Friday, July 8, 2011

Heil Little Hitler

Before you go getting all upset, there’s a joke behind all of this. You see, my wonderful mother is the cutest, tiniest, sweetest little mom you could ever ask for. She’s a spunky lady who is about 5 feet tall and weighs all of about 85 pounds. Heck, my 11 year old is bigger than her! But I digress.
 Mom has the heart of a lion. No, King Kong. No, GODZILLA! She’s fearless! What I mean to say is that the lady doesn’t take any bull from anyone. Don’t get me wrong. She’s extremely fair. And she’s very reasonable, but for her sniveling children, she ruled with an iron fist. Yavol, Der Commandant!
When we were little, mom didn’t even have to really yell at us. All she had to do was give the dreaded look. If you got the look, you’d automatically start shrinking yourself, trying to look smaller to avoid the caustic gaze. Sweat would form, you’d get the hiney cringes and you’d wish that you were lost in the Sahara Desert, a zillion miles away, in the sun. Naked… Suffering, so that maybe she’d have a little pity on you. Of course, when we got the look, we deserved it. Oh yes, me and my stinky brothers and stinky cousins, and all the stinky boys that were always over at our house all deserved the wrath of Little Hitler (that’s what we called her). We were TERRIBLE. Wait, not me…I was sweet and behaved well. The boys were another story.
One time, there was this boy David who used to come over all the time. I think his home life left a lot to be desired because he’d always be dirty and smelly when he came over. And if memory serves me correctly, he’d be hungry, too. But then again, all boys are hungry, aren’t they? Anyway, one time, David would not snap to attention when mom clicked her heels together – ahem, I mean, he didn’t do whatever it was that she asked him to do. He was fairly new to the game so he didn’t know what imminent danger he was putting himself in. I’m sure mom was fair and gave him another chance which he ignored. The long and short of it was that mom ended up chasing him through our house with a BOARD, attempting to whack him with it. Picture this…a huge, pudgy, smelly guy with abject fear plastered all over his face, running from a teensy weensy Tasmanian devil of a lady! It was pretty funny but you know what? David obeyed mom after that.
Mom had a special trick to get you to bend to her will. She’d take her teeny little finger, with its teeny little fingernail and put it right behind your ear on the bony part. Then she’d simply press down and that simple little act could bring a strapping 17 year old stinky boy right down to his knees. It was the kind of pain that would instantly cause your toenails to curl right up off their beds. Trojan warriors would be reduced to weeping boys if their enemies knew that trick! And since mom was so much smaller than us, she had to have an arsenal of weapons.

Another of her tortures punishments was to make us pick out our own whipping sticks. When we did something bad and deserved BIG punishment, she’d point to the back yard and instruct us to pick out our whippin’ stick and go wait in our rooms for her to mete out the dreaded punishment.
 Here’s the dilemma with picking out your own stick; if you got one that was too big for mom to wield, she’d choose her own. That was BAD. It just compounded the fear and dread and hiney cringing you faced while waiting for her to come to your room. If you picked out one that was too skinny, it would cut you like a knife. But you couldn’t complain because after all, YOU picked it out. You chose to have a sword-like item make contact and sever your flesh.
 But what was a good size to choose? Which item would you like to be beaten at least 10 times with? Luckily, I don’t think I had to choose very often – or least I don’t remember having to. The stinky boys might be able to elaborate on this subject much better than I can. Thank gosh
For a number of years, one of us kids used to send mom a birthday card on Hitler’s birthdate (April 20th). We had a mean sense of humor, didn’t we? Another time, I found an Indian symbol in the form of a pin which when turned correctly, looked like a swastika. We all thought that was hilarious, and mom being mom, wore it with humor and fanfare. Even to work.  She worked in an emergency room as the best nurse in the entire universe. Can you imagine rushing in for treatment and being taken care of by a tiny lady who wore a SWASTICA????? But she was the cutest, sweetest, most talented swastika wearing nurse there ever was.
I could go on all day about the many ways mom had to work around us being such rotten kids. We gave her plenty of opportunities to try and conjure up punishments that would be so horrific; we’d never do whatever dirty deed we had done, ever again. The neatest thing about it though, is that all of us...brothers, cousins, friends, family – we all love her immensely and respect her deeply for sticking to her guns and carrying out the punishments or stern talkings to we deserved. We know we deserve or deserved them. They were fair. She didn’t try to trap us into trouble. We always managed to do that just fine on our own.
I sure wish I could be as good of a mother as her. I’m a cream puff. A wimp. A pushover. When I punish my kids, I stick to the length of time agreed upon, but I try really, really hard not to catch them doing something wrong. I’m sure good old mom would have a great big ol’ cringe herself, if she saw all the times I pretended not to see my kids’ infractions. Hey, maybe at least they’ll think I’m fair when they’re grown up even if I am a creampuff.
Thanks for the wonderful lessons, mom. I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. Plus lots more!
That's my mommy (she's standing on a chair) 
(not really)

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