There is a new phrase at my house that my husband and children love to toss around. Whenever I start to cross a line into the territory of nagging or hovering over my brood, they tell me to "quit Momming it up!" I have heard this phrase so often in the last few months that I have come to anticipate it when I impulsively do mom-ish things, like lick my thumb to wipe dirt off of my son's little nose.
I mom it up so habitually that I have identified five ways in which my apparent mom-ness has ruined a good time. And I don't just mean with my kids... even my husband has complained about my mom-ness getting in the way.
There is not a public or private boundary in the world that will not prevent me from asking the following questions to my kids:
Did you wipe?
You're tooting a lot, do you have to poop?
Did you change your underwear since yesterday?
Do you have to pee? Yes you do. Don't give me that look. Go pee.
2. Table Manners
If we did not occasionally have dinner guests who could double as witnesses, then I wouldn't believe it myself, but I constantly have to say shit like this to my kids:
We do not stand in our chairs during dinner.
Please get your hands out of your juice glass.
For the last time, forks ARE NOT SWORDS!
Good manners start at home and by George, my kids will behave in public if it is the last thing on earth I teach them. So, it doesn't surprise me that I repeat the following manner rules about 7,000 times a day:
Because! It is RUDE to wipe boogers on, fart/burp/make spit noises near, or lick people!
If you rip a toot like that, then say, "excuse me!" ...Or at least leave the room quickly and quietly!
OH, GOOD GOD THAT STINKS!
My kids know that when we go shopping, I have a very low tolerance for shenanigans. Even so, they still try to pull shit on me like whining for junk food or fighting over the shopping cart steering wheel (why do they have those?!) So I am never afraid to pull out the following Jedi tricks:
The Stink Eye, which looks a little bit like I am silently screaming
The Car Seat Threat, in which I threaten to make the offending child sit in the car with Dad and listen to NPR
I like to think I am a cool mom and that I can totally handle my kids helping with anything from a simple chore to baking cookies, but when it comes down to it, "helping" only brings out my crazy like nothing else.
Honey, you're doing it wrong!
OH MY GOD!! (breathe... count to 10) Here, sweetie, let Mommy do it.
Wow! You used an entire bottle of dish soap to do the dishes? Oh my...
It never seems to matter how much I hang back or hover; I am the mom and no matter what semblance of words come flying out of my mouth, they will always sound like rules, cautions or warnings to chill out. Momming it up. Good grief.