He calls you “Cherie” as you channel the attitude of your mom, deriding the kids for not picking up their mess and complaining how canned salmon doesn’t taste as good as it used to. You hate him for it, but wonder if you are, indeed, morphing into the woman who raised you. This, despite the years of strident teenage rebellion, breastfeeding to one up her, and steadfastly maintaining the position you do not need to put on a frigging coat.
Lovable mom, angry mom, giddy and forgetful mom, resourceful, nagging, in need of a muzzle mom. The signs she is in there are surfacing daily. Here are ten I’ve been witnessing lately:
1. You embarrass your children with your exuberance.
This takes a variety of forms: Busting out in a song from a favorite musical while shopping at the mall; dancing in front of their friends at a Bat Mitzvah (i.e slapping your butt and twisting down to the ground during Shawty got Low) or Facebooking a personal anecdote about the great lengths they took to get spruced up for a dance. “Shoshanna got her hairy, ethnic lip waxed for the first time and didn’t even scream! That’s my daughter!”
2. Repeating yourself as a manipulation tactic to get your point across.
Your own mother told you no fewer than 20 times that Kathy Lee Gifford’s doctor ordered her to eat cereal with bananas when she was pregnant because she wasn’t gaining enough weight. You repeat the pattern, and pretend you don’t remember telling your kids 20 times that Zoe Goldberg got incurable lice from sharing brushes and scrunchies at camp.
3. Losing your car keys. Losing your house keys. Losing your luggage keys. Finding your keys in the trash.
4. Visible Links in the DNA Chain: Sore feet with corns, bunions and Plantar Fasciitis, Varicose Veins, impatience with tardiness, intolerance for loud music (it’s all too loud), flab around your middle, shrinking height, poor eyesight, bladder incontinence, laughing at silly greeting cards until you cry and wet your pants.
5. Becoming very friendly with the grocery store box boy, hair wax lady, or any strangers in line with you at the movies.
6. Sharing with your man, kids and friends fascinating details about the lives of the grocery store box boy, hair wax lady or strangers you met in line at the movies.
7. Wearing age-appropriate clothing, including labels you were convinced were only reserved for your mom and her old friends. (i.e. St. John, Chico, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Eileen Fisher, Jones New York, any support hose and shape wear.)
8. Adopting expressions you didn’t know were wired into your arguing mode: Put first things first; Wait until college to try that; Not while you are under my roof; That happened because god is punishing you for how you talked to me; That’s the only sister you will ever have, so stop trying to murder her; eliminate salt; things will look brighter in the morning; It’s Monday – brush your teeth! Bart takes his kids to Europe every summer and we have to go back to the Finger Lakes?
9. Talking about health problems with your friends. Talking about insurance plans with your friends.Talking about what you saved using coupons with your friends. Complaining about traffic, the president, gas prices and bad retail service with your friends.
10. Telling kids to wear a coat so they won’t get sick, even during sweltering summers in the Valley.