- AIRPLANE: What Mom impersonates to get a one-year-old to eat strained beets.
- ALIEN: What Mom would suspect had invaded her house if she spotted a child-sized creature cleaning up after itself.
- APPLE: Nutritious lunch-time dessert which children will trade for cupcakes.
- BABY: 1) Dad, when he gets a cold. 2) Mom's youngest child, even if he's 42.
- BATHROOM: a room used by the entire family, believed by all (except Mom) to be self-cleaning.
- BECAUSE: Mom's reason for having kids do things which can't be explained logically.
- BED AND BREAKFAST: Two things the kids will never make for themselves.
- CARPET: Expensive floor covering used to catch spills and clean mud off shoes.
- CAR POOL: Complicated system of transportation where Mom always winds up going the furthest, with the biggest bunch of kids, who have had the most sugar.
- CHINA: Legendary nation reportedly populated by children who love leftover vegetables.
- COOK: 1) Act of preparing food for consumption. 2) Mom's other name.
- COUCH POTATO: What Mom finds under the sofa cushions after the kids eat dinner.
- DATE: Infrequent outings with Dad where Mom can enjoy worrying about the kids in a different setting.
- DUST: Insidious interloping particles of evil that turn a home into a battle zone.
- EAR: A place where kids store dirt.
- EAT: What kids do between meals, but not at them.
- ENERGY: Element of vitality kids always have an oversupply of until asked to do something.
- EXCUSE ME: One of Mom's favorite phrases, reportedly used in past times by children.
- EYE: The highly susceptible optic nerve which, according to Mom, can be "put out" by anything from a suction-arrow to a carelessly handled butter knife.
- FABLE: A story told by a teenager arriving home after curfew.
- FOOD: The response Mom usually gives in answer to the question "What's for dinner tonight?"
- GARBAGE: A collection of refuse items, the taking out of which Mom assigns to a different family member each week, then winds up doing herself.
- GENIUSES: Amazingly, all of Mom's kids.
- GUM: Adhesive for the hair.
- HAMPER: A wicker container with a lid, usually surrounded by, but not containing, dirty clothing.
- HANDI-WIPES: Pants, shirt-sleeves, drapes, etc.
- HANDS: Body appendages which must be scrubbed raw with volcanic soap and sterilized in boiling water immediately prior to consumption of the evening meal.
- HINDSIGHT: What Mom experiences from changing too many diapers.
- ICE: Cubes of frozen water which would be found in small plastic tray if kids or husbands ever filled the things instead of putting them back in the freezer empty.
- INSIDE: That place that will suddenly look attractive to kids once Mom has spent a minimum of half an hour getting them ready to go outside.
- I SAID SO: Reason enough, according to Mom.
- JACKPOT: When all the kids stay at friends' homes for the night.
- JEANS: Which, according to kids, are appropriate for just about any occasion, including church and funerals.
- JOY RIDE: Going somewhere without the kids.
- JUNK: Dad's stuff.
- KETCHUP: The sea of tomato-based goop kids use to drown the dish that Mom spent hours cooking and years perfecting to get the seasoning just right.
- KISS: Mom medicine.
- LAKE: Large body of water into which a kid will jump should his friends do so.
- LEMONADE STAND: Complicated business venture where Mom buys powdered mix, sugar, lemons, and paper cups, and sets up a table, chairs, pitchers and ice for kids who sit there for three to six minutes and net a profit of 15 cents.
- MAYBE: No.
- MILK: A healthful beverage which kids will gladly drink once it's turned into junk food by the addition of sugar and cocoa.
- MOMMMMMMM!: The cry of a child on another floor who wants something.
- NAILS: A hard covering on the end of the finger, which Mom can never have a full set of due to pitching for batting practice, opening stubborn modeling clay lids and removing heat ducts to retrieve army men and/or doll clothing.
- OCEAN: What the bathroom floor looks like after bath night for the kids.
- OPEN: The position of children's mouths when they eat in front of company.
- PENITENTIARY: Where children who don't eat their vegetables or clean their rooms eventually end up, according to Mom.
- PETS: Small, furry creatures which follow kids home so Mom will have someone else to clean up after.
- PIANO: A large, expensive musical instrument which, after thousands of dollars worth of lessons and constant harping by Mom, kids will refuse to play in front of company.
- PURSE: A handbag in which Mom carries the checkbook and keys she can never find because they're buried under tissues, gum wrappers, a plastic container full of cereal, toys from a fast-food restaurant , a teddy bear, a football, wallpaper samples, a grocery list and several outdated coupons.
- QUIET: A state of household serenity which occurs before the birth of the first child and occurs again after the last child has left for college.
- RAINCOAT: Article of clothing Mom bought to keep a child dry and warm, rendered ineffective because it's in the bottom of a locker stuffed in a book bag or because the child refuses to wear "the geeky thing."
- REFRIGERATOR: Combination art gallery and air-conditioner for the kitchen.
- ROOM MOTHER: A position of great honor and responsibility bestowed on a mom who inadvertently misses a PTA meeting.
- SCHOOL PLAY: Ritual in which adults derive pleasure from watching offspring stumble through coarse reenactments of famous historic events.
- SCREAMING: Home P.A. system.
- SNOWSUITS: Warm, padded outer garments that, when completely zipped and snapped performs two important functions: Protecting children from the cold and reminding them that they have to go to the bathroom.
- SOAP: A cleaning agent Mom puts on the sink on the off-chance one of her kids will accidentally grab it while reaching for the towel.
- SPOILED ROTTEN: What the kids become after as little as 15 minutes with Grandma.
- SWEATER: Magically charmed article of clothing that can ward away colds, flu and even pneumonia.
- TERRIBLE TWO'S: Having both kids at home all summer.
- THAT WAY: How kids shouldn't look at moms if they know what's good for them. Also applies to how they talk.
- TOWELS: See FLOOR COVERINGS
- TROUBLE: Area of nonspecific space a child can always be sure to be in.
- UMPTEENTH: Highly conservative estimate of the number of times Mom must instruct her offspring to do something before it actually gets done.
- VACATION: Where you take the family to get away from it all, only to find it there, too.
- VITAMINS: Tiny facsimiles of cave people Mom forces you to swallow each morning as part of her sinister plot to have you grow up to be "Just like Daddy."
- WALLS: Complete set of drawing paper for kids that comes with every room.
- WASHING MACHINE: Household appliance used to clean blue jeans, permanent ink markers, loose change, homework, tissues and wads of gum.
- XOXOXOXO: Mom salutation guaranteed to make the already embarrassing note in a kid's lunch box even more mortifying.
- XYLOPHONE: Small toy musical instrument often given as gifts to children who show their appreciation by playing the stupid thing constantly, over and over, all day long! See also "DRUMS"
- YARD SALE: Heart-wrenching emotional process wherein Mom plans to sell kid's outdated toys and clothing that she decides at the last minute are treasured mementos she can't bear to part with.
- ZILLION: Amount of times Mom must have gone to the supermarket already this week.
- ZUCCHINI: Vegetable which can be baked, boiled, fried or steamed before kids refuse to eat it.
with a smile by:
From the Heart PostCards
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