Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day (or, Remembering The Day The Whippets Became Risky)


Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are moms.

That said, I will now confess that I don’t care for Mother’s Day. I feel sorry for the husbands and kids who are expected to send flowers and make breakfast and provide chocolates and clean up. Clean up! There are all these expectations swirling around an arbitrary day where we’re supposed to remind ourselves that mothers are special. I believe the intention of the consumer (never mind the financial beneficiaries of this Day of Appreciation) is sincere. But the whole thing just feels so artificial, and for the last few years I’ve really felt sorry for my kids as they try to figure out how to stay out of trouble.

Yes, trouble.

Because if you do nothing on Mother’s Day, you are in trouble.

If you sleep in past when Mom is hungry, you are in trouble.

If your dad rouses you at an ungodly hour and makes you set the table while your mom is pretending to be asleep but isn’t and can hear that Dad is the one making you do all the things you’re supposed to intuitively do even though you haven’t done them since last year when he roused you from bed at an ungodly hour and made you do them, you are in trouble.

It’s a very unnatural “holiday” with high expectations and misunderstandings because boys will be boys and moms don’t know how to be gracious about breakfasts delivered with a still-sleepy grunt.

Maybe your Mother’s Days are nothing like this.

Maybe you are (or have) a girl.

Sorry to be sexist, but it’s just different.

Anyway, my forget-chocolates-and-flowers-and-trying-to-cook,-all-I-really-want-is-a-homemade-card-where-you-tell-me-why-you-appreciate-me phase ended a few years ago when I told my husband to NOT DO ANYTHING or make the kids do anything. They were old enough to do something on their own and anything they were forced into wasn’t something I wanted anyway.

Mark had to work that Sunday and he was very nervous about this.

“Don’t say a word” I told him. “They know.”

So off to work he went.

And in they slept.

Until noon.

Because who was I to wake them up and tell them to fix me breakfast?

And then…well, whoops. They hadn’t made me a card. Or bought me chocolates. Or flowers.

“Uh…where’s Dad today?”

“At work, remember?”

They recovered not so quickly by offering to take me out for sushi.

It was 3:00.

Not wanting to be the Mother from Hell, I put on a smile and said, Great! So we piled into the minivan, and I drove us to the restaurant.

But I knew.

Neither had brought their wallet.

Before we went inside I asked, “You sure you have enough to cover sushi?”

They looked at each other and slowly an Uh-oh spread across their faces, fingers pointed at each other, and finally my younger son said, “But sushi’s expensive!”

Right.

Next door, was Taco Bell. They raided the change drawer in the van and managed to scrounge up about four dollars. Enough for some bean burritos.

Not wanting to be the Mother from Hell, I agreed to consume a gross bean burrito and I did it with a smile on my face.

It wasn’t easy.

On the drive home I tried to have a gentle talk with them about the small things that make a big difference to a mom. They said they got it.

And then we arrived home.

The first clue that this really was the Mother’s Day from Hell was the puddle of dog pee in the entry hall. It was pooled all over and around the beautiful antique petticoat table that I wrote about in an earlier post.

The dogs—Bongo and Jazz—who are sweet, wonderful whippets (and on this day became Risky Whippets), are only bad when they’re desperate. And since the boys hadn’t put them outside before we left for sushi (they are the boys’ dogs and have access only to the laundry room, the boys’ rooms, and the kitchen—they’re cordoned off from the rest of the house by a ‘baby gate’), and since they became desperate in our absence, they jumped the gate and raced around looking for an exit so they could do their business outside.

There was no way out.

And male dogs being leg-lifters proceeded to tag the entire house with their ample supply of stinky yellow liquid.

And, no, they weren’t just desperate to pee.

They laid logs.

And when I found some on an antique couch by a big window (which was as close to outside as the poor dog could get) I screamed. Like in an old fashioned movie, I held my face and screamed.

But wait!

There’s more!

In the process of cleaning up this disaster, my son, completely wigged out by what had happened and frantic to help fix the situation, accidentally sprayed me in the eye with Lysol.

Yes, I screamed again.

It’s been a few years, and although it will live on in infamy we now laugh about the Mother’s Day from Hell. But it served to create a shift in our family. I want daily hugs. Daily thanks. And on Mother’s Day, I want to go out for brunch (which we did today) and have nothing more than my boys beside me, happy to be with me.

Here’s hoping your Mother’s Day involved lots of hugs, love, and absolutely no Lysol spray.

25 comments:

Kylie said...

Wow that totally stinks (in both ways!)

Well maybe it will be better next year. Yeah my mom turned into the mother from hell when she decided to take her 6 kids, 6 grandkids, 2 son in laws, and well my dad to home depot after a family dinner at chevy's where all the kids at soda and ice cream. So they were hyper and she doesn't like little 3-15 (me!) running around the store (or as she says "place of business) while other people are there (but there was no one!). So she got mad at us. But in my defense the only reason I was running was to prevent my nephew from have a crying attack because he got hit in the face by his brother on accident, so I was trying to make him happy.

Well I wonder what we will get to this week in
comments!

~Kylie~

yuseyz said...

Yeah we just made breakfast and one of my brothers slept in the whole time. I made a card in the form of a cutie-catcher and wrote little things on each flap.
I know what you mean about pretending to be asleep. Me and my brother just got up and made breakfast for both parents. Crepes with berries.. Yum...
My mom says everyday should be Mother's Day and we should help out and appreciate her everyday.
--Yusayera

Jessica said...

We always got my mom a card and a present, and we'd "make dinner" (though definitely not anything fancy) so my mom wouldn't have to cook. Oh, and I'm pretty sure my dad got her flowers, and we'd either buy or make a cake.

I remember one year (when I was about 13) I decided to make my parents dinner for their anniversary -- using whatever groceries we had on hand, and picking the recipes a couple of hours before dinnertime. I baked homemade bread, and then made chicken tetrazzini (different oven temperatures, of course).

The first course (salad and bread) was about two hours after normal dinnertime, and the main course was probably an hour after that. And of course it was a surprise, so they weren't allowed in the kitchen or attached living room the whole time I was cooking! I did do the dishes myself, but still... my poor parents! I gained a huge appreciation for how my mom managed to get several dishes ready all at the same time, at the same time every night.

Even as an adult, I nearly failed at Mother's Day this year -- I meant to put the card in the mail on a run earlier this week, but set it on the coffee table when I went to set the alarm. I found it still stamped and waiting today. But I did at least call and tell her to expect the card later this week. And I remembered to mention my grandma (note: Mother's Day is hard on anyone who can no longer celebrate the holiday with their own mother).

Steph said...

And I thought MY family was the only family in the world that isn't super-traditional!
Well. My mom was awake before everyone else. She woke me up at 11 am YELLING in my ears, "There's these cute patent leather heels my friend at work was wearing and I want you to go to Macy's RIGHT NOW and get them! FOR YOURSELF."
I was NOT in the mood. But I woke up anyway, after 20 minutes of more sleeping, and then I realized I forgot to finish my Mother's Day card.
I quickly finished it and went downstairs in my pajamas and gave it to her with an IOU sign.
Her gift, SSSHHH, is a swan I am making for her in ceramics, and I'm going to plant a...uh, plant, in it. But I haven't fired and glazed it yet so it has to wait.
ANYWAY, my MOM made me breakfast. Then in my pajamas I drove to Macy's.
So on Woodward Avenue I think I'm going in the wrong direction b/c I'm half-sleepy still, so I shift over to the left lane TWO INCHES but change my mind and go back into the right lane.
This guy driving behind me BLASTS his horn at me and I swerve right and he drives past me and in front of me on the left lane. Flipping me off.
I had sunglasses on so he couldn't see my eye-roll. And yes, I muttered some "bad" words under my breath.
Well I get to Macys (the mall, basically) and THERE HE IS. My Left-Lane Buddy. He's a middle-aged balding man, might I add? Picking fights with a 17-year-old girl? Um?
He marches up to me and tells me I should get a ticket and he's calling the BPD and finally I just lift my sunglasses like a badass and I'm like, "I'm sorry, I just got my license 5 days ago. You got a problem?"
(I lied to him, I've had my license since sophomore year).
He was like, "Well,...STILL."
So I was like, "Ha, forget you, I'm glad you were in such a hurry to intercept me on the right lane just to come to Macy's all alone on a Saturday morning".
Except of course I said a different f-lettered word than forget.
THEN I got myself the shoes and went home and mo MOM made me lunch and we had a random party which was fun but...
As you can see, my mom is a person who does not like being taken care of. She's one of those England-grown socialites who likes to be a*cue Brit accent* "independant and classy" woman.
HA. And my 9-year-old sister somehow managed to get her a $45 face cream, a ring, and a makeup bag?
The 9 year old has OWNED us all. Boss.
But the party was FUN and I lasted the whole day without sarcastic comments or eye rolling or snapping at any of my sisters.
And we all MANAGED to get along without getting into any stupid bantering or arguments.
Which, for my insane family, is SUCCESS.
(Also my mom wanted to invent our own personal day called 'Sisters' Day' which to all 3 of us speaking sisters (and even the baby sis) said "NO!"
Being kind to mummy? I can deal.
Appreciating the SISTERS for a whole day? TAKE MY SOUL I CAN'T DO THIS.
Long comment, but you're story was hilarious and kinda pathetically cute and sad and funny at the same time.
HAH, from sushi to Taco Bell burritos. My mom would have been like, "IT'S OKAY GUYS, I'LL PAY! I'LL PAY!" if my sisters and I did that b/c she feels guilt ALL the time.
Itr useful when we WANT money from her, but not when we're actually trying to treat her.
Good night!
xoxo

yuseyz said...

Getting owned by a 9 year old is nothing... though where did she get the money for that?
I got dissed by a 4 year old yesterday. My friends and I were sitting with this little girl and she's like 'You're my best friend, your my best friend, and you're my best friend.' pointing at all of my friends in turn, but me.
I asked her if she didn't like me because I didn't have nail polish on because she was talking about that before. She said yes and i pointed out that one of my friends didn't either...
Dis #1: She replied by saying, 'But I like her face.'
Also I was wearing Henna on my hand (that I had done myself when i was bored) and she pointed that out. I pointed out that my other friend had done some on her own hand as well..
Dis #2: She said 'But hers is good.
Then later when i took off my scarf she said i was her friend because of my earrings and hair, but when i put the scarf back on i wasn't. Talk about being judged by your looks.
Well sorry i went off topic there... I wonder where this will take us.

Optimistic4ever said...

My sister is big on Mother's Day. Everything has to be just perfect. I always thought it was kind of phony because if I seriously cared about my mom, I'd show it every day (WHICH I DO!) but at the same time, it's kind of like your birthday. It's that one day you collect all your love and give it to your mom I guess.

I remember back when I was in 5th grade my mom and dad went shopping at this huge mall and me, my sister, and my grandma were at home. My sister accidently wacked my ear and my earring... it kinda got stuck in my earhole. Yeah I know, gross :P

So my mom had to come all the way back and take me to the emergency room. She wasted her whole day on me and I felt soooo bad.

Worst Mother's Day ever!

Though WVD's story sounded pretty horrifying too. Mother's Day from Hell... love how you call it that!

Norma said...

Ouch! Talk about a Mother's Day from Hell. You know, I think you're totally right about all of this. Every year, it's almost a bloodbath trying to figure out what to get for Mother's Day. Especially because she says not to do anything or get her anything, even though it would totally go against the Rules of Being a Good Daughter not to.

This year, she was out of the country for visit to some relatives, so I just kinda wished her a Happy Mother's Day over the phone, but when she gets back, I'll be sweating over what to do to celebrate. The intention is good, but the holiday itself has now become an Evil Entity out to destroy the wallets and good wishes of children and husbands everywhere.

Btw: I'm guessing no, but has Sammy done anything for Mother's Day for Lady Lana, even wish her a happy one over the phone or something?

Shaina said...

HA! That is hilarious! I'm glad you can laugh about it now. My family never did more than just make Mom a card for Mother's Day and then do the dishes after dinner (she cooked). My husband's family gives gifts and cards and basically lets the MOM do NOTHING all day (that's extreme, and kind of boring if you ask me). So the last 3 years that I've been a mother on the "big day," I haven't known what to expect. Last year I got a homemade card. This year, nothing. I didn't do dishes just because I didn't want to, but then I had to do them all today instead.
SO, I agree with you about Mother's Day. It's such a contrived "holiday." I don't want to TELL my family what I'd like them to do, and I don't want them to do things for me because they feel obligated. I just want them to tell me they love me in their own way and maybe load the dishwasher. Or at least rinse the dishes. Or maybe just eat on paper plates. Outside. :)

XxTuti17xX said...

Okay, Two Things.
One, I LOVE YOU AND YOUR WRITING!! :D
And Two, have you ever thought of writing a Sammy Keyes book in between Mother's Day? Like, let's say, in one of the upcoming books, Lana comes to Santa Martina to hang out with Sammy and Rita for Mother's Day. Or something like that. Has that idea ever crossed your mind? I was going to do that idea for a story on Fanfiction.
You know, I think that Easter, Mother's Day, Saint Patrick's day, and Father's Day should be more popular. I mean, Christmas and Halloween are super popular, like Thanksgiving. But I think that some people don't find those other holidays as exciting as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. What do you think?

Kylie said...

Yeah, I kind of always wondered what Sammy would give Lana for her birthday/ mothers day. I guess that since they are a little closer, it might be a little better.

Stefunny said...

Bahaha Crazy.

Wendelin! I have a link here that leads to a wonderfully hilarious short little story that is told using words and phrases only used in their negated forms, but in this story they are all de-negated. It results in laughter:

http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/humor/how-i-met-my-wife.html

I just thought you'd appreciate being a writer.

bookworm said...

You had me cracking up the whole time!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I don't agree with Mother's Day either, especially b/c, like you said, it forces pressure when really, you should feel appreciative of all the mothers around you all the time.

On a tangent here (thank you, trigonometry that is stuck in my head, reminding me of the project i should be doing right now but I really don't want to because you're so boring and frustrating), I noticed not as many commentors as last week! Amazing, how many comments that one post recieved.

On another tangent (yes, trig, you evil villan that deserves to have a can of refired beans thrown at your figurative head, I hear you), I was glad to read that Sammy finally (and legally) turned 14!

My conclusion (ha, trig, I beat you at your own game!)Could we get a sneek peek at Justice Jack? For all of the guys that didn't win? Just a peek? We've been tortured, having to hang onto every word you've teased us with! :(

On a depressing note, it's time to do that project. Shoot.

yuseyz said...

Hey Steph, reading your version of Waiting for the Rain to fall got me to finally do mine... hope you don't mind me copying. Since i don't have a blog or anything other social post thing i'm putting it here.

Waitin' for the Rain to Fall

You stand there
looking for a storm in a drought
You look up
looking for a sign of any clouds

You've been waiting your whole life, for everything
waiting for the boy that'll, make you sing
waiting for a brand new life to call
waiting for the rain that'll never fall

Baby you're to strong to lose
So don't you ever fall
Somewhere in this world of dark
You will have it all
Maybe it's all been hard on you,

Pushed against the wall

But there's no need to close your eyes

Waitin' for the rain to fall

Don't lose faith
when everything goes wrong
don't hold up
always keep on going strong

You've been watching, your whole life go by
watching the clouds move in the sky
watching what you want never come true
watching everyone leave you

Baby you're to strong to lose
So don't you ever fall
Somewhere in this world of dark
You will have it all
Maybe it's all been hard on you,

Pushed against the wall

But there's no need to close your eyes

Waitin' for the rain to fall

And when the rain will pour
when the storm will come
you will know that your
wait is finally done

Your life will move on
your dreams will come true
your eyes will finally open
you will start anew

Baby you're to strong to lose
So don't you ever fall
Somewhere in this world of dark
You will have it all
Maybe it's all been hard on you,

Pushed against the wall

But there's no need to close your eyes

Waitin' for the rain to fall

Kylie said...

Holy Cheese (Swiss!) that is amazing yuseyz! I loved it! You are an amazing sing writer!

~Kylie~

yuseyz said...

Thanks Kylie! I don't really share my songs with people i'm not close to but you guys are my Sammy Family so exception.
Mine may not be as good as Steph's but I tried. :)
--Yusayera

Optimistic4ever said...

Yuseyz... that was amazing! I loved it so much! You don't have a fanfiction? Cuz I think you'd be an amazing writer :)

yuseyz said...

Actually i don't have anything, but an email... no phone, no ipod, nothing.
And thanks, but everytime i try to write i can't finish i need more time and patience. I have ideas but i can't get them down on paper properly. I write something and i read it the next day and hate it.

Steph said...

"...go out and play the hard rock and roll and do what I like to do in music."-Joan Jett, my IDOL
Music isn't what's inside the words, or even the actual music. It's what's inside the creator.
Yuseyz, that was gorgeous.
And remember, "The filmmaker cannot see, and the songwriter cannot hear." - RENT.
I'm a huge fan of old '70s and '80s music AND operas (but more specifically, ROCK operas, not opera-operas).
I just hate when people degrade their own music. DON'T.
Read 'Neon Angel: Memoir of a Runaway' by Cherie Currie. It's a memoir on her life as the lead singer of '70s band The Runaways-- playing alongside my IDOL Joan Jett, too (with a foreward but Joan Jett, it's amazing). It really gives new perspective on her how life was devoted to music and what she went through (I so wished I lived in the '70s...it was ALL about the music then. Granted, I would have been a LSD-inducing pot-smoking freak in a band, but that's how life was in the '70s for musicians). Punk rock. SEX PISTOLS. David Bowie. Joan Jett.
Yuseyz: If it's music, it's a masterpiece.
xoxo

yuseyz said...

Awww :) Thanks!
I can't play an instrument though, sadly. I wish i could.
I'll read that book eventually... Once i get past my other hundred books i need to read.

Oh and i was thinking of how nice you guys are. I wish i could meet you all. A Sammy convention still sounds like a great idea :)
--Yusayera

Optimistic4ever said...

God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols. Annoyingly addicting.

We defenitly need a SammyCon. It would be so fun!

yuseyz said...

Worst day ever today..
First i had a whole day of testing and then my mom took me to get a haircut.
She told me to let her talk and to trust her. I knew i shouldn't but i figured the worst she could do was make it too short.
Five minutes later my bangs are on the floor and 1 inch is left on top.
Dora looks waaay better than me right now. Think 1 inch straight bangs across with medium length hair. It looks terrible. All i need is round glasses to go with my braces and i look like the biggest dork ever...
I feel pathetic crying over a haircut but it's terrible!
--Yusayera

gabrielle said...

Don't worry yuseyz,tomorrow will be a better day. But next time just dont let your mom do your hair. And I wou
D be pretty upset if I had a bad haircut.

yuseyz said...

Oh she didn't do my hair but she told the person to do it this way. I'm telling her to keep away from it now. And the worst part is a have like so many places and parties to go to in the nxt few weeks and it'll be at least a month tell they grow out.

Optimistic4ever said...

Yikes... so sorry about your haircut

Would you feel better if I told you I like dorks, and that I have a poster thingy in my room that says "Come to the dork side, we have cookies!" ? *hopeful grin

yuseyz said...

Thanks, yes it did...
I'm feel better now... Kinda.