Motherhood: The Lesser Known Lectures


By the time I got pregnant with our first child, I considered myself something of an expert on motherly lectures, having been on the receiving end of countless iterations of such classics as “If Everyone Else Jumped Off a Cliff, Would You Do It, Too?” and “This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You.” I could recite “Well, I’m Not Everybody Else’s Mother” in three languages, and I was already rehearsing “Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees, You Know” in anticipation of the onslaught of kid-centric advertising sandwiched in between Saturday morning cartoons.

In short, I thought I was prepared.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Perhaps our kids are just unique. Or maybe my memory of childhood is not that clear. Whatever the cause, I have found myself cast adrift, forced to spin parenting soliloquys from thin air for situations I never dreamed of as I prepared to bring a new little life into the world. It was clear as soon as my tiny darlings began to walk and talk and interact with others that there were some pages missing in my Motherhood Manual, key lectures that I was forced to deliver with little or no preparation. Allow me to list a few of them for your edification. And, as if the subjects aren’t strange enough, remember–these are all speeches I’ve had to give more than once:

  • “Girls Don’t Like to Be Told They’re Squishy, Even If They Are”
  • “The Coffee Table is Not a Surfboard” (closely related to that maternal classic: “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”)
  • “Are You Really Standing There Telling Me You Didn’t Do It When You Know I Just Saw You Do It?”
  • “Underwear is Not Optional”
  • “You Two Are Family, and Family Doesn’t Hit Each Other In the Face With Light Sabers”
  • “If You Come Upstairs to Wake Us Up Before Six A.M., Your Hair Better Be On Fire”
  • “School Starts In Ten Minutes! Why Didn’t You Tell Me You Needed to Dress Up As a Dr. Seuss Character/Baseball Player/Ice Cream Sundae Before Now?”
  • “Don’t Just Say You’re Sorry–Show You’re Sorry”
  • “After You Belch or Pass Gas, The Correct Response is ‘Excuse Me’, Not ‘Good One!'” (This one is not limited to the children of the house, I’m sorry to say.)

How about you? What unexpected parenting lectures seem to take place over and over in your house?

15 responses »

    • At least one of my children has had to hear that lecture more than once! The Nuts are just too cute for their own good. (“And I will hug him and love him and squeeze him and pat him. And I will call him George.”)

  1. I have had to give the “If you don’t know the meaning of a word, DO NOT use it.” to your sweet kindergartener Aidan.

    This was after a three word in as many days spree of bad words used in a bad, bad way.

    Um, and the only one I fee comfortable telling is that he called Abby a whore for bugging him while he was playing the Wii.

    • LOL, Ada! Katieโ€™s the one that needs that lecture from time to time. Sheโ€™s a big reader, so she picks up a lot of words from the context, but once in a while sheโ€™s WAY off.

  2. When I said “Only on Paper” (in reference to places one can write), that’s exactly what I meant. Is the ceiling paper?! No.

  3. Love it!!

    I’ve actually given the exact same speech entitled, “Underwear is not Optional”. Glad to be in the same company.

    I never expected the speech, “We Don’t Eat the Furniture”, directed toward my children, not my animals.

  4. “Feed the animals. How would you like it if I decided I didn’t feel like feeding you.” This was my latest speech.

  5. “You are too old to think riding bicycles at each other while aiming rotisserie skewers is ‘jousting’…or a good idea.”
    Said to my 19- and 21-year-olds.

    Forewarned is forearmed. So to speak…

  6. Thank you thank you thank you… I so needed that laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ the one that I just said yesterday was… Yes, sticking a dried up pea that you found under the couch up your nose will ALWAYS hurt and… No, pooting in the bathtub is not the same as turning on the bathtub jets ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Haha! There must be some sort of universal appeal to sticking things up your nose, because most kids I know have tried it at least once. If it doesn’t end in a trip to the emergency room and a fishing expedition with the grabby thingy, you’re lucky!

  7. I have had the, “You come home in the same underwear I sent you to school in!” talk. TWICE!!! In preschool, several of the girls were switching in the bathrooms!

  8. helllllooooo….helllooo….helloo….hello….
    is anybody there…is anybody there…anybody there….body there


    • I know, I know… the blog is somewhat deserted of late. I’ve been working on two massive projects at work and a few at home, too, so my last couple of posts are rattling around like the last two peas in an almost empty can.

      But I’m here, and I will post something soon, even if it’s just my grocery list.

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