Finding life's truths in spaghetti sauce and kids' homework

March 03, 1994|By SUSAN REIMER

In this world of shifting sands and shifting values, we need some things that we can count on to be true, always and forever. I am grateful to all the women who have made these truths known to me:

* When your children start eating two Happy Meals, it is time they graduated to the adult menu.

* Tell two children to get rid of their gum before going into church. The boy will either swallow it or drop it off the top of the three-story parking garage to see what happens. The girl will ask you to hold it.

* You have only received a really special gift from your husband if you feel like you ought to insure it. It is not a special gift if it plugs in.

* If you put something on the steps to go upstairs, men will walk past it 99 times out of 100. On their 100th trip up the stairs, they will call out to you, complaining that if you keep putting stuff on the steps, someone will fall and get hurt.

* If you want your children to put on their shoes for school, you have to start telling them the night before.

* When your husband returns from a business trip, he will be yearning for your spaghetti and time with the kids. You will want to eat anything at all that has not been cooked by you and is not shared with children.

* When your children begin participating in sports, you will seek for them the kind of coach who is a nurturing adult who can give them quality instruction they need to succeed. But after a while, you will not care who is coaching, so long as your child is on a team with the other kids in the neighborhood, so you don't have to drive to every practice.

* If your children go to bed with their pajamas on backwards, it will snow and schools will be closed. If you absolutely have to get to work, it will snow and schools will be closed. If you don't think you can get through one more snow day, and if your children are actually getting bored with snow days, it will snow and schools will be closed.

* Television sitcoms about families that include a sardonic mother, a zany kind of off-center husband and smart-mouth kids are not entertainment. It is not diverting or escapist if you live it every day. Shows such as "Dynasty," where everyone dressed for dinner, where breakfast was served from silver chafing dishes and where the mother rode horses for exercise, are entertaining.

* Clearly, only a woman is skilled enough to change a toilet paper roll, because no one else has ever tried to do it.

* It takes children longer to get out of the house in the morning than it took the United States to get out of Vietnam.

* If you are attempting to do anything involving tomato sauce, you should plan to change your shirt.

* The only purchases you should make at places such as Sam's Club are laundry detergent, paper towels and light bulbs -- supplies that you will not abuse simply because they are in your pantry. You should never buy huge bags of blue corn tortilla chips or great big jars of salsa, because you will eat them.

* Immediately after you sign your child up for an activity that he requested, he will start complaining about having to go.

* If you are cooking something new for dinner, your children will not like it. Unless, of course, they do like it. Then they will hate it the next time you make it.

* If your child absolutely has to have it for homework, he has left it at school.

* As soon as you go into the bathroom, your child will come from miles away with either a serious injury or a burning need to discuss an upcoming social studies project with you.

* You can do almost anything -- make beds, cook dinner, do the wash, supervise baths -- while talking on a cordless phone. However, you cannot talk to your children while talking on a cordless phone, something they cannot understand.

* Your husband has not taken you out for a romantic dinner if you have to unwrap the food.

* You will work the phones for weeks to set up a baby-sitter for a Friday night, then you and your spouse will walk out the door and realize you have no idea where you want to go.

* The more involved your child's school project is and the more you have to help with it, the closer to the due date you will find out about it.

And finally, the truest true fact.

* It is easier to do it yourself.

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