The Rules of Parenting: No. 75

There I would sit (bratty, sniveling), being scolded for something or other, despising the smell of coffee on her breath (she was only trying to eek out a little pleasure in life) and thinking how I would never wear a zip-up velour robe of burgundy hue in my future adult life. She, my loving mother, had discovered and thwarted one of my many preposterous ideas for turning the basement into a carnival with multiple vendors or something akin to it. I did not take it well and was now being addressed in no uncertain-or sugar coated- words in her raw, tired voice.

{Insert the BRrrrring! BRrrrring! of our avocado green rotary phone on yellow and orange floral print wallpapered kitchen wall}.


Wait. What happened to her voice? The robe is the same, I can catch the waft of coffee breath, but this MUST be a different woman.

"Oh, Chris! Hello! How are you?...Good...Yes, it is a beautiful morning, isn't it?"

Mrs. Phillips.  Of course. My best friend's mom who has just about the sweetest, softest voice in the world. It is impossible to think it has ever been raised, or lowered to an offensive tone and especially against her innocent wee ones. And now the voice of this woman who calls herself my mother suddenly sounds like liquid sugar, when just moments ago it had the quality of rumbling sandpaper when addressing her own flesh and blood. The audacity! I should take the phone and inform Mrs. Phillips what was REALLY going down when she called.

My stick-like frame would rage for another ten minutes over the sheer hypocricy on flagrant, buttery-voiced display in front of my put-off self and after vowing I would NEVER play Jekyll and Hide with my children, I would resume my altered carnival planning play.


Be careful what you vow. Even when you're only eight.
This particular anti-phone-transformation vow was broken several years ago.
I have sympathy for my mother now, and if my children were somehow able to know my eight-year-old self, they would start a support group with my former self.

Not all has been lost. I have been treating this blog like a telephone. In this small medium, I have kept the vow. If I'm an _itch (insert your letter of choice) behind the keyboard, I am not going to hop on here and write an airy little devotional on the joys of Christian Living or a deep pondering piece about the delights of crafting with small children (the latter of which I have zilch experience to draw from).

You might not know that I had mentally driven myself off a cliff that day, declaring that 'this job is for the birds' and feeling horrible for saying it... but I do! 

You might not know that my husband was driven out to the barn because life was much more pleasant any place where I wasn't...but I do!

You might not know that the Netflix box was hot with over playing and my children were casting secret ballots to overthrow me and replace me with sweet Mrs. Hursh down the road...but I do!


Even in the midst of increased monthly hormonal lows, there are still many thoughts brewing in my heart...but somehow it feels hypocritical to spend any time writing when I need to be concentrating all my efforts-and I assure you this can take intense concentration some days-- into showing love to the people I live with and love the very most.

I know you can not know what life looks like around here from day to day or week to week. But I do. While I do not write only when conditions are 'perfect' (for then I would never write), I just want you to know that when I'm really  "_itchy", you're not going to read sugary-sweet sentiments from the Coffee Cottage. Perhaps this is why I do not post oftener.

If you happen to call me on the telephone (and I still have a rotary one), I still will probably do my best to sound more like Audrey Hepburn than Atilla the Hun because some things are just fall under the Natural Laws of Parenting.

"Rule No. 75 : Immediately after an infraction in the home that has to be sternly addressed by the mother, the telephone will ring. The mother's voice will naturally mellow upon answering as to not alarm the caller and the children will give her 2.4 nanoseconds of uninterrupted conversation before ushering in domestic Armageddon".

~The Parenting Handbook, page 56.


Sylvia said…
Plenty of times your frustration on your blog has led to the enjoyment of your readers. So it's not a total loss. ;)

Popular Posts