Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Get off Your Brother!

I think most moms and dads develop phrases they use to get the attention of their children. We have of course, the classics.

“Don't make me pull this car over!”
If I have to come back there...”
Wait until your father gets home!”

In our house, the most used phrase is, “Get off your brother!” It's a handy phrase when you have two boys. There's no need to investigate the situation at length, because inevitably one brother will be “on” the other. It's generic enough that it has multiple applications.

Wrestling too hard for the younger one? “Get off your brother!”
Clinging and hugging too much? “Get off your brother!”
General pestering and annoying? “Get off your brother!”
Hear someone shrieking in misery? “Get off your brother!”

It's funny to hear their responses, because they admit their guilt without meaning to. After hearing the phrase, one or both will say, “But Mom, I was only...” It's especially good when they both have something to defend themselves with. Then you know it's a true brotherly spat and that both are partially to blame. A simple, “Get off your brother!” is all that's needed to rectify the situation.

Some situations are more complicated. “But I'm not ON my brother!” This said after some physical confrontation is over and though he is indeed not PRESENTLY on his brother, he sure was a minute ago, which I why I heard screaming. These are the ones that are harder to untangle and figure out the true culprit who must then be dealt with. Sure, the big brother may have put the little one in a headlock and caused discomfort, but why? Surely there was some instigation going on. I'm not saying there haven't been random cases of headlocking happening, but most of the time, the little one has done something irritating causing the older to resort to said method of restraint.

The phrase continues to be useful even now that they are teenagers. Of course The Transporter could best OYT in most altercations of a combative nature, but these days, the “on your brother” is more metaphorical. “Get off your brother!” “But he hasn't done the dishes! I'm just trying to get him to do the dishes!” My job, not yours. Get OFF.

We have a new phrase, too. They've really bonded this school year, and now I get to see them “playing well with each other” and say, “What a nice brother you have!”

Does your family have any handy phrases that you use repeatedly in the wrangling of your children? Did your parents? Please share.



Jo said...

My mother used to use my full name when I was in trouble with the result I really don't like to be called Josephine to this day.

Brian Miller said...

ha. we def use that phrase a bunch in our house...and its no guarntee it is the older on the younger....the younger has caught up and can get back now...mine was the use of my middle initial...oh yeah i was in trouble then...smiles.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's funny. I don't think my mom used that one often.
I don't remember what phrases my mom yelled at us, but I do recall that my father started every road trip with the battle cry of 'Off like a herd of turtles!'

Jeremy [Retro] said...

yes, us too... full names and sound of grunts that involved getting us. now we could never seem to get it together that we shouldn't fight when they are home. choosing the time while the game was on, sunday mornings at 6am... we did out to be decent human beings.

Andrew Leon said...

You left out that time honored favorite:
"I'll give you a reason to cry!"

The things that gets said most in our house are
"Stop instigating"
"You're not the cop."

JoJo said...

I have nothing to contribute b/c I have no kids! My aunt though, she always used to threaten to give one of us 'a crack' if we didn't behave. Come to think of it, she was scary when she said it but I don't recall her actually hitting us.

Silvia Writes said...

How's it going. That's the phrase we start a phone conversation with, or say when walking in the house. Just forgo the Hello, and go straight to the subject, implying Has everyone been good, Things fine?

Rachel said...

My mom just used my full name. I knew that if she brought out the middle name, I was in deep trouble. If she used my entire name, I knew that I should probably start begging for forgiveness right then and there.

Anonymous said...

The one I use, that I remember from childhood (and probably said I'd never use) is "pack it in, you two".
As the youngest child I remember getting my sister into trouble so I always make a point of finding a reason to tell them both off, unless I actually witness the incident.

Lucy said...

We didn't have any special phrases but I was the youngest with a huge gap, my sister and I are almost 8 years apart and my brother is 12 years older than me. I never really wrestled or anything with them.
The Full Name was used a lot and I knew I was in big trouble. Now, don't get me wrong, I heard all the other phrases from time to time. "Wait til your Father gets home" and so on lol

My kids being a boy and a girl really didn't have that physical stuff either, and I used a lot, I do mean a lot, lol, of different phrases with them, but no special automatic phrase and the full name, was the critical stage, they knew that was when I really was over it.

Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I'm sure we did .. the usual one .. is 2 minutes after leaving the house 'are we nearly there?' ... on a three hour trip - I suppose we might have said that too - but my Mama gave us sweets galore and that shut us up - til we had sore mouths!!

No idea .. but loved Alex Dad's phrase ... "off like a herd of turtles" .. great one!

Cheers and happy days with playing happily together boys! Hilary