Sometimes parenting gems fall in my lap.  Well, life gems, really.  Those phrases that make it possible to roll on through the day without taking somebody’s head off.  Phrases like Try Harder.  They come from friends, memes (yes, seriously), articles, billboards – hell, I’m open to any and all input that gets me through. 

Today I thought I’d pass a couple more along.  Phrases that have literally saved my sanity time and again.  With practice, these gems can serve you well, too.

Like it or lump it.

 A close cousin to “well, that’s life”, Like It or Lump It covers a wide variety of – ahem – situations.

Kid unhappy about tech limits?  Bedtime?  What’s for dinner on any particular night?  All times when like it or lump it fits the bill perfectly.

Other situations when this phrase nails it:  kids complain you’re forcing them to listen to “old people music”, you’re three hours from home and seconds away from WWIII in the car, a group of grown a** people can’t decide where to get coffee, your friend has to collect data from 2009 for a tax audit, the fact that vegetables are indeed good for you, and that come-to-Jesus meeting when your kid learns that his/her sleepover will truly, literally, actually be cancelled if their room is still utter devastation at 3:00pm.

What’s it to you?

How on earth did I lose sight of this gem?  Seriously.  It’s the card you can always play when someone oversteps.

Why are we going this way?  What’s it to you?  Who was that on the phone?  What’s it to you?  Why do you drink so much coffee?  What’s it to you?  What makes up up and down down?  What’s it to you?

Sometimes achieving complete shutdown will require a machine gun-like barrage.  Why don’t you get a new iPhone?  What’s it to you?  I’m just asking.  What’s it to you?  I just want to know.  But what’s it to you?  [exasperated sigh]

It is what it is.

See “like it or lump it.”

Every choice has consequences.

This one isn’t quite as effective when it comes to quickly shutting down a coup, but it’s awfully handy when some spunky kid spouts off about freedom of speech.  Well, sure, buddy…you’re free to choose what comes out of your mouth.  You’re also free to experience what comes next.  Enjoy.

Not my clowns, not my crazy.

Talk about a phrase that works across the spectrum.  Keep in mind, this only works if you honestly, genuinely, 100% mean it.  Otherwise you’re saying “not my crazy” while stewing in your own juices.  Not good.

But.  Once you’re in the zone, this one’s golden.  Drama with the PTO.  Nuttiness in the neighborhood.  Kids who cannot understand why the kid down the street gets a new phone, gaming system, and Segway for Christmas.

To all of which I say:  Not my clowns.  Not my crazy.