FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Often times as parents our words come back to haunt us. Tonight we were in the check out line at the local Walmart, and as I tried to pull the diet Pepsi from the bottom of the cart to be scanned, I hit my knuckle on the cart and quite frankly….it hurt. I am trying to wrestle this soda out of that stupid shelf on the cart, the top of my hand is hurting, and I am trying not to curse and swear like the sailor my mouth can become. All of the sudden I hear the sweet angelic voice of my 13 year old announce: “Hike your skirt up Nancy!” The check out lady said “What did she just say?” and I repeated what that she had told me to hike my skirt up and quite complaining. I figured she felt Maddie was disrespectful to me, but she just roared in laughter and told me she needed to remember that the next time her young co-worker started her constant complaining about her life. I just looked at Maddie and shook my head, for these words were just coming back to bite me in the behind. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have told my kids to “hike up their skirts” or to “pull up their granny panties” because I just didn’t want to hear their complaining.
I have many favorites, and will not hesitate to pull them out when needed. It started when my kids were toddlers, and would try to talk to me while whining. There is nothing that grates on my nerves more than a whining child. I would just look at them, and in a calm voice tell them to go away and come back when they could talk in a normal voice. Most of the time it worked, because kids are smarter than we give them credit for. My mom was the best at doling out words of wisdom, which I, of course, find my self repeating. I always hated when she would try to pick my friends. The Marilynism was: ” YOU ARE WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE SHELLY SUE!” I actually had to stop being friends with another classmate when I was in junior high, at her insistence. I didn’t understand her reasoning at the time, but now I do…..I would have gotten into a lot of trouble had we remained friends. When I began dating, she didn’t give me the S.E.X speech…shhhhhh….we didn’t talk about that…..but she did look me in the eye and said “Don’t do anything tonight that would cause Jesus to be disappointed in you if he appeared at that moment.” Wow…I didn’t even know where to go with that one….but it did keep my out of the back seats of many cars. Then there were the original quotes such as: “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” and ” Just because so and so has one, doesn’t mean you have to have one too!” and then to ever famous “Because I said so!”
My sister was a star basketball player in high school, and had a bit of a temper. She somehow managed to rack up many technicals every basketball season. Mom and Dad would sit in the bleachers with matching t-shirts that said ‘My kid is number 24″ and then cringe in horror as the ref blew the whistle, made the sign of the T, and pointed to Kelly. Kelly would then head towards the ref….face and neck red from anger…and at this point my dad would stand up in the bleachers and yell “Pull your horns in Kelly Jo!” I must point out that my dad was 6 foot 2 with a deep voice, so when he yelled, people listened. Somehow this usually stopped my 6 foot sister in her tracks, and the coach was then able to step between her and the ref. ( I think for the safety of the ref ) I have used that line with my kids too. When we would make a bad decision there wasn’t a lot of coddling….but we did hear “Well you sh## in your nest, so you just need to sleep in it!” What exactly does that mean anyway? I guess the way I look at it, repeating the wisdoms of the generation before us is a way of honoring their good judgement. Even if we don’t know exactly where our horns are, or where exactly the “nest” is. ♥