God has a funny sense of humor! I remember some of the things my mother used to shout at us when we were coming up like “Don’t make me come back there” when she was driving and my sister Beth and I were fighting in the back seat. When KC was younger, he and his cousin Tyler were acting up as we were dashing down the highway. I heard the words come out of my mouth before I could catch them. “Don’t make me come back there!”
When the words flew out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe it! I snapped my head to the right to be sure my mom wasn’t sitting in the passenger seat next to me because I know I didn’t just say that! (But I had.)
What happened next was surreal.
KC stopped pushing his cousin and looked at me curiously through the review mirror and asked, “How would you drive if you came back here, Mommy? That makes no sense.” I was floored. When I was a child, it never even occurred to me to think logically about some of the things my parents said to us, but he was just so calm about it. I ignored him and kept driving. And I never used that phrase with him again.
When he was about five, he did that to me another time when my mother’s words came floating out of my mouth. “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” I said as menacingly as I could when he was getting on my last nerve. He stopped, calmly looked at me, and asked, “What does that mean, Mom?” (He’d announced at the age of four that he would no longer be calling me “Mommy” because that’s what babies called their mothers. FOUR!) “Does it mean you will kill me? And how would you do that? Shoot me? Stab me?”
What kind of kid did I HAVE? And he was so right. Some of these sayings were just barbaric! Maybe different strokes worked for different BeyBey’s kids during different times, but I didn’t believe in spanking my child. I tried it once and sobbed harder than he did because it literally hurt my soul. So I didn’t use a lot of the sayings (read: threats) my parents used on us while he was growing up.
But now that he’s grown? (Well, 21 … is that really GROWN to a mother?) I catch myself saying things to him all the time my mom used to say to me! Things like:
- Because I said so!
- Are you warm enough? Where’s your hat and gloves?
- Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. (That’s my favorite! I repeat it at least once a week to my college student who clearly knows this is the case but doesn’t act like it.)
- As long as you live under my roof, we are going to do things my way!
- You are working my last nerve, boy!
- I’m not talking about everybody else. I’m talking about YOU!
- If Drew jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?
Is it inevitable that we become our mothers? I mean, we are our parents’ children. We are socialized by them. We learned from them. Why wouldn’t we pick up their traits, habits, and phrases? Especially when they sum up everything we’re feeling, and they WORK!
So there is no shame to my game. I confidently am passing on this crazy “Things Parents Say” legacy to my child. And you should be, too. It means we are never too old to be immune to surviving the rites of parenthood.
How about you? Any sayings you use on your kids? And are they grown or small?
Inquiring minds wanna know.