Monday, July 22, 2013

The Mommy Will Lose it Advisory System

This was originally published in May 2010:

In the past 24 hours, I have gotten three phone calls from friends of mine and they all started with the exact same sentence:

"I am about to LOSE MY SCHMIDT."

Oh, I understand. I wish I didn't. My children have been a little challenging lately. And they usually know when they're about to push me over the edge. A couple of times I've actually seen them stop and consider whether or not the naughtiness they are about to engage in will be worth the sh*tstorm they'll get.

So I thought that maybe we needed some sort of visual cue to warn them just how bad it will be. To teach them about consequences and the importance of prevention.  By prevention, I mean both bad behavior and mommy melt-downs. So in an effort to combat the illicit activities of a certain group of little terror suspects and to keep mommies everywhere from losing their minds, we are proud to introduce the:

U.S. Department of  HomeMommyLand Security
Mommy May Lose Her Schmidt Advisory System

The whole purpose of this chart is to educate our children. When you're in the green - all is well. Tra la la! Green is awesome. If you do something slightly thoughtless or age-appropriately stupid, you may end up in the Blue. A more serious infraction of Mommy Law will land you in the Yellow. In the yellow, you'd better watch out or you might end up in the Thinking Chair. If you're in the Orange, you're in your room for a while because you've made a bad choice. Once you hit the Red, Mommy has lost her schmidt and you are about to start hating life. You're gonna get yelled at. You might even get a pop on the popper (or a smack on the smacker). You're gonna see that Wii go flying through the window and possibly your Mommy's head flying right after it.

So kids, stay out of the Red. Understand? Red bad. Green good. Need a little more information?

Let's start at the bottom, shall we?

The Green: "You're fine. For Now"
No one is fussing or fighting. People are happy. Kids are saying please and thank you and Mommy is probably smiling. Shoes and toys are put away and coats are hung up, instead of just randomly discarded throughout the house where certain adults may accidentally trip on them in the middle of the night and then say the F-word. Take a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet.  It's nice, isn't it? Sure, it is. Savor the flavor, hotshot because it will not last.

The Blue: "You Better Watch Yourself, Mister."
Maybe you forgot to say please or thank you. Maybe you lolly-gaggled. Or said you brushed your teeth when your breathe still smells like old cheese, so you obviously didn't. Possibly it took you 27 minutes to put on your shoes. Maybe the dreaded phrase: "But Mooooooommm" left your lips. You did something, but it wasn't that big a deal. Just don't do it again.

The Yellow: "You're on Thin Ice."
If you have asked me the same question ten times or "forgotten" to do your chores again or are pretending that you have no idea how the playroom got destroyed or why your brother is crying and holding his testicles - then you're in the Yellow. Just stop. Whatever you're doing - stop it. You may get "the Look" or start to hear "the Tone" creep into your mommy's voice. No one likes the Mean Mommy Voice. Do you want it to go away? Then cease and desist right freaking now and go quietly read a book. You'll be back in the green in no time and you might just get a lollipop.

The Orange: "Time Out!"
You have crossed a line. There has been hitting or kicking or hair-pulling. There have been mean words and I'm not talking about "poopyhead". Maybe you told a lie and got busted. Because really? Don't lie to your mom. We are equipped with special radar. And for some of us there is no greater sin, even if it was only about what happened to the last of the Girl Scout cookies. At this point, there's either total silence or a complete cacophony of screaming, crying and "But he started it".  Mommy may raise her voice. Her face may start to change colors and that might be kind of amusing... for a moment.

But if you value your young life, do not laugh. Maybe Mommy does look like she is about to poop a little, but it's not funny. If possible, start to piteously cry about how sorry you are. Be prepared for some consequences; popping a squat on the step, spending some time in the corner or kickin' it in your room. But a warning: Do Not Get An Attitude. Orange can turn to Red and that's when things start to get crazy.

The Red: "Gaaahhhhh!!!"
All right, folks. It has happened. Mommy has lost her schmidt. It's gone and it may be a while before she gets it back. And guess what, it's all your fault. You see, Mommy does not lose her schmidt unless she is provoked. Or she's had a really bad day. Or has PMS and Daddy just called and said he has to work late. Maybe you hurt somebody littler than you on purpose. Or you got suspended. Or you heard your mom say "don't do that" and you did it anyway. While you may think it is no big deal to be blatantly disobedient and disrespectful, to a mommy it is a BIG DEAL.

You see kids, when you decide that you don't have to listen, that you can do whatever you want, that you can be rude to your parents, that the only thing that matters is what you want - well, that's when the carefully constructed, happy place called MommyLand falls apart.  Because those rules are there for a reason. And, mommies are there for a reason. To protect you. To keep you safe. To show you how to be a good person. Who can have a good life with choices and options and opportunities. Who is not a crackhead or a douchebag or an ex-stripper who once dated Jesse James for twenty unsatisfying minutes or the dead-eyed, creepy, recently paroled dude who works the late shift at the gas station.

Because, in spite of the fact that while in the Red, mommy may scream loud enough that the neighbors may consider dialing Child Protective Services, your mommy loves you more than anything. So when you act like a jackhole, she freaks out. Because it means that she's failing you. And you know what? We mommies really don't need anything more in our lives to feel guilty or inadequate about. That's why we have a mothers-in-law and mirrors.

It's easy, Family. When you're happy and being good - Mommy is happy and being good. So for the LOVE OF GOD, please be good. Or I will be forced to call Dick Cheney.

-------------------------------------- 2013 Update ---------------------------

The original image in this post is currently going viral! WOO HOO! Except that back in 2010, I had no idea that I was supposed to my blog's name on the images I created in Microsoft paint (mostly because I'm an idiot). A couple of months after making this, my brilliant friend Amy (The Pregnant Chicken) made over the graphic for me so it would look awesome. So if you like the image and you want to pin it or share it, would you mind sharing the one that has the blog's name on it? I would be very grateful. 
xoxo, Lydia

-------------------------------------- 2014 Update ---------------------------

His holiness and supreme magnificence George Takei shared this on his amazing Facebook page today and I almost died from how happy it made me. Because he credited us! And he totally didn't have to! THANK YOU, SIR. You are made of equal parts magic and enchantment (and Brad smells like a misty meadow of manly flowers). I am so sincerely grateful.

Also! Welcome, new internet friends! I'm giving you an awkwardly long hug right now because I'm really happy you're here. 

A couple of people have asked to buy stuff with this image on it. Here's a link to our Cafe Press store. But if you just want to right-click on the image below and print it out - that's cool, too. It's the internet!  
xoxo for realsies.

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