From the Mommy Files…

OMG! Did I say that?

Posted on: March 3, 2010

OMG! Did I really say that? Yikes! I swore I would NEVER say that! You know what I’m talking about – the things your mom used to say to you that you SWORE IN A MILLION YEARS YOU WOULD NEVER SAY. I did. I said it. I can’t believe that came from my mouth!

One day, it was lunchtime for my 3 year-old. She’d requested her favorite, mac and cheese. I served her lunch and asked her to come to sit down. After a while, she came and sat at the table and basically goofed around. After about ½ hour of trying to cajole her into eating, (yeah, you’ve been there too!) I asked her why she wasn’t eating. She replied, “I don’t feel like eating.” I asked if she was hungry, and she said she was. Then I asked why she wasn’t eating. She said, “I don’t want mac and cheese.” I reminded her that she requested it.  We went back and forth a few times. Ultimately, she said defiantly, “Well, I don’t want it!” And then it came out of nowhere. “There are kids in the world that don’t have any food!”  I didn’t realize at first that I said it. To that, my little one responded, “Really?”

So I hadn’t yet determined if she was being sarcastic or she was genuinely interested in hearing about these kids when it hit me. The horror! My mother used to tell me that all the time. I was a very finicky eater and there was a lot I wouldn’t eat. My mom would repeat that mantra over and over. My response? “Well, then send them my food!” I think that quip made her angrier than the fact that I didn’t eat. IN MY MIND, I SWORE TO MYSELF I WOULD NEVER SAY SUCH RIDICULOUS THINGS TO MY KIDS. Well, I guess I just ate my words! How did this happen? What is happening to me? My mother has taken over my brain! HELP!!! What’s next?

Meanwhile, my daughter was speaking to me and I didn’t say anything; I couldn’t hear her as I was reminiscing, thinking about my own refusing-to-eat days. While a part of me wanted to simply ask her what else she wanted to eat – she has to eat, and well, in a way I wanted to forget that I uttered the words I said I would never say – I stuck to my guns: “Come on, it’s not a restaurant! You asked for mac and cheese.” She told me she wasn’t going to eat it, so I took it away, and told her she’d eat it for dinner, but there was no other lunch, only that one. She went to play and 20 minutes later, came to ask if she could eat her lunch now. “Mommy,” she said. “I think I am ready for mac and cheese now.” I took it out of the refrigerator and set the plate in front of her. To my surprise, she said, “I’m glad we have food to eat, Mommy.” “Eat your lunch, Sweetie,” I said, and walked away, thinking, “Mother knows best.” Isn’t it amazing how much smarter our mothers get, the older we get? I didn’t want to admit it, but she’s smarter than I gave her credit for.

Another day I said something else she always said. And I realized that sometimes there just isn’t an explanation, or you’re just so frustrated, and you can’t say what you’re really thinking. Oh, I think you know where I’m going…that timeless phrase: “Because I’m the mom and I say so!” Well, we’ve become mothers. Why wouldn’t we say the things we learned from the example we had: Mom. Now, the question remains; will I share this little story with my mom? And more importantly…what other fun sayings will come out of my mouth?

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