I am an admittedly decisive person.
According to the dictionary of Mama, that means I’m headstrong, stubborn, sometimes unforgiving, and always far too independent for my own good.
Although I respectfully disagree with her definition of my personality, I do have to admit, as time unfolds, I’ve more often than not found Mama is mostly right. Actually, she’s generally always right…like 99.9 percent of the time.
Still, I did feel the need to push back a bit when Mama interceded in a Grandma moment I was having with my one year-old grandson, Harrison. Harrison is a busy little guy, and thoroughly enjoys discovering the world–which basically means everything within two feet of the floor.
Mama became quite concerned, rightly so, when he made a beeline for one of my outlets and promptly unplugged my Wifi router…for the fourth of fifth time. I firmly told Harrison, as I had every time before, “NO,” and moved him away from the outlet.
Mama let out a very heavy sigh, and informed me I was going to spend the remainder of the day dragging Harrison away from the outlet if I didn’t do a bit more to get his attention.
“Mama,” I said, using the same firm tone I had used on Harrison, “This isn’t my first walk in the park, you know. Harrison is my grandson, which means I actually raised children first.”
“Well apparently you’ve forgotten a few things!” she huffed. “If you want Harrison to quit pulling things out of outlets, you better get his attention.”
I’ve never been brave enough to take Mama on in a head-on confrontation, so I decided at that point to indulge her opinion. “Really? Okay, what is your suggestion?”
“Smack him a good one on the hand and let him know your no means NO! Kind of like you did with your own kids. Like you said, you were a mother.”
I’m not going to lie. I was quite offended by her comment. “What do you mean by ‘I was a mother,’ I still am a mother.”
“I know,” she said, completely unfazed by my obvious indignation. “You have no problem telling your grown kids what to do, but apparently you lose your head where your grand babies are concerned.”
“I do not tell my kids what to do!” I said. “I give them advice, yes, but I certainly don’t, ‘tell’ them what to do.”
I should have realized much earlier in the conversation my Mama was moving the conversation in the direction she wanted it to go, because she was about to make an important point.
But I didn’t.
“I didn’t say telling your kids things you’ve learned is wrong. I’m simply saying you do it all the time, so you shouldn’t judge me. You need to recognize once your a mama, you are always a mama. It’s an incurable addiction. Believe me if I could stop being a mama, my life would be much easier because you are a pain in the butt.”
I really wanted to argue with her. I truly did. Unfortunately, I had to admit she was right.
I do tell my kids how to raise their kids, and I am a worrying, helicopter-mama-from-hell most days. !@#$%^&*^&%$*. That’s all I have to say about that.
“Whatever,” I said. “I’m not going to argue with you.”
“I know,” Mama said, with her charming giggle, “because you know I’m right.”
Ya. I did. I most certainly was not going to admit it, however.
“Well, I just think sometimes you should remember I am 54 years-old. And I’ve raised five kids. AND, I now have six grandchildren.”
“Oh, I do know,” Mama said, still giggling. “I’m a few weeks away from 92, raised four kids, have 16 grandkids, 22 great-grandkids, and two great-great grandkids.”
What Mama didn’t say was, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.” But I’m pretty sure that’s what she was thinking.
Yup, that was my response. It’s pretty darn hard to argue with someone who has experienced what she has.
“Fine,” I said, totally defeated. “You’re right. I just don’t like to smack my grandkids. Harrison is only one-year old!”
“Right,” Mama said. “But I’m pretty sure a solid, but not mean, smack on his hand will feel a whole lot better than a 110 volt smack down that could actually do serious, if not deadly harm.”
She had me there.
Sure enough, a few minutes later Harrison made a beeline for my Wifi plug-in. I gave him a solid smack on the hand and much more firmly than before told him, “NO.”
His bottom lip came out quivering, my bottom lip came out quivering, and…I have no proof…but I’m pretty sure my Mama’s bottom lip came out quivering. Harrison shed a few alligator tears…but…it’s been over two weeks and Harrison hasn’t touched any of my electrical outlets.
Who knew? I can finally say to the whole world, “I’m an addict, and I couldn’t be, more proud!”
I probably won’t admit it to my Mama though.