Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Do As I Say, Not as I Do
I really do try to set a good example for Em. I look both ways before crossing the street, say “please” and “thank you,” somewhat consistently, and obey the speed limit (or at least stay within 10 miles of the limit, most of the time). But there are certain habits of mine that I kind of hope Emmy will NOT adopt. Just to be on the safe side, I’ve created the following top ten list of “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”s, for Em’s future reference:
• Do not climb up on the kitchen counters just so you can reach something on the top shelf of the cupboard. Yes, like me, you are a short-limbed but limber lady. You should still just go get a step ladder. It’s much safer. The reason I catapult myself onto the kitchen counters is because I want to make sure that, should I decide to leave my current job in order to join the circus, I will have a little experience under my belt.
• Do not chew your nails, or paper, or anything that is not SUPPOSED to be put in your mouth. I know you constantly see me chewing on something odd, and it looks like fun. Trust me, it is no fun. It hurts my jaw like nobody’s business. I only chew on weird objects because if I don’t, I will have a panic attack. And nobody wants mommy to have a panic attack.
• Don’t count on the rain to wash your car. If you do this, you will find your vehicle covered with lots of little “wash me” love notes left by perfect strangers who care more about your car than they do about your feelings. Of course, you should know that the minute you DO get your car washed, the skies will open and there will be a torrential downpour of muddy water. That’s just life’s way of telling you a knock-knock joke.
• Don’t get sucked in by the undertow that is called “The Bachelor”. Yes, I believe that everything that happens on reality television is true, but that is only because I have been brainwashed by Chris Harrison. You are better than me, and should clearly recognize that the television shows I watch are complete fluffernutter. I recommend you watch PBS, or NOVA instead. People will honor your opinions, and won’t give you strange looks when you try to engage them in water cooler conversations about “who got a rose”.
• Even though your pajamas are really REALLY comfortable, it is best NOT to wear them to the supermarket. People don’t look kindly upon a woman who wears bunny slippers and flannel pants while shopping for produce. They hate that you are so comfortable, and they won’t let you cut in line, even if you just want to buy a pack of gum. Trust me on this one.
• Back to the car. I would highly suggest that when parking, you only take up one space, and try as best as you can to park between the lines. I have lost many potential friends because of my regular habit of positioning my car at a 45 degree angle between two parking spots. I don’t do it on purpose, I just have no depth perception. I have tried to convince your father that we need to hire a driver so that people don’t hiss at me when I get out of my vehicle, but he hasn’t caved. Yet.
• Do not think that ketchup is a food group. I KNOW you’ve seen me dousing everything from French fries to broccoli to beans and rice in ketchup, but that doesn’t necessarily make it RIGHT. It just makes it delicious.
• While we are on the subject of food, don’t fill a bowl with whipped cream and hot fudge and call it “dinner”. To be considered a meal, there has to be SOME nutritional value in what you are eating. So add some ice cream, caramel, and nuts, and THEN call it dinner.
• Don’t be like mama and wait for the laundry elves to show up and fold your laundry FOR you. I have waited and waited and waited and they still haven’t shown up. And as I’ve learned, if you leave a shirt in a heap of other clothes for three and a half years, it ends up being pretty wrinkly! And then you EITHER have to iron the shirt, or ignore your co-workers looking at you like you just rolled out of bed. Either way, it’s doesn’t make for a happy day.
• Let’s go back to the whole car thing again. I know you see mama take both of her hands off the wheel all the time, but that is only because she is singing “The Wheels on the Bus” and she HAS to do the “Round and Round” motion in order to fully entertain you. Similarly, she has to use both hands to make the itsy bitsy spider crawl up the water spout, because he won’t do it with just ONE hand. I would highly suggest that when you become old enough to drive, you keep both hands on the wheel, and not sing songs that require hand movements. Especially when you are taking your driver’s test. Of course, I also hope that you do not have a baby in the back seat of your car when you are first learning to drive. Know what I’m sayin’?
There are probably many, many other ways that Emmy should not follow in my footsteps, but I think I should stop here. Admitting all of my bad habits is kind of making me want to go find some paper to chew on.