My friend Ashley posted one of those funny photos on Facebook the other day that made me laugh – until I realized how true it was.
It read: “Sometimes when I open my mouth, my mother comes out.”
Oh sweet, sweet son of a biscuit eater.
That ain’t even funny if you think about it.
I was flooded with all those pithy comments Mama gave me over the years that made me want to scream.
“I’m the mother, that’s the only reason you need.”
“Because I said so.”
When a movie by the same title came out a few years ago, I wondered if someone had made a movie about my life without my consent.
“If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you want to do that too?”
“I am the Captain of your ship.”
That one made me particularly grit my teeth for some reason. Maybe because I didn’t have a ship.
I once popped back with, “Then I am the Admiral,” after learning a limited knowledge of naval rankings thanks to “Star Trek.”
Mama smirked and retorted: “The admiral doesn’t have any power if the ship is at sea, Kitten, and we’re at sea.”
I still hate that phrase – she still says it too.
There’s other phrases she used over the years, some worse, with varying degrees of annoying; I just cannot remember all of them.
I attribute it to some kind of denial or personal mental defense mechanism so I won’t suffer a rebellious reaction if I hear the words uttered somewhere.
I swore I would never, not ever, say anything as inane as the things that dripped off Mama’s lips in between sips of Diet Coke.
I would not use those kinds of annoying little phrases that would embarrass my child or make him cringe.
But oh, how wrong I was, how wrong I have been.
I have said variations of those comments, said two of them verbatim and even made up a few of my own.
“Why can’t I do that?” Cole has cried.
“Because I said so!”
“Why do I have to pick up my room?”
“I’m your mother and that’s all you need to know.”
Sweet, sweet son of a biscuit eater. I am my mother.
All I need is the red hair and the Virginia Slim 120.
Mama finds it quite humorous that I have resorted to using the word warfare.
“I thought you were never going to say anything remotely close to those silly little phrases I used,” she giggled. “You would get so upset over the tiniest of phrases. You remember? Have you said that one to Cole yet?”
“No, and I won’t. I still hate that phrase.”
“What phrase? That I am the captain of your ship?” she giggled at her own craftiness.
But I have my own crafty comebacks now.
“That is just downright evil that you still throw those sayings around -that’s something Granny would do. You are getting to be more and more like that old woman every day.”
I just did the unthinkable, the most dreaded phrase any woman wants to hear: They are acting like their mother.
It’s one thing if we suspect that we are becoming our mothers; it’s another to have someone point it out to us.
I had gotten her. Finally.
Feeling confident in my newfangled upperhand of the situation, I ordered Cole it was time to do his homework.
“Please give me a few more minutes. I am playing,” he said.
He was so engrossed in whatever he was doing, he didn’t even look up.
“No, Cole, it’s getting late. Go do it now.”
“Mama, I said not right now – I am playing!” he implored.
“Cole, I am the boss, you need to do your homework now.” I emphasized the now.
“You are not the boss,” Cole said, growing irritated. “You’re not my boss, you’re not anybody’s boss. You’re not even the boss of the dogs.”
“Cole, I am more than the boss – I am the Alpha and the Omega of your little hinney and you better go get the homework started right now.”
Cole drew his little chin up in triumphant defiance. “You are not the Alpha and Omega; only God is that. You are just Mama.”
I had no come back for that – how do you argue with a then 5-year old that you are not God, you’re just Mama. My confidence had now slipped and I was defeated.
I was now officially Mama.
At least that isn’t as bad as being Granny.