Parenting Surprises: The Things You Never Thought You’d Say to Your Kids

Photography by Dominique Godbout via Flickr(CC)

“If you take this medicine, you can sleep in my bed and I’ll buy you a trophy.”

Now, there’s something I can file under “things I never thought I’d say.” But if I have learned one thing in my almost eleven years as a parent, it is this: tired parents will say and do outrageous things. I have a 6-year-old sickie at home right now. She is feverish and clingy. She has a bad croupy cough and would rather hold in the coughs than let them out because she is afraid of coughing up phlegm. Oh, and to add insult to injury, my child who loves to take medicine has decided that she no longer loves to take medicine. She spent an entire night awake and uncomfortable, hurting my heart with every seal-barking cough.

I am not proud that I said it. And I am regretting the offer to allow her to share the bed with me. She’s a nighttime mover and shaker and she has likely shared more contagious germs than I’d like to think about. But I was desperate, you see. I just wanted her to sleep. I wanted to sleep.

The good news is that she took the medicine and has been fever-free for more than 24 hours. The bad news is that now I have to find her a trophy.

What about you? What’s on your “things I never thought I’d say” list?

—Ali, senior associate editor of

2 responses to “Parenting Surprises: The Things You Never Thought You’d Say to Your Kids”

  1. Meghan says:

    Not really along the same lines, but after a night of very little sleep and a morning of having very naughty children, I totally lost my cool and told my kids they weren’t allowed to SMILE.

    Definitely not something I ever thought I’d say.

  2. Ali says:

    Haha. That totally makes me feel better.