Mine is, "Because I said so." I committed to never say that to my own daughters because I always thought it was a cop out for a grown-up who didn't have a real reason to back up a nonsensical request. But now, sure enough, there I am in the middle of an exchange with one of my kids, and suddenly those dreaded words sneak past my lips and into that public domain where they can never be retrieved. I feel like I hear them after they come out of my mouth before I think to say them in the first place. I know that's impossible, but it is this denial that I live in until I discover another deep-rooted psychological explanation to answer why I would do that. In fact, after I catch myself exclaiming that rather immature comment that should be relegated to the same category as "I'm rubber, you're glue..." or "I know you are, but what am I?", I am momentarily paralyzed as I fear revocation of my parenting license. Not even so much because of the fear, but the awareness that I would deserve such a fate, my world moves in slow motion for a few seconds.
Then, suddenly, I regain my wits just in time to hear my daughter question again, "But, dad, why?" To which, I instantaneously search my brain for a reason - not even a good or fair one - anything that hints at rationality. When I come up empty a second time, the despicable phrase slides off my tongue again, this time with more volume and authority behind it. "Because I SAID SO!" After all, this time, I mean it!
Do you have a saying that your parent(s) used to say to you that you now catch yourself saying to your own children? Share it as a comment.
If you need some ideas, then watch this.