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Predictable Me

April 1, 2011

I have been informed by my children that I am predictable.   I always thought that I was a fun, never know what she’s going to say kind of mom but alas, I’m told that I am predictable and I repeat myself.  Have I mentioned that I’m predictable?  AND I repeat myself?

Recently my daughters prepared a list of things I “always” say.  If you aren’t one of my kids, you probably won’t find these even remotely interesting.  If you are one of my kids, nyah, nyah… I told you I’d write it.

  • When I am faced with a child that is hungry at a non-meal time, rather than say “Too bad.” I try to take their mind off of their hunger and make them laugh.  Turns out that I neither redirect their thoughts nor make them laugh.  “Mom, I’m hungry.”  My response?  “Hi, Hungry! I’m Amy.” Well, I laugh.
  • Another food related “Mom-ism” is my reply to the picky eaters in my clan, which would be most of them.  “Ew.  I hate tomatoes!”  My reply?  “Oh, tomatoes called.  They hate you, too.” I have expanded the use of this gem to any time my kids use the word hate.  Again, I seldom miss the mark, that is if I’m trying to make myself laugh.  My children just roll their eyes.
  • When they want something done but bring it to my attention as a problem they have, I’m ready.  If you want me to wash your laundry say “Please wash my clothing.”  If you say “I don’t have any clean t-shirts.”  the response will be “And this is my problem becauuuuuuse…?”
  • When a child is complaining about something they find sad but I don’t, because I am older and have seen way sadder stuff, I stroke the back of my thumb with the finger next to it and, with great tragedy in my voice, say “Aw, I’ll play you a teeny tiny sad song on my teeny tiny violin.” This is not received with laughter, either.  One of my children, the one you would least expect, will violently grab said teeny tiny violin and attempt to smush it with her teeny tiny baby hands.  I think the other two children would like to make use of their own special fingers at me but, thankfully, they were raised better than that.
  • If I feel that one of my children could make a more fibrous food choice, I lovingly give them a stern warning “You’ll never poop again.” or the less terrifying “Oh, honey, think of your pooper!” What?  I am just a devoted mother who worries about their colon health.  Is this not my j0b and my God-given right?
  • Sometimes kids make choices that are just plain dangerous.  Standing atop a bar stool to reach something on the tippy top shelf of a cupboard is very dangerous.  I am not a screamer so my kids will never hear “GET DOWN FROM THERE, YOU’LL FALL.”  Instead they will hear a soft “How did your child die, Ma’am?” OK, I admit I don’t exclusively use this when death is imminent.  I crack me up when they are doing non-life threatening things, too.  Yes, I crack ONLY me up.
  • When my eldest was about 12 she was into the computer game, The Sims.  Did I say into?  I meant obsessed with.  She played it constantly.  I loved to watch her Sims interact.  They spoke in their own language which is mostly jibberish but some words were repeated.   I especially liked when they said “Good bye” to each other.  They would bend ever so slightly at the hips, like a polite Japanese bow, stiffly wave their right hands sideways at each other, tilt their heads and say “Dag dag.”  I frequently respond to “Good night, Mom” or “Good Bye, Mom” with “Dag dag.” It goes without saying that I bend ever so slightly at the hips, well you get the picture.  It’s not pretty but it is pretty funny, again, mostly to me.
  • Don’t change the radio station if you stumble upon a classic Disco hit if I am in the car.  I will loudly proclaim “Disco is NOT dead!  Disco is life.” They smile at this, although they will never admit it, I’ve seen them.  I wonder, though, if they are smiling more at their nostalgic Disco mama than her Disco mantra but I take it as a positive reinforcement for my Disco line.  It stays in my script.
  • We visited Florida when the kids were younger and stayed with my parents in their seniors only community.  My aunts and uncles lived there, too.  We ate dinner with all of them several times and once we even brought Subway home to eat at my parents’ kitchen table with all the aunts and uncles.  My absolutely adorable godfather/uncle, who was 83 at the time, had a troublesome slice of green pepper on his sub.  When he executed a bite, the green pepper refused to be bitten and slid, all five inches of it, out of the sandwich, dangling from his mouth.  It would have gone unnoticed had his wife, my absolutely adorable, hysterically funny godmother/aunt, not admonished him loudly.  “George!  You look like a bird eating a fish!” Since that wonderful trip, if there is anyone with food hanging from their mouth, I repeat my Aunt’s admonishment, in her voice.  I simply can’t not say it.  I’ve tried to not say it and this caused me great physical pain.
  • The next entry is one I’m barely aware of.  They say that I say it all the time.  Whatever.  If one of my kids says “It’s not.” I am told that I respond “Oh, I thought it was a booger but it’s snot.”  I know, funny, right?  I don’t think I say it too often but now that it is in this post and I have rediscovered its immense comedic value,  I’ll have to make an effort to say it more often.
  • I loved the Toy Story movies.  The actual story was just another Disney movie but one character made the whole movie for me.  I love Mrs. Potato Head.  Love her, love her voice, love her clothes, love her lines.  She is so wife-like when she is packing her husband’s parts for him and includes his angry eyes.  So, children who dare make a cross face at me or one another hear my loudest, most Mrs. Potato Head voice scream  “Put away your angry eyes!” Aw, who am I kidding, people four or five houses away probably hear.
  • Sneezing is, of course, met with “God bless you!” but when the planets are aligned just right, I put on my best (or worst) Scottish brogue  and add “It’s a well known fact that when you sneeze, the stuff comes out of your nose at a hundred miles an hour.”  You do this, too, right?
  • This brings us to the last entry on the list lovingly prepared by my children, keepers of motherly lines.  When I crack a lame joke (90%of them) and my kids roll their eyes (50%), glare (50%) or stare blankly (50%) I solemnly inform them that “That was supposed to make you laugh.” Telling them this doesn’t ever make them laugh but it makes me feel better about their response.  If I have to tell them that it was funny, there is a glimmer of hope for me that they just didn’t recognize that it was a joke and that is why they didn’t laugh.  The fault is theirs and not mine.  For the brief shining moment before they let their second chance to laugh slip away, my joke wasn’t lame but is worthy of laughter, belly jiggling, side splitting, snorting laughter.

Life is too short and not always too much fun.  I just try to inject laughter into life.  I don’t care if you’re laughing with me or at me, laughter makes the world a better place and I am all about making the world a better place.

If you have read this far and you are not one of my kids, please accept my heartfelt thanks for persevering to the end of this post.  Feel free to use any or all of my lines on your own children, they’ll love them, I’m sure.  If you are one of my kids, I have one thing more to say to you…   “That was supposed to make you laugh.”

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