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Things I Never Knew I'd Say To My Kids by Mir Kamin for

Things I Never Knew I’d Say

By Mir Kamin

At some point while wasting time on the Internet instead of being a productive human being, I came across Nathan Ripperger’s hilarious illustrations of things he’s said to his kids. Now, apparently Ripperger is an illustrator, so his skills are evident, and of course small children inspire us to say all sorts of bizarre things because they are bizarre little creatures.

My illustration skills are poor, so perhaps I should reach out to someone with actual chops for collaboration on a teen series. More and more often, though, I’m realizing that the “weird stuff I find myself saying” hasn’t abated as my children have aged. In fact, stuff is just getting weirder. So I thought I’d try my hand at a similar series. (My apologies to Mr. Ripperger in advance. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.)

When trying to coax my teen to hang out at home with pals:


When wondering when my car became communal property:


When I’ve made a terrible mistake:

When the appreciation for my efforts to nourish my family is just overwhelming:

When evenings get a little raucous:

I could keep going, I suppose, and maybe I could even convince you that my illustrations are… ummm… stylized. (Yeah, that’s it.) Entertain me, will you? What have you found yourself saying to your teen that seemed perfectly logical as it left your mouth but the fact that it seemed logical made you realize exactly how weird life really is?

About the Author

Mir Kamin

Mir Kamin began writing about her life online over a decade ago, back when she was a divorced mom trying to raise two regular little kids and figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Now ...

Mir Kamin began writing about her life online over a decade ago, back when she was a divorced mom trying to raise two regular little kids and figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Now her life looks very different than it did back then: Those little kids turned into anything-but-regular teenagers, she is remarried, and somehow she’s become one of those people who talks to her dogs in a high-pitched baby voice. Along the way she’s continued chronicling the everyday at Woulda Coulda Shoulda, plus she’s bringing you daily bargain therapy at Want Not. The good news is that Mir grew up and became a writer and she still really likes hanging out with her kids; the bad news is that her hair is a lot grayer than it used to be.

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  • […] my mind off of it. I bet you didn’t know I’m super artistic, but I totally am. In fact, I made you some great illustrations of parenting teenagers. (If you want prints you can just pay for them with my credit card, […]

  • Heather G

    October 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    My daughter will be 18 in April 2016. She has had a grand total of 3 people at our house since she entered high school.  Yesterday as I was pulling into the driveway after work I noticed there was someone new sitting with her outside.  After introductions and such, I looked at the girl and said “Okay so how much is she paying you to pretend to be her friend?”  They both crack up laughing (thankfully!) and my daughter tells me, “See Mom, I told you, my friends really do exist”.  The funny part is her step dad asked the exact same thing when he got home.  I wonder if we will see that girl around again?  

  • Leanne Hendricks

    October 28, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I’m wondering if the threat of unleashing baby pictures would really work? ? Loved the sayings and the art work. My husband is the artist. I on the other hand find stick figures challenging.

  • Jen

    October 28, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Actual conversations I had with my teenage children today-

    Me: What happened to all the towels in the bathroom? (There are normally 6 bath towels – we were down to 1)
    Child: Fine, I guess I won’t use towels anymore! Will that make you happy?

    Me: How many pages do you have left to read?
    Child: I don’t know, I lost my place.
    Me: Have you even been reading the book?
    Child: I think so.

    Child: Why did you buy more shampoo? We have so much shampoo but no body wash.
    Me: You told me you needed shampoo. You wrote down what kind to buy on the list.
    Child: Well I figured you should know what we needed. Now how am I supposed to take a shower?
    Me: I guess you could use shampoo.
    Child: *rolls eyes*

    Me: Why are there 4 pairs of dirty underwear on the floor?
    Child: I was looking for my phone.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m in a parallel universe.

  • Megan

    October 28, 2015 at 1:22 am

    These are actual words I said to my 2 year old at dinner:

    Don’t spit, [name].  Don’t spit, swallow.

    (She’s in a phase where she likes to take a drink of water and spit it on the table, floor, plate, you name it–at least not on people so far!)

    • Mir Kamin

      October 28, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Straight into the baby book, Megan. 😉

  • Tenessa

    October 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

    My youngest is apparently part goat. He’s 8.5 years old now, but somehow he still eats everything. I find myself asking: You ATE corner of your book? and Is that eraser food? and No, you can’t use the markers, you ATE them last time. and What is that you in your mouth? Are you chewing your tongue?!?
    Honestly? I don’t know how we haven’t ended up at the hospital.

  • Susie

    October 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I’m 31. My son is 4. My sister is 16. The overwhelming number of seemingly obvious statements I’ve had to make to both of them defy description…

  • Cindy

    October 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I have one that is double duty because this is both weird and proof I have turned into my parents. When the herd o’ children have been loud, continuously until something in me pops, I have caught myself roaring at full volume “I want to hear SILENCE……and damn little of it.”

    Funny enough, even though it makes no sense, it is just as effective for me as it was my stepfather.

    Absolute quiet will reign, at least long enough for me to locate my sanity. Other things I’ve said that still puzzle me for the necessity of them “put your shoes outside and no, the dog won’t touch them, the smell is too horrific”
    “what do you DO with all the q-tips. No seriously, WHAT? I counted your ears when you were born and you have two like the rest of us.” “OMG ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOW! Farting is a normal body function but you have to ROLL DOWN THE WINDOW or the rest of us will choke and die from the fumes” “if you poop three times a day, every day, you should probably adjust your diet. Just sayin'”

  • Kim too

    November 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Oh, that “Not my favorite child one” is cracking me up. I haven’t been terribly interesting, but I did post one from the field trip I chaperoned.  “I went to Plantronics once.”
     “My dad works there, did you see him?  He has short brown hair and a beard.”
    Kid, you just described 40% of the male population of Santa Cruz!