Category Archives: mommy manners

Are They Deaf?

I bet Julie Andrews didn’t lose her singing voice from that botched surgery.¬† I bet she severed her vocal cords yelling at her kids from the bottom of the stairs.

Before I had children, I never yelled from the bottom of the stairs. I had better things to do, like paint my toenails, read a magazine, or organize photographs into neatly labeled albums. I seem also to recall wandering aimlessly around the mall and trying clothes on, just for fun.

Now, if I’m not standing at the bottom of the staircase screaming like a gym teacher, it’s only because I’m standing next to the rear passenger door of my SUV with my eyes pointed heavenward, uttering “You think I have nothing better to do than stand out here like some kind of chauffeur, freezing my butt off while you climb in? Jesus, Mary and Joseph, just get in the car!”

Through clenched teeth, so the neighbors wouldn’t hear.

From the bottom of the stairs, I yell things like, “If you’re not down here in two minutes, we’re leaving without you and I’m not even kidding!” (a lie) or, “Hey, V-meister! I asked you a question! And if I don’t get a response in the next five seconds, I’m coming up!” (A bold faced lie.)

It’s almost as though my kids are willfully ignoring me.

And that’s why it’s so hard to understand why every time I turn on the vacuum cleaner, a child materializes next to me in two seconds flat with a sudden inexplicable desire to chat.

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Did You Make Your Bed This Morning?

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who make their bed and those who don’t.

I make my bed every morning. After Phase One (the smoothing of the sheets and blanket) is complete, I move on to Phase Two, which involves circling the bed several times to make sure everything lines up correctly. The third and final phase is the plumping and centering of throw pillows, and often requires that I step back several feet into my own closet to achieve the optimal perspective before the bed can be called “made.” Though elaborate, the process is fail-proof and only takes twenty to thirty minutes.

The P-Dawg is not a bed maker. It wasn’t a requirement in his house growing up and get this – he didn’t even know what a flat sheet was until he married me.

“What are you saying, that you slept between the fitted sheet and the comforter like some kind of barbarian?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said.

Recently I mentioned that I think it’s high time the kids started making their own beds every morning. It’s necessary, I believe, to instill¬† a sense of order and responsibility and, more importantly, for me to get an extra ten minutes of aimless web surfing time per day.

“I think that’s a bad idea” the P-Dawg immediately replied.

“What?” I was aghast. “Why?”

“I don’t want them to end up like you.”

It’s true that the bed making has caused me undue stress at times, such as in emergency situations when I’ve had to leave the house in the morning before the chore is complete. I have, on occasion, come home late and found myself making my bed at eleven PM so I could go to sleep in it. But what difference does this make, as long as I appear normal to the naked eye when I’m out in public?

And so the P-Dawg and I remain at an impasse. I maintain that the state of a bed in its natural habitat is “made,” and he insists that a bed’s default state is “disheveled.” I think that bed making is an exercise in discipline which also helps clear the mind and prepare mentally for a new day, while the P-Dawg believes that the practice can only lead to a life of neuroses and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. (By the way, he believes that children should have responsibilities around the house, he just doesn’t think making their beds should be one of them.)

What say you? Did you have to make your bed as a kid? And if so, has it made you a compulsive freak?

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