Things my mother taught me.

Mom taught me to tell time: “You come in at 4 a.m. again, and you’re grounded ‘til you’re 35.”

Mom taught me to appreciate a job well done: “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning the house.”

Mom taught me about making choices: “If all your friends jumped into the Missouri River, would you do it, too?”

Mom taught me religion: “You better pray that’ll come out of the carpet.”

Mom taught me about time travel: “If you don’t straighten up, I’m gonna knock you into the middle of next week.”

Mom taught me about unquestionable logic: “Because I said so, that’s why.”

Mom taught me about predicting the future: “Do that just one more time and see what happened to you.”

Mom taught me about foresight: “Be sure to put on clean underwear in case you get in an accident.”

Mom taught me about irony: “Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Mom taught me about the importance of education: “If the principal tells me you skipped school even once, I’ll give lyou a lesson you’ll never forget.”

Mom taught me another lesson in irony: “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to really cry about.”

Mom taught me about osmosis: “Shut your mouth and eat your lunch.”

Mom taught me contortionism: “Will you just look at that dirt on the back of your neck.”

Mom taught me about staying power: “You’re going to sit right there until you eat all your Brussels sprouts.”

Mom taught me manners: “Be nice while your aunt is here, or I’ll make you drive her home.”

Mom taught me about free speech: “You talk back to me like that one more time, and there goes your allowance for six months.”

Mom taught me about weather: “It looks like a tornado hit your room.”

Mom taught me about physics problems: “If I yelled at you that a giant meteor was headed right toward you, would you listen to me then?”

Mom taught me about hypocrisy: “If I’ve tole you once, I’ve told you a million times — don’t exaggerate.”

Mom taught me about fashion: “Go out of the house wearing that, and I swear I’ll have your picked up for indecent public exposure.”

Mom taught me about good grammar: “You watch your language — you’re not to old to have your mouth washed out with soap.”

Mom taught me about cleanliness: “You watch your language” (etc., etc., etc.).

Mom taught me about work ethics: “Stop whining and wash those dishes, or you’ll never get another meal in this house.”

Mom taught me about behavior modification: “Stop acting like your father.”

Mom taught me about envy: “There are thousands of unfortunate children in the world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

Most of all, long before The Lion King movie came out. Mom taught me about the Circle of Life: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”

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