1. “I have to poop!” You sort of know they don’t really have to poop but you also don’t want to spend the next 45 minutes of your life cleaning up feces. So you take them to the bathroom and they get this smirk on their face like they just played you. Which they did. You get to the bathroom and they sit on the toilet. They make lots of grunting noises while you stand in the hall and wonder, How did this become my life? Then they groan, “Uuuuh. The poop won’t come out! Uuuh!” So you go back upstairs with your child who is now even wider awake and all full of themselves because they manipulated you like a tiny, pathetic puppet. And you know what happens the one time you don’t take them to use the facilities? Yeah. Total poonami.
2. “I’m hungry.” Except it’s more like, “I’M H-UH-UH-UH-UH-UN-GREE! YOU DIDN’T FEEEEEEEED ME!” So then you reflect upon what your child ate that day and your very helpful partner says, “Well, maybe she’s growing” so you take your bundle of joy a banana. Which is, of course, not what the kid wants to eat. But you hold your ground and say, “It’s this or nothing!” Your poor, malnourished, low-on-the-growth-curve child then whispers something about how she’s “starving” and you go make a peanut-butter sandwich. If you think bitter thoughts while making the sandwich (such as, What am I? The chef? or She’s not hungry she’s just trying to make me mad) your child will eat the whole sandwich, thus confirming that you are a terrible parent who is not giving your sweet little baby enough food. For shame! If, on the other hand, you make the sandwich gladly while humming a jaunty tune, the sandwich will be thrown in your face.
3. “I want a song.” This may not be so bad if you were smart and raised your child on short lullabies, school fight songs, or Irish drinking songs. If, however, you raised your child on “American Pie” (all the verses), then, well, you are totally screwed. It’s at least another 8 minutes of signing — more if your child is in a questioning mood, “What’s chevy? What’s moss? What’s satan? Why did the music die? Was it shoted?”
4. “I didn’t get to say goodnight to Daddy/Mommy/Gramme/Pop-pop/the mailman.” Suddenly your child becomes all sentimental and weepy over missing a goodnight hug. The same hug, which 20 minutes ago, was flatly refused with an “I don’t want you!” But now your child looks at you with dewy eyes and you think, Aw, my child is so loving and sweet. How could I deny him a hug? Except when your partner comes up to give the requested hug, they are met with hitting/kicking/slapping/spitting.
5. Screaming. Screaming. Aaand more screaming. This can be noise screaming: AAGGGHHHHHH! Pity screaming: I’m all alone! Guilt screaming: No one loves me! Fake-peril screaming: Ow! Ow! I’m HURT! Or about-to-puke screaming: Gak! Gak! I’m gonna throw-up! My child’s personal favorite seems to be freaking-mom-out-by-calling-her-name-in-a-devil-voice screaming: Jossss-lyne! Josss-lyne! She might as well be calling, Red-rum! Red-rum!