A Blessing in Disguise

How is that your kids always figure out your weakest spots and exploit them? Piper spent most of yesterday speaking only in cliches and idioms. I teach college writing; it’s like rubbing salt in my wounds.

“Mommy, will you watch my balloon Lucy while I’m at school? She feels like she doesn’t have a friend in the world,” Piper asked, handing over the ribbon tied to her purple foil love child.

“Of course I will. You can trust me,” I assured her.

“I do. I trust you with all of my heart.” Lucy and I spent the day boxing and bobbing around each other as she trailed me through the house from room to room. Darn helium.

My strategy with cliches and idioms is simply to provide an alternative. It’s not that they are the devil; it’s that there is always a better way to express yourself than relying on pat phrases.

When Piper returned from preschool, I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer.

“How was Lucy?” Piper asked. “Did she have the time of her life?”

“Do you mean was our day successful? Did we get along? Did Lucy behave herself and have fun? Yes, Lucy the balloon did very well.”

“Thanks, Mom. You’re the best mom in the whole world.”

I suppose not all pat phrases are terrible. I can make some exceptions.

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