June 8, 2022

catchy daycare catch phrases

Kids and babies in my care learn a few specific phrases that don't necessarily translate to the world outside of my daycare. I thought I'd share them here in case you want to borrow them, or laugh at how my offspring use my lingo against me. 

Also, I want to point out to you how JOYOUS life is while I'm not babysitting. Since Wilhelm the worst was dropped off at my house three mornings a week all summer for the past three summers, this year is different. Different, as in, glorious. No tots or babies means that I can actually take a break. 

There are projects and things to focus on, don't you worry - but a break from diapers and toys all over the family room and the weekly folding of, and shuffling into the corner of the dining room of high chairs . . . that kind of a break is very welcome. 

The tots and babies will all be 3 months older when next we meet, and I have high hopes that three of them will no longer be in diapers. Fingers crossed. They will be that much easier to care for, since they will be more mature. Right?

I will only have one baby, Ellie, in the fall, but by then she will be 15 months. Hooray. She's so cute. Her older brother has been dropped off here since he was 12 weeks old, and he (like the other guys) feels like family. 

Anyway, Ellie was starting to crawl before the school year ended. She was a decent escape artist and if I didn't have her planted in an exersaucer, she could sometimes scoot out into the kitchen. While that is against my rules, it is tough to enforce with a baby. 

AH AH AH:  I teach my littles that they aren't allowed to cross the border with a very firm, AH AH AH, combined with a stern face. It doesn't take a lot of creativity to imagine my own offspring tsk-ing me at times if they don't want me to go in a room or touch something of theirs by mimicking me with a sharp AH AH AH. Ellie will be introduced to the AH AH AH come end of August. 

NIGH-NIGH THE BABY:  Just before Ellie was born, her mom texted me and asked me to clarify something. She'd asked her 2 year old what songs he would sing to the new baby. 2 year older big brother to be, Logan, was humming something that she couldn't identify. It was nigh-nigh the baby.

This is the schedule at my house:  eat lunch, clean up toys, read a book, lay down for diaper changes/run to the potty. Then when we are all set for naps, we sing nigh-nigh the baby. They march up the stairs, or I carry them, and they hop into beds. All praise the routine. 

Fun fact:  a friend once came here to have lunch with me during nap time. She watched as my small fries hopped up after their diapers were changed, singing our nap time tune, and happily climbed the stairs. She was awestruck at their cooperation. 

The start of nigh night the baby:  When Lad was a year and a half, my mom and I drove around one night to look at houses? Front doors? Something I couldn't afford. Lad started getting tired and was crying in his car seat, so my mom tried to get him to fall asleep. She was like OK, GO NIGH NIGH. It morphed into she and I singing nigh-nigh the baby in order to lengthen our drive-around time. 

I called the confused mom after I got her text asking me if I had any clue about this mysterious song. Embarrassed as I was, I sang nigh-nigh the baby. She was like THAT'S IT! THAT IS WHAT HE IS SINGING. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

*Mini does not want me to share this video because you can see that my house is messy, phew baby - if you think this upstairs hallway is messy - you would not be able to handle the rest of the house. Anyway, this year the nigh night the baby habit became less lullaby like and more aggressive, because the 2 year/3 year old boy crew would go potty and head upstairs ahead of me while I was still bogged down with diaper changing. The boys would hide upstairs and wait for me to chase them to their beds. I reached through the bannister once to grab at them, and then it was 'a thing.' 

Enjoy . . . it's a 19 second snippet of my formerly peaceful nap time routine. 

My own children sing this to me when I fall asleep on the couch watching a movie. Or if I can't keep my eyes open while trying to watch a movie. Or when one of us says good night 'earlier' than the teen crowd deems normal. 

Have I mentioned that I live with a bunch of comedians?

TOO MANY TIMES:  This is my favorite. It has a very worthwhile purpose. If you know toddlers, then you get that they are a repetitive people. For the love of all things, do NOT repeat the same words to me 50 times in three minutes. I can't. I won't. For example, the twin girls that just turned 2, who I adore, will alert me that a truck is on the road when we drive ANY WHERE. 

"A truck, a truck, a truck, a truck, a truck." Or when I suggest that we might get to go outside before lunch, they will repeat at nauseum:  "Go outside, go outside, go outside." - see how I am ending it here with a period, you're welcome. In real life there is no actual end. Thus, my need to institute a TOO MANY TIMES rule of thumb. Eventually, tots get the point that it is time to shut their little miniature pie holes. 

*The twins did not get the point at the start of summer, but I happen to know that their mother is utilizing the same correcting technique. MAYBE they will utter something once come August. One can hope. 

My family members LOVE to use the TOO MANY TIMES words against me, or one another, or they get crafty and aim it at commercials, etc. It's fun, you should try it. If I repeat something that I may have asked them to do a million times, they will say  TOO MANY TIMES, to me - their mother, the one who COINED the dang phrase. 

What weird phrases do your people use, even if your people are not toddlers? I get that non-toddlers need to be redirected with family phrases too. Do tell. Or, which of the above phrases might you find useful in your own world?


mbmom11 said...

We call all kool-aid type drinks "red stuff" regardless of color or flavor. It sounds like the kids in your care have fun and learn the rules. You should run a babysitters training school .

Ally Bean said...

"If you know toddlers, then you get that they are a repetitive people."

Made me laugh with this line. It's why I often call certain politicians toddlers, they babble the same thing over and over again. Enjoy your summer. You deserve a break from the wee ones and littles.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - Red stuff, regardless of color. That's great. Fun fact, I did auction off a babysitting 'class' back when the kids attended Catholic school. The auction committee was looking for experiences that folks could auction off that were unique. I think three girls came over to learn a few tips from me, like how to distract a crying toddler upset when her folks left home, etc. Secretly, I think all three wanted to win the auction item so that they could play with 18 month old Curly and 2.5 year old Reg. It was a hoot.

Ernie said...

Ally - Glad you enjoyed that line.

Of course politicians, and certain, ahem, teenagers can be equally repetitive. Ask me for dinner AGAIN, you pesky teen, and you will be scolded with 'TOO MANY TIMES.'

I have a plan in place to enjoy my break from littles. I will share after I crack the whip over here and figure out how to get my able-bodied people to pick up the slack. Not gonna attempt it until after the grad party this weekend.

Nicole said...

Awww! This was very cute. I'm sure we have phrases but I cannot for the life of me think of one right now! Enjoy your summer without babysitting!

Beth Cotell said...

I absolutely love that your kids use your phrases against you. I'm sure it annoys you but they do have a great sense of humor! My kids are always making fun of me for my 10:00 pm bedtime but, I'm old. I need my sleep. Nigh nigh the baby/old lady!

Kara said...

We have a non-verbal cue in our family. You know the baseball umpire sign for a home run - pointer finger in the air, spun in a circle? Well, we use that for "wrap it up." When it's time to leave somewhere or get ready to go in the car, I use that signal. The kids also use it to me to signal that they're bored and want to go.

Kari said...

Enjoy your summer break from babies!! Do you have any fun plans this summer? Is the deck pool making an appearance??

Pat Birnie said...

That video is the cutest! Way to get them all worked up before they go to sleep! you are a pro and doing what you are good at. That said no doubt you enjoy your summer break - baby daycare must be exhausting!

Busy Bee Suz said...


You DO know that your kids will all sing Nigh Nigh Baby to your grandkids, right?

I'm a neat freak, but really, considering all the people and toddlers in your house. You can really tell those kids LOVE you. How lucky are their parents? Very.

I love the Too Many Times phrase; I could incorporate that somewhere, I just know it.

Gosh, we have many family phrases, but I can't think of a short one right now....just about to plate dinner and sit down.
Thanks for the giggles.

joymariecooks said...

Too many times may have to join our family lexicon. Toddlers are wonderful, amazing, repetitive people. Our 2 year olds favourite thing of late is when she is told she can't have or do something is to then tell over and over that "I don't want (thing)" She also climbs on things she knows she's not supposed to and yells "No no get down" 😂

Your daycare sounds amazing!

Gigi said...

The Ah Ah Ah one is me, apparently. But I seem to pull off that vibe silently. My friend's youngest, from the time he could walk always stopped at the invisible line into our kitchen (which was not baby/toddler proofed at all) after I told him ONCE that he wasn't supposed to be in my kitchen. It was hilarious. Even now at five, when he wants a glass of water, he will ask for a glass and then lean as far over the invisible line as he can to get his water from the fridge door without ever putting his feet into the kitchen. Also, apparently, having a water dispenser in the fridge door is a source of endless delight to the younger set.

Ernie said...

Nicole - These little guys are a trip. I do have high hopes of embracing my summer free of little guys.

Ernie said...

Beth - I really don't mind that my kids use my own phrases against me - they do crack me up. I forgot about another thing I used to say to one baby years ago who had a hard time drinking his bottle/easily distracted. I'd say DRINK YOUR BA. Believe it or not my gang finds ways to incorporate that into our non-baby life too. I think your kids should start saying NIGH-NIGH THE BABY to you when you retire so early. ;)

Ernie said...

Kara - I love it. Great signal. I taught my kids some sign language when they were really young. I continued to use 'sit down' when they were much, much older. If they were running somewhere unacceptable, like the library, I would sign SIT DOWN from across the room and they would drop to their butts as if a switch had been thrown.

Ernie said...

Kari - I have been very busy preparing the house and food for the grad party on Saturday . . . please no rain. After the party, I will be in full-on chill out mode. Our local pool is open, so I do not have any plans to set up the raccoon spa. If it had been really hot for weeks before the pool opened, there would've been a chance.

Ernie said...

Pat - It is a funny part of our routine, and yes - nothing like getting them all worked up and then LIGHTS OUT. Two best buddy boys share a room at nap time. I caught them chatting once. Ever since then, every single time I put them to bed the one guy confirms with me NO TALKING TO LOGAN, RIGHT? As if the rules might change at some point. Very funny. It is exhausting. Keeps me young, I guess . . . my graying hair says otherwise.

Ernie said...

Suz - I've always loved summer. With my current job, that remains the case.

I fully expect my little phrases will live on as my kids have their own kids. I was careful not to follow the tots INTO the bedrooms, the true messy places. You would be appalled. I'm cracking the whip this summer, but the giant boy room that houses 3 boys is a lost cause.

I'm sure you do have some great family-only phrases.

Ernie said...

joymarie - Your little lovey is hilarious. I love the built in scolding. Feel free to use TOO MANY TIMES to help keep your sanity. It beats BE QUIET!

Ernie said...

Gigi - The folks I sit for are always amazed that I get them to do this or that, but they do tend to behave differently for me than they do their own parents. No one wants to cross me, my own kids though? Well, my 'magic' didn't really work without fail on them. I love how your friend's son is not about to break your rules.