Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eeny Meemy Miny Moe

Even though I was tagged by the ever fabulous and lovely Queen of the Mayhem for a "Real Mom" meme, I was going to skip it.

First of all, I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger with school and work.

Secondly, I do everything I can do to beg off memes. I did a few early in my blog-life simply because it relieved me of actually having to come up with a topic to write about on my own (I'm NOT criticizing! I'm talking about ME).

Plus as an adoptee, I've been asked more than once "Why did your REAL mom give you away?"

Like the Mom who raised me is my "FAKE" Mom? Sheesh! It's one of those crazy-making terms that annoy me.

Anyway, I realize that making me crazy wasn't the intent when I was tagged, and that's my personal problem, and it got me to thinking, which I imagine was the point. ;-)

Mrs. Mayhem's post is wonderful. Mine pales in comparison, but here goes:

Real Moms teach their kids about natural consequences.

If the favorite shirt lays on your floor and doesn't get put in the laundry hamper, then it won't be clean when you want to wear it.

If you insist that you don't need your coat, hat or gloves on a day that promises snow, then you're going to be really cold when it starts to snow.

I'm not going to drive this stuff down to the school because you're a dork. And I'm more than happy to instruct the do-bees in the front office at school about the definition of "natural consequences" if they call to tell me my teenager needs his coat, hat and gloves and try to imply that I'm being neglectful by not dropping all of my other obligations to deliver them in person.

Bet you 5 bucks that you don't refuse to wear your coat, hat or gloves tomorrow. What do you say?

Likewise with lunch money. We put a week's worth in the same place for you to take every day. When I ask if you've got it and you snarl at me while walking out the door for being a nag, don't call me to tell me you forgot it. You're not going to starve to death by missing a meal. But you might learn something.

Real Moms remember the ache of teenage angst.

We remember the cliques we were excluded from, the parties we weren't invited to, the embarrassing moments that made us want to die, and the unrequited crushes that consumed our every waking moment.

Although we look back and view our experiences with a mature eye and see the ridiculousness of most of it, we can remember how much we hurt, and put our arms around our child to simply grieve with him over the pain of disappointment. We can have revenge fantasies about the other little snots later on our own time.

Real Moms try to give their children wings.

When you leave our home to be on your own, you're going to know not to flush paper towels down the toilet. You'll know the difference between the hot and cold cycles on the washing machine, and know not to throw the red towel in with your load of underwear and socks.

You'll know how to clean a kitchen until it sparkles, and know how to make something other than PB & J or cold cereal for dinner. You'll know how to change a tire and the oil in your car, and you'll know that if milk smells bad, it's probably not a good idea to drink it.

You'll know how to change a fuse, and where to keep the fire extinguisher. You'll know that deodorant and a heavy splash of Drakkar Noir is not a substitute for an honest-to-God shower. You'll know that you can call us any time when you're in a real jam, and that needing our credit card number for pizza delivery at 11pm is not considered to be a real jam.

You'll know that vacuuming spare change might save time rather than picking it up yourself off the floor, but then you'll have to spend 80 bucks to replace the vacuum. And no, I'm not going to lend you 80 bucks.

You'll know that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. We'll be there to help you up if you stumble, but if you stay in the nest day after day, you'll never have any experiences to stumble over.

And you'll know to call first before dropping by, because when you're on your own, Dad and I might be running around the house nekkid and scaring the dogs.

Real Moms Hope you Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

---Lee Ann Womack

I'd like to give a shout out to some of the Real Dads I've been so fortunate to run into in blogland recently. You guys are great, and it's an honor knowing you. Reading your views has brought a lot of perspective into my life, and I thank you.


Boo7 said...

great, great topic!! My sis is here with me visiting and I have been reading some of these to her outloud as I go along....good chuckles but all such great advice too!

carmachu said...

Awesome post! Great job.

Mamma said...

You are WONDERFUL!!! What lucky boys!

And ditto on the Dads. I love getting that perspective too.

Beth said...

What a fabulous mother you are.
Your post is worth copying and passing along to other parents - and I'm about to do just that.

(Love the butt hanging out of June Cleaver's mouth!)

Brenda said...

Yep, I like that, from the heart.

P.S. Trying this a third time, apparently I can't read the word verification letters. I feel so dumb.

mcewen said...

I still yearn to work on 'natural consequences,' but for some families it just doesn't work.
Good for you, you're doing a great job. Now I'm going to nip over and take a peek at your link.
Best wishes

Groovy Lady said...

Great post! I love the ending with the I Hope You Dance song.. wonderful way to close off a wonderful list.

Good job! :)

sarala said...

Great job. I agree with the natural consequences part. I remember the day when my screaming toddler put up such a fuss about putting boots on that I let him try to go outside barefoot. The other moms in the playlot nearly called the authorities but he came back in and let me put his boots on just fine. Likewise with coats, hats, gloves, etc. unless I think frostbite is a serious likelihood.
Unfortunately none of us are good at picking up after ourselves in my house. Lots of natural consequences there.

Miss Litzi said...

Hi Attila,
Your posts are always funny, insightful and informative, but you’ve outdone yourself with “Eeny, Meemy, Miny, Moe”. Your own unique perspective on “mothering” and life really shine brilliantly in this essay. I wish my Mother had had the good parenting skills that you speak of so eloquently here.

Thanks for posting this.

Dorky Dad said...

That was a very excellent post, especially the part about scaring dogs while nekkid.

Deb said...

You may hate meme's but you did such a beautiful job!!! I wish all moms taught their kids that stuff... I had a roomate in college who couldn't even sweep a floor, had never been taught! Great Post!!!

Ruth Dynamite said...

This is really beautiful, Attila. You give real moms a good name.

Miss Litzi said...

Hi Ruth Dynamite,
I think Attila gives real Moms a good name because she's such an excellent one to her two sons! Maybe she should teach parenting classes to perspective couples before they start doing all "the wrong things" in raising their children.

You have time for another career, don't you Attila?

100 Words said...

Sod haute cuisine. I like eating cereal for dinner. (But it would be useful to know how to make an omlette, just in case I need to impress a date)

Stinkypaw said...

Nice post - thanks for sharing!

Big Pissy said...

You sound like a mom any kid would be lucky to have! :)

Chris said...

Just lurking...again and wanted to say that your Real Mom post was awesome. I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing! ;)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

That did not even come CLOSE to paling to mine! I loved it!
You are an amazing woman and mom.

You forgot that real moms have "Bunny Slippers of Doom"! :)

I solemnly promise never to tag you again!


mia said...

This is fascinating because I JUST got a call from the school saying S has forgotten to bring her flute and would I mind very much driving it down there?
Do you mean the flute I pay thirty dollars a month for? The flute I have to fight with her to practice? The flute that is buried under a WET towel in her room? Ummmmm...yea, I will surely drop everything to do that.
Thanks to your post I have lost the tiny shred of guilt I did have and shall go pour myself another cup of java instead. THANKS!!!!!

yerdoingitwrong said...

You did a truly beautiful job!