Remember thy mother and keep her carpet holy. Make no graven Playdough images while you are on or near the carpeting, upholstery or any person, place or thing that requires dry cleaning. Neither shall you track any uncleanliness onto Her freshly mopped kitchen floor. Though the ground be covered with the snow of winter, the muddiness of spring or the hard-to-remove grass stains of summer, removeth thy footwear before entering thy abode. And shut the door! Were thou born in a shed?
Touch not the things that are not thy own, neither kick them with the sole of thy foot nor smite them with thy sister's beheaded Barbie. Nor shall you create drawings with crayon or permanent marker on the walls. Refrain from hurling Nerf balls at those objects that have been forbidden to you, lest you anger Mom. For it is written: You will work off the replacement cost of anything you damage be it lost or broken, and you shall endure a multitude of repetitive sermons.
If it's yours, arise quickly and put it away. Yea, I command you, even if you are still playing with it, put it away. And yes, even if it belongith to thy brother and you were only playing with it for a minute, and even if your friends hath left it out and you have never even cast your eyes upon it, still, I command you, put it away!
If you sleepeth on it, makeith it up, be it a bed, or a couch or a sleeping bag.
If it is broken, fixeth it. If it cries, huggeth it, and if you don't know if you should or should not do it, asketh thy Mother first.
If it is empty, refill it. Especially if it beith of a substance constructed of the fiber of trees that have been sacrificed for the cleansing of thy buttocks.
If you open it, thy shall strive to close it. This includes the lid of the throne. Remember also to aim if thou art a male, and everyone both great and small shall flusheth.
If it is garbage and it overfloweth, empty it. If it is laundry or dishes and they overfloweth, wash them, yea, even if it is not thy turn. If it is the septic system and it overfloweth, call thy Dad.
If it howls, salivates or looks wilty, water it, feedeth it, checketh it for rashes and puteth it outside before it wets.
Furthermore, if it spills, dribbles, leaks or oozeth, or if it is a puddle of suspicious origin, wipeth it up, but use not Mom's decorative matching towels to do so.
Abstain from lighting candles, incense, or playing with the emergency flares. For this does not please Me and thou know better than to play with fire. Also, thou shall bring no more frogs or fish guts before Me, for I Am easily nauseated.
Anoint thy grubby little hands with soap and water after you touch anything (live, dead or unknown) and before coming to the table. Remberith thy manners at all times, especially if we haveth company. Eateth what is served and withhold thy whining if, by chance, the peas are touching thy salmon. Speak not uncomplimentary reviews and use no unkind adjectives regarding why thy sustenance resembleth any form of yuckiness. Nor shall you stuff such food into thy napkin or feedeth it to the dog under the table, lest thee be served seconds of that which you consider to be vile.
Eat not from any packaged meat product or loaves intended for the preparation of the noon meal. While thou art seeking between meal snacks, let not sugary cereals or junk foods lead you in the way of ruining your dinner. Rather munch on the (overpriced, slightly fresh) produce. Forsake any special ingredients that Mom's new recipe requires for they are clearly be labeled "do not eat." Shun especially all chocolates hidden behind the cream of mushroom soup on the top shelf. For it is written; even if Mother is dieting, eating her stash is a mortal sin.
Behold, there are many things though shall refrain from pickething at, namely: thy nasal cavity, thy unhealed wounds and any of the fruits of your Mother's womb.
Seek also not to irritate your Mother or Father or sibling or any creature that walks upright or creepith along the flooring, especially if it is before 8 a.m. on a Saturday, or when Mom is stressed out, or weary or on the phone or reading, and especially if she has toldith you not to do so four times already.
Lo, neither shall you sucketh the life out of Mother by constantly complaining that "someone" is breathing on thee again.
When we travel to distant places, ask not "Art we there yet?"
Bear not false testimony. Bare not excessive flesh.
Honor thy Mother and do not use Her name in vain or in any unflattering context. The same rule applies to thy Father's name quoting thy Mother is not grounds for absolution.
Covet not everybody else's mom, because I Am your Mother and it concerns Me not how late thy friends get to stay up, or ifith they possess a plasma TV or video games with graphic violence, or if they can go down to the river or do "whatever" without adult supervision.
Verily I say onto you my sweetest, precious, dearest child: "Do your homework and strike away any moldy socks defiling thy room before thou may goith outside to play. Furthermore, thy appointed time of slumber shall remain at the hour of eight, so hurry it up. And when you go outside, wear thy helmet if you ride thy bike, or skateboard or flow-board. And look both ways before you cross the street. And do not talk to strangers. And watch out for cars and moose, and anything that I forgot to mention. For I love you with an everlasting love and with all My heart and with all My soul and what is left of My mind. I love you as much as the whole wide world is big and then some."
Therefore, remember these decrees and meditate on them both day and night and especially when I am not looking. So sneaketh not, for I will find out your transgressions, for I Am Mom. I can tell when you are lying for the prophesies have come to pass and it is true: I have eyes in the back of my head. My decrees are sacred and unchangeable (unless I change My mind.) Question not my authority because I Am your Mom and I Am to be obeyed because I said so and that is why.
Jacki Michels is a mom and freelance writer who lives in Soldotna.
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