Is There Really Life After Childbirth?

Posts Tagged ‘twins

There’s nothing that wakes you up before your first morning cup of coffee quite like walking past a news stand on your way to work and seeing your son’s picture on the front page under the banner ‘STAYING IN TULSA JAIL’.  Luckily, he was wearing his uniform and sitting at his desk as the booking Sargent at the jail so I wasn’t too concerned.  I did get several emails from friends commenting on how nicely he had ‘turned out’.  Needless to say, it was one of those days that made motherhood worth its weight in Valium.

Which, of course, led me to reminising about my rules for raising children.  I’ve received many requests for those rules and thought it only fair to share them with the world.  So, without further ado, my top five rules for raising good kids.  P.S.  I can’t guarantee that these will work on girls, since I was blessed with boys  (see memoirs Chapter 1).

1. Tell them it is against the law for children under 16 to order filet mignon in a restaurant.  This may not actually assist in their “goodness”, but it will help with the financing of bribes for good behaviour, etc.

2. Tell them it is against the law to marry until they have graduated from college.   This allows them time to mature a bit before choosing their mate and actually helps them to find someone with a degree and a good chance of being able to support them after they graduate.  This leads to a sub-rule.

2.a.  If they pick a great girl, tell them that they have to stay married, because you will be keeping her if they ever split up.

3.  Make them pay for their own car insurance.  That ensures that they will have to pay when their rates go up because of tickets, accidents, etc.  

4. Tell them you don’t do bail money.  This, however, can backfire should you ever require bail assistance from them in the future.

5. Pray daily that God will help you do whatever it takes to raise them right and get through the day without having to kill any of them.  OK.  Looking back, this is probably the only rule that actually works.

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My future was shaped by two grandmothers as different in style as they were in appearance.
My father’s mother, Grannie, was tiny, weighing 100 pounds only if she were holding a ten-pound turkey. For most of her life, she had waist length black hair with only a few silver strands that she could comb, braid, and wrap in a bun without looking in the mirror. She raised four sons and ruled the roost with a peach tree switch (the worst kind, so I’m told!) Years later, the “boys” towered over her but still cowered in fear of incurring her wrath. Yet she managed to instill in each of them a love of family and childhood they carried with them throughout life. It was many years before I realized not every ones dad played hide-and-seek, commandeered the basketball court (surrounded by bouncing, screaming children wanting their turn), and hogging the Christmas toys Santa left every year.
Grannie’s primary diet consisted of Pecan Sandies and RC Cola. She is the one who actually coined the mantra, “All I am or ever will be, I owe it all to RC.” We were never able to convince the company to use her as their spokes model.
I remember sitting on her couch eating a box of chocolate covered cherries (she always kept a new box for me) pouring over the Sears and Roebuck catalog. I would carefully decorate and furnish my future home and then choose a lavish wardrobe for my family. It was during one of those visits that she remarked, “I think you’ll have a bunch of kids and they’ll all be boys.” I didn’t realize then, but “bunch” was the key word, as in “several items grouped together.” At the time I picked up on the word “boys.” I thought this over and decided she was probably right. I began crossing off the frilly satin and lace dresses. I probably would have crossed them off at some point anyway. After all, it is difficult to play basketball wearing four petticoats and a pair of patent leather shoes. It can be done, by the way, but no one will give you overs if you slip in the gravel.
My maternal grandmother, MaMa, was big and funny and always on the go. She never missed a “trip into town” or a chance to stop somewhere for a hot fudge sundae. (Is it any wonder I can’t get enough chocolate in my life!) Visits to her house were loud and fun and filled with great food and cousins.
She had the most infectious laugh and we were always trying to be the one that brought it out. No joke was too old or told too often for her. To this day, I don’t know how she could still laugh after the 114th rendition of catching a squirrel by climbing a tree and acting like a nut.
She was the one who told me I would have twins. At least she had the good sense to wait until I was pregnant to make that announcement. Otherwise, who knows what different course history might have taken.