14 September 2010

Down Home Wisdom - Not Always Wise

There is a saying, probably as old as the hills. It is a saying that, for some reason, middle-aged women often lay before me in conversation. It is: "If Momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy!" In every instance, it's followed up with a knowing wink, a little nudge-nudge, and an, "Amiright?"

I hate that saying. In fact, the next time someone throws it out there in conversation, I'm going to respond, "NO! You are NOT right!!"

Let's nevermind the fact that I believe that any unhappy family member will, to a greater or lesser degree, affect the general happiness of the entire family. In the last couple of weeks especially, I have come to determine that ultimately, in families with young toddlers, the real saying should be, "If baby ain't happy, ain't no one happy."

Never had I dreamt of the power of a two year old. She does determine when we will be happy and when we will not. If misery loves company, then there are many days where she's got close companions in this household for sure.

An irate, irritable, or just plain stubborn two year old is capable of pegging the family's Happy Meter at zero. In fact, there are times when I'm fairly sure that she's engineering the Happy Meter to reach into the negative numbers.

I understand the age. I understand the push and pull, the Jekyll and Hyde, the love and loathing. I've just never experienced it so acutely, so clearly, as I have lately. I mean, it's bad enough that we are, apparently, nothing more than trained circus bears, here for her amusement ("MOMMY! SING A SONG!" - mentally, I always add a "DIDI MAU" to this, and the many other like it, demand(s))...

Now, we're only allowed happiness when she is happy.

Nope. Mothers do not mandate the mood in their households. Their children do. And while it is possible to remain happy in spite of a tiny whirling dervish's best efforts, they are still at the forefront of Mood Control.

Best of luck with that. And the next time someone starts to say to you, "If Momma ain't..." - slap them for me, will you?


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