Monday, August 15, 2005

Tapes and Onions

Whenever I get in certain situations, a tape player in my head clicks and whirs and pretty soon I hear it playing and replaying something Mom or Dad used to say.

When I have my hair down in the kitchen, I hear Mom saying, “Ach, shlanga net dei hawr de kich room!” (“Ach, fling not your hair the kitchen around.”)

Or when I stay up late I hear my dad saying, “Ach, maet, gehnt ins bett!” (Ach, girls, go to bed.)

I deduce from this that the things I tell my kids now are going to play again and again in the tapes in their heads someday, even if they don’t make much of an impression now.

One of the commands I keep hammering is, “Think about how your behavior affects other people.” They hear this when they run through the foyer at church, talk loudly when someone’s trying to sleep, or want to wear something inappropriate.

Scene 2: I love fresh green onions out of the garden. Mmmmmm. Unfortunately, they percolate down below and release some terrible chemical that bubbles upward and makes me very unpleasant to talk to for half a day. My children have gently made me aware of this.

So, the other day we had tacos for lunch and one of the available toppings was a little dish of chopped green onions. Mmmmmm. Gotta have ‘em. I started piling them on my taco and said, “Hey, guys, just to warn you, I’m eating these green onions.”

There was a chorus of voices from around the table, almost in unison. “MOM!! THINK ABOUT HOW YOUR BEHAVIOR AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE!”

Quote of the Day:
“What’s a dh? Usually when I think of a dh I think of a designated hitter.”
--Ben, reading my friend Arlene’s blog over my shoulder. I think her dh is a dear husband.


  1. I seriously do not like when my words come back to haunt me w/ my kiddos!!!!:)Unfortunatly I do the same thing--the phrases my dad used that I hated most are the ones I use today!!!!

  2. Princess Pink8/15/2005 1:23 PM

    A few corections to your story:
    First of all the whole comment about "Think about how your behavior effects other people" Is said to me an average of twice a day and to another family member about once a year. Once in a while it is said to me when I talk to someone who want's to sleep, but usually it is said when i play around in stead of working. And it was ME and NO ONE ELSE who said the comment back to her.
    one more thing. I don't think a tape of mom will ever play in my head. It will be a CD.

  3. Emily! I know perfectly well it wasn't just you that said that. You know good and well you guys always gang up on me and that was certainly an example. You just want all the credit!

  4. Princess Pink8/15/2005 1:44 PM

    Yes we did gang up on you. AFTER i made that comment everyone laughed and was like "yeah mom" cause they knew that the words you had bestowed on your poor daughter had come back to haunt you.

  5. I will have to ask Dennis if he feels like a designated hitter!!!LOL!!
    Dorcas...that comment came back to hit you didn't it!!! So did you eat the onions?

  6. One comment that I remember when I was a kid was when I asked too many questions...then someone would be sure and answer..."Just to make little girls like you ask questions." I hated that!!! And now I have used it a time or two on Holly!!

  7. When I read "dh", my first thought is always "Democrat-Herald"--the Albany newspaper. I have known people who work for the newspaper, and they always refer to the Albany newspaper as "the D-H." Arlene already knows how I struggle and have to go through the same mental process each time she writes "dh" to arrive at her meaning--"dear hubby". So Ben, I sympathize with you. :-) But you may "dh" away, Arlene. I'll get over it sometime.


  8. Arlene--yes, I ate the onions. I wasn't going to pick them out of my taco.

  9. Recently I stopped to pick up my occasional household helper. As she walked out of her home toward my car I heard someone inside call after her, "Be a blessing!"

    Wow! such a send off . . . I hope that tape will play in her head the rest of her life! (And by the way, she is a blessing - cheerfully and efficiently doing all those things I'd not get done otherwise.)
    -the other Sharon

  10. When I whined about the work my mother and groaned, Do I have too? Mom always said,"You dont have to if you want to." I tried and tried to figure out what that meant. I mulled that over for years and never figured it out until I was at least in my twenties! Now I say it to my kids. I bet they dont know what it means either.

  11. A final note here if anyone is still with me--it wasn't much fun to have that phrase come back and slap me but at the same time I thought, "Yess! Those tape players are working!!"
    And...Amy says she was the first one to say, "Think about..." and Paul says he was. A good example of why you can get so many different stories about the same episode.

  12. Mrs. D: I always hated that phrase ("You dont have to if you want to.") too. I understood it all right. What irritated me is that it isn't true. The logic behind it is wrong and doesn't line up with the meaning of the words. What is true is that, "You have to do it whether you like it or not." Your liking it or wanting to do it doesn't change the fact that you have to do it. Wanting to do it and having to do it are not mutually exclusive.

  13. Hans, you probably won't see this anymore, but THANK YOU for expressing my thoughts about that phrase. The twisted logic in "You don't have to if you want to" has always caused me a vague frustration that I couldn't articulate. Actually, when I think about it, I guess I'm irritated by it because. . . when a child asks "Do I have to?" they mean " Are you really going to require this?" or when they ask,"Why do I have to?" they mean "What makes this a valid requirement?" and then the parent just avoids giving a real answer by saying, "You don't have to if you want to", putting the child in a "catch twenty-two."