Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why being a mother is like being a prosecuting attorney

While my daughter (the portrait artist featured below) is doing her math homework, I'll transcribe the conversation we just had.

DAUGHTER: Something happened at gym today that I think you should know about.
ME: What happened?
DAUGHTER: I got pulled out of the game for no reason. I had to sit out the whole time.
ME: No reason?
ME: Why do you THINK you got pulled out?
DAUGHTER: I have NO idea.
ME: What's your best guess?
DAUGHTER: I don't know.
ME: Well, what were you doing when you got pulled?
DAUGHTER: Nothing!
ME: Nothing?
DAUGHTER: I wasn't doing anything.
ME: Were you talking?
ME: If I asked your gym teacher what you were doing, what would she say?
DAUGHTER: She would probably say I was talking, but I wasn't. Well, maybe a little. And anyway, she didn't SAY we couldn't talk. It's not fair!
ME: Do your math homework.


Myfanwy Collins said...


Ellen said...


I knew I'd get to the truth eventually--it was just a matter of finding the right question.

What that dopey gym teacher doesn't get is that for Emma, words are more effective than punishment. If she had just TOLD the kid she wasn't allowed to talk during the game she wouldn't have.

Susan Henderson said...


I love it!

David Niall Wilson said...

That his hysterical...and so so true....good job Detective Mom...more like a detective in an interrogation room than a DA...

At least she didn't say..."Mom, you can't HANDLE the truth."


Ms. Lori said...

LOL! I so relate.

RobinSlick said...

Oh that Emma is so sweet. And to hear that lovely raspy voice and see that intelligent, beautiful face...ah, Ellen, it's so good, isn't it?

But I like how you handled this. You really are quite wonderful, you know? This, sadly, would have been my reaction:

Julie: I was pulled from the game at gym.

Me: Oh god, is there anything worse than gym teachers?

And then I'd realize that I was setting a bad example and try and backtrack but Julie would have already caught it and sighed over her loser of a mother. She became the parent in this relationship at an eary age, the poor thing.

I walked the dog with her yesterday and cleaned up after him. Her first words to me when we walked back in the house:

"Wash your hands, Mom."

(I mean really. Now that she didn't have to tell me.)

Ellen said...

Sue, Dave and Lori ... thanks! I know you can relate.

Robin ... Oh, jeez! How hilarious that Julie tells you to wash your hands after cleaning up dog poop!!! She really does think she's the mama.