If you were to look ‘nothing’ up in the dictionary, you’d get a definition that includes: nonexistent, no thing, not anything, naught, and a nobody. If you were to ask a parent what ‘Nothing’ means, well, let’s just say it would mean something.
When I ask my kids what they are doing, I’m not sure I expect the truth (the truth usually creeps in if someone is crying)? I’m not sure whey every child since the time of Neanderthal Man has given their parents the same answer? I suppose I would just like some creativity if I the truth isn’t going to be their answer. Give me something to at least think about instead of reacting instinctively. ‘Nothing’ for an answer will immediately give me pause and reason to follow up with another, more firm, ‘What are you doing?’ or go sprinting up the stairs in a blind panic. With little hope of that ever happening (especially as they get closer to their teenage years), I decided to put a list together of 30 definitions for the word ‘Nothing’ as connoted by my children. The following are what my kids really meant to say when they answered ‘nothing’ or at least what it meant when I was able to reach them.
- Figuring out what it will take to clog the toilet.
- I needed a trim so I’m cutting my hair with my plastic scissors because Mommy won’t let me use the good ones.
- I’m trying to stop Emma’s head from bleeding.
- I’m seeing what happens when I turn the knobs on the oven.
- Making you a fruit salad with the biggest knife I could find…do you like grapes?
- Hannah and I are in a slap fight.
- Trying to finish pooping. Why do you think I’m standing in the corner avoiding eye contact?
- I couldn’t find a notebook so I’m using the wall to take some notes w/permanent marker.
- Cutting your towels with the scissors. See!
- I’m jumping across the furniture to get to the kitchen because Hannah told me the carpet was made of lava.
- I found something on the floor. I wasn’t sure what it was so I decided to figure out what it was by eating it.
- Putting on Mommy’s makeup.
- Taking the money you left out on your nightstand to put in my piggybank.
- Seeing how long it takes for the tub to overflow. Almost there!
- I’m looking for my (insert whatever holiday or reason for gifts here) presents.
- Cooking you breakfast. Now why is smoke coming out of the toaster oven?
- Mommy’s a little late with dinner so I am having a Double Stuffed Oreo snack.
- My hands were dirty so I was wiping them on the sofa.
- My American Girl Dolls need a place to sleep so I thought I’d use your bed.
- Emma and I are playing soccer in the living room. I’m winning!
- The television was really dirty from Emma putting her fingers all over it so I licked my finger and now I’m rubbing her finger prints off the screen.
- I went pee and needed half a roll of toilet paper to wipe myself. On the bright side, I did find out what would clog the toilet.
- Not sleeping (I told you I wasn’t tired).
- Feeding the dog my dinner (I don’t even think she likes it Daddy).
- Hopping down the steps on one foot.
- Now Hannah and I are having a race down the steps.
- I’m trying to reach the top shelf of the cabinet where you hid the candy and one stool wasn’t tall enough for me to reach it so I’m using a chair too.
Of course, our kids aren’t the only ones who use ‘Nothing’ as their answer to the ‘What are you doing?’ question…
28. (Asked by a wife to her husband) Nothing. Seriously, I’m doing absolutely nothing. I can’t even feel my feet I’ve been doing nothing for so long.
29. (Asked to the dog) I’m eating your socks. Why, do you have a treat?
30. (Asked by children to their mother) I’m busy. I’m always busy. And until your father regains feeling in his feet, it looks like I’m taking out the trash.