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Sunday, May 10, 2009

You Probably Just Need to Shit, or Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

My parents didn’t believe in doctors; doctors were for when you couldn’t stop the bleeding.

Anything else could be cured, according to my mother, by taking, as she put it, “a good shit”.

Stomach ache? You just need to take a good shit.

Headache? Take a shit.

Warts? You probably just need to take a good shit.

She was full of warm advice like that.

In her heart of hearts, my mother fancied herself a medic. She lived for the moment one of us would come running into the house – “MOM!!!” – shouting in that tone that makes any woman who has ever been called "Mom" stop what they’re doing and come running.

She specialized in make-do situations. She once removed a perfectly nostril-sized pebble from my nose when I was five using nothing but her wits and her left pinkie nail.

And she loved slivers. Her eyes would glitter as she’d go for her sewing kit.

“Oooh, we’ve got a nice one here,” she’d say, hunched over the afflicted spot. “Howdja get that? You climbing telephone poles again? Kevin, give me your lighter.” And she’d hold her needle over the flame. “It’s sterile,” she’d say. “Hold still, now, we don’t want another incident.”

I once watched her actually pry a nail out of my brother Kevin’s tennis shoe. The nail had gone up through the shoe and well into the arch of his foot, the result of running across the top of the dump that ran behind the trailer park. I amuse myself by pretending to recall that it was gruesome and that you could actually hear the nail rub against bone as she wrenched it from the bottom of his shoe.

The truth is that she popped that baby right out of there. With Kevin leaning against the trailer and his foot tucked firmly under her left arm, the hammer in her right, she went at it like she was taking a shoe off a horse.

Kevin howled, of course, but more out of the anticipation of pain than the pain itself. It was over so quickly that he stopped yelling, an abrupt cessation; and we all watched as Mom pulled the shoe and then the sock off.

It was disappointingly bloodless.

“Well,” she said, “I suppose you’ll be wanting new shoes then.”



To all the mothers, the ones who have given birth, the ones who have taken on other people's children, the ones who have willingly "mothered" their friends, their animals, themselves, when called upon and when necessary: Happy Mother's Day.

31 comments:

mapstew said...

Hey, that's good shit! xxx

elohssanatahw said...

My kids would definitely sympathize with you. They still complain about the time I made them help me sew up my left hand, and or the brain surgery whines, they just never stop.

Thanks Pearl, I'm still waiting to get a howdy do for any one of my darlings.

IB said...

That's so WEIRD! It's like we had the same mom. Only, I don't remember having a sister named Pearl.

My mom once cut a HUGE sliver out of my thigh with an exacto-knife. Good times!

bearer of three said...

your mom sounds great..kinda reminds me of that father in my big fat greek wedding where he would use windex for everything..lol..good read..

Amber Star said...

OMG...you must be my lost sister! My mother lived by the same creed.

The Retired One said...

If I had known her philosophy, I could have saved a LOT of money on medical bills thru the years. She was certainly right, I have learned through my medical training since. ha
Funny post! She sounds like a great woman!

mbuna53 said...

Happy Mother's Day Pearl!

Warty Mammal said...

Awesome.

tracy said...

That was the perfect mothers day post :) loved every word of it..

tracy

Eskimo Bob said...

High Five for Mothers!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

That nail story is kind of bad ass... I'd have my son at the ER lickety split. I don't fancy myself a medic. Although I do spend an inordinate amount of time removing boogers from my kids' noses. I run a tight ship - nose-wise.

powdergirl said...

Happy Mothers day Pearl and friends of Pearl.
I am drinking the most God-awful cup of coffee prepared by my 11 year old and delivered to my bed after a sleep in. Better yet, he also brought me a pretty painting and poem, and my lap-top, fully charged!
It appears I have been neglectful in teaching him all things "caffeine",
and yet successful in teaching him all things "Mother coddling"
The other kid is still in bed and will henceforth be called 'that other kid'

Chris said...

Good stuff, Pearl. Particularly the "nail against bone" bit.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Happy Mother's Day to you too!

I remember my brother got hit by a car once. I believe she said, "Well, you aren't dead...so you'll probably live."

...Probably?!

Sometimes...mom just has to be the devil. It's that simple.

I love ya Sister Pearl!
:)

Douglas said...

Did your mother ever turn to in as you sat in the back seat of the car turning green and say, :Here, puke in Mommie's hand."?

If so, she probably went to the same mothering school as mine.

Beth said...

I think your mother and my grandmother must somehow be related.

Great stories! Now I gotta go take a shit.

Ann's Rants said...

That's a great post, Pearl. Happy Mother's day to one of the very best writers in bloggyland.

Joanie M said...

Ah, those were the days! Nothing that a good shit and a couple of aspirin won't cure!

De Campo said...

Happy Mother's Day Pearl!

SUEB0B said...

LOL My mom had the same theory but she would never say shit. She would ask "Are you constipated?" for everything.

fingers said...

How does your Mom go at home dentistry...

Dave King said...

Yup, I remember my wife saying, oh so many times, "Oh for a nice peaceful shit!".

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Sounds like your Mom was full of shit - lol.

Loved this Mommy's Day post - and your blog in general. Fun stuff fo sho!

Thanks for "stumbling" on to my Free Spirit blog.

Like your style - I'll be back. :)

The Jules said...

I lost a chunk of knee cap when I was a kid in a nasty swing-metal bar incident. My Mum looked at the gory mess and exposed patella, winced and said, "Let's pop you up the hospital then. You can have a little cry if you want"

Still makes smile fondly 28 years later.

Michelle said...

Yes Pearly-Q your mother knows her shit!!

A good shit actually does cure all!!

HAPPY DAY LADY!!

I love ya!!

ladyfi said...

Your mom was a tough cookie! Love these stories... and I hope that pinkie of her was clean!

sheila said...

That's hysterical, and oddly I see a little of ME in your mom! lol. (except the nail part. I would have fainted.)

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

ow! ow! ow!! I'm just cringing and my toes are curling up reading that last bit!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is a great post! My parents were obsessed with bowel movements, too, about which I couldn't have given a shit.

Crazy Mo said...

Jeez, my mom just did the burned-needle-sliver-removal act a few weeks ago when I saw her! Some things never change. Thank God! And given the number of people I know that are full of shit, it stands to reason the world would be a better place if we were all just a little more regular.

Teri said...

Thank you!!!!! SO IRONIC that I actually do have to take a shit right now thanks to my morning coffee....but I was putting it off to read some blogs and lo and behold I saw your post...LOL I think I will close my browser now, for this is a sign.....I'm gonna go take a shit now. :D