just too crazy to be real.
I remember watching the movie “Raising Arizona” and they had one line, “Take that diaper off your head, and put it back on your sister!” Pre-kids I thought it was a humorous exaggeration… until years later I found myself saying something similar to my own kids. If you wrote down some of the things I’ve actually said to my children, no one would believe it.
Take the time my daughter came to me, tears streaming down her face, saying that her brother had more candy than she did. Candy? I’m nervous now, wondering if my kids have found my secret stash. But no, there’s no real candy, the kids are arguing over PRETEND candy. Pretend candy? I gesture in the air and tell my daughter I’m giving her more candy. Now my son starts to wail, saying she has more than he does. I swing my arms wildly in the air shouting, “Candy for everyone! Everyone gets lots of candy. Eat as much candy as you want!” I really hope my neighbors didn’t hear that one.
Many of my mommyisms are more correctional. For example, I must have said, “Don’t sit on your sister,” more times than I can count. This was followed by, “Don’t STAND on your sister,” when my son decided my baby girl made a perfect step stool. Poor baby girl crawled early, I think in part to avoid being a mistaken for a piece of furniture by her toddler brother.
Then there are things I never would have thought of having to reprimand. Commands like, “Don’t use the toilet… when your sister is already sitting on it!” And of course my personal favorite, “Don’t lick the cat.” I mean, really? Okay, maybe once, but wouldn’t one time be a correctional experience? Not my boy! Sad to say, but I found myself saying this more than once… [Sigh]
So how about you?
What crazy things have you found yourself saying to your kids? Please tell me I’m not alone in this!