Tuesday, June 5, 2007

WHO made you do it??!!

The resounding cry of “Blame The Mother!!”

We hear it and read it every day… on the news, in the papers, even in the school playground. Axe murderers’ motives are always traced back to the mothers, who undoubtedly owned a couple of kitchen knives, and occasionally -GASP!- used them in front of the children whilst preparing dinner. Stressed-out, workaholics-gone-postal undoubtedly had mothers who -GASP!- had to WORK to support their single-parent families, thus setting a poor example of overly-intense work ethics. And of course, children with ANY sort of behavioral issues have mothers who are whispered and gossiped about on the school playgrounds… by OTHER MOTHERS. “Little Sarah PUSHED Suzie this morning and made her cry!!! What do YOU think is going on at home??!!” (Translated, this means, “What the hell is that mother doing wrong… or, not doing right??!!”)

Our society is one that has an unhealthy need to lay ultimate blame at the feet of Mothers.

The reasons why we do this are unfathomable to me. Why do we always resort to whittling down issues to the most basic of potential causes when we cannot make sense of them any other way? Well, I suppose it’s because we are a nervous people, and our society seems hell-bent on “seeking justice”. So, we blame. We blame the very people who give us life. The constant need to Blame The Mother For Everything seems not unlike the habit a lot of unhappy people have of Blaming God for things that go wrong in their lives. It’s the “easy” way out: the “easy” answer. More often than not, it’s the ONLY answer they can come up with. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my lifetime, there are some questions that just have no answers, some mysteries that have no solutions, some disasters that have no understandable cause. We either have to learn to be okay with that, or we find a way to lay blame in order to “set our minds at rest”.

Now, this is not to say that there aren’t some mothers out there who don’t deserve to be taken to task for their actions (or inactions). Lord knows that there are plenty of examples of those women out there… for instance, that lunatic who spawned Lindsay Lohan, for example.

But, I digress.

The point at which this whole excessive mother-blaming thing became TOO MUCH for me occurred this morning. This morning, I just cracked. Maybe it was the fatigue and disappointment after last night’s hockey game, I don’t know… This morning, I had had ENOUGH.

The mother-blaming habit has trickled down to the next generation in this house. My children, ages eleven, six and three, have developed an extremely nasty habit of blaming me for anything and everything.

I’m not talking about the big stuff. You know, the “I DIDN’T ASK TO BE BORN!!” big stuff. Thankfully, my kids are still so young, they haven’t had enough time here on earth to blame me for anything really catastrophic yet… But then, to this point, they haven’t had the opportunity to do any major damage on a GLOBAL scale (at least, none that I'm aware of).

The stuff they constantly blame me for is the little stuff, the every-day stuff. Most often, THE STUFF THAT THEY SHOULD BE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR. I’m talking serious blame-shifting here, that borders on the ridiculous.

Like this, for example:

Mother: (running a comb through her eldest daughter’s long hair) Woah!! This could take a few minutes. Hold still, kiddo, you’ve got some mondo knots in this wig of yours… Hang tough, and we’ll get them out.

Child Number One: It’s all YOUR fault, Mother!! YOU bought the wrong kind of shampoo!! And then YOU forgot to remind me to blow dry it properly after my shower last night!!

See what I mean? Or, how about this:

Mother: (while serving lunch) Whoops! I see you’ve had a milk spill, there. Here, let me get you a cloth to clean it up, and then just make sure the cup is pushed back from the edge of the table next time, okay?

Child Number Two: Hey, YOU put the cup down on the table, Mum!! YOU made me do it!! It’s not MY fault my elbow tipped it over!!

Sigh. Let’s hear from the last one:

Mother: (averting her eyes from The Horror) Oh, my Lord… WHO WROTE ON THE LIVINGROOM SOFA WITH BUBBLEGUM TOOTHPASTE???!!

Child Number Three: (popping up from behind the furniture with pink-stained fingers and a foamy mouth) Maybe E’mmy Yeung did it!!

I have to confess, I forgave Child Number Three for that last one. You know why? Because, currently, she is the ONLY CHILD who doesn’t try to pin the havoc she wreaks on ME. Not YET, that is. She’s got ears, however, and she hears those big sisters of hers. She’s also got a memory chip in that little brain that rivals the one I’ve got in my computer at the moment. She’s listening, and I just KNOW that the words spoken in this house are going to come back to haunt me someday soon…

The last of the blame-laying occurred this morning, just after I had risen from bed. I yawned, put on my bathrobe, and went across the hallway to waken Child Number One, who had managed to sleep right through her extremely noisy alarm clock.

Mother: Time to wake up!!

Child Number One:
(as cross as two sticks) MU-MMEEEE!! Now I’m in a GRUMPY MOOD and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!!

All MY fault??! By simply waking the kid up, her grumpy mood is ALL MY FAULT??!! By simply uttering four words, and bringing her back to consciousness, I have completely shattered the child’s entire state of mind??!!


My three girlies attended a Breakfast Meeting with the Domestic Goddess this morning… during which, it was made AB-SO-LUTE-LY CLEAR that there would be no further tolerance of playing the Blame Game, either with me, or with one another. They heard about Responsibility, and Being Accountable for One’s Own Actions. About Politeness, and about Respect, both for others, and for themselves, as well.

They listened to me, and they heard me. They promised to Try.

I dismissed them for hand-face-and-teeth cleaning in preparation for school, and sank down at my desk for a moment with a LARGE cup of coffee, to peruse my email…

And wouldn’t you know it? I was SO overwrought with emotion after my major speech, so overcome by my sweet daughters’ words of remorse, that I joggled my elbow, and half a cup of scalding hot java splattered all over my keyboard…

The keyboard immediately fizzled to a standstill…

Drat those kids. THEY made me do it...


ewe are here said...

heh heh

At one level, it's very funny. Of course it's mom's fault. That's why we're here, right?

But on another, I see a large number of teens to 20-something running around and nothing is ever their fault, it's always somebody elses. I think a lot of parents (not you, obviously) have forgotten to teach their children to stand up and take responsibility for their own behavior, and it just gets worse as they get older.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I think we live in a "blame someone else" society!

I'm still trying to get around my little head that Child #1 is even capable of blaming you for anything!!!

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Oh, and I had to giggle at your expense, I'm sorry! :( I always think to myself that I really shouldn't drink my coffee while on the computer because it is setting a bad example for my bunny who isn't allowed to have any food or drink within 6 feet of the computer. I'm just waiting for that to bite me in the arse and spill all over the keyboard, I'm sorry it was your turn first!

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