Thursday, March 28, 2013

5 Nevers

Mama’s Losin’ It

Mamakat's prompt: 5 things you should never say to (any) mother.

Five things?  Just five?   My father was a minefield; my brother and I had to gauge his mood before uttering anything beyond "Hi,"  and if he was in a mood, we could find ourselves grounded for breathing too heavily.  My  mother, not so much with the drama.  If she was irritated, she might purse her lips disapprovingly, but usually wouldn't say a word.   There aren't really five things that I would never say to my own mother, then.  Unfortunately for all concerned, I did not inherit my mother's calm and easygoing demeanor.  My son will just have to deal with that.  I'm nothing if not helpful, however.  I'm providing some of the sentences most likely to cause me such consternation that I would probably consider crying or other behaviors likely to embarrass him in public.  Consider yourself warned, my child.

"This tastes horrible."  If I grab something right out of the freezer and microwave it for you, that's one thing.  You can say whatever that was tasted horrible, and I'll likely agree with you.  I myself have had several tasteless, paper-like entrees over the years.  However, if I went to the trouble to actually gather ingredients and read a recipe to make a meal for someone, they had better tell me how wonderful it is and what a great cook I am.  That is just plain good manners.  Even if what I've cooked is actually horrible, I had better hear the appropriate compliments. I want to see at least half of that plate cleaned off.  If family members eat seconds, then that just scores bonus points in the Book of Mom, points that can be redeemed later, such as when a child has broken the remote for the TV or forgets my birthday.

"Shut up."  Just don't.  Don't ever say these words to any mom.  It's disrespectful, for one thing.  This is a BIG RED BUTTON for me, and will always make me very angry.  And in all the years I've lived, I have never heard this statement result in the requested behavior.  I know that when I've heard those words, I am not inclined to follow directions.  In fact, when I've been told to "shut up", that is the very last thing that I do.  If you want a person to stop talking, there are politer things to say that are less likely to make me see red.  Say "Be quiet," or an equivalent phrase.  There's already too much rudeness in the world, and changing that starts with small things, like not telling your mother to pipe down. 

"Mama, you've got a big butt."   Yes, my child actually said that to me.  Yes, he is still living.  I had a momentary urge to burst into tears, but I stifled it and I explained that what he said was not polite.  "Okay, Mama"  my child said, which means that he didn't hear a word that I said.  It's not that I don't know that I have weight issues, because I do.  I know that the astronauts can see me from space when I am wearing a bathing suit.   It's that telling anyone that they are fat, if you are not their doctor, is just rude.  Even if it is a true statement, there's no reason to be deliberately cruel like that.  Being polite means overlooking the small flaws that we all have in the interest of showing compassion and care.  And compassion begins in the home.

"I ate all the chocolate."  If you want to reduce a grown woman to tears, say this to her when she has had a horrible day.  It doesn't matter who you are, we all occasionally need a piece of chocolate on occasion.  Most of us have a special stash, hidden behind the unused gravy boat in the cupboard, that we run to when we need a metaphysical hug or two.  Or three(see above, about the big butt).  Chocolate is comfort food, releasing a flood of chemicals that restores a measure of sanity, if only for the briefest of moments.  Unfortunately, children are agile climbers, and they happen to enjoy chocolate, too.  So if there is no chocolate left in the house, don't tell me.  Just quietly go out and purchase more. 

"Daddy said that I could."   If I tell a person that they can't do something, and they do it anyway, it annoys me. If I tell my child that they can't do or have something, and they go ask Daddy because they know that Daddy will say yes, there will be blood.  If Mama says no, ask Daddy is a tried and true kid formula for achieving their desires.   Poor Daddy usually knows nothing about what is going on.  He is never asked anything, except for the location of Mom.  Daddy is just so delighted to be able to help in some small way with the parenting chores.  He is therefore unprepared for the tsunami of irritation that hits him when he walks into the room.  In the aftermath of groundings and time outs that follow,  Daddy gets chewed on as well.  He should have known to go ask Mama. 

How about you, fellow readers?  Anything that you think should never be said to any mother?  Put it in the comments!


  1. Honestly, I'm good with almost anything that is said to me provided it comes from the right intentions. But as a general rule, I hate it when people judge other mothers when they see them with their kids. They don't know the whole story, and it's so easy to sit there and say "Oh, I'd never do that with MY child".

  2. Oh wait... I thought of one... my son told me that my "mustache was coming in really well."

    :( I spent the rest of the night plucking.

  3. Oh yeah, my kids have both called me fat! I thought I raised them better, but then they were just being honest. And any man who wants to keep his nuts should always answer a child's question with "Go ask your mother."


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