What’s Your Favorite Word?

Mine is “More.”

scrabble_champ_2002More food, more time, more bad habits, more stuff. Whatever it is, gimme more. If I consume it, I will feel full-filled. And it’s all my mother’s fault. Well, yeah, sorta. I mean, isn’t just about everything that makes us us traceable to Nurture or Nature? It’s never really our own fucking fault, right?

So when I, just like my mother before me, offer my overweight child more cake, maybe that’s not as good as it sounds. Although Pepperidge Farm Coconut 3-Layer Cake (when it’s still cold—but not frozen) sounds pretty darn good to me. And Morgan, just like his mother before him, understands the consequences of that second chuck of cake, but eats it anyway.

And when I give Morgan more time to play his Xbox 360 instead of doing schoolwork, I gotta wonder if his boss will give him more time to “Finish this level and Save,” before getting back to his j-o-b? Even panhandlers have to put in a few hours a day.

Now, in terms of bad habits, I thank the stars that I do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Because I’d be a chain-smoking lush on the sofa, sippin’ on my big plastic cup of spiked iced tea. Luckily any vice I may want to indulge, I can’t get more of at the 24-hour Farm Store down the street. So the only advice I can give my kids is don’t start any bad habit you’re not prepared to have the rest of your miserable life.

My older son bought more Powell Peralta boards than he could skate. Of course, twenty years ago, I was bringing down a decent blue-collar union wage and could afford the deck and all its accoutrements. That was when a hundred dollars meant something. I still have one of Dallas’s large slogan buttons that reads “It’s not who you are, it’s what you wear.” As a reformed pre-teen fatty turned urban hipster, he knows that’s no joke.

“More,” I suspect, will always be part of my mothering mantra. Because I believe the only word worse than “More,’ is “No.”

Be Good or He’ll Go

3 chairsThe fluorescent lights were bad enough, let alone a waiting room full of people. Across from me, a little boy squirmed in his chair. His too-young mother hovered over him, droning on about the need for the kid to “sit up,” His tattooed-up father, who was sitting up, stewed in silence. I’m not sure if the K-Fed wannabe was more embarrassed by his son or his son’s mother, but he suddenly got up and walked out the door.

The kid was unphased, he kept squirming. So his mom loudly announced “Oh-oh! See what happened? Daddy left because you were being a Bad Boy.” This made the kiddo stop squirming and look up only to notice that, yes indeed-y, his father had left. But he still didn’t sit up.

So Mom started chattering “Tell Mommy you love her. Tell Mommy you love her…”

“Love her,” was all the kid could repeat. It was at this point I closed and covered my eyes with my hand. He’s not a fucking parrot, Lady.

Within a minute, I heard Daddy-O walk back in. And within another minute, they were called into an examining room. Within seconds, the kid was screaming. And through it all, that woman never shut up.

One day Daddy IS gonna leave alright. And again she’ll blame it on her son…