Maaaaaa, where is my gray sweater???

When we were younger, my brother and I often had conversations with my mother that went something like this:

Me: Ma, where is my gray uniform sweater?
Mom: On top of the dryer in the laundry room.
Me: I’m in the laundry room…I don’t see it.
Mom: It’s right on top.
Me: It’s not here…I swear, I’ve looked everywhere.  (In reality, I looked at one thing)
Mom comes in and finds the sweater in seconds…folded neatly and stacked underneath my brother’s neatly folded uniform sweater.
Mom…yelling: If something is not directly in front of your face you can’t find it.  I don’t understand why you kids can’t open your eyes.  Did it ever occur to you to move something?!?!?!  Why do I have to do everything around here?

Then my mother would walk off grumbling.  It drove her absolutely nuts that she constantly had to stop what she was doing to come and find something that was essentially right in front of my eyes.  The thing is…it never did occur to me to move something.  If I didn’t see it at first glance it just seemed easier to yell for my mother and have her look for it.  And it could have been anything…my sweater, my bag, the pudding cups in the fridge, the movie we rented…anything.  To my teenaged brain, I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal for her to just look for it.  I thought she was completely overreacting.

Until now.  Now I get it. 

Last night, J came home from work late and I was cooking dinner when he got in.  We had the following conversation while I was in the kitchen and he was in the living room:

J: Where did I put my shorts?
Me: How should I know…they are your shorts.
J: I can’t find them.
Me: Look on the couch.
J: They aren’t there.
Me: Look in the laundry basket.  (I hear him go upstairs)
J: They aren’t there.  Shan, I really need my shorts.
I go in the living room and there they are…right on the arm of the couch.  I throw the shorts at him. 
Me…yelling:  Jeez, if something is not right in front of your face, you can’t find it.  Why do I have to do everything around here?

At that point I paused in my rant…because I just became my mother!  I even used the same tone of voice.  I know it’s inevitable, but I thought it wouldn’t happen until after I had kids. 

So I would like to take the time right now to apologize to her for being such a lazy pain in the ass and always making her look for everything.   I never realized how annoying it was to hear your name screamed throughout the house repeatedly.  Or to have to stop what you are doing every time someone needs something.  God bless my mother and her patience.  How she didn’t kill us, I have no idea!


  1. HA! I always did the same thing growing up, and my boyfriend and I had the same convo that you and J did not too long ago. Well I guess we all turn into our mothers at some point :-)

  2. I only know this to be a true, true story because I live with a man, too. And they will bring out the mother in you in about 3.2 seconds. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation. Thousands. And we live in a very orderly home. Everything has a place. But when he empties the dishwasher and doesn’t put the garlic press back in the drawer where it goes and then I yell that I can’t find the garlic press and suddenly he has no idea where it is. Yeah, it goes both ways. Maddening. So…unfortunately, this doesn’t just come out with children. Sorry for you to have found out this way. I would have warned a sister if I knew.

    On the plus side, your mom is finally getting the recognition and gratitude that she so richly deserves. Some moms never get that. Way to go, non-teenage Shana! :)

  3. Hahahahaha!!! I used to do this to my own mother all the time and it would drive her crazy. And I still do it to M. And I’m sure it drives him crazy. :)

    I’ll probably also do it to my kids and then they will have to be all “mom! did you actually LOOK for it?”

  4. Ohh yea the kids I babysit do this to me all the time. I refuse to get things for them. I am evil :) I figure if they want it or need it bad enough they will open their eyes!

  5. Just wait until you are a mom, you’ll do it even more! Funny.

  6. ROFL! Oh yes…When you are a mom you will understand even more. My kids do this to me all the time. It’s a cross between sad and fusterating. I think to myself “Are they really THIS helpless? Have I not prepared them for ANYTHING?”

  7. WOW, I can totally relate!!! My brother and I used to drive my mom crazy when we couldn’t find things, too. Now, many years later, she’s still getting it from my dad who can’t stare into the fridge for more than 5 seconds before he completely loses his cool looking for the butter.

    I love those moments though, when we can actually see ourselves turning into our parents. We must have been soooo annoying to our poor mommas :)

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