Home Life Laurie Nigro Laurie Nigro: ‘It’s time for bed. Go get your hammer’ — and...

Laurie Nigro:
‘It’s time for bed. Go get your hammer’ — and other crazy things I’ve told my kids

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Recently, we had our friend over for an afternoon of swimming and barbecue. He came with his two adorable children and we had a blast splashing and laughing until dark. Since my kids are big now, I’ve started to forget about the total insanity of the thought processes of little kids. I am not suggesting that teenage brains are completely rational, but it is rare that I have to explain to my big kids why dogs lick their own butts. So it got me thinking back to when they were wee kids and I found myself either starting or ending sentences with, “I can’t believe I have to say this,” and I began compiling a list of some of the particular gems that I have uttered over the years.

“It’s time for bed. Go get your hammer.”

Some kids have favorite stuffed animals. Some kids have a special blankie or a pacifier that they simply refuse to go without. My child had a yellow and green, solid plastic — weighing in at least a pound — hammer. It went everywhere with us and there are still marks in some of our furniture to prove his proficiency with this weapon. And like a special blanket, it was a constant bedtime companion. More than one time I frantically threw blankets in every direction and tugged off sheets to locate this precious, deadly sleeping aid. Because who wouldn’t want to cuddle up to a big ole lump of plastic?

“You may not eat your hamburgers on the wall.”

My oldest has always been a prolific climber and I have all the x-rays to prove it. At one point, I was forced to hospital hop so no one would question his three broken bones in seven months and call CPS on me. With painful frequency, I found him scaling door jambs, hanging from headers between rooms and on occasion, spread out across the hallway ceiling. It is disturbing to hear your child call out to you and have to look up in order to locate him. It was like having a giant spider, except a little bit creepier because he could talk.

“There is no right or left sock. Just put on your damn socks.”

OK, so that one I may have had to say to my husband, but that’s sort of the same thing. I remember the first time he made a comment about his left sock and I laughed, of course assuming he was joking. When he looked at me straight-faced, confused by my response, I was dumbfounded, “You can’t be serious, right? Socks are socks. There are no assigned feet. You just put them on and move on to your shoes.” My comments were summarily dismissed and he treated me as if I were the insane one. Yes, because everyone sells left and right socks. I’m definitely the crazy one here.

“We never shoot our cousins in the forehead with a popgun.”

I am a pacifist. We had no weapons of any kind in my house when my kids were little. All of our toys were made from wood and wool and were all sorts of Waldorf-y. However, kids don’t give a crap what you think and even though I never allowed any type of weaponry, my child was constantly — constantly — making weapons from whatever was in the house. We had guns made out of Legos and swords made out of paper. Then we went to visit family in Texas, which is essentially the anti-pacifist state. The effect was exacerbated by our trip to Fort Worth where every single shop, even the market, carried some type of weapon, either real or in toy form. My child had never experienced such an overload of options in all of his four and a half years and begged for one thing or another. I relented and immediately regretted it when my sister and I ran towards the sound of a screaming child to discover my son, popgun in hand, quietly observing his hysterical cousin. Horrified, I screeched, “Why would you do that??” to which he calmly responded, “I wanted to see what would happen.” Of course, I was instantly convinced I was raising a sociopath. After nearly an hour of crying on top of the garbage cans in my sister’s garage, she located me and help me understand that he was not, in fact, a budding serial killer, but just a normal four-year-old child. And essentially, four-year-olds are a$$holes.

“No, God cannot turn down the sun.”

My princess has always been a dancer. For her second birthday, her aunt sent her an instructional DVD along with the smallest pair of tap shoes I had ever seen. My tiny toddler danced until her feet bled. Bella Dancerella quickly became a household name and dance class has been a part of our lives ever since. However, I was a sports kid. I wasn’t sure what to do with a dancer and though I diligently took her to every single indoor, temperature-controlled class, I also enrolled her in lots of sports. She grand jeté-d her way through tennis, plié-d her way through volleyball and was just at a complete loss in soccer. “Mommy, I can’t even see. Why is it so bright out here?” she complained through her pre-school sized sunglasses, “Can’t God do something about this?”

“Take that t-shirt off the dog right now.”

All right, maybe this one is also my husband’s doing. But I believe the children gleefully took part in humiliating our poor canine companions. There is nothing like the look of betrayal in your pup’s eyes when he knows that the bagginess of that Grateful Dead tee does nothing to flatter his svelte figure.

You hear the saying, “Kid say the damndest things” all the time but I think I should start a new one — “Parents make up all sorts of shite to deal with the insanity of children.” I think it has a nice ring to it.

I keep my dogs in such great shape by letting them clean all of our plates. Also, I give them carrots in place of dog treats (the ten-pound bag of organic ones is about a quarter of the cost of organic biscuits) and occasionally make them some grain-free treats. Try any of these recipes from playbarkrun.com. The frozen ones are a great idea this time of year. And to be honest, I don’t see why we couldn’t share some of these. I mean organic coconut oil and blueberries? I don’t even feed my husband that well.



Laurie Nigro
Laurie is the mother of two biological children and one husband and the caretaker of a menagerie of animals. Laurie is passionate about frugal, natural living. She was recognized by the L.I. Press Club with a “best humor column” award in 2016. Email Laurie