...that you swore you wouldn't. Mainly because it annoyed the bejeebus out of you as a child. And you just KNEW you'd never do that to your own kids.
Except you do. Because it's part of the momologue.
"I am not running a restaurant." Well, this was certainly true, because based on my mother's cooking, it would've gone out of business in about two days. But now I get it. It's used in response to your child, who, after declaring she does not want PASTA for dinner, says she wants macaroni and cheese. When she is informed that macaroni is in fact pasta, she then asks for hot dogs. Or chicken. Maybe pancakes. *This saying is often uttered just before its cousin, "I'm not a short-order cook."
"No. N. O." Do you really have to spell it? Yes. Y-E-S. You can now congratulate yourself on reinforcing your kindergartner's emerging reading skills.
"Knock it off right now or I'm going to pull this car over!" This one is actually from my Dad, who perfected the art of reaching behind the seat while driving and flailing his arm, hoping to smack someone. Anyone. We would wildly duck out of the way, but once in awhile he connected. Usually with a knee. Our SUV's third row makes that maneuver extinct. But roads still have shoulders. And sidewalks.
"I am not made of money." This one is just plain silly. Because everyone knows parents are made of plastic. Just ask my kids every time we go to Target.
"Your face is going to freeze like that." Really? Is that what happened to YOU, Mother?? (No, I didn't actually say that, because then my face would've hit the mailbox at the end of the driveway on the fly.) I once lived next door to a woman whose face actually froze. It was some sort of weird nerve thing that happened when she'd go from a super-airconditioned car out into the heat. It was temporary for her. But it left a permanent impression on me. So I'm just trying to keep my kids safe.
"Because I'm the Mommy. That's why." Hm. I knew it then, and I really know it now: it's what you say when you have no good reason for whatever decision you've just made. Other than being too exhausted to want to explain to a three year-old for the gazillionth time why he can't have just one more cookie.
"Don't make me get up and come over there." I still remember when I got fast enough to outrun my Dad. I actually know now he just didn't feel like sprinting up the stairs. I figured this out because frankly I'd rather just sit on my butt and tweet about how my kids are pulling each other's eyeballs out then get up and pry them apart. So I issue the threat. When it's ignored, I stand up and the kids stop. Until I sit back down. At least it buys me some time to figure out what I'm going to do once I DO go over there.
There is a line I just won't cross, however. It was a one-word utterance that my mother used when she was, I guess, tired of the whining of her three kids. It drove me crazy. My sister and I still snicker over it. Because it's meant to stop us in our tracks, to tell us life isn't fair, and all that, but it just made us twitch.
I'll tell you, but only if you PROMISE never to use it on your own kids. It will scar them for life. I mean it.
And it is
Remember, you promised!
A candid moment in Zanzibar - [image: in stone town coffee shop] "These women are not only the caretakers, they are often the teachers, the health care providers, the community leaders."
2 hours ago