Monday, March 9, 2009

So help me.......

Remember when you were 7 years old and you kept pestering your mother while she was chatting on the phone?
What was her reaction?
Well, if she was at all similar to most mothers, she probably snapped her fingers in an angry manner in order to focus your attention, and then she shook her fist at you. That, of course, was followed by a tinkling bout of laughter at whatever her phone-friend was saying to her.

This behavior also bears some resemblance to another kind of "mom episode", where the doorbell is ringing and you and your brother are in the fight of your lives on the living room floor. On her way to answer the door, your mother stoops very low to both of you, hisses out a warning (it's very colorful verbiage hints at some glorious punishment, as well), then opens the door with a supermodel smile and a "well, HELLO there!".

Did your mom have a split personality? Maybe, but I don't think so. There is a much simpler explanation, that only a mother would understand.

Your mother's insane behavior was fueled entirely by YOU. Yep, YOU and YOUR SIBLINGS (if any), are 100% responsible for your mother's trips to Crazyland.

How do I know this?
Because, I am that mother.
I have been to Crazyland and it's not a nice place.

I have the not-so-unique perspective of most mothers: I have been that pestering child and I have been that hissing mother. So, I can confidently speak to both positions.

CHILD: "What the HECK?!? Mom is wigging out AGAIN? All I want is an answer on whether or not she is signing me up for bow-hunting lessons. I just need to know when that is going to happen, and if I can practice in the basement, and if it's OK to shoot out all our windows, and if it's OK to blindfold my younger sister and shoot at the feather she is holding above her head. Hello, MOM? Can you just answer this question really quickly RIGHT AWAY? Geez!"

MOTHER: "What the HECK?!? Is my child really doing this AGAIN? Did I not make myself expressly clear the last 17 times he tried this while I was talking on the phone? Does some kind of 'Alarm for Idiotic Questions' go off when I pick up this phone? This kid cannot be for real. Does he have a hidden camera somewhere, recording all of this for a TV show? Hey, kid, I'm gonna lose it in about 5 seconds! Warning! Exploding Mommy-Head!"

Accurate on both sides?
While I have you agreeing with me, keep on nodding your head to show your solidarity with mothers everywhere. These kids are nuts, right? Any mother has a right to lose her mind under these harsh conditions, correct?
Can I get an "AMEN"?

As a child, you think you are being completely reasonable and cannot understand why your behavior would bother your mother, in the least. However, there is some part of your subconscious which switches into "annoying-kid-high-gear" whenever the phone starts ringing.

But, even an adult with a semi-functioning brain can see that trying to maintain a conversation with someone, while trying to field ridiculous requests from munchkins is highly frustrating and nearly impossible. And, just like your child, a certain part of your subconscious goes into "defensive-pity-me/aggressive-take-away-TV-privileges" mode when you hear the phone ring.

So, who wins? I'd like to say that no one wins. But, that wouldn't be truthful (and the Good Lord knows that all I have left to me is my honesty).

Approximately, 79% of the time, the kid (or kids) win. Annoying behavior will almost always get you something; even if it's a "buy-off prize", such as a popsicle (plug up that noisemaker with some sugar!).

The other 21% of the time? It's a toss-up. Sometimes, mothers will win: the child will actually fall silent and wait. The rest of the time no one claims victory: both parties end up in angry tears.

Solution? Yeah, right. Like I have any answers!
So far, what I have done is NEVER announce that I will be making/receiving a phone call, then hide myself in a closet when I do have to use the phone.

The one bright spot? (Cue Maniacal Laughter)
Already I am realizing just how much fun it is to interrupt my teenager while he's on the phone, or speaking in person to his friends. ("Mom, please. I'll be done in a minute!").

And, Crazyland? Well, I plan to be here for a while. Tomorrow, I'm having a recliner delivered here.

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