Chittlin's and Chopsticks

Writer and mother, Terris McMahan Grimes, the Mother From Another Continent, an her friends share their slighty off kilter parenting views and their takes on a whole lot of other things.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Where Is That Child's Mother...?

From time to time I like to highlight the joy of a well raised child and the agony of grown folk in need of a little parental guidance.

I used to love me some Nelly until the infamous video, which shall remain unnamed to keep you all from crashing Google Video and YouTube looking for it. As much as I loved his little ditties, I would cringe when he sang, “It’s Getting Hot in Herre” and that simple child would respond, “Ah…am…getting… I…will…take…my…clothes…off.”

I don’t believe in beating children, whuppin’ them, or using pain in any form as a teaching aid. But my fingers would start doing that “where’s my switch” twitch every time I heard it. I wanted to yell, “Child, where is your mother?” I’m sure I muttered it a couple of times. Then I came up with my own chorus. It went like this:

Can I get a beat? Okay, alright... Uh! Uh! Uh!

I can’t let you go nowhere
'Less you acting a fool
Trying to be cool
I didn’t raise you like that
You know better

Put your clothes back on
Get your butt on home
I didn’t raise you like that
You know better

Ah, that feels better.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chittlins and Chopsticks

Those of you suffering from the heartbreak of disappearing flatware, take heart.

Instead of turning in a small circle in the middle of the kitchen muttering, "Where did all the forks go? What happened to the spoons? Why is a broken corkscrew and a crab cracker the only things in the cutlery drawer? Do as I did. Buy about a thousand of those disposalable chopsticks and insist that the little darlings use them at every meal. That's right, every meal, breakfast to dinner, soup to desert.

Oh, they'll fight you at first, but they have no choice. If they want to eat they'll use them. Don't change your menus either. Greens and cornbread? Chopsticks. Sweet potato pie. The same. Chittlin's, if you're so inclined? Chopsticks. Then sit back and watch the fun. You haven't lived until you see a kid trying to eat grits with chopsticks. Pretty soon they'll be so proficient you'll be taking them to those Chinese restaurants where the menus are entirely in Chinese just to show off their skills.

Another benefit--my 9-year-old, who is somewhat on the...ahem...chunky side, lost two pounds in one month on the Chopstick Diet.

The Fart That Binds

All you mothers out there, listen up.

I've been at this mothering jig a long time. And let me tell you, there is nothing more effective a mother can do to bond with boys than fart.

First of all, I want you to know I leaned this by accident. It must have been ten years ago that I ventured into my son's room to ask him something simple like why weren't there any towel racks in the bathroom when I distinctly remembered seeing some hanging on the walls the night before.

I knocked on the door and went in. The little darling, who is now 21, greeted me with sullen impatience. He was battling the Foot Clan. My unwelcome intrusion had shifted the balance of power--Splinter was going down. Hard.

As I stepped into his room, I passed a wee bit of gas. Yes, I farted in my baby boy's room. I, of course, excused myself. My son protested that it was okay, I didn't need to apologize. The sulleness disappeared. He seemed soften. He smiled at me. We became friends and I owe it all to a little bit of wind.

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