Things I Won't Be Hearing On Mother's Day

One of Monkey's labor-intensive cards.

When Monkey was entering kindergarten, he had to take a pre-screening test.

The shriveled woman sitting at a tiny desk asked him to draw a stick figure of a person, which he did perfectly. (Well, the arms were coming out of the head, but he remembered arms and hands and a few fingers.) She asked if he could recite his ABC’s (which, of course, he did because I had taught them to him.) She asked if he could spell his first and last name, and he could. (Well, at least his first name.)  She asked him to count as high as he could, and then she gently told him he could stop… when he hit 50.

Sitting in the back of the room, I beamed.


Because I had taught him to count to 50.

Then Monkey and the tired, old test giver chatted it up a bit, during which time I assumed she was assessing his overall intellectual and emotional readiness.

(I swear I almost bowed and said, “Thank you! Thank you very much!)

Then Mrs. Tester asked Monkey a question.

“Tell me about your parents. What does your father do?”

And while he started simply enough, my child launched into a four-minute speech about what his daddy does every day at work. “My dad fixes eyes,” said my son, bursting with pride, making my spouse sound like the savior to all people born with eyes (which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone, right?)

Four minutes is a really long time to listen to someone talk.

When they are not talking about you.

But that’s what I did.

Because secretly I was excited. I figured, well, if Monkey said all that about a man who’s home for three hours of his day, I can’t wait to hear what he is going to say about me. After all, I am the one who feeds him and bathes him and wipes his butt and cares for him when he is sick. (Except barf. Hubby takes care of all barf.)  I am the one who shleps him to his activities and his play dates. I am the one who takes him to museums to introduce him to art. I am the one who reads to him and cuddles with him before naps and at bedtime. I am the one who plays games with him and makes grocery shopping and doing laundry fun.

Finally Mrs. Tester asked, “What does your mommy do?”

Monkey shifted around in his seat.

Except for the creak from his chair, the room was silent.

I sat at the back of the room and watched Monkey scratch his head.

“She talks on the phone a lot.”

What? My brain was silently screaming. What is that little freak talking about?!

I will not tell you about the ride home, where I asked Monkey to explain his big choke how he got stuck explaining what it is that I do ever day. About how he rationally explained that daddy was the one who made the money, and he really couldn’t figure out how to explain what I did.

Now, it is obviously not fair to dump all this on the child. Hubby is not the best facilitator when it comes to Mother’s Day. This is because he generally golfs on Sundays. And since Hubby is out playing with his wood relaxing with his boys, there is no one to oversee the “special last-minute Mother’s Day present making” in our house, and I’m not about to pull out the markers and demand, “Make me something to show me how much you love me!”

Let’s just say I have learned to keep my expectations for Mother’s Day kinda low.

Don’t get me wrong, my boy loves me.

He does.

I don’t really need a special day for him to show it. And, to be fair, Hubby always comes through with some kind of brunch.

(You know, after golf.)

Plus I have faith that one day, when he is a daddy, Monkey will have that moment of clarity that only comes while pacing across the floor at a ridiculous hour while cradling a fragile, little person who frickin’ refuses to sleep.

He will groggily realize, “My mom did this for me.”

And as the guilt gratitude washes over him in that late hour, perhaps he will consider ordering me some overpriced flowers from over the Internet.

Maybe he will even consider calling me.

And that reminds me.

I should probably call my mother.

How does Mother’s Day go at your house? What did you get that rocked your world? (Or didn’t.) Tell me everything. I’m living vicariously.

Tweet this twit at @rasjacobson

37 thoughts on “Things I Won't Be Hearing On Mother's Day

  1. What is the little freak talking about? Hah.

    Almost everyone has multiple phones, so talking on the phone is important, too, right?

    Monkey’s got a great Mama. He knows it. He doesn’t have to explain it to others.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Renee.

    1. I’m sure you have something really special lined up for KAW, right? You know that when she says, “Aw, honey you don’t have to do anything special for me” she really means you should have been thinking about this for months, right?

      Four little people, Chase.


      No pressure, though. 😉

  2. From one momma to another…I feel your pain. Even for the older ones Mother’s Day sorta just sneaks up on them! Like you’re some after thought, “Gee thanks!” But God forbid if I’m one minute late picking them up from soccer practice, or work, or I forget a birthday! Lol!

    Now, I must say my 18 year old daughter always is amazing at remembering & gift giving, she just gave us $100 and a beautiful card. Not that I CARE about the gift (although very thoughtful) its the fact that $100 for her is a lot, she got a card, and gave it to us before Mother’s Day! I’m lucky if I get a text or Facebook post from the other 4.

    And the thing is, they all have TWO mothers; you’d think that would really help them to remember!

    But you’re right…someday! When they have babies of their own 😀 Happy Mother’s Day Kiddo! Love You!

    1. Good Lordy:

      If your FIVE children do not remember their TWO mothers, I will personally drive to your house on …well, not Sunday because I intend to bask in the glory of my own motherhood that day. But I will come and open a can of whoop-ass on them.

      Minus your 18 year old. Who clearly rocks.

      No coal in her stocking this year. 😉

      Happy Mother’s Day, Mare.

  3. My daughters usually clean the house. (They’re doing this today, since yesterday was the last exam of the semester for both of them.) My oldest loves to cook, and will probably make something fabulous for dinner and dessert on Sunday. I’m a very lucky woman! I hope your Mother’s Day is much better than you expect! 🙂

    1. Sprinkles:

      I’ve learned to keep my expectations crazy low. Then I can only be surprised.

      The weather looks like it’s going to be beautiful, which means golf. And Monkey will be in religious school until noon. But there will be brunch and maybe an afternoon drive to the destination of my choice.

      You are a lucky woman. Obviously, trained ‘dem girls right.

      I’d love someone to scrub my toilets right about now. 😉

  4. I never remember to get my daughter a Mother’s Day card when I get one for mine. There’s Vincent 3, Crislynd 8 and step daughter Armonni 9. You would think I’d remember. It’s just that I think of her as daughter and remember birthday and Christmas only. This year I remembered. A mother with kids needs 72 hours to get a day’s stuff done in a day that has only 24 hours. She doing it. Amazing.

  5. So last year when I was eight months pregnant on Mother’s Day I mentioned how, if I hadn’t been eight months pregnant, I would have liked to go strawberry picking. (Strawberry fields are abundant close to my house, and the strawberries always seem to be perfectly ripe the first two weeks in May.)

    A couple months ago when the weather started getting nice, I asked if we could go strawberry-picking for this Mother’s Day.

    Last night, Hubs asked, “So what do you want to do for Mother’s Day?”


    Oh, well, back to the old familiars come Sunday: Sleeping In, Not Doing Dishes, and Eating Out So I Don’t Have to Cook (all of which I do love). I did get a MOM-shaped card cut from red construction paper with a photo of my Bug on it with one line: “Hi, Mom, I love you.”

    1. JButt:

      Maybe get some red construction paper and make a STRAWBERRY and tape it to the windshield of Hubs’ car with the note:

      think mommy would like to go strawberry picking for Mother’s Day. You’re welcome.
      Love, Bug

      Men! They make us mothers and then they don’t know what to do with us. 😉

  6. Oh. Crap. That’s THIS Sunday?!?!?!? I’m screwed.

    Nah, I’m fooling. I took care of Mother’s Day last weekend. I picked up a bunch of plants, planted them, raked the garden beds, and fixed the tub. That’s enough, right? Right? Please! Please say that’s enough! We’re planning on going plant shopping for my mom and MIL tomorrow. I’ll let the wife pick out something nice for herself. As long as it’s a perennial and I don’t have to worry about watering it.

    My dad on the other hand. He has needed some major help in the past. He’s much better now. He knows not to screw up Mother’s Day. Not after the colander incident. One year when my brother and I were young enough to know better, yet penniless to buy anything for my mom, my dad actually bought the following items for Mothers Day: A colander, a paper towel holder (a fancy plastic one too!), dish towels, and a new drain strainer. Is it any wonder why my mom was confused when she opened up our cards and they both said “I’m sorry for dad.”? Then she opened her “gifts”. Then she got MAD. M – A – D, mad. Since then she’s gotten nothing but jewelery for MD. My dad my pull some stupid stuff sometimes, but he’s a fast learner.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! May you never receive a colander and paper towel holder for your special day!

    1. So much learning from a colander.

      I bet your mom does not even like the word “colander.”

      (It has “colon” in it. Kind of.)

      The key is – unless momma is a pro chef – stay away from the kitchen!

      Glad your dad learned and look how well he taught you! You are one of the good ones! No doubt! 😉

  7. My mom is my hero, the most important person on planet earth to me that has ever been. Mother’s Day is just one part of a whole lotta repayment.

  8. When my youngest, David, was maybe six or seven we went to an open school night. I had grown a beard, God knows why, and there on the wall was a stick figure crayon drawing of me, done by son, and the caption: “My Dad likes to eat pizza and drink beer” The truth is often painful. Happy Mother’s Day

  9. Really funny story about the school interview.

    Mother’s Day is a big deal in Mexico. There will be firecrackers. It often involves Marachis’ serenading mothers, even outside the home. It’s celebrated on the 10th and also honors the Virgin Mary. That’s nice but human rights for women in Mexico have a way to go.

    Me? I’ll get phone calls from mine; at least the eldest, who has a better phone plan. My husband has always upheld the theory that Mother’s Day is to celebrate your own mother, not the mother of your children. (If he looked Mother’s Day up on the internet, he’d see this isn’t necessarily so.)

    I follow his suit on Father’s Day. Truthfully, I’m not fond of the minor obligatory designated holidays like Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. If it happens, it happens. If not, that’s alright with me.

    1. Annette:

      If firecrackers were legal in New York State, I would need no further hoopla.

      I would just go crazy lighting ’em up.

      I’m a closet pyromaniac who doesn’t need much more than a match and a candle to have a good time.

      (Wow, that sounds wrong.) 😉

      That said, fireworks and firecrackers are illegal here – so I demand brunch.

      I agree that Mother’s Day is probably about honoring our own mothers, but Monkey needs a little modeling, you know, to learn what he shouldn’t do. (See Bob the Builder’s post above.)

  10. My most memorable Mother’s Day is from years ago. I was 4 and my brother was 5. We made our mom breakfast in bed – a bowl of cereal with milk, toast with mounds of butter and grape jelly on top, and a glass of lime kool-aid with so much sugar in it you could still see the grains swishing around the glass. And we sat on the bed, cradling our faces in our hands, and watched her eat it. And she did. Every bite. What a trooper!

    1. Kristin:

      If people made me breakfast in bed, I would eat it all up, too.

      And by the way, your mom could have totally qiggled just the wrong way and spilled some of that Kool-Aid, you know.

      But she didn’t.

      She didn’t.

      You are so loved. 😉

  11. I’m trying to learn to keep my expectations low. Birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s day…they all disappoint. I need to learn that my boys simply aren’t going to do what I hope and wish for.

    For the last 6-7 years, I’ve done brunch at my house for my mom. Brother always claims partial credit for it, though he does nothing aside from showing up to eat. I do all the cooking and clean up. My mom enjoys it, my hubby and kids sit around and hang out, then eat, then vanish again. Two years ago on MD, my hubby asked me at 5:30ish what I was making for dinner. When I gave him the death stare, he said, “Oh, why don’t you go pick up some sandwiches at Subway for us, then you don’t have to cook.”

    I didn’t kill him, but I should have.

    This year my mom and I have brunch reservations at a restaurant. I’m not cooking anything. Hubby will stay home with the kids. If they don’t plan for dinner, they aren’t eating.

  12. Loved this post, Renée…just when we think we’ve been an awesome parent, we hear the “little stinker”‘s version…

    Mother’s Day also happens to fall on Jim’s and my third anniversary this year, so I’m pretty sure I’m at least getting something from him…and Hope has told me she’s giving me a piece of artwork she got 100% on at school…
    Jim said he’d suggested to Anna and Hope that they help him cook dinner that night, a suggestion which apparently met with a lukewarm response…we shall see…


  13. “I hope you have a great life.” The best!

    I hear you though, with the rest of it.

    One Mother’s Day when my kids were in preschool, my daughter drew a gigantic poster of me lying on the couch watching TV. LYING. I couldn’t even be bothered to sit up to view the television.

    The preschool teachers were wetting their pants with laughter when I showed up (from my job as an ENGLISH TEACHER) to see how my girl pictured me for real.

    Ah, well. I hope at least it was Public Television 😉

  14. Good one.
    My version of this is the letter my son sent to a penpal. I was described thus: obsessed with books, has piles of them everywhere – and says funny/strange things sometimes because he is Irish.
    I was happy with that.
    His mother he summed up: she likes to go through the house making sure all the clocks are on exactly the same time.
    She was less happy.
    The other case of how children see you happened at school. I heard about it from my daughter – and then again and again from the mothers of her classmates. The teacher was talking about nocturnal animals and asked if any child could name one. One of my daughter’s friends shot up her hand: “Her daddy is a nocturnal animal.”
    What can I say? I’ve worked odd shifts for years. It’s true.

  15. Let me say up front that I always tell my kids and husband that I don’t need or want a gift for Mother’s Day. Not something that they have to buy, anyway. Every year when older daughter asks what I want, I tell her that what I really want is for her to be nice to me and helpful around the house or in the garden. A homemade card is totally adequate, and much preferred to one bought at a store.

    This year, Mother’s Day at my house went something like this. Ten-year-old daughter climbed into my bed at 7 am to snuggle with me. When I stopped pretending to be asleep, she immediately wished me a happy mother’s day and told me she loved me. Thirteen-year-old came into our room, did a silly dance in front of the mirror until I told her to go get dressed. Hubby took care of breakfast for the kids and was to drive them to religious school. At 9:27, 13-year-old was back upstairs for some reason. I shouted up that it was time to go. “I’m coming!” – the constant mantra of said child. When child did not appear after a minute, I went upstairs to see what the delay was. She was in the bathroom unplugging the flat iron she had just been using – very important 2 minutes before she’s supposed to be at religious school. She then went into her room, I assumed to get her sneakers on or something practical like that. She had pushed the door closed on her way in so that it was ajar and I couldn’t see in. I asked why she closed it (I was only a few feet outside her room): “I didn’t … on purpose, anyway.” So, I went in to find her with eyelash curler and mascara in hand, about to go into the bathroom to put it on. At 9:29. When religious school starts at 9:30. And her father and sister are waiting for her. In the car. I calmly removed those items from her hand, and told her that she needed to go now, that she didn’t have time for the makeup. Then she started to argue with me. “I can’t go out like this!” and “It’s only Sunday school! Who cares if we’re late!”

    Then, I got angry. Really angry. Because that showed a total disrespect of other people’s time – not only her family members waiting in the running car – but also of her teacher and classmates. But mostly of me. On Mother’s Day. I had to physically direct her down the stairs and out the door, while telling her (in my not-so-nicest tone) to “get…out…now!” She left the house practically in tears, and I was left fuming. But I then had a nice morning with hubby in the kids’ absence.

    Upon their return at noon, 13-year-old disappeared into her room. 10-year-old went off to finish the card she had been making, and then presented it to me with another “I love you!” She then asked me for help making a card for her grandma and said: “After this, what chores can I do for you?” There are no greater words than those! Unfortunately, because of her age, lack of experience, and gross and fine motor delays, that meant I had to help with those chores. But it was totally the thought behind it that counted, and I didn’t mind helping her one bit to maneuver the vacuum around the house. She removed the cat hair from all the couches and chairs, and then asked if she could mop the floors! Hell, yes!

    Meanwhile, 13-year-old is still upstairs. I knew that she was doing something for me and her grandmother, but it totally bugged me that she waited until the afternoon of Mother’s Day to make me a card. Like it was an afterthought. Later in the afternoon, she reappeared, but was still very moody. Claimed she’d had a headache all day. I suggested we (the girls and I) go for a walk since it was a beautiful afternoon. (Even though that meant 10-year-old wouldn’t clean the bathrooms as she was about to do for me!)

    I thought the fresh air would be good for her. Which it was. Things got much, much better as soon as we were outside. It probably didn’t hurt that our walk was to Starbucks for half-priced Frapuccino’s! Which older daughter paid for. 🙂 Meanwhile, hubby was doing the weekly grocery shopping for me. (I don’t normally allow him to go the grocery store. It costs much more than if I go!) Then delicious take-out Chinese dinner with in-laws, and a relaxing evening.

    Some of my favorite gifts from Mother’s Days past:

    • Long ago, hubby gave me a homemade certificate for the purchase of a standing punching bag (when I was studying karate). I loved it! However, the bag was never purchased.
    • Two years ago (I think), older daughter gave me a homemade certificate for the two of us to go to Color Me Mine and I would paint my own ceramic flower pot. And she’d pay for it. That never happened.
    • Last year, family presented me with a certificate to purchase a bike. I don’t have one, and I thought it would be great if we could take family bike rides. Awesome, right? However, I am still bike-less.
    Yes, I know it’s my fault that I never redeemed any of these.

    1. Wow! That, my friend, is called a swan song.

      Next year, you should totally demand a session at Color Me Mine, assuming it is still in business and tell hubby you’d like to bike there. You know, on that bike he promised to get you. And if he says no, just make good on that earlier promise and give him a nice kick in the twigs and berries. 😉

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