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"Because I said so!" and Other Things Mom Said
"If you stick your tongue out again it will fall off."
If you were in certain locations such as the classroom, the best way to get back at someone was to stick your tongue out at them. The action required no verbal explanation and spoke volumes . I also used this at home regularly with my brother and sisters. Unfortunately, one day, my little sister went running to Mom and told her what I had done. Mom then found me and said, "If you stick your tongue out again it will fall off." I was certain that Mom knew what she was talking about and, from that point on, I always held onto my tongue when sticking it out, lest it ended up on the floor.
"Be sure you have on clean underwear in case you're in an accident."
This one always confused me. I understood Mom wanting me to wear clean clothes, but if I were in an accident, who was going to care if my underwear were clean or not? Were they not going to admit me to the hospital without an underwear check (is there even such a thing)? You don't know how many times I was at the door ready to leave, and would turn around and run back upstairs to change underwear, just in case. I was convinced there were underwear police. And, if anyone would get caught with their dirty underpants down (so to speak)--it would be me.
"Because I said so!"
This was the response I usually got after asking why I couldn't do something, or why I couldn't have something, or why I couldn't go somewhere. And the 'whys' usually had a whine to them. I always knew when I had pushed Mom to the limit, but something always made me give that one last shove . Then I would get the "Because I said so!" through clenched teeth, accompanied by 'The Look '.
"Think of those poor starving children in India... (or China, or Africa.)"
I used to think of all those starving kids at dinner time and sincerely wished I could take my vegetables, put them in an envelope and send them to all those hungry kids. If I didn't like the food, why would Mom think other kids would like it. It just wasn't reasonable to me. They should thank me. I was saving them from things like brussels sprouts, peas, and carrots!
"If you keep making faces, your face is going to stay that way."
Now, this was not really a threat to a kid 'of a certain age' because he would think that would be really cool. But as he got a little older, it carried a bigger impact. Girls. You know how brain-dead boys can be. Can you imagine them making faces at girls when the girls couldn't see them, then waking up and their faces still looked that way??? I can hear their screams from here. Truth be told, girls made faces as much as boys!
Oh, and don't forget about the "Don't cross your eyes 'cause they'll stay that way." and "Don't chew gum because your insides will stick together." There are an awful lot of kids I wonder about today and how their vision is. The gum chewers, well, I hope they never have to have anything removed, because it will just come out in one big piece!
"This is going to hurt me more than it does you."
I thought grownups weren't supposed to lie. This is the biggest ever . How can it possibly hurt them more than me, when it's my behind that's getting wore out? And I can't remember ever seeing so much as a misty eye. Well, I can say spankings helped develop my creativity. I never did the same thing twice, I had to think of other things to get into.
"Watch your mouth!"
My mouth is on my face . Please explain to me how I was supposed to watch it? To have asked Mom would have meant certain and lengthy grounding. Maybe I could go into the bathroom and stare in the mirror. But even if I did, what was I watching for ? I finally figured it out by means of elimination. Every time she said it, I thought about what I was doing and b.i.n.g.o--I was always saying something I shouldn't. What Mom didn't seem to realize was that watching my mouth wasn't going to do a bit of good. Here we go again!
OMG! I'm my mother!!!
As much as I've said that I would never say these things, I have. My kids reacted the same way I did, and I'm sure my grandchildren will tell me their moms (my daughters) told them the same things and so on, and so on. It's a vicious cycle. But it exists because we are moms and we love our kids. We don't always make sense, we're not supposed to. Our kids instinctively know what we mean, just as we did with our moms. This was just to make you remember, and smile a little bit.