May 12, 2007

Mom Says...

My sister sent me this Mothers Day column, written by Kathy Baker for the Kent Record-Courier. I thought it was worth passing along for the occasion.


By Kathy Baker

Say please and thank you. Close the door; were you born in a barn? Are your hands broken? Do it yourself! Clean up this room! It looks like a pigsty. Pick up after yourself. I’m not your maid! If you say that again, I’ll wash your mouth out with soap. Don’t slam the door! You’re not leaving this house dressed like that. As long as you live under my roof, you’ll do as I say. Bored? “Bore” rhymes with “chore,” so obviously you need some chores. Don’t ask me why. Because I said so, that’s why. Do you think I’m made of money? The answer is NO. Is it your goal in life to make me crazy? Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry for.

Did you say your prayers? Did you brush your teeth? Did you flush the toilet? Which one of you boys left the seat up? Did you wash your hands? Come to the table…are you waiting for an engraved invitation? Eat your vegetables. If you’re too full to finish your dinner, you’re too full for dessert. Clean your plate; think of the starving children who would give anything to have that food!

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. What if your face froze that way? Don’t make me come in there! Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been. Be careful; you’ll poke your eye out! Don’t you dare use that tone with me! Don’t sit so close to the TV; you’ll ruin your eyes. Don’t walk away when I’m talking to you! I’d better NEVER catch you doing that again!

It’s a beautiful day; why are you in the house? Go play outside. How many times do I have to tell you? Are the parents going to be there? I don’t care if you’re the only kid in your class who isn’t allowed. I would NEVER have talked to my mother like that! I can’t believe you did that. How can you lie to me? I don’t care who started it, just get along! When you have kids of your own, you’ll understand. When I was your age… What part of NO don’t you understand? I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one. If you keep rolling your eyes like that, they'll fall right out of your head. I’m not going to tell you again. Guess what? Life isn’t fair. Did you do your homework? Leave your sister/brother alone! Money doesn’t grow on trees. No child of mine is going to ___. Over my dead body! Someday you’ll thank me for this. Turn that music down! Turn that TV off! You’re grounded! Watch your language! Yeah, well, people in hell want ice water, too. You’ll get over it.

Where do you think you’re going? Who are you going with? What time will you be home? Make sure you wear your seatbelt. Take your jacket. Just who do you think you are? Who died and made you queen/king? If you’d put things where they belong, you wouldn’t have this problem. Keep a civil tongue in your head. I brought you into this world, and I can take you out! Turn off that light and get to sleep!

Uh-oh: don’t cry. Mommy will kiss it and make it all better. Want me to read you a story? I will always love you, no matter what. Did you have a bad dream, sweetie? Don’t be afraid; you’re safe. Mommy’s here. Don’t worry; I’ll take care of you. I’ll never leave you. Need some help with your homework? I’m so proud of you! You’re doing a great job! I knew you could do it! You look sad, honey. What’s wrong? Call me if you need me. I understand. I know you didn’t mean it. You can always count on me. Sweet dreams, child of mine. I love you.

Do you want to talk about it? Everything will work out; you’ll see. Look how tall you are already! You look great in that dress! Of course you can let your hair grow; it’s your hair. Things will get better; I promise! This too shall pass. Keep trying. Let’s go get ice cream. Stick with it; you’re getting better every day. I’ll be waiting up for you. Tell me; I want to hear all about it! I know you can do it. What would you like for supper? Do you want more cereal? Of course Ben can stay over. I’m so proud of you. I’m the luckiest mom ever! You’re such a kind, responsible human being. Hi, honey; want some cookies and milk? You’re the best kid in the world. I believe in you. I love you!

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Being someone’s child—whether you’re 14 or 60—can be frustrating, wonderful or totally annoying, often all in the same day. Being someone’s mother is similar. It’s the hardest, most wonderful job in the world.

Kids, please take a minute to say thanks to your mom today, because that woman is crazy about you. She loves you fiercely and forever, unreservedly and unconditionally, in a way that no one else ever will. And don’t forget: always wear clean underwear, just in case (God forbid) you get in an accident.

Kathy Baker is a speaker, author, and director of marketing at United Way of Portage County. More importantly, she’s the mother of four wonderful kids. She can be reached at, or via the Record Courier.

Posted by dan at May 12, 2007 6:41 PM