How Long Does A Can Of Formula Last A Baby Mother Knows Best?

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Mother Knows Best?

I love my mother. She is an amazingly strong woman. She raised four children and worked in the family business for twenty-five years at a time when women did not have to work. He has that power that I knew was passed down from generation to generation; my grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, me and my own daughters. And that power was mixed with old wives’ tales, cooking, and Mom’s own worries and fears about her family…too much, I might add.

Mother married young. She met my father when she was fourteen and never looked back. She raised the kids to make Karo syrup and formula, changed cloth diapers and plastic pants, scrubbed us clean after we played in the dirt all day, got all four kids, my husband and myself ready for church every Sunday, and she even fell. down the church basement stairs with my newborn brother in my arms. Rolling down in full flight, she kept him safe. He didn’t know it at the time, but he had broken his hip. He now walks with a distinct slight limp, where he discovered in his later years that he had mistreated himself. It may sound like most mothers in times gone by, but the mother also took care of her mother when she was eight years old and even cooked for her baby brother. They thought that the mother’s mother was pregnant, but after two years without a child, but with a constantly growing belly, the situation was much worse. He had a hydrocephalus that weighed over fifty pounds. Didn’t believe the doctors at the time, everyone hoped that he would just “snap” out of it. Mother and her grandmother took care of the household. At the age of nine, the mother worked in a peach factory to support the family. Eventually, her mother had to go in for surgery, but she couldn’t be moved, so the surgery was done at home. While her mother was at school, she wasn’t sure if her mother would even be alive when she returned that day. His mother lost seventy pounds in that first day and was then transported to the hospital.

After that, the mother returned to a “normal” life, but internally she had already begun to develop her own understanding of life, and these understandings were carried over into the upbringing of her own children.

Mom and Dad have lived with Lee since Peanut was born. Peanut is now almost thirteen and has been lucky to have been raised by two generations of women.

I now find myself laughing at some of the things my mother told me that I thought were true. I discovered that part of Mom’s wisdom was born out of fear and the need to know all the answers, even if she didn’t.

I came last. I was the child of the family. Mom was so excited that I was a girl. My mother had a hard time with me during the birth, but why doesn’t she? He had a broken hip and had no idea. He retells the story every year before my birthday: “You just wouldn’t come out. You were stuck. The doctor used forceps and everything. The doctor said there was nothing more he could do and they were preparing me for surgery. I screamed, ‘God , the universe, the angels… whoever is there, just pull him! I then yelled, “I’m your mother and you better listen to me…come out…NOW!” He said at that point I flew out as if I heard what he said. He said that since that moment I have always wanted to stay inside and not be in the physical world.

We get along famously. Like a couple of girlfriends attached at the hip. We have a ball when we go to town and eat Chinese together. He needs my hand to get from here to there. He doesn’t use a cane or go to the store without a basket to lean on. She doesn’t want anyone to think she can’t lose weight in her eighties.

He likes to overcomplicate a simple experience. It’s not out of a desire to be overly complicated; it comes from not wanting to ‘put you out’ in any way. When we decide to go out to eat, he keeps asking if I want to go somewhere else, “We don’t have to go there. We can go here if you want. I mean, Chinese sounds good, but if you don’t, well.. .”

“That’s great mom. I like Chinese.”

“So do I, but maybe you don’t feel it today, even though I do. Your father loves Chinese. We could always go with him when you bring him to a doctor’s appointment in town.”

Sigh…

As we drive, he hangs onto the handle and exclaims, “Oh!” every few minutes. He has bad eyesight and that eyesight makes things seem closer than they are.

“Where are we going? You’ve never gone this way before,” he says as if I’m doing something wrong.

“We walk this way all the time, Mom.”

“Well…I guess I’m just being silly then. I have no idea where we are. Are you sure that…”

Sigh…

He insists on buying me candy if I help him like I’m a little girl. This totally freaks me out. Don’t get me wrong, I love candy, but I don’t eat a lot of them anymore, especially since I’ve lost weight, but it doesn’t matter to mom. She always tells me I’m too skinny and if I lose weight I look older than I am and that I look skinny.

“It’s just not healthy, Bethie.”

Sigh…

“Bethie? I made some pinto beans with ham and bacon. You’ll eat them, won’t you?”

He doesn’t seem to remember that I haven’t eaten pinto beans since I was little. They gave me a stomach ache then and still do.

“You don’t like my beans, do you? Well… you know beans aren’t fattening? They just give people gas… that’s all. I’ve figured out how to store beans so people don’t call you a fart. “

I feel a giggle rise in my throat. I keep it together. I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

“How’s mom?”

“You soak them in baking soda.”

Sigh…

“Did you know that vinegar cures EVERYTHING? If you drink a cup of vinegar every day, you won’t get cancer.”

I don’t say a word. He had cancer and it is in remission. He drinks a cup of vinegar every day.

“Bethie? You know what drives me crazy? When your dad sneezes. I’m afraid he’s going to blow his head off one day. You know…it happens sometimes.”

Keep giggling.

“Bethie? I always heard that when a man got older, he didn’t have the urge. You know what I mean, don’t you?”

I nod, hoping he won’t go any further.

“He STILL grabs my bottom. Can you believe it?”

Yes, I can believe that. Ever since the stroke, he does it all the time in front of all of us.

“You know…I love that old bag. I wouldn’t take a million for him, but I wouldn’t take a penny for another one.”

I must say that living with parents is a wonderful experience. They make me laugh every day of my life, whether it’s on purpose or not.

I know that all his worrying, all his stories, all his complaints; all his questions are part of who he is. And I’ll take it all for just a few more years with this wonderful woman I call “Mom.”

As I picked up the guinea pigs’ breakfast, my mother comes up behind me and gives me a big hug, “I love you, baby girl.”

“I love you too mom.”

“Can I feed the piggies?”

I give him a tray full of vegetables. This is one of his favorite activities. She walks into this cute little limping guinea pigs room, holds the salad in the air and giggles like a little girl as they reach up with their little starfish paws.

My mom…one in a million…I wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Please take a look at my profile page where you can find my Facebook fan page “My Imperfect Life”. Daily posts! http://www.facebook.com/myimperfectlyperfectlife

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