Saturday, February 14, 2009

"The Meanest Mother In the Whole World"

Yesterday one of my daughters received a title that I once held. I think most mothers get it during their days of raising their children. Cyndi probably gets the title as well with her preschool children. My Mom before me, also received that title... from me! It was the title of "The Meanest Mother in the Whole World."

That was a title I held with honor,especially after I read the following story written in 1967, and quoted in many talks:

"The Meanest Mother In The World"
Written by
Bobbie Pingaro ©1967

"I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.

"But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

"My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

"We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?

"The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

"She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.

"By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

"Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

"As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.

"My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.

"Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world."

When my kids called me the meanest mother, I would tell them that they were right, I was the meanest mother and that was o.k., because I was going to have the best kids in the world. Of course, it made them more angry that it didn't bother me.

Now that I am seeing all my kids grown and working with their kids, I keep seeing glimpses of how I taught them, or how I helped them through a situation. It amazes me that Cyndi uses the same psychology on her preschool and after-school kids as I used on her. Did she realize what I was doing when she was little?

So all you mothers, wear that title with pride. You will be richly blessed at the end. And you will feel righteous pride in knowing that you tried and did your best, and your children will honor you with a title of being the "Best Mother in the World."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stories from the Past

Since Casey tagged me on writing a story from the past, I thought I should tell a story on him and Hailey.

About 8 1/2 years ago when their parents were building their house, their mom was having to be a "gopher" almost every day. That is, she had to go to Home Depot for this and for that, and of course, she had to take Casey and Hailey along as well. I would often go with her to sit with them in the car. They would really get upset if they had to go into the store, and of course, they weren't too happy about being in the car either. But they couldn't be left alone, regardless.

So, to keep them happy, I would make up stories to tell them to keep their interest up until their mom returned to the car.

Casey was really into fire engines, firemen and all that stuff. So I would make up a story about Casey and Hailey being Jr. Firemen. I would create a scene in their imagination, then it would revolve around the two of them alerting the firemen, or people who may be hurt, or whatever a 3 and 4 yr old would or could do and how they were heroes in the eyes of the fireman and the people or things they saved.

Of course, I inserted some teaching moments into those stories as to what a child could or couldn't do and why. Sometimes, they would help me with the story or how it ended.

Another story I would tell them, and I did this when I used to watch Marissa, Gavin, and Mackenzie. I watched Morgan too, but she was too little to understand what I was saying. I would tell them about a little girl, or little boy who woke up in the morning and all the things they did, what they ate, what they said, and so on. It would sometimes take more than just a few minutes for them to realize that I was telling them about themselves, what had happened to them that very day. The kids all loved those stories. I probably fudged a little on some of the things that happened, especially if I wasn't there when they woke up, but they were amazed that I knew so much about them. And, they never seemed to be tired of my telling their story.

When Marissa was old enough to draw or write, she would sometimes say she was bored and that we hadn't done anything fun that day. So, I started having her draw or write a journal about what she had done that day and she came to realize that her life was full of good things each day.

Those were fun days. I loved watching these grandkids and being an influence in their lives. I hope they will remember the fun things we did and will carry on these traditions with their children and grandchildren.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

#4 Service

On my blog where I mentioned the 5 things I like, #5 was Family History, and #4 was doing service. I have enjoyed doing things for other people since I was just a little girl. I was always trying to help my little brother Robby and my friends as well.

I was about 4 or 5 years old, when our neighbor, Mrs Busbee,in Provo asked me if I would help her while she went to the store. Her four children had the chicken pox and she didn't want them to get out of bed. So she asked me if I would stay at their house while she left on her errand. They were all older than me. Her daughter, Donna,who was my friend, was only a few years older, but Donna had three older brothers.

They were very poor. As I recall their house, it was only a three room wooden house with an outhouse for their toilet. I think they even had a pump in the back yard to get their water from.

Well, I thought I was pretty big to be baby sitting kids older than myself. And I see now that they thought it was pretty cute to have a little girl waiting on them hand and foot. They kept asking for water, so I'd have to run out to the pump to get water for them. Then they would say they were too hot, or too cold. I think I was constantly running around whenever they would ask for something or another.

I didn't realize that I must have been Mrs. Busbee's method of keeping the kids from fighting one another and keeping them in bed. They were kept plenty busy just finding things for me to do. As I had already had the chickenpox when I was about 2 years old,I wouldn't catch it from them.

I guess that incident was my first nursing job.

I grew up always wanting to be a nurse because I knew I would enjoy helping other people.

In 1982, the year Christie was in first grade, I got involved with her classroom as a room mother. Her teacher, Mrs Cook, used me almost every day in listening to the various kids read. She, herself, had two first graders at home, and she said that after listening to her class read the same stories over and over, that she had a hard time going home and hearing those same stories all over again with her children. So, I listened to the kids read, ran papers off on the copier, helped the students with their projects, almost every morning.

That spring, I was nominated by the PTA to be the president-elect of MarLon Hills Elementary. However, before school started in the fall, the president bowed out as she was expecting a baby, and I became the PTA president without ever having any experience with PTA other than volunteering in a classroom.

From there, I was involved with PTA for about 10 years until I started watching Mackenzie, Marissa and Gavin and it was too difficult to take them all to the meetings with me.

One time, Christie said to me,"Mom, you are so popular!" I asked her why she thought that and she replied, "Because you are president of so many things." (I had been a Primary president twice, DUP Camp and Company President, and PTA president at MarLon, South Jr, and Council President) I laughed and responded, "No Christie, I'm not popular, I'm just someone they know will accept a job that no one else wants to do."

I really enjoy sharing my time and my talents helping others. For some time I have been involved with humanitarian projects for the LDS Church. I enjoy looming hats, making stuffed bears, crocheting leper bandages, and making and tieing quilts for the project.

Recently I started to index census and vital statistic records for the FamilySearch indexing project. Knowing that it will help others with their family history, makes my efforts all the more rewarding.

On the Humanitarian web site there is a quotation from President Gordon B Hinckley which says: “All about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute.”

I have been blessed in my life with so many good things. I have a wonderful husband, great children and great in-law children, and exceptionally wonderful grandchildren. I had a good education. I have a very nice home. I have all that I need. With that said, I know it is my obligation to give and share with others so they may feel the blessings I have. I would like it if my posterity will feel the same way about the good things they will have and will have a desire to share theirs with those less fortunate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Five Gifts from Gramma

Feeling Lucky?
I saw this on christie's blog and it sounded fun!! The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It'll be done this year (hopefully sooner than later.)
4. You have no clue what it's going to be.
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange :)

The catch? Oh the catch is that you must re-post this on your blog. The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me you did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!

** Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!