Growing up, my mother was forever threatening to write a book: How Best to Adore Your Mother. In this phantom book, Mother itemized specific and elaborate adoration exercises. This concept was funny the first 500 times she brought it up. As is often the case with children, amusement led to boredom and boredom led to open hostility. Now I'm the mom and I can better appreciate the wisdom of Mom's suggestions. I'm following Mom's lead and authoring a book entitled The Little Things You Can Do. Here are some chapter excerpts:
I have this obnoxious little creature called the Happy Bunny, to thank when I get sassed. I can expect one of several "Happy Bunny" responses every time I ask my kids to do something, such as "You smell like doody." In this chapter of the book, kids will learn more Mom-friendly phrases like, "Yes, Mother" and "Of course! What else can I do to make your life easier?" and "When I'm done with that, can I clean my room?"
Mommies need time-outs too. We don't expect someone to fluff our pillow, sing us a lullaby or read to us. But it would be nice if we could catch 20 winks without hearing our precious children throw themselves down the stairs, launch things at one another and/or crank Rock Band in the background. Just because we have to beg, plead and borrow to get kids to take a nap, doesn't mean we don't want one!
Why is it our kids never pay attention to us until we're on the phone? I don't care if your child is 18 days old, 18 months old or 18 years old. If you have a mobile device on your ear, that child (who completely ignored you prior to the phone call) is in immediate need of something. In this chapter I also point out how everyone else in the free world gets to shower before noon, except mothers of the under-five crowd! If by some quirk of fate you are able to shower before noon, you can bet someone little is going to be in that shower with you asking anatomy questions you're not fully prepared to answer.
One little thing my kids can do for me is not text message while I'm talking to them. This vexing habit of theirs is especially hurtful when I'm retelling the disturbing details of a near death experience or sharing some vital piece of information to prepare them for adulthood. Where else are they going to learn that if you start dialing 0 when you contact customer service, most automated services will re-route you to a real person! You know what? Let them suffer. Let them sit on hold all day. See if I care.
To honor my mother on Mother's Day, I'm going to publish this book. That way she'll know, despite all the eye rolling and rude gestures my sisters and I made behind her back, I really was listening.
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