Mother Knows Best April 16, 2017
Mother Knows Best is a cliché for a reason.
On average, given a wide margin of error, the standard deviation and other statistical considerations, I am right approximately 100% of the time.
I mean, I’m not right ALWAYS, and not in every context. I’m fallible like any other human. But when it comes to stuff my kids should or shouldn’t do and (let’s be honest) things my husband should or shouldn’t do, I’m right all the time. Sometimes I’m right about little things, like “you can order the shrimp if you want, but you’re not going to like it because the last time you did you gagged.” Sometimes I’m right about big things like which are good friends to have and which ones only lead to trouble. Sometimes I’m right about things in the middle, like “you’d better do your laundry right now unless you just want to pack a suitcase full of dirty underwear to bring to camp.” Bottom line, though, is that I’m right all the darn time.
Given my track record of correctness, you’d think people would listen to me more often. “Oh,” they should say. “I’m wrong 50% of the time, and she’s right 100% of the time. Maybe I should do what she says instead of what I think is right.”
Seriously, people. Blindly follow my advice. I will NOT lead you down the wrong path.
Of the three other people who live in my house, only one of them, my son, seems to have gotten the drift. “Gosh, you’re right again,” he’ll say. Who would have guessed?” Then I make that face, where only one side of my upper lip rises, and my eyebrows crawl up my forehead and I say, “Right?”
I don’t know what it is about having a child that gives most of us Moms this uncanny ability to project five minutes into the future to see the consequences of actions that no one else seems to be able to see. I’m not psychic. I’m not even especially insightful – my thinking is way too concrete for that. There’s plenty I don’t know – but if I don’t know, I’m not going to pretend that I do. If I say it with authority, you can take it to the bank. I just know that there are 24 hours in the day, and if you spend 23 and a half of them eating, sleeping, pooping, tweezing your eyebrows, watching Netflix, and texting your friends, you aren’t going to have time to read 1984 and do a Power Point illustrating the parallels to Soviet Russia. Just saying.
I know that if we are eating dinner at a restaurant at 6:00, and it is 4:30, you don’t have time to run to the parts store to get windshield wiper blades, install said blades, get distracted by scraping bug guts off the grill, and then take a shower and get dressed and make it to the restaurant in time.
I know that if one shoe is in the house, the other one probably is, too.
I know that if we picked you up from school yesterday afternoon, odds are good that your backpack is still in the back of the van.
I know that if you are logged in to your Instagram on my phone that you probably used my phone after yours got taken away.
I know that if you leave the house at 5:00pm on a week day that it will take you at least twice as long to get where you are going.
I know that if you have an orthodontist appointment at 2:00 pm, you might want to consider bringing your retainer to school.
I know that if you need a ride home from school, you might want to make sure there is an available licensed driver at least twenty minutes before you actually need the ride.
I know that if you’re exhausted, and you lay your pretty little head down while fully dressed, there is a zero percent chance that you will brush your teeth.
I don’t care if you are old enough to manage your own bladder – if we are at a rest stop on a car trip and you don’t go to the potty when I tell you to, you will be sorry.
See? I know lots of things. If you’d just done what I asked in the first place we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. All I need now, besides absolute obedience, is someone to tell me what to do in my own life. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.
Mother Knows Best