Filed under: General Peevery, Parenting | Tags: annoying, bribery, crazy, drive me up the wall, earwig, grating, halloween, hereditary, lies, mommy dearest, mother, nervous breakdown, parenthood, peeve, pet peeves, revenge, sarcastic, threats, vent
If you really want to tick me off, there are two things you can say to me: 1) you’re crazy and 2) you’re just like your mother. Which, come to think of it, go hand in hand. If you say either of these things to me, my eyes cross, steam comes out my ears, and one of the voices I hear in my head sometimes starts chanting, “You want crazy, I’ll show you crazy.”
My sister and I often ponder whether or not our mother has always been crazy or if the circumstances of life (okay, us) made her that way. The older I get — and *cringe* the more I find myself turning into my mother — the more I think maybe it was us. See evidence:
Exhibit A: Talking to yourself
My mother once talked for 23 minutes straight without one word of encouragement or acknowledgment. This is my worst fear. But, I find myself doing it sometimes. I’m convinced, convinced that it is because my children NEVER listen to me. Most of what I say is in one ear and out the other. Moms talk to themselves because they are the only ones who listen.
Exhibit B: Freaking out over small things
My mother used to completely lose her shit if you used the last of the toilet paper and didn’t replace the roll. I mean, mommy dearest level freak-out. My sister and I used to think this was so funny. “God, mom, like, it’s only toilet paper.” These days, my sister has the cabinet in each of her bathrooms stacked with enough toilet paper for a week long visit from the Duggar family.
Exhibit C: Making up stories and believing them
My mother used to tell us things that were – well, just wrong. She didn’t want us to run through the sheets that were hanging up outside, so she told us that there were earwigs in them. EARWIGS! And, that if we ran through the sheets, the earwigs would crawl into our ears and eat our brains. She told us this people! She also told me that if I kept cleaning my room by stuffing things under my bed that a monster egg would grow there and hatch. WTF? Worse than this, she would make up stories and start to actually believe they were true.
Guess what? The parental arsenal has three key weapons: threats, lies and bribery. Sometimes, you have to combine these weapons to make a superweapon: threats & lies = stories designed to scare those brats straight. It’s a powerhouse of a tool, but requires perseverance. The kids don’t listen, so you have to repeat the story-lie often and consistently. So often and so consistently, that you start to believe it. Dammit.
Closing Argument: Talking to random strangers in the supermarket check out line
When the going got tough, my mother’s last resort was to turn to ruthless revenge fantasies. She would just look at us and say, “Some day, you’ll get back every thing you did to me.” And, dammit, if mom isn’t always right. Much like some other children I know, my sister and I used to dance, sing and annoy the shit out of my mother in the supermarket. Much to our chagrin, when we went to check out she would find the nearest person in line to be her new BFF and talk his/her ear off. Looking back now, I see it was just a way to distract herself so she didn’t beat us in public.
Counter Argument: A picture is worth a thousand words
On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t us…
Halloween 1979, I was 2 1/2 and my sister was almost 4. My mother dressed us up as… ?? … an inflatable, yellow, cross-eyed, witch cat… and an inflatable, orange and green, buck-toothed pumpkin. I think there is some facepaint involved here too and that the jack-o-lantern was placed in my lap to keep me from floating away.
When asked, “Mom, why the hell did you dress us up in these trashbags designed by an LCD addict?” my mother will reply, “Oh, you begged me for these costumes.” I was 2 1/2 – I don’t even think I could say “cross-eyed.” One way ticket on the crazy train, please.
Either way, you don’t want to hit this beehive with a bat. Just refrain from referring to me as the “c” word or “just like your mother” and no one gets hurt.
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