June 15, 2010

Mother Knows Nothing

I know nothing. My daughter lets me know this whenever we are at that photo computer in Walmart and I begin pushing buttons to develop my pictures. “Mom,” she says, turning around to see if anybody is watching. “Don’t you know anything?”

My son also reminds me of my lack of competence whenever we are driving. “Didn’t you forget to do something, Mom?” he asks. “You really should drive with both hands on the wheel.” I do hope they remember their own advice when they take the wheel.

“Don’t say anything, Mom. Please,” begs my older daughter when her boyfriend comes to pick her up. Apparently I’m from the Middle Ages and he wouldn’t understand my language.

Funny, though. My daughter burst in the door at noon hour the other day and said “I have a project due right after lunch, Help!”

I translated words from English into French for her so quickly that I forgot how dumb I was. My daughter must not have noticed either. And then there’s the case of that butterscotch square I baked for her and her friends. Awesome, she called it. Again, a momentary lapse on her part. I may have to take her to a counselor. She's showing signs of schizophrenia. One moment I’m the simpleton mother that is only good for driving her gym clothes and lunch to the school on the days she forgets and the next moment I’m amazing. She may need to be medicated to straighten her out. After all I find it confusing. Some days I actually have thoughts of grandeur. Perhaps it’s me that needs the drugs.

No, come to think of it, I’m sure it’s my daughter that needs the doctor. Today when I attended Track and Field day to watch her compete, she couldn’t hear me calling her name, though she was only a few feet away. The other girls turned and looked but she seemed totally unaware that I existed. Poor hearing does run in our family, it seems. I finally caught her by the arm as she was running by. “Did you apply sunscreen?” I asked, facing her directly so she could read my lips if necessary.
She rolled her eyes up into her head. I immediately took her temperature. Sun-stroke, I was sure of it.

“Where’s your water bottle?” I asked, hoping that a drink of cool water would revive her from the heat.

“You were supposed to bring it. Where is it?” she asked.

Oh dear. She believes I actually know something. She’s accrediting me with knowledge. She really must be going into shock.

I was tempted to retrieve the water bottle for her that she’d left on the grass by the 100 metre run. After all, she needed cool water. But I didn’t want to embarrass her by saying that I actually knew where it was. Besides, I was getting confused at that point. Did I actually know something? Couldn’t be. She must be tricking me. She’s hallucinating, I’m sure.

“Is it possible that you left your water bottle back there on the grass?” I asked with my head down, ashamed to one-up her.

At this point her hearing seemed to return, her eyes focused on me and she even managed a weak smile.

“That’s my girl!” I said, reaching out for a hug. I leaned in and she leaned away, as if I had forgotten to use hand-disinfectant. At that point she mentioned the fact that she needed more money. “To buy a hot dog,” she said.

“I thought I gave you enough money this morning.”

Her jaw clenched and she fixed her blue eyes on mine. “Mom.” She spoke slowly so I could understand. “I want to buy a frozen yogurt too. Do you want me to eat nutritiously or not?”

Hmmm, I thought as I watched her long jumping from a distance. She had pointed out the bench to me half a mile from the long-jump pit. She’s learning something – she’s eating yogurt, staying away from germs, and she’s discovered my name. Not bad for a day’s work.

That night as I rubbed aloe-vera lotion onto the back of her sun-burned legs, she pointed out that I missed a spot. It felt so good to settle back into the familiar security, that once again, I know nothing.

Pam Mytroen


  1. LOL. Humor is the most important ingredient in motherhood! Thanks for the chuckle.

  2. Yes, humor has helped me put things into perspective many times!
    Pam M.

  3. I LOVE reading your stuff.... there's usually a place that makes me LOL.......as you share your life with us.

  4. And i love to read yours because there's always an 'aha' moment. Isn't God's creation wonderful and unique?!
    Pam M.


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