Pun Alley 5-9-2014

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Fun with Mother's Day

By Dick Frank

On Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day to show honor and respect to one of the most influential persons in our lives. We all spent the most formative years of our lives with our mothers. Our tour down Pun Alley takes us to some motherly tales.

Mother’s advice
In the supermarket a mother was pushing a cart that contained her screaming, bellowing baby. The mother kept repeating softly, “Don’t get excited, Monica; don’t scream, Monica; don’t yell, Monica; keep calm, Monica.” A woman standing next to the mother said, “You certainly are to be commended for trying to soothe your daughter Monica.” The mother looked at her and said, “Her name is Mary. I’m Monica.”

Real promotion
Tommy, just home from the last day of school was real happy. “I didn’t know my second grade teacher liked me so much, Mommy,” he confided. “I heard her talking to one of the other teachers, and she must be awfully fond of me! Do you know what she said?”
“No, what did she say?” his mother asked.
“She said that the happiest day of her life was when Tommy was promoted to the third grade.”

Grandma’s recipe
Suzanne was preparing a ham dinner. After she cut off the end of the ham, she placed it in a pan for baking. Her friend asked her, “Why did you cut off the end of the ham”?
She replied, “I really don’t know but my mother always did, so I thought you were supposed to.” Later when talking to her mother she asked her why she cut off the end of the ham before baking it, and her mother replied, “I really don’t know, but that’s the way my mom always did it.”
A few weeks later, while visiting her grandmother, Suzanne asked, “Grandma, why is it that you cut off the end of a ham before you bake it?”
Her grandmother replied, “Well dear, it would never fit into my baking pan.”

A real pick-me-up
A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question, “My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I am strong and attractive. I pick up things. What am I?”
When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost half of the students answered the question with the word “Mother.”

A mother asks
Is there a magic cutoff period when offspring become accountable for their own actions?
 Is there a wonderful moment when mothers can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, “It’s their life,” and feel nothing?
When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son’s head. I asked, “When do you stop worrying?” The nurse said, “When they get out of the accident stage.”
When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly and disrupted the class.
 As if to read my mind, a teacher said, “Don’t worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy them.”
When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the front door to open. A friend said, “They’re trying to find themselves. Don’t worry in a few years you can stop worrying. They’ll be adults.”
By the time I was 50, I was sick and tired of being vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it.
I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own life.
Can it be that mothers are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown?
One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me, “Where were you? I’ve been calling for 3 days, and no one answered. I was worried.” I smiled a little. The torch has been passed.