(1) Kid: Guess what! I woke up at 5 am all by myself and got dressed!
Outside Voice: You did! Oh my goodness I’m so proud of you! Look how you picked out that shirt I didn’t know you still had! And that belt? Come here and give me a big hug. What a big boy you are.
Inside Voice: 5 am? Tonight I’ll be paying for that. And you look oddly like a lobster.
(2) Kid: Mom? Can you sit with us and watch this television show with us?
Outside Voice: Of course. Let me finish this round of dishes and I’ll be there. I love spending time with you.
Inside Voice: God-forsaken Disney shows. I hate them. I’d rather gouge out my eyeballs with a butter knife. Maybe if I take a really long time with the dishes they will forget all about my existence.
(3) Kid: The noodles in this soup are big. It has too much pepper. I don’t like how big the chicken chunks are.
Outside voice: I know, honey. But do the best you can. Be sure to pick out some carrots and eat those. They are good for your eyes!
Inside Voice: What the hell, kid. When I was your age my mom warmed up Campbell’s soup from a can and this is made from bone broth and roasted chicken. There are kids in Haiti that eat dirt and here you are complaining of the SIZE OF THE FREAKING NOODLES.
(4) Kid: I have a test today. I know we are on the way to school but can I borrow your phone so I can look up this thing I’m supposed to know?
Outside Voice: You are just now telling me this? You should have studied last night! Here, let me look it up on Google. Read it and repeat it to me out loud. We’ll discuss it on the way.
Inside Voice: I’m too old for this.
(5) Kid: I love you, mommy. You’re the best mommy in the world.
Outside voice: That’s so sweet. But you can’t have any more oreos.
Inside Voice: I never, ever get tired of hearing this. Please don’t ever stop saying it. I love you more than anything, ever. More than anything else in the whole world. Please don’t grow up and just stay this way forever. You melt my heart so.
(6)Kid: But he hit me and walked in and grabbed my lip gloss without asking and I told him to get out and –
Other Kid: Nu-uh! That’s not what happened! I simply was walking in to say it was time for breakfast and she threw something at me and —
Outside Voice: Enough! You both are whiny babies! Grow up! What if the other sibling died a tragic death and you were forever filled with guilt and this was your last conversation? When will you understand how privileged you are to have a sibling who loves you and this home and this life and this house and all the things? HUH? WHEN? TO YOUR ROOMS IMMEDIATELY!
Inside Voice: Oh crap. I said all that out loud.
Sometimes the lines are blurred. One day at a time, folks. One day at a time.