One of the joys of being a Dad is being able to use Daddy Phrases. The more ridiculous the Daddy Phrase the better.
You grow up hearing these phrases. What you don’t realize is how much fun they are to use. You also don’t realize that they are a kind of test to see not only if you can hear, but also if you’re actually listening.
The old standbys are especially fun. “If you fall down and split your head open, you’re not getting dessert.” (For the record, this is factually correct.)
“If you break your leg, you’re getting a spanking.” (The trick here is leaving off the “eventually”.)
“Don’t talk to your mother like that!” (Even I don’t get to talk to your mother like that.)
My favorites are still “You can have that when you have a job and can pay for it yourself.” Eventually the child gets the money and you say “You can’t have that in my house. When you have your own house you can have anything in it you want.”
That dialogue leads to “Do you want a spanking?” Now, this one is tricky, because although the obvious answer is “no”, it often tricks Tweens and Teens into sarcastically saying “Yeah” and the results are, well, the results. This ends with me saying “Don’t say I never give you what you want.”
And the final classic: “You’ll never be too big to get a spanking.”
It’s also fun to invent your own phrases. When our oldest was learning to walk, we dedicated certain dangerous areas as forbidden zones. When she stumbled into one, my phrase was “That’s a forbidden zone, Oldest. You what that means? It means it’s forbidden.”
Once again, this is a factual statement that still manages to confuse children. That’s the most fun, especially if it means they are actually listening to you.
In the end, what I like about Daddy Phrases is I get to play the fool (which I am disturbingly good at). Then, when I suddenly reveal that I know everything my girls have been up to, it makes me seem kind of psychic.