Who hasn’t heard “Because…I said so” from your mother at some point in your life? That’s one phrase Amanda Silvey-Grimwood used to hear from her mother that she swore she’d never use on her children. Until she did.
When we hear our mother’s words coming from our mouths, or we catching ourselves doing that one thing she used to do that drove us crazy, as much as we don’t want to, we have to admit it: we have become our mothers. Mom spit! Who doesn’t practically have night terrors about it? Leigh Alexandria Meadows says her mother still uses it on her! She can’t complain too much, though, because “Here I am, using my thumb and spit to wipe off ketchup from my toddlers’ faces.”
Warnings about something that probably never happened and never would seem to be a part of our mother’s repertoire that we just can’t shake. “Stop slamming doors, you’re gonna pinch someone’s finger off!” was a regular refrain heard by Jennifer Woodring. Recently, “(I) just turned my head with my jaw dropped and looked at my mother and laughed,” when she heard herself repeat it to her son.
Then there were those things meant for company that we knew not to touch but just couldn’t keep from. Amy Hackney catches both herself and her sister repeating “Get your hands off of that. That is too good for you,” when their children reach for the fancy company food.
If the family wanted peace, it had to comply with the mother’s eccentricities. Even though Heather Henry’s siblings and father never understood the problem with leaving a pile of shoes by the front door, her mother hated it. Now Henry says “Fast forward to now. I cannot stand a pile of shoes at my front door! I laugh every time I complain about it. But I still complain about it!”