I swore up and down when I was a kid that I wasn’t going to be like my mother. I wasn’t going to yell at my kids all the time and I wasn’t going to say the things she said and do the things she did. Sixteen years into my own motherhood I’m coming to the scary conclusion that I sound like her on a daily basis. Just observing the things I’ve said in the past week alone leads me to the conclusion that somehow I’ve morphed into her without my knowledge or my permission.
#11. “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” What does this even mean? Obviously she’s crying about something, even if it’s something stupid and trivial. But she’s ALWAYS crying (or so it seems), so to me, she’s crying about NOTHING.
#10. (With sarcasm) “Don’t worry about turning off the TV! It’s good! We own stock in the electric company!” How many of us were surprised to discover that our parents in fact did not own stock in the electric company because we constantly heard this statement?
#9. “Are you listening or do I talk to hear myself talk?” I have come to the conclusion that I do indeed, talk to hear myself talk. Nobody’s listening. Not even the dog. They all have their headphones in…except the dog.
#8. “Don’t make me turn this car around!” Yup…I’ve uttered this doozy. So much, in fact, they don’t even listen anymore. They just shove in their headphones.
#7. “If you don’t eat your dinner, nothing else is coming down the pike!” What “pike” is this, exactly? Now in my defense, I grew up sort of deaf…my mother could have been saying “pipe”, but that doesn’t make much sense either. Anyway, this statement is usually followed by—
#6. “The kitchen is closed for the night.” Really? It doesn’t matter to my kids if I say that though—they help themselves to the kitchen at all hours. It’s like a freaking 24 hour diner in there. And apparently the diner’s dishwasher is permanently on strike.
#5. “Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part.” Actually, this one’s mine. It totally sounds like something my mother would have said (in response to one of my siblings….never me…I was not a procrastinator). It’s usually uttered in complete frustration when one of my darling children have realized they have a project due like TOMORROW and they have no poster board and they need glitter and oh, it’s 10:00 at night so all the stores are closed. And they expect me to somehow fix the situation.
#4. “Are your legs (hands, arms, feet) broken?” I usually mutter this one when they ask me to get something for them because they’re too damn lazy to get it themselves.
#3. “The table is not a catch-all.” I’m not sure what a “Catch-all” is either, but my mother said this pretty much every day of my life. We dumped stuff all over the dining room table and it drove her crazy. No one ever cleaned it up, but miraculously, it was never a mess (probably why we thought it was perfectly okay to dump stuff there). Now that my own family does this (hubby included), I’ve figured out who cleaned it up and it wasn’t the fairies.
#2. “Don’t pet me.” I know this one sounds weird, but my mother hated when we patted her or petted her hair. I never understood why she rebuffed the obvious affection until I had my own child who constantly wants to sit on my lap and pet my head and kiss my hand and pretty much invade my personal space ALL THE TIME. And she’s almost as big as me. Like, back off kid—you’re crushing my kidney.
And the #1 way I sounded like my mother today was due to this exchange: Kid #2: “What are you eating, Mommy?” Me: (shoving the ice cream in my mouth and practically choking on it): “Poison.” Yup, my mom told us she was eating poison all the time. I remember crying in my room once cuz I thought she was gonna die from all the poison she ate.
I’m sure my kids are rolling their eyes, just like I rolled my eyes. It’s inevitable…I guess we can’t help but turn into our parents at some point in time, but geez, I was hoping I’d be a little cooler as a mom. Maybe I’ll just be the cool grandma instead…