My mom had a knack for giving pearls of wisdom to us kids, wrapped in annoying little phrases. My kids someday will attribute these same phrases back to me and so on and so forth. One phrase I seem to use more often than others with the doll has to do with wearing a coat. “Mom I’m fine!” She’ll say through gritted teeth as she sports her oversized sports hoodie. God forbid she should ever follow my advice: It’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it
“Doll all I’m saying is it’s better to be safe than sorry“. I explained. “Mom could you stop that please?” “Stop what?” I asked. “Stop being so annoying!” “Sorry doll, no. That’s rule number one of the mean mommy handbook. I’m supposed to be as annoying as possible to you”. I replied with a smile. The doll however was/continues to be; unimpressed.

Another pearl of wisdom is about patience. Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman and never in a man. My mom used to say this with quite regularity, right before she would clamp down on the meat between her thumb and index finger–with her teeth. Mom’s way to keep from hauling off and smacking one of us. I’ve found myself repeating that little nugget over and over lately as the boy seems to love hearing his sister scream at him to “SHUT UP” all evening long.

Then I try to remind my kids that I was a kid once too; something they have a hard time fathoming. “Your uncle Danny and I had knock down, dragged out fights; complete with hair pulling and head locks” I explain. The doll finds these stories funny while the boy gives me odd looks back. “My mom used to tell me all the time ‘Be careful, one day he will be bigger than you…’ And you know what? She was right. Of course by that time we had already come to our own adolescent truce–something else she had told us would happen. We realized we loved one another…even though we both had funny ways of showing it” I finished. The boy shook his head, gave me a smile, a hug and an “I Love You”, before he disappeared back to his video game watching. The doll shook her head and said, “Whatever mom…”


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