- Family and Parenting
Mom Still Loves Me!
Amazingly enough, I was never shipped off to boarding school!
Here I am at forty-six years old and still managing to exasperate the hell out of anyone who is able to get close enough to me. Not necessarily in a bad way (although I can still be a handful) but in a way where people tend to look at me with this “HUH?” sort of expression.
It’s not something I can explain easily, but I can sure as heck give my readers some great examples of who Wendi is…not WHY Wendi does what she does!
I’ve been told that I have been very (let’s say) animated and outgoing since I was old enough to walk and talk. My mom was kept on her toes “when it came to me” from very early on. Looking back now, I can honestly say that as crafty as I always thought I was (and believe me I was,) mom had to have been craftier…I’M STILL ALIVE!
First and foremost, there’s the constant chatter, I NEVER SHUT UP! God love any, and all, members of my family who have had to listen to me for all of these years. One would think that eventually a person would run out of things to say…OH NO, NOT THIS ONE!
But I wouldn’t quite call me boring…mainly due to the missing filter between my brain and my mouth. I go straight from thinking something to saying it…not always a good thing, but that’s who I am.
When I was in first grade we were living in Belgium, Europe. We moved there when I was three, so I went to French schools and spoke the language fluently. Well I decided that I wanted a birthday party.
I’m sure if I had just asked, mom probably would have put something together…BUT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LOGICAL! Why be logical when you can create complete chaos?
Mom’s birthday is 4 days before mine. So I thought it would be a great idea to throw a birthday party for both of us. I was sure (at the time) that if mom got presents too, she couldn’t possibly get mad at me. I don’t really remember thinking that there may be consequences. Wendi wanted…so Wendi did!
In the Catholic school that I attended, we were taught to write exclusively in script, therefore my handwriting was excellent. So I found some of my mom’s nice paper and proceeded to write out invitations to a birthday party.
I explained in the invitations that the party was for my mother and me, and to make sure to bring two gifts. Now, can you imagine what those parents were thinking? My guess would be “those Americans are nuts!”
The day of the party arrived and mom was gone. She went shopping with a friend for the day and left us with “Anti-social” dad. This is a man who liked silence at all times because his face was always buried in some kind of reading material….OH GOODY! This was going to go well…NOT!
Now, just to remind you, I was in the first grade, so my planning only went as far as getting the kids there (with the presents.) There was no food, no drinks (other than our usual groceries) and NO CAKE!
It was early afternoon on a Saturday and the doorbell rang. Dad immediately looked annoyed, remember…SILENCE IS A MUST! And all of sudden this rush of women started showing up at the front door, one by one, dropping of their children and saying “thank you so much for inviting my daughter to the party” to Mr. Social Butterfly. He managed a grunt, looked at me with a really puzzled look, and then, with a look of defeat replied “you’re welcome.”
This went on for a while, until the house was filled with SCREAMING children and a wall lined with gifts. Then mom came home…UH OH! She walked in the door, looked at my father and yelled across the room “what on earth is going on in here?” Dad (very annoyed) replied “I have no idea; women have been dropping these kids off all day and thanking me for inviting them to the party!” All of sudden two heads turned towards me…again…UH OH!
So my (very resilient) mom threw her coat back on and ran over to the store to buy food and drinks for the party. After everyone left, mom had a very calm discussion with me, trying to figure out “what the hell I was thinking” and then blurted out words that would become a weekly part of my vocabulary…YOU’RE GROUNDED! I don’t remember if I got to keep the gifts or not, but I got my party…and some boring quiet time for two weeks afterwards.
Mom had her hands full with me. Not only did she have to raise her three girls, pretty much on her own (dad was always traveling,) but she also had to constantly stay one step ahead of me. There were many more instances like the one just mentioned, but I don’t ever recall seeing my mom truly pissed off back then. She seemed to take everything in stride.
Years later, and after many more of my famous schemes, we were living in Massachusetts and my parents were divorced. I was now in a new school and making new friends.
I was invited to a party and desperately wanted to go. I was told the party was going to be in the woods, but had no idea there would be alcohol involved. That wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Had I told mom the party was in the woods, it would’ve been a flat out “NO.”
So, without telling a direct lie, I schemed my way into being allowed out on a school night. Mom was having a fancy dinner party for some co-workers that night, which I either did not know about or simply didn’t care (probably the latter), so mom gave into my whining and let me go out.
That happened to be the first night I ever drank. There was a keg at this party and the beer was flowing fast and freely…AND I GOT DRUNK! After a while I was having trouble standing up straight, so a couple of my friends brought me home. They were kind enough to walk me to my front door.
It just so happened that my front door opened up directly into the dining room. I had to get from the front door to the stairs, which were about five feet away, without wobbling. I MADE IT…all the way to the stairway. When I tried to take that first step up, I fell flat on my face in front of a table full of executives.
Dear, sweet, patient mom helped me up the stairs and into bed. As she was tucking me in she asked me if I had had anything to drink, and I told her “yes, I drank way too much sprite, I don’t feel so good.”
The next morning mom had a very calm discussion with me, trying to figure out “what the hell I was thinking” and then blurted out those words again…YOU’RE GROUNDED! Two more weeks of quiet time for me…sound familiar?
Let’s not forget the night that I was supposed to be babysitting down the street. I had my driver’s license by then. Why mom let me keep that license while I lived under her roof is beyond me, but she did. A couple of friends and I decided we wanted pizza. Not one of us had a car. Well mom’s a heavy sleeper, she’ll never know…right? Ya, OK!
So I left my friends with the kids (we were babysitting together anyway) and snuck up to the house to get the car. Mom’s bedroom was on the second floor (in the front of the house) and the car was parked outside of the garage, at the basement level (in the back of the house.) Now, had it not been for a nosy neighbor I’m sure I never would’ve heard the blood curdling “WENDI, GET BACK HERE WITH MY CAR!” as I pulled around the front and sped away.
Of course, this is typical Wendi, so I drove the car down the street and called my mom from the house where I was babysitting and said “did you call me?” DUHHH! Guess what phrase came up the next morning? YOU’RE GROUNDED….of course! I don’t think there’s a child out there that could possibly match the amount of times I was grounded in my lifetime.
I’m an adult now with three grown children of my own. One of which (my twenty-one year old son) constantly has to holler “MOM LOOK OUT!” as I almost run people over with my cart in Walmart, and the oldest (my twenty-four year old daughter) is constantly saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” when she hears or sees me doing something completely off the wall.
I don’t know when the saying “LIVE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST” came out, but I’m pretty sure I was born with that saying embedded into my brain. Luckily my daughter gave me two beautiful granddaughters that I can continue acting like a child with. Not that I would act any more grown up without them, but at least it keeps strangers from looking at me and saying “look at that poor old woman, she obviously needs help!”
LIVE AND LET LIVE!
LIFE IS GOOD!
Oh, and….HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!