Friday, December 5, 2008

Because I'm The Mom

My boys think I have special powers. And I encourage that thought.
Somehow, I seem to know everything. Not just information stuff, but everything they're thinking. Everything they're doing. Everything they're thinking about doing. They don't understand how I know these things. And I don't explain it to them. I tell them it's "because I'm the Mom." I tell them that God tells Moms things so they know how to deal with their kids. And that's true. But God tells us stuff in different ways.
First off, I used to be a kid. That concept is totally foreign to my children. They can't wrap their heads around the fact that I was once ten. That I might have contemplated doing some of the same things they try to pull. I know how a ten year old (or a nine year old, or a twelve year old, or a fourteen year old, or a seventeen year old, or a nineteen year old) thinks, because I used to be one.
Another thing they don't realize is that none of them have mastered a poker face. Most of their thoughts are right there in their expression. I can tell whose guilty. Whose sad. Whose upset. It's right there on their face.
I also know how they think. I gave birth to these children. I've watched them grow. I've watched their personalities develop. I know which of my children is most likely to not flush the toilet. (All of the boys!) I know which one is going to spill juice and not bother to clean it all up. I know which one is guilty when I hear the cat meow in protest.
The thing is, since I know generally who did what, I speak to them as if I know specifically who did what. Nine times out of ten, they rat themselves out because they think I already know.
This proved true the other day when I got home from work. I was hurrying to fix supper, and I leaned against the counter to reach something in the upper cabinet. The edge of the countertop was sticky, although the top of the counter wasn't. I grumbled at poor work ethics, cleaned the counter and went about my business. But then I opened a cabinet beneath the sticky counter. The cabinet doors were sticky, too. Both inside AND outside. That cabinet holds all my plastic bowls. Sure enough, there were orange juice drops and puddles in almost a dozen of those bowls. Someone had spilled orange juice. They had wiped up the counter, and the floor, but they had completed skipped the cabinet.
I called everyone downstairs and asked who had spilled orange juice that day. They were astounded. How did I know anyone had spilled anything? (They spill every day!)And how did I know it was orange juice? Nicky confessed. I showed him the cabinet and the bowls and made him clean up the mess. Even with cleaning, he still wasn't quite sure how I knew he had spilled something while I was gone. Poor boy. One day he'll have some kids of his own. Then he'll have the great knowledge that comes with being a parent. Then he'll have eyes in the back of his head. Then his kids will never get away with anything because he can say, "Because I'm the Mom."
Oops. I guess he'll be the Dad. So maybe he never will figure out how the female figurehead in the family knows all that she does. Maybe he'll always believe that it's simply because she's the Mom.

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