Spend at least one Mother's Day
with your respective mothers before you decide on marriage. If a man gives his
mother a gift certificate for a flu shot, dump him.
My kids always perceived the
bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded
from the car.
Making coffee has become the
great compromise of the decade. It's the only thing "real" men do that
doesn't seem to threaten their masculinity. To women, it's on the same domestic
entry level as putting the spring back into the toilet-tissue holder or taking a
chicken out of the freezer to thaw.
I don't know why no one ever
thought to paste a label on the toilet-tissue spindle giving 1-2-3 directions
for replacing the tissue on it. Then everyone in the house would know what Mama
Giving birth is little more than
a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is
Housework is a treadmill from
futility to oblivion with stop offs at tedium and counter productivity.
There's a territorial ritual to
an aerobics class. I entered a class for the first time a few years ago and
ended up where no one wanted to be...in the front row next to the mirror. It was
three years before I could work my way to the back row.
How come anything you buy will go
on sale next week?
Most women put off entertaining
until the kids are grown.
I have never gone to the bathroom
in my life that a small voice on the other side of the door hasn't whined,
"Are you saving the bananas for anything?"
Some say our national pastime is
baseball. Not me. It's gossip.
Graduation day is tough for
adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries.
After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed.
Marriage has no guarantees. If
that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.
There is nothing more miserable
in the world than to arrive in paradise and look like your passport photo.
Youngsters of the age of two and
three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their
own weight and dump him into the bathtub.
Getting out of the hospital is a
lot like resigning from a book club. You're not out of it until the computer
SAYS you're out of it.
Why is it when you want a nice
souvenir, you find a great shell in a gift shop, but some yo-yo has affixed a
ten-cent thermometer to it?
Kids have little computer bodies
with disks that store information. They remember who had to do the dishes the
last time you had spaghetti, who lost the knob off the Tv set six years ago, who
got punished for teasing the dog when he wasn't teasing the dog and who had to
wear girls boots the last time it snowed.
Who, in their infinite wisdom,
decreed that Little League uniforms be white? Certainly not a mother.
People shop for a bathing suit
with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for
something you'll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.
No self-respecting mother would
run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.
On vacations: We hit the sunny
beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater
off our bodies and the sand out of our belongings.
Mother's words of wisdom:
"Answer me! Don't talk with food in your mouth!"
All of us have moments in our
lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is
one of them.
Most children's first words are
"Mama" or "Daddy." Mine were, "Do I have to use my own
Sometimes I can't figure
designers out. It's as if they flunked human anatomy.
I remember buying a set of black
plastic dishes once, after I saw an ad on television where they actually put a
blowtorch to them and they emerged unscathed. Exactly one week after I bought
them, one of the kids brought a dinner plate to me with a large crack in it.
When I asked what happened to it, he said it hit a tree. I don't want to talk
My theory on housework is, if the
item doesn't multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let
it be. No one cares. Why should you?
Before you try to keep up with
the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.
Have you any idea how many
children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to
say, "What light?" and two more to say, "I didn't turn it
Onion rings in the car cushions
do not improve with time.
Everyone is guilty at one time or
another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to
have a market on the supply. "Do you want a spanking or do you want to go
to bed?" Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?"
Wasn't there any change?"
I never leaf through a copy of
National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society
where it is traditional to wear clothes.
The age of your children is a key
factor in how quickly you a re served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in
Canada who said, "Could I get you your check?" and we answered,
"How about the menu first?"
Mothers have to remember what
food each child likes or dislikes, which one is allergic to penicillin and
hamster fur, who gets carsick and who isn't kidding when he stands outside the
bathroom door and tells you what's going to happen if he doesn't get in right
away. It's tough. If they all have the same hair color they tend to run
When your mother asks, "Do
you want a piece of advice?" it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if
you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.
No one ever died from sleeping in
an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after their children do
it because there's a wrinkle in the spread or the blanket is on crooked. This is
When mothers talk about the
depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet
towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of
capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've
gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice
president of the United States.
Christmas Shopping: Wouldn't it
be wonderful to find one gift that you didn't have to dust, that had to be used
right away, that was practical, fit everyone, was personal and would be
remembered for a long time? I penciled in "Gift certificate for a flu