Essay — Because I Said So

Thanks for sharing this!

Years ago, when my kids were little I had a whole vocabulary of wise one-liners. A few favorites were: Clean up your room, it looks like a tornado went through here. Eat your vegetables, they’ll make you grow. Do I look like your maid?

It didn’t take long to find out those so-called kid motivators produced a high rate of disorderly conduct. The youngest tidied up her room by hiding stuff under the bed. The middle child fed his veggies to the dog. And when our new landlord asked if I had a job, my oldest told him I cleaned houses.

Image source: NARA, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Image source: NARA, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

My next try at prompting good behavior included Stop cracking your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis. If you want to go blind, keep reading in the dark. Playing with toads will give you warts.

Today, many of the jibes, puns, and clever remarks voiced by moms in former years have been debunked. The latest buzz recommends when talking to children (young or grown up), it’s better to think before you speak and remember to be tactful.

Still, I believe Momisms will be around as long as I live in Carpenter Country. In fact, the above “remember to be tactful” sentence is just a sweeter version of If you can’t say anything nice, keep quiet.

Which makes me wonder how they’ll spruce up Why? Because I said so, that’s why!

A possible revision could sound like this: You want to know why, sweetie? Because I’m your tactful mother and I’m asking you politely, that’s why.

Yuck! I’m glad my sage advice days are over.

***

You might also like these posts

Essay — Garden Pests Carpenter Country's weekly dose-of-nature essays tend to reflect the beauty we see. That preference doesn't mean we're oblivious to other aspects of the natural world surrounding us, including those who recently turned the lush stand of four o'clocks into stalky skeletons of their former selves.   Image source: ...
Essay – Clearing the clutter Some days the path ahead is cluttered with debris.   Image source: HL Carpenter   And some days the debris is bagged and ready for disposal.   Image source: HL Carpenter   Are you clearing the clutter from your life?   ***** ***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR ***** HL Carpenter...
Essay — Lizards and snakes, oh my! The hummers have migrated to their winter home. Fortunately, less flighty inhabitants of Carpenter Country are still here. The friendly anoles scramble through the shrubs and take care of garden pests year-round. This little guy was curious about the camera lens and brave enough to stick around while we snapped his pictu...
Essay — In the weeds We're deep in the weeds in Carpenter Country this week. The heroine of our current work in progress wants to be a botanist, and weeds are part of her life.   Image source: HL Carpenter   Weeds are part of our life too, like the scrappy little sidewalk-dwellers pictured above and below.   I...

We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

Posted in Essays Tagged with: ,