- "When I was a kid, my mother used to tell my brother that she hoped he would one day have a child just like him... and somehow I got that kid!" This is my mother speaking to me when she was close to losing her cool.
- "Just don't tell anyone you are my child!" This is when I was heading out the door to the bus when I was in elementary school and I apparently did not brush my hair/brush my teeth/wash my face... and so on. I remember thinking "Well who's kid will they think I am? Everyone knows you are my mom-duh!"
- "Shit! Shit!Shit!" That was my mom's favorite word when I was a kid.
- "GOD BLESS AMERICA!" That was the term she used to let me know that I had better leave the room and quick because she was about go postal on me. This usually made me giggle at her, which in turn got me a smack on the rear.
I can go on, but I don't want you to think that my mom was a yeller (she was) like I am. Some days I say something to my children and I think "I sound just like my mother!" My mom was always funny when we were kids. She loved to dance in the kitchen and she always sang the song "Bushel and a Peck" by Soupy Sales to us. She also single handedly potty trained my little sister in 3 days. My older sister and I were locked out of the house for the entire three days (she just threw food out the door at us) I remember watching through our screen door with my mom yelling "GO GO GO!"and clapping her hands behind my sister while Claire ran to the bathroom crying. To this day my sister can't pee without weeping-but my mom gave it her all I tell ya!
The most profound memory I have of my childhood-and I like to remind my mother of this every chance I get-is the day that my mom was laying on the couch and asked me to retrieve her book for her. My mom loves to read, and apparently she loved to lay on the couch as well! She also locked us out of the house... but that is another story for another time. Anyway, She asked me to get her book and I complained and whined about having to stop what I was doing (which I am sure was something important like watching Woody Woodpecker) and stomped the entire way to get her book. (I am also sure that this book was something by Dr. Spock, who I always thought was the guy on Star Trek, but apparently he was a child-expert.) When I came back with her book she sat up and gave me a kiss and a hug and said "That is for doing this chore for me" and then she slapped me across my face and said "and that is for complaining about it!" I stood stunned!
As a mom myself, I think that lesson is classic! We read in so many child books how to raise our children, but as for me, my mom taught me how to raise kids-with sarcasm, love, honesty, and the ability to scream loud enough to get your point across--but not loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
I call my mom when I am at my wits end with my kids and she listens quietly and offers bits and pieces of sound advice or Biblical quotes. She isn't fooling me though... I know she hangs up the phone and says "HA HA! I don't feel sorry for you one bit!"