Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Ears Have Big Mouths

If you have been following along on this little road trip down Parenthood Lane, you know that my mom is extremely critical of me. She actually acts as if I couldn’t parent a hermit crab. Okay, I will admit to losing him once, but I found him crawling around three days later. I also have an inability to keep houseplants alive. But I have not lost a child, well not permanently anyway. 

We (as in my precious little family) just finished a very long visit at the grandparents. Now, before we left our own home this morning, I went through the litany of rules I always mandate before going to grandmas: Do not talk back. Do not fight. Say please and thank you, even if you don’t mean it. Don’t tell Grandpa to chew with his mouth closed. In fact, don’t run, don’t jump, and don’t play. Just sit. Quietly. 

I don’t want a phone call when I get home. Do you know what I am talking about? Does your mother do this to you? After finally releasing the breathe I have been holding since my little family returned to our own abode, my phone will ring. It’s my mom. It goes something like this:

“Mom,” I say exasperated already, “He is four.”

“He called me a liar,”  she scathes into the phone. 

Oh shit, flows into my brain, followed by, hmmmm, he must have heard me. 

“I realize that, and there is no excuse for it,” except that it’s true, I think but do not say. 

“You need to take care of this,” she angrily responds.

 “Of course Mother,” I reply.

That angry telephone exchange is followed by one of the most important conversations we can have with our little echoes; don’t repeat what mommy says when she is ranting about grandma.

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