Momservation: Tomb stone possibility: She ain’t no Erma Bombeck, but one time she did make me shoot milk out my nose.
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Well, another year and another “L” in the Loser bracket for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. At least my psychologist gets me and my dad thinks I’m the next Erma Bombeck.
Another plus: Now I can officially publish my submission without threat of disqualification. Add a splash of Baileys to my coffee and cue up Netflix! My afternoon just got freed up with an already written column!
So, unlike the judges for Erma’s contest (C’mon, Dave Barry! Really? This wasn’t Erma gold standard?), I know my loyal Momservations readers will show me the love. (BTW, I also have you listed on my kids’ Emergency Cards if I can’t be reached).
Without further ado, here’s what I think was the best submission* to the 2017 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition:
Welcome to Crazy Town
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By this qualification, all mothers are insane.
Need more proof?
My kids are now 16 and 18 years old and I am still begging them to make their beds, turn dirty socks right side out, put their dishes in the dishwasher, get their backpacks off the counter, and “For the love of Peter, Paul & Mary pick up your stuff* and take it to your room!” (*Actual language may have sounded like Cod, tamn shift up.)
But each day hope springs eternal that today will be the day that after nearly two decades of trying to nag my children into thoughtful and responsible human beings, something will click. It will be a glorious day of made beds, folded and put away laundry, empty dishwashers, and clear counters. I will suddenly hear, like an angel singing, one (or both!) of my children say, “Here, Mom, let me help you with that.”
See? Insane. Every tamn one of us.
But, you know, with motherhood, you have to take the W’s in the Win column where you can get them. Otherwise, our collective insanity would just be tragic. Where does a clinically insane mother get her small victories? Here’s a few over the years:
- Making “pee time” “Me Time” with a good bathroom lock and a People magazine.
- It was a proud moment in my childrearing career when my eight year old daughter announced she wanted to grow up to be a monkey.
- Accepting that to a ten year old boy, grass stains on your underwear means it was a good day of playing.
- Realizing there must be a way to get on Shark Tank by harnessing all the high blood pressure across America from the morning school routine and turning it into green energy.
- When my new teenage driver dented a car in the parking lot and nobody ended up calling the phone number they left behind. (And believing them when they promised they didn’t make up a fake number.)
So it’s not all bad here in Crazy Town. Lowering expectations and pretending your kids are hearing impaired helps. And you have to let go of that hope that one day things will be different. Because hoping for a different result to all your nagging is like leaving the liquor cabinet unlocked—if you really think it’s going to make a difference, then you must like watered down vodka, Cod tamnit.