Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Mother of all Days

by Christine Wells
I woke this morning with the mother of all hangovers and no children in my house. It was almost eerily quiet as I rose and groped my way down the hall to get aspirin. I groaned. Someone really ought to turn that sunshine down a notch.
Thoughts surfaced slowly as I sipped the fizzing water. They came, roughly in this order:

1. My head hurts.

2. If my head has to hurt this much, at least it was in a good cause--Champagne and canapes by the river with great company; my first night out sans enfants in about 6 months.
3. Despite the jackhammering in my head, I feel almost human--also for the first time in about 6 months.

4. It's Mother's Day. Oh.

5. It's Mother's Day and my babies aren't here.

6. I really should feel guilty about that.

7. Hmm...

I searched and searched for that familiar pang of mother-guilt, but nope. Not a flicker. Not a twinge. You see, my two gorgeous boys were at their gran's for the night, so my Dearest and I could attend a birthday bash for one his partners at The Firm. We had a fantastic time. We felt like a couple again rather than just parents of the same children. We made each other laugh. Even the hour long wait for a taxi home didn't diminish the fun.

Late this morning, we went to pick up the boys and that rush of love when I saw them again nearly bowled me over. They were grubby and happy and we celebrated Mother's Day with fairy cakes decorated by my 5yo and more Champagne (for the adults, of course). You know that thing about the hair of the dog? It works.

I couldn't really find it in me to feel bad about abandoning the two of them to doting grandparents while I had a whale of a time being an adult and talking to other adults for an evening, having a night of blissful, uninterrupted sleep and lazing in bed until 9am.

When I think about the mother/child relationships in fiction that really resonate with me, they're the relationships built on a foundation of deep, abiding love but the superstructure is anything but stable and predictable. Sometimes walls are put up between people, sometimes vital supports are torn down with harsh words and unforgivable deeds that spring from widely divergent characters and points of view. But if that strong foundation of love is there, the mother and child can always grit their teeth and rebuild.

The Gilmore Girls is a fascinating study of mother/daughter relationship through three generations. Lorelei (centre) and Emily (right) are two very strong characters who love each other deeply but who constantly clash due to their very different outlooks. With her own daughter, Rory (left), Lorelei attempts to correct every wrong she perceives her mother did her. But even though their relationship is so close as to be more like best friends than mother/daughter, Rory eventually rebels against Lorelei's plans for her, which coincidentally echo many of the plans Emily had for Lorelei before she became pregnant in her teens. If you haven't seen this show, rent it, buy it, steal it, watch it. It's smart and sassy and fun and deeply emotional. Jenny Crusie could have written the script. Every episode is its own little masterpiece of dialogue, character exposition and comedic timing.

I'm not the kind of mother I thought I'd be. I haven't given up all sense of self to raise my children, and I no longer feel I have to. But there are small ways in which, sadly, I've let my child self down. When I was six, I vowed that when I was a mum I would NEVER wet my fingers with my tongue and rub away a smear of spaghetti sauce on my child's face, yuk! I'd NEVER say 'perhaps' when I meant no or 'soon' when I meant 'much, much later' or make my children go to bed early or stop them eating lollies or make them brush their teeth. Ahem. Guilty on all counts.

If you're a parent, what do you find yourself saying or doing that you vowed you never would? As a daughter or son, what's the first time you realized your mother was a person, an entity with her own dreams and needs and fears?

Did you do anything special for Mother's Day?


Carol said...

Gosh Christine, I think he may be staying over again...

Carol said...

I vowed I would NEVER say "If you don't behave I'll have to put you in a Home"....
My mum was a single mother in the 50's but Boy...I don't think I've ever really forgiven her fot that threat! I know now of course she never would have, but I didn't know that then!
I suppose this is why I was passionate about an apology to The Stolen Generation.
To be taken away from your Mum when you were a little kid, just the thought of it... and it happened to lots of mums and children who weren't aborigines
Well you had a lovely intro to Mothers day...
My darling daughter and I went in the Mothers Day Classic 8 km walk.
Cheers Carol
Ps...the GR is resting, he's had a tough night!!!

danetteb said...

Happy Mother's Day Banditas!

My mother's day will be spent taking my oldest to her class then dinner at my parents house, it will be three generations of moms celebrating my grandma(dad's mom), my mom and me.

Hugs, Danette

Annie West said...

Hi Christine,

Thanks for the pic of Endora - one of the best TV mums ever! A woman with real panache!

Hm, can't think of anything I vowed never to say, but after listening to another mother saying this to her toddler, I used the 'Because I said so' and it worked a treat (G)! Had a lovely day with my kidlets and they couldn't squirm away when I wanted a cuddle, which was great!

Came home from the plant nursery with a very exotic ginger plant and a massive bunch of yellow roses too. Very nice indeed.


Christine Wells said...

Ah, Carol, congrats on the GR!

Oh, dear, that's a rather terrifying threat your mother had. I'm sure she didn't mean you to take it so much to heart. Sometimes we don't realize how we affect our little people. What a lovely idea to do a walk together. Hope you had a good day!

Christine Wells said...

Lovely Danette! Have a great day;)

Christine Wells said...

Hi Annie! I'm amazed you had the energy to drop in again after your mammoth effort yesterday.

Glad you had a lovely day. Flowers and cuddles never go astray, do they?

Amy Andrews said...

HI Christine - happy Mother's day. Waking to a house with NO kids sounds like a fine way to celebrate indeed ;-)

I love the Gilmore girls. Love the sass and the snark and love the will they/won't they between Luke and Loreli. In fact JC is a huge fan and even compiled a series of essays by other writers on the series. It's called "Coffee At Luke's" - an unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest. I've read nearly all of them and it's interesting seeing different writer's opinions on the characters and relationships in the series and why the show works.

I'm sure I've said heaps of things to my kids that I vowed I'd never say but I think it goes to show that Mum did a pretty good job if I'm mimicking her in my mothering - she raised 4 of us and we all turned out pretty okay. I miss her today. I only saw her last weekend but I really miss her today :-(

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, what are you feeding that chook? Or perhaps those lady chooks really have some strong chook mojo! Congratulations!

Sounds like all you mums had lovely, lovely days. Great stuff! I laughed at the picture of Annie's kids not being able to squirm away from her cuddles.

Christine, so glad you had an excellent time last night. Sounds like fun. And you have NOTHING to be guilty about. Those boys are loved to the last inch and they know it.


Christine Wells said...

Hi Amy! Great to see you here. And yes, I think your mum did a fine job! I bet she's proud of you.

I knew Jenny Crusie edited a book on The Gilmore Girls but I haven't read it because I'm waiting for the final series. Must take my own advice and buy it on DVD. Doesn't look like it's ever coming to cable in Australia. But it's such a wonderful series that the writer in me takes notes every time I watch. My only gripe is that those chicks eat so much junk and they've got figures to die for. I know it can be in the genes but it makes me very jealous!

Sorry to hear you're missing your mum, Amy. I'm sure she's missing you too.

Christine Wells said...

Chook mojo, Fo? Sounds like something from Austin Powers. Yeah, baby!

Thanks, we had a lovely day. Thank goodness my two are still at an age where they accept and even seek out cuddles. It will be a sad day when they squirm away but no doubt it will come.

Maureen said...

Happy Mother's Day!
When I was a kid I hated it when my mother wouldn't answer my questions, telling me I was too young to know the answer. I vowed never to do that. I always tried to answer whatever questions my kids asked, trying to make the explanation appropriate for their age unitl my son was in third grade and asked what a protitute was. I had to give in and tell him he had to wait until he was older and he still remembers it all these years later.

Gillian Layne said...

It's funny, my mother expressed guilt over the very things that my brother and I remember as being the best times. She and dad would leave us on the farm alone during the day to take care of the house and garden while they went in town to run the gas station they owned. Not every day, but some during the summer, and my brother and I LOVED it. Freedom! After chores were done we would blaze trails along the creek and avoid copperheads and hunt werewolves. (Yes, it's odd what lives in a thickets of trees in KS. :) ) She worried herself silly we felt abandoned. We and the other farm kids down the road had the time of our lives!

Now I've got to crawl back in bed (puppy still needs out to go potty, even on mother's day) so my girls can make breakfast. I'm angling for waffles (toaster) and strawberries. :)

If you're a woman, you're a Mum to someone, whether your own little rugrat, a four-legged joy, or another person who needs a shoulder and a smile once in a while. So Happy Mother's Day to you all. :)

Annie West said...


Forgot to say how lovely your Mothers Day sounded. Hope the rest of it shaped up wonderfully too.

Exhausted here and heading for bed.


PJ said...

Gillian said: "If you're a woman, you're a Mum to someone, whether your own little rugrat, a four-legged joy, or another person who needs a shoulder and a smile once in a while. So Happy Mother's Day to you all."

Gillian, what a lovely sentiment! I don't have birth children but I've been richly blessed with many children of the heart over the years as well as an unlimited amount of love and joy from my wonderful furkids. They make every day special for me...even when my 12 yr old lab wakes me at 3am so mom can cuddle and keep her safe from nasty storms for the next three hours. There will *definitely* be a nap on my schedule today! lol

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

doglady said...

I am with La Campbell, Carol. What temptations are you using on the GR!

What a great, insightful post, Christine. I truly believe that time spend being just and adult and having adult time with your hubby gives your kids better parents in the end. A great sense of self is a gift you give your children by example.

My Mom came down Tuesday and we did our Mother's Day then. I just hope my brothers step up to the plate today. No worries. They both have great wives who will make sure Mom gets her due.

My buddy Gillian says it so well. I don't have any "real" kids, but I do have my "furkids" and many of my former students consider me their Mom. I will probably hear from a couple of them today. After I do I will smile like a complete idiot all day long!

Happy Mother's Day, Banditas and Buddies!

Anna Sugden said...

What a fabulous post, Christine. You hit the spot perfectly!

I'l have to check out the Gilmore Girls - sounds like my cup of tea.

Even though it's not Mother's Day for us Brits - Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers ... and to all our pet mothers ... and to all the women who nurture and love. Hey PJ - great minds!

Because I said so - is the one I swore I'd never use. Though I don't have my own children, I taught young children for a number of years. I nearly died the first time I used the dreaded phrase - but my goodness it worked!

Other 'mother' phrases (which I don't think I've used ... yet) include - "I don't care what other children are allowed to do - if XX jumped off a bridge would you have to do it too?", "When you're an adult and have your own home, you can do what you want" and of course, the famous long-suffering sigh!

On the other hand, my mum was a woman who believed in equality and that women were capable of whatever they wanted to put their minds to (not the burn your bra type, but the sensible, balanced type of feminist). What a great gift that is.

Congrats Carol on that chook ... guess those ladies have really got him by the tail-feathers!

Dina said...

My mom passed away when I was younger, so I like to go to lunch or psned time with my daughter and grandkids now.

jo robertson said...

Delicious post, Christine.

Mums, you gotta love them because you can't do them in, hee hee.

I remember hearing my sis stand in front of a group of young mothers and say, "Ladies, I'm here to tell you that you WILL become your mother!" I never forgot that statement because the truth of it resonates more strongl with me as I get older.

The more I age, the more I resemble my mom in so many ways. And I'm proud of it! She was a lovely lady.

Joan said...

I celebrate Mother's Day in honor of my Mom. Even though she is no longer with me.

But what better occasion than to say "My Mom was the best!"

She loved to quilt, could do all the crafts, made a mean batch of chicken and dumplings (er, Carol...cover the GR's ears) was a rapid University of KY basketball fan. The Atlanta Braves were her team and I fouund out only six months before loosing her that she LOVED the rodeo!

She raised two kids, saw one through major spine surgery (twice) and helped the other recover from being struck by a car at age 9 (while she herself was recovering from a mastectomy)

My Mom was there with a comforting shoulder and practical advice through the teen years and was so proud of her daughter who became a nurse. (She never QUITE forgave me doffing my nurse's cap).

She was strong and brave, passionate and stubborn and stood up for herself and her kids.

She was loved.

She is missed.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

jo robertson said...

Oooh, Carol, congrats on keeping him over again!

LOL at "put you in a home." I've never heard that one. It's hilarious.

My mom always said, "What have you been up to?" I was always getting into some kind of mischief.

Danette, how lovely to be able to have three generations together at once. Have fun today!

jo robertson said...

Annie, I forgot about "because I said so," one of my mother's favorite lines. I vowed NEVER to use it. And I never did. Instead, I said, "because I'm the boss of you" or "because I'm bigger than you."

It worked until my boys grew to be 6'2" tall. Uh, not bigger any more, mum!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh my, just about everything I said I wouldn't do when I had kids I did! I will say though that I never wet a cloth with my tongue and cleaned their faces, I always tracked down water.....LOL They still didn't like it.
I have even said, ::gasp:: "Because I said so!"

jo robertson said...

Amy, I adore The Gilmore Girls too, especially the snappy and fast-paced dialogue.

I didn't know about JC's Gabfest. Where can we get a copy or read it? Sounds delightful.

jo robertson said...

Maureen, too funny about the prostitute. Sometimes we want to protect the little guys and just can't.

Once, while my son was looking at the movie pictures in the newspaper, he asked why a particular motel had mirrors on the ceiling. Arrgggghhhh!

doglady said...

I have caught myself using my Mom's favorite phrases with my fur kids! I actually think they understand! If the outside crew is going crazy because a squirrel dared to invade their territory, all I have to do is stick my head out the door and say "I have had enough of this!" Dead silence and everyone slinks off with their tails between their legs. Of if I tell one of my fur kids to do something and they refuse with that look of defiance in their eyes I put my hand on my hip and say "Excuse me?" Immediate compliance.

My Mom is 4"11 of steel magnolia and Native American woman. My Dad used to call her his "little squaw." He was fond of saying "If the squaw says no, its no." My brothers are both around 6 feet tall and they are STILL terrified of this little woman.

Ad my sisters in law love her because she raised my brothers to cook, clean, iron, do laundry and fend for themselves. She will tell them in a heartbeat "She works too. Get off your butt and help her with the housework." They both have my Mom on speed dial and the words "Fine. I'll just call Nana and tell her what you said." is all it takes to whip my brothers into shape.

We have not always had a good relationship. It has been a bit contentious at times because we are a lot alike. I think when she lost Dad four years after I lost my dh we found our common ground and we are much closer now. She has always, however, been my biggest fan and my biggest "You can do this! Get off your fanny and do it" encourager.

Keira Soleore said...

Carol, gosh, you make the GR very happy. He doesn't want to leave your place and visit anyone else. :)

Christine: What a marvelous gift for you from your mum. Happy Mother's Day indeed.

At our place, there's cake-making in progress with a lot of discussion between Hubby and Ms. Wee. Pots are clanging. I see a huge mess over there. The fire alarm went off a time or two. I'm doing deep breathing.

Nancy said...

Hi, Christine--Happy Mother's Day, and thanks for a cool post!

Carol, congratulations on the GR again. My dh has a similar feelng to yours, though I don't think it comes from his parents. Neither of us has ever said to our son, when he dawdled in a public place, "Come on, or I'll leave you." We just don't like that.

I did swear I was never going to say to my child, "You'll put your eyes out reading with so little light." However, I did say, a short while ago, "Are you sure you can read in that light?" And it hit me like a whap upside the head that the problem isn't that he doesn't have enough light. It's that my eyes are going, and I now need more light than I used to. And so it probably was with my mom.

Danette, your family gathering sounds fabulous!

Annie, Dianna, and Anna S., I'm a big fan of "because I said so" and have become more of a fan since I've been teaching at the college level. Sometimes people need to recognize, as my students sometimes don't, that the person in authority has the final say, just by virtue of being in that position. Jo, I like 'because I'm the boss of you," too!

Annie, I'll bet those flowers are beautiful.

Maureen, we also try to answer all questions. Though we have sometimes fallen back on "That's not appropriate right now," which we also used for behavioral alteration when the boy was younger. It's tough when they get into those dicey areas, though!

PJ, we have a lab, too. She thinks she's a people, though she's been advocating for us to get a cow, which she thinks would lay steaks on a daily basis. We're not sure what's up with that . . .

Dina, I hope your family gathering goes well.

Thanks to everyone for stopping in on this holiday and for sharing your memories.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

What a wonderful post, Christine! And what a wonderful day you had...ah, no kiddoes and a night with the DH...A girl can dream. :>

My DH's folks are passed on as is my Mom. My Dad and stepmom are getting on in years so they don't do so well lifting heavy 3 y/o out of the crib! Ha! So, its been only a dream for a while to get away. There was my DH's 50th though...sounds a lot like your night last night, Christine. Grins.

Oh, hey, Carol, congrats on the bird again. Must be those lovely ladies down the road.

My own Mom was like yours JT, (without the car accident, thank God!) but strong and capable without ever being less than wonderfully feminine. If I could be half the woman, I'd be happy.

As to things you say that you never thought you would say, I think I'm guilty of them all.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, loved your description of your farm childhood. We had something similar. Mum and Dad would be down the paddock trying to keep a crust on the table and my brother and I and our friends used to run absolutely wild. I actually think that's one of the things that helped release my imagination, the fact that I was allowed to be so free. I wonder about kids these days. Oh, dear, and that's something I always swore I'd never say. Just as I swore I'd never say we had much better music when I was young. But I must say, I DO think we did, with a couple of exceptions. Or at least top 40 stuff.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, Christine!

And 2 days running, Carol?!?! Should we suspect a conspiracy?

LOL! GUILTY as charged on all those things I swore I'd never say. VA, my FAVE was "...if all your friends jumped off a cliff..." because even when my son said YES! He knew he was lying and not being logical. He was a great one for logic, at least HIS variety of logic. That's why instead of a simple "because I said so," I was forced to say, "Because I'm the Mom and I said so, and that's all the reason I need!"

KIDS! As my BFF and I say about our dogs, "The only true love money can buy."

Happy Mother's Day ALL! If you are lucky enough to still have your Mom around, please give her an extra hug from me!


Donna MacMeans said...

Sorry for joing the crew so late but I was being wined and dined with Boston Creme donuts and OJ in honor of Mother's Day *g*. I think we're going out for dinner for a more nutrious meal later today.

My Mom, who passed away a year ago, was the perfect mother. I tried to be like her in my parenting who figured I messed up miserably. I'm sure being a business executive took precious bonding time from them when they were little. When I decided to start a business out of my house, the resulting loss of income meant we couldn't provide the kind of exotic trips and such for them that others could - my fault. I'm a terrible housekeeper which I'm sure has impacted my kids in some dire way.

So I was amazed and delighted when my young adult son - the one who speaks so low you can barely hear him, and blasts music you wish you couldn't - told me how proud he was of me and my accomplishments. He even took one of my paintings off the wall to show to a girl he was trying to impress. It brought tears to my eyes and was the best Mother's Day present ever.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.

Donna MacMeans said...

Christie - When my kids were little, I won a free weekend at a fancy hotel. My husband and I took the darlings to my mother to watch while we took advantage of the prize. We had a marvelous time rediscovering ourselves at adults. After that experience, we instituted a date night at least once a month so we wouldn't lose that appreciation in the course of diapers and exhaustion and helping with homework. Smartest thing we ever did. I'm sure we were better parents for it.

Suzanne Welsh said...

I'm 1200 miles from my mom today. I sent her flowers on Friday. She asked why I sent them so early. I told her, "So you could enjoy them longer." I heard the smile in her voice when we talked.

My kids were saying the other day they couldn't wait until their kids said, "Mom, (or Dad), I'm hungry!" so they could reply, "Hi Hungry, my name's Mom, (or Dad)!" Or "Mom/Dad can you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?" To which they could reply, "Poof, you're a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!" Yep, got those straight from me. hehehe

I never threatened things I wouldn't do. But once I packed my oldest into the car and took her to the poorest section of town, and said, "You think you have it bad at home? How about living down here?" Uhm....her attitude improved for a while.

Trish Milburn said...

Christine, I think it's actually a good thing that you and the hubby had an adult night out. I don't think being a wonderful mother means giving up all sense of self or the desire to have some time alone or just with your hubby or friends. I think it's actually good for the mother/child relationship if the mom can have some child-free time. I'm not a mom, but I know that being one can be very draining.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

Christine Wells said...

Maureen, that is a tricky one, isn't it? Sometimes I think it's better for children to keep a little bit of innocence! Not about things that are perfectly natural and human but the seamier side of life can wait a little longer, IMO. I think you did the right thing!

Keira Soleore said...

My cake said, "Hippy Mother's Day," but it was delicious!!!! Kudos to Hubby and the Wee one.

Jane said...

Happy Mother's Day. Mom's got work today, so we won't be celebrating until tonight. Nothing big, just dinner at home.

Christine Wells said...

Gillian, you must have been good children to do all your chores before you went off and had fun. But you're right, mother guilt often has no correlation to the actual effect the behaviour has on the children. I often think my children should be glad when I take a little time away from them. I come back refreshed and happy and that has to benefit them, too.

Christine Wells said...

Annie, it was a perfect day, thanks! Hope yours was equally wonderful:)

Christine Wells said...

PJ, what a blessing to have so much love in your life. Dogs are so special, aren't they? There's nothing quite like the bond humans have with dogs.

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Christine, on a really serious note, I think it's good for kids to see that the parents have a life outside the children's existence. My mother worked all her life and the center of her life was her relationship with my father. So she never really got subsumed in the 'mother' role although she would have laid down and died for us if she'd needed to. I think it's great, particularly for a girl, to see that women can take on a variety of roles in life and follow dreams that aren't necessarily restricted to what she wants for her family.

limecello said...

Gilmore Girls!
Hm... I think I knew pretty early on my mom was her own person with friends etc - the kids I grew up with were the kids of her friends. I don't know if it's a cultural thing, but "children are seen not heard" was very true. In fact, we weren't much seen. Children were sent to the basement/playrooms, and the adult had the run of the non subterranean areas of the house.
For Mother's Day, my dad is making a special dinner, and I got my mom flowers. :)

Christine Wells said...

Pam, hope you had a lovely day and your admiring students gave you a call.

I just hope my brothers step up to the plate today. No worries. They both have great wives who will make sure Mom gets her due.

Yes, men are hopeless about things like Mother's Day, which is kind of ironic, given the way most mothers absolutely dote on their sons! They need their wives and sisters to chivvy them along.

Christine Wells said...

VA, you're so right--what a wonderful gift for a mother to give--belief in yourself and your capabilities. I've heard of studies that show a mother's sense of her own self-esteem greatly affects how her daughters see themselves.

I must keep 'because I said so' in mind. At the moment, when I ask my 5yo to do something he either ignores me or says NO!! He doesn't ask the dreaded 'buy WHY?' But when he does, I'll be prepared.*g*

Christine Wells said...

Dina, I'm sorry to hear your mother is no longer with us, but I hope you had a lovely day with your family.

Christine Wells said...

Jo, when I was a child I believed my mother could read my mind. What I was thinking must have been written very plainly on my face! The Machiavellian lady allowed me to go on thinking that for a loong time.

Christine Wells said...

What a lovely tribute, Joan. I'm sure your mother continues to be as proud as punch of you. I think it's brave and wonderful of you to celebrate her life each year.

Christine Wells said...

Dianna, don't those time-worn phrases roll off your tongue when you're tired and frazzled and you just need that clincher for the argument? I think that's why we repeat what our mothers' said. It's just there, in our subconscious, ready to roll when we're at a low ebb.

flchen1 said...

Congrats on the GR, Carol!

We just stumbled off a plane after a nine hour flight, and are home (HOORAY!) surrounded by piles of laundry :) Not sure we're going out tonight, but being home is its own delight :)

I SO didn't properly appreciate my mother until after I became one, too--I definitely understand why she occasionally lost her cool back when, and I am sure to let her know how much I value her now :)

Christine Wells said...

Jo, I think Jenny Crusie's Gilmore Girls book is advertised on her website somewhere, maybe under Nonfiction?

I thought GG would appeal to you, given your great relationship with your daughters. The actors were saying the girls are such fast talkers, the scripts for each episode are twice the normal length. I don't envy them having to learn all those lines and deliver them at a million miles a minute.

Christine Wells said...

Pam, what a wonderful woman your mother sounds, especially the part about raising her boys to do domestic chores. There's nothing worse than a mother who is a slave to the men in her life because they of course grow up expecting their wives to be like that too. Both my mother and my husband's mothers were pretty traditional, so, you know, you have to train them a little;)

I'm glad you found common ground, even though the circumstances were far from happy. I hope you had a lovely day.

Christine Wells said...

I have to go now and get my little ready for kindy now but I'll be back a little later on! Thanks for sharing your mothering stories with me. I'm really enjoying reading them.

Carol said...

Hi everone,
The GR spent the afternoon watching the V-8 supercars...very bloky for the chook!! Had a chook size glass of the liquid amber too!

Doglady, your mum reminds me of an old friend tiny Aunty Tilly, she used to threaten the boys (huge boys) that they were "too big to wack...but they had to sleep sometime" she really had them bluffed!


Nancy said...

I'm impressed by how many people have strong, determined mothers. Whether we know it or not, we model things for our children, as they did for us--the old "do as I say, not as I do" just doesn't cut it, in my opinion. They do notice what we do.

That's also why I think the date nights Donna and Christine and several other people described are such a great idea. The children know they're loved but also know they're not the center of the world. Of course, I say that though we do date nights but haven't yet had a "date" overnight. The boy isn't old enough to stay alone, and we have no one with whom to leave him so far. By the time he was a toddler, my parents were past the age of feeling comfortable with responsibility for one so young.

My mother's day was homemade cards from the dh and the boy, carnations on the table, and breakfast in bed. We were going to go to Iron Man, but the as-it-turned-out empty threat of severe weather deterred us. Besides, I have grading to do.

Happy Mothers Day, everyone!

Christine Wells said...

LOL Keira! Glad your hippy cake turned out well. Hey, that's probably a good name for cakes, given they tend to cling to the hips;) I take it the house didn't burn down, after all.

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, that is the attitude I need to remember. I don't have to explain myself because I'M THE MUM! That's really where 'because I said so' comes from, isn't it? So sad to hear college students still need that reinforced. What a whiny bunch. I hope you make those tests *hard* next time!

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne wrote: strong and capable without ever being less than wonderfully feminine

That describes you to a T, Jeanne, so you can be proud you're living up to your mother's memory.

Christine Wells said...

Anna, I so agree about the music! Nextdoor there are teenagers and one had a huge party where the music was so loud it hurt my head. If it had been good music (and there is good music around now, too) I wouldn't have minded but it was all that mindless rap and doof doof music. Ugh!

Christine Wells said...

AC, I'm at the stage now where my son is quoting my words back to me. He is very logical, so for instance when my husband says 'for crying out loud!' he'll say I'M not crying out loud, I'm HAPPY!

Christine Wells said...

Donna, that's such a lovely story. I'm wiping a tear away now too! You know, all the arguments about stay-at-home mums and working mums we have--you end up guilty whichever way you go. I think the important thing is to love 'em. That's all you need to do.

Speaking of pride in achievements, my 5yo had to do a little questionnaire on me for a mother's day celebration at the kindy. When asked what work their mothers did, others said things like: she works at the hospital and helps people. Mine said: she goes to the shop to buy bread. Huh. I think next time I need to coach him a little better!

Christine Wells said...

Donna, date night sounds like an excellent idea. We need to do that, too.

Christine Wells said...

Suz, I love your mommy sayings! Much better than 'because I said so'. I think it's great your children look to you as a role model too.

Ah the dreaded teenage years! I have only boys and I'm told they're easier than girls but I'm not counting my chickens!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Trish! You're so right. I need that away time, especially since I'm at home with them 24/7. I do get grouchy sometimes when I never get a break.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jane, hope you have/had a lovely dinner with your mom. Thanks for calling in!

Christine Wells said...

Foanna wrote: I think it's great, particularly for a girl, to see that women can take on a variety of roles in life and follow dreams that aren't necessarily restricted to what she wants for her family.

You're so right, Anna. It's also great for a boy to see that, because I think men tend to impose the same behaviour on their wives that they got away with with their mothers. Even if they are terribly enlightened, if their mothers spoiled them, there will be that expectation their wives will, too. My boys are going to be fully domesticated, thank you very much! Can't wait until I can starte exploit-- ahem, I mean, teaching them how to do housework;)

Christine Wells said...

Limecello, your comment made me recall that it was much the same when I was little. Not the seen and not heard, but being expected to make our own fun.

My mother would play games with us sometimes but usually she had chores to do and we amused ourselves either together or with friends from around the neighbourhood. Now when I go to kindy I get quizzed on whether my son has x y or z fancy equipment at home and we had none of that as kids. We had a blackboard and chalk, bikes and some stuffed toys and a swing set and that was good enough to keep us amused for hours.

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, love the sound of your aunty. My dad used to say "you'll keep." Brrrr! Always pulled me into line. Keira, sadly every cake I eat is a HIPPY cake!!! Hope you had a great day!

Christine Wells said...

Fedora, it's so true that you really appreciate your mother when you become one. You realize that even when you felt they did the wrong thing, they were always just doing their best. Being a parent is such a huge responsibility. I don't like the way people are encouraged to blame all their problems on their parents nowadays. We're all human, we can't all be perfect.

Christine Wells said...

Sounds like you're treating the GR just right, Carol! LOL about your Aunt Tilly. My MIL used to threaten to get the crop. Only there was no crop and her children knew she was too much of a cream puff to ever hit them. Unlike our Aunty Cindy, of course;)

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, we do go out occasionally, but the overnight date is such a bonus because I rarely get a night where my two sleep through. There's also something quite wonderful about having the house to yourself. Hope you manage a romantic weekend away some time. And so sorry to hear about those papers you have to grade. Sounds like you had a lovely day otherwise.

Christine Wells said...

Anna, my mother was the disciplinarian in our household, so if my father took you to task, you really horrible! I hated disappointing him.

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, it was a bit like that in our household. Mum was a bit of a drama queen so there was lots of sound and fury, not always signifying anything too major. If Dad got involved? Ack! You really did know you'd done the wrong thing and you felt really rotten.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Only there was no crop and her children knew she was too much of a cream puff to ever hit them. Unlike our Aunty Cindy, of course;)

MUAHAHAHAHA! The crop will be in San Francisco, and woe be unto anyone who thinks yer olde Aunty is a cream puff!

You may, however, bribe me with cream puffs.


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*Note to self: Buy Cream Puffs in SanFran. May need to bribe AC*


Christine, thanks ever so for saying something so lovely about me. Truly, it was so special to have you write that.

I was LOL about everyone who mentioned appreciating some things about your Mama when you become a Mom. Amen. There are also days when I call my sister, because of course she grew up with the same Mother and knows EXACTLY what I mean, and I'll say, "Lord in heaven, how come she didn't just kill us all?" There were four of us for her to contend with and I only have too. I feel quite the slacker because she didn't have TV shows for kids or DVDs or anything other than "GET OUT of this house and into the sunshine and out from under my feet!" to save her from the shreiking banshees. (Us) Of course, my amazed appreciation of her handling four kids with apparent aplomb and no violent acts or baldness are usually on the heels of a wretched day with my two boys. Fortunately, those days are blessedly few and far between. :> I'm so lucky b/c my boys are really delightful most of the time. Then, there are days when they are just BOYS. I'd just as soon lock them in a closet as look at them on those days.

That's when I know I need a girls night out, or lunch with a friend. Gotta get a little estrogen fix....Grins.

But today? Angels with balloons and roses and cards. Got steak for dinner too. YUM!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

And of course that should be "I only have TWO" not too. (Too much wine with that steak dinner I think!)

Christine Wells said...

Cream puffs, eh? I'll remember that, AC!

And Jeanne, I'm so with you on needing that girl-time fix. I think it's only going to get worse as the years go by and there are dirty sports socks and bottomless pits for stomachs and so on to contend with!

terrio said...

I could never catch up but I want to say Happy Mothers Day to all!

I remember the moment I realized my mother had a life before I was born. When I was around 12, MTV played a marathon of Monkees episodes. I'd never heard of them but when the first show started, my sang every word of the theme song. I was amazed.

How did she know that? Who were these guys? How did my mom know their names?!

My daughter and I celebrated Mother's Day yesterday with dinner and shopping that included pink tulips and lots of chocolates. I spent all day today in my PJs taking exams. Not the best way to go.

Oh, and I LOVE Gilmore Girls. Was so sorry to see it kind of fizzle out like that. But it was such a smart show with great characters and very real dynamics between all the characters.

Christine Wells said...

Terrio, sorry to hear you took exams when you should have been pampered but the tulips and chocs sound divine!

Oh, no, don't tell me Gilmore Girls fizzled. The last episode I saw was SPOILER ALERT!!

Lorelei proposing to Luke.

So should I risk watching the final series or should I keep my memories of a perfect show intact?

peggy said...

a very happy mothers day to all.
my son is always saying he is bored
now its my turn to say if your so bored i can find something around here for you to can start by cleaning your room.funny but he's never that bored.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, noooo, Peggy! I remember my mother saying that, too. Fortunately for me, I usually had a book to read so boredom was rarely a problem!

terrio said...

Christine - I'm afraid GG was down hill from there. Though the last episode makes my cry. You might want to forget watching the last season and pretend it ended the way you wanted it to in your mind.

Sort of write you own HEA. *g*

Christine Wells said...

Good idea, Terrio! Although I'm the kind who NEEDS to know what happened. You know?

anne said...

We gardened. Since I am not that good at it I needed help which was gratly appreciated.