I know, I know...I did this yesterday with another email chain thingy. But this one, THIS one, I COULD not resist.
Now, let me start this off by saying "I LOVE MY MOMMY"...don't know what I would do without her influence in my life. As a teenager, I couldn't STAND her but needed her. As a young adult, I chose to avoid her because I didn't want to hear her opinion of how I was living my life. But once I hit about 25, My mother once again became my Mommy. She is one of my best friends and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
About 70% of the following phrases were spoken by my mother at one time or another while I was growing up. At the end, I'll add a couple more that just DROVE me crazy and were probably thought up BY my mother...or maybe her mother and just passed down through the generations.
Yes, generations...because, as much as I ABSOLUTELY HATE to admit it, I have used most of these ALREADY in my life, directed toward my own children. Even when I promised myself from the time I was knee-high to a grasshopper that I would NEVER say these things to MY children. YIKES!
I OWE MY MOTHER!
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
I don't know that I heard this one from my mom too often. She was afraid we actually WOULD kill eachother so she never gave us the opportunity. And also, when you have 4 kids, you NEVER, and I mean NEVER EVER EVER FINISH cleaning!
2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
Well, when I was younger, we never had carpet. It was that silver/gold mottled linoleum. But I was admonished to pray over alot of other stuff...as in "You'd better pray I find my good scissors or you'll be buying me another pair!"
3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
Either that, or "If you don't straighten up, I'm gonna knock your teeth out of your head". I must confess, I was a REAL sarcastic smartmouth teenager. I used to think, "WOW, wouldn't I get a FORTUNE from the tooth fairy!" Or "Cool! If I'm in next week, I'll miss that Algebra test I never studied for!" Mom didn't think it was so funny.
4. My mother taught me LOGIC. " Because I said so, that's why." (or "Because I'm the MOM, That's why!!")
OK, now THIS is the one I promised myself I would NEVER say to my children. When I became a mother, I would ALWAYS give my kids an explanation when I told them to do something. Well, REALITY check!! Sometimes you can't explain to a little kid WHY he can't do something. Or sometimes you ask them to do something because you just don't want to do it yourself and you don't want to admit it to the CHILD! (you know what I MEAN) On several occasions, I accused my mother (Sorry, Mom) of having children simply because she needed slaves. Yah, that went over like a lead balloon! "You want "Slave"?? I'll SHOW you slave!" Uh. Oh.
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
Could I purposely fall out of the swing and break my neck just so I didn't HAVE to go to the store? Shopping was NOT my favorite thing. But I never got THAT desperate. And thankfully, she didn't take all of us shopping very often. Now I know why. Shopping with 4 kids is like trying to herd goats through a china shop. And one of them will inevitably SCREAM the entire time you are in the checkout line. I think it's some kind of unwritten child law.
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
I LOVE Bill Cosby's answer to this one. He says "I may put on clean underwear every morning, but if I even come CLOSE to being in a accident, that underwear will NO LONGER be clean".
7. My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
I've used this one so often myself! They should make a t-shirt with this on it. Sometimes you just get so frustrated. It's true, and if your a parent you know this, that sometimes they just cry to get your goat. Crocodile tears...
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
Caught myself saying this to my 7-year old just last night. Aaargh! And as soon as it clears your lips, you realize how incredibly STUPID that sounds. But you look stern and keep up the front, hoping they won't notice. Rats! Here it comes..."But MOM, how am I supposed to..." So I say "Just do it! I'm the mom, that's why!" Yah...right...
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
I didn't have to worry about this one much. My mom, bless her heart, only made us take baths once a week. Saturday nights...so people could stand to sit next to us in church Sunday morning.
And, YES, don't call DHS, but I follow in my Mommy's footsteps on this one. I've had sitters and other parents I know bathe the kids EVERY NIGHT. WOW! I wish I had that kind of time. I guess it just isn't a priority of my life to have sweet smelling kids.
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
This one was a battle of the wills! And I have a very strong will. I think the longest I ever sat there was until bedtime.
When my oldest three were smaller, it occurred to me that this battle was not one I wanted to fight. In case you haven't noticed, that is my parenting style. "Pick Your Battles". Make an issue of something ONLY if it is VERY important. So I decided not to fight over it. The rule was made and is often enforced...You don't want to eat it, FINE. But that's dinner. And you won't be eating anything else the rest of the night. (and I usually add "So you're going to get REALLY hungry before morning!")
11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
My mother's lesson with this phrase was on animal habitat. "Your room looks like a PIGSTY!" That was usually directed at my sister, but when she and I roomed together was aimed at both of us. One day, we were told to "clean this room OR ELSE". Well, bein's as how "OR ELSE" is usually REALLY bad we set to work. When we were done, my mother came in to inspect and noticed how neat and organized everything was. But hmmmm, something is missing! Hey, where are all the stuffed toys??
Piled in the backyard under our second floor bedroom window, that's where! I don't know what ever possessed us! But it was a LOOOONNNNG afternoon carrying them all back up to our room ONE BY ONE. Not two...ONE!
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!"
Never got in trouble for exaggeration. But I have used the first part lots and whenever I use it, I know as well as the kid does that I have NOT said this a "million" times. Close maybe...Especially the "Your room is a PIGSTY!" phrase. To my 12-year old son. While shaking my head. And throwing up my hands.
13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
NOPE. My Mommy NEVER said this one to me...ever. I always knew she loved me. However, because of the strict church we belonged to at that time, I did become familiar with the theory that if I kept going on the path I had chosen for my life, that God would get tired of the way I was acting and simply "take me out". I have since come to know a God that has infinite patience and forgiveness and always waits with outstretched arms to forgive me when I make poor choices. WhEW!
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"
Nope, Mom never used this one either. Because she respected my father...and still does. I WANT to be like my dad. I would count it an honor above all honors to have someone say I was acting like my father. WOW!
Unfortunately, the man I chose to be the father of my children is not honorable. It is hard to find positive attributes in him that I want my children to emulate. And, yes, I have said this phrase to my children. To my shame. It just slipped out. Diarrhea of the mouth. No matter what he has done, I should not badmouth him in front of his children. Although I DO hope and pray they DO NOT grow up to act like him!
15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
She never said this one either. But, once again, I do! And I'm sure my children are envious of those "less fortunate children" sometimes...the ones who get to do whatever they want because their parents just don't care what they do. But I think, most of the time, that they are grateful that we have rules. They know that the rules are in place to keep them from getting hurt. And I hope, always, that they know that I love them.
16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home." See #17.
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING "You are going to get it when you get home!"
My mother once said to me "When I get off this phone, young lady, you have HAD IT!" Well, the anticipation of what was to come was too much for me...and while she was finishing her conversation, I took off. Ran away. Down the hiway in a dress and stocking feet. In the rain. Made it about 2 miles before the pastor came and picked me up. I was heading for Gramma's house...she probably would have just taken me home as well. What was I thinking???
Well, I was THINKING about avoiding the infliction of pain on my backside. What I got was a warm bath, a stern lecture and THEN the infliction of pain on my backside! So what did I gain by that? Some very crucial knowledge. And a sore backside...
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
And the co-phrase to this "If you don't stop making that face...etc." I remember being SHOCKED in high school when the biology teacher explained that NO, the human body DOESN'T work that way.
**Note to self...go have a talk with the local high school biology teacher BEFORE any of my children take his class and realize the truth!**
19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
I knew my Mom had ESP before she ever said anything like this. Mainly because she almost ALWAYS knew that I was poking my sister in the backseat of the car or that I was getting into something I shouldn't. Now that I'm a parent, I inherited that ESP. The main psychic law behind it is "It's too quiet!"
20. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
Yes, that phrase is funny. BUT if you are a teenager and your reading this and your parent says this to you, WHATEVER YOU DO don't laugh! It'll make them mad. Trust me on this...
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
Ahhhh yes, the old "Popeye" tactic!
22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father." See #14
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
Actually, my mom said "Were you born in a barn?" And as a smart-aleck teenager, what do you think I replied (right before I got grounded for two weeks)? "Well, YOU should KNOW, Mother!"
24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
And you know what? SHE was RIGHT! Now I get it!! Now I understand why she did what she did; why she said what she said; why sometimes she wanted to run away screaming; why sometimes there were tears of joy in her eyes for "no reason".
25. And my favorite: - My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"
THIS is NOT justice...this is "The Mother's Curse". And it works!! Every morning I used to get my mother up at 6 am. Yep! From the day I was born till the time I hit puberty and wanted to sleep 20 hours a day. Well, my mom is no more of a morning person than I am. She was not happy...therefore, when I came of childbearing age, she invoked the curse on me.
And guess what??? YEP! number two child CAN NOT, I repeat CAN NOT, stay in bed after 6 am. It is impossible for her. I have managed to teach her (over the years) to NOT wake up every other person in the house and pester them until they scream just because she is bored by 6:30am. And she's old enough now to know how to operate the TV Remote.
I know, I know...But...But... Another reason to revoke my Mommy license. I'm just proud that I survived her toddlerhood.
And I also wouldn't trade her for the world...
Here's the two my Mom used when I was a kid...
Whenever we complained about something, she would way "Well, whaddaya want? Egg in your beer?"
As a teenager, I remember thinking "Ummmm, I don't know! Is egg good with beer? And would the egg be raw? Hard-boiled, maybe!" If anyone knows the origin of this saying, let me know. Cuz my mom (Sunday School Teacher, Deacon's wife) CAN'T tell me what it means! She doesn't know. She just heard it used by her father and decided to use it on me a few times when she got frustrated and didn't know what else to say. Kinda like Superkalifragilisticexpialidocious.
OK...OK...this one is my ABSOLUTE favorite for humorous value. I think I've used it a few times on my kids. I remember the first time I heard my mom use it, it scared me to death. Would she REALLY DO that??
"Knock that off or I'm gonna kick your butt so high it'll take you a week to poop!"
Can you just imagine the vivid mental image that statement would conjure up for a 5 year old? Oooooh Boy! You can bet whatever I was doing, I quit!
So I've shared a little bit with you about my Mom, my childhood and my parenting style. Hope you're not too shocked. I'm not a perfect parent! In fact, often I am barely a passable parent. And I realized several years ago that my parents aren't perfect either.
BUT, I love them anyway. I do. More than words can say. Even if some of the things my mother has said over the years have made me shake my head in wonder. Guess maybe the reason I wanted to do this post is because someone told me a couple of days ago that I reminded him of my mother. Wow! I've been talking the talk for a few years, now I've got the look.
Am I honored? You betcha! Am I frightened? Oh Yah!
They did the best they could...and if I even do 1/2 as good a job as my parents did, I will be happy.
Have a good one, friends. Think I'm gonna try Thursday Thirteen this week. We'll see what happens...