As a mother, I find myself throwing out cautions to my kids on a daily basis. You know, things like- If you don't eat your vegetables, you won't grow tall like Dad. Or... If you leave the caps off your markers one more time I'm throwing them all in the garbage... OKAY. Next time, I'm throwing them ALL in the garbage. And that's a promise. And then there's the good old things uttered in moments of little patience like, If you don't brush your teeth, they will fall out... You're gonna get a bellyache if you eat anymore candy... see? What did I tell you?
Oh, as mothers we just can't help sending out warnings- even if we see those warnings simply rolling off our tounges and onto the floor at our children's feet. Huh? All I heard her say was something about eating more candy! Yessss!! Yet... it's one of our greatest duties to keep firing those warnings out. Don't run with a sucker in your mouth- you'll choke. You need your shoes tied- you'll trip. Ah. It gets exhausting, all this warning.
But one thing I find myself saying far too often and much more than anything else is: You're going to fall and crack your head open. Hm. I think I was told this a lot myself as a kid. So now it just spills out of my mouth without control as my kids are climbing on the table, jumping on the couch, slithering over the arms of the chair, standing at the top of the slide, balancing on the side of the sandbox. It's like the ultimate warning to a kid. The top-of-the-line, can't-be-outdone, better-listen-because-I-think-this-is-serious warning. And oh, what images it must conjure in a three-year-old's brain. Because lately the favorite response to that open-ended threat is: "I didn't crack my head open, mom! See! It's still there!"- and then she pats the top of her head as if to prove to me and herself that it's still there. And that, I believe, is my cue to breathe a sigh of relief. Whew.