Not only does Nathan Ripperger, father of four, illustrate the crazy things he’s said to his kids, he sells the illustrations as prints so that all parents who are living this weird reality can enjoy the crazy. His series, dubbed Things I’ve Said to My Children is an honest and subsequently funny recap of some of the things he’s found himself saying to his kids, in colorful, near pop-art form.
And I can totally relate.
The toddler years are the ultimate time in one’s “parenting history” where we say the most incredulous, nonsensical, disgusting things. I knew it wasn’t just me.
Not only do I catch myself saying otherwise ludicrous things (ludicrous to anyone who isn’t knee-deep in toddlerhood), I also now find myself thinking I should be recording and making the choice quotes into some kind of memorable art.
Above all, though, what I find most worth documenting is the stuff my toddlers say. They come up with the most bizarre, sweet, silly, funny and matter-of-fact observances. Turns of phrase and conversation? Sometimes it’s introspective beyond their years and other times it’s sadistic or satirical and they don’t even know it. One misplaced adjective or verb or a misspoken expression is all it takes — and it happens all the time.
I’m more than a little bit inspired by Nathan and his work. If anything, I think a few of these prints would look great in our house to commemorate this crazy ride we’re on during these (oh so short!) early years of parenting.
What do you think?
Penguin 1 of 10
"Stop riding that penguin. We're leaving."
We have no penguins for our kids to ride on. I'd like to know exactly where one of Nathan's kids was riding on a penguin, wouldn't you? Is there some sort of new hipster penguin rocking horse craze that I don't know about?
Underwear 2 of 10
"I am not talking to you until you are wearing underwear."
I've given up the fight on this one, although I have asked my wee lass Abby to stop putting her clean underwear on all of her dollies' heads... close?
Toilet Seat 3 of 10
"Get that toilet seat off your head. NOW."
Ah, the removable toilet seat -- yet another thing I don't understand. Nathan? Wait. I don't really want to understand this one, do I?
Snorkel 4 of 10
"What are you doing? Oh, hitting the cat door with a snorkel."
So often, we can just answer our own questions about why our kids do the crazy things they do, right? NOT.
‘Honey’ 5 of 10
"Did you put honey on your brother's head?"
Ah, you name it -- and it's been put on someone's head. Although I hear I have yet to experience even the tip of the iceberg in the prank department when it comes to siblings. Apparently, I covered my sister in Penaten cream once and painted her in red nail polish, as much as I could, head to toe. Man, that must have taken for-like-ever.
Wet Sword 6 of 10
"Yup, that sword is wet."
Again, I don't really want to know, do I?
Arm Licking 7 of 10
"Don't lick, my arm! That's what weird kids do."
Been there, said that. So many times. I can also remember myself asking one of them to not lick the wall, the fence and especially not the metal fence. In the winter. (Why oh why do kids want to do that?!)
Church Fort 8 of 10
"Stop that! You can't build a fort in church."
Wait. WHAT? You can't? I beg to differ!
Pull Toy 9 of 10
"He's your brother, not a pull toy."
As amusing as pulling one's sibling around the floor is... I have to agree with Nathan on this one.
Leprechaun 10 of 10
"No, the leprechaun is staying my pocket."
OK, the more this goes on, the more I am convinced that Nathan and his family live in an alternate dimension where one can have pet penguins to ride on and their own personal leprechaun sidekicks.
All images used with permission via Nathan Ripperger and are available to purchase in his Etsy shop. Make sure to check out some of his other fun collections!
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Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all-time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets… via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve