Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You're Full Of......??

While typing the “full of hot air” bit on my last post, I immediately thought of my mother. No, she wasn’t full of hot air, nor did she, as far as I know, have a secret desire to go soaring into the skies. Quite the opposite in fact. But a little background first. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short.

My mom was a woman who didn’t talk a whole heck of a lot by the time all of us girls became the “terrible teenagers”. She probably figured she couldn’t get a word in edgewise when we were all running off at the mouth at the same time. When she got mad at us, for some imagined reason of course, she wouldn’t yell or rant like some mothers I know, (no need to mention names since I know who I am) but she would usually just say a few words then walk away looking disappointed and not talk to you for a while. And believe me that was very effective. There’s nothing like the silent treatment to make you feel totally guilty and ashamed of yourself for whatever it was that you had done. And did she cuss or swear? Never, don’t even think it. On the other side, we didn’t mouth off or yell at her either. At each other, constantly, but not to mom. I remember a neighbor girl who always talked back to her mother. I was totally shocked when I heard some of the things she said. And I’m not being facetious this time, I was actually shocked.

But back to the story. One day my sister Betty said something she shouldn’t have to my mother. And mom got mad. Very mad. I was standing close by, (not too close because there’s no use taking any chances) my mouth agape that Miss Goody Two Shoes would actually have the audacity to mouth off to mom. And doubly surprised that mom didn’t just walk away (my chin had to be on the floor by now). Nope, mom stood right there, looked at Betty (actually raised her voice slightly) and said something I had never heard her say before.
“You’re Full Of ……..Red Ants” Yep, that’s the worst she could come up with.

Now a little advice for some of you moms out there. Looking disappointed but saying nothing and walking away might shame your kids into doing the right thing, whereas saying “you’re full of red ants” will get you nothing but guffaws, snorts, snickers, and outright hysterical laughter.

Of course, I can’t close this out without a picture of my sweet talking mom.


Roses and Lilacs said...

She looks so young in that picture.

My Mom had much the same strategy. She would often cry to emphasize the point that we were disappointing her so deeply. She was able to successfully control us thru guilt to this day.

Susie said...

Your mother was a beautiful lady. Love that picture!

When we were younger and got into it with each other my mom would sit us down at the table and chew us out. I hated those time. I had rather taken a spanking and gone on. Tongue lashings were terrible!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo of your Mother; just stunning. Oh, I remember the guilt treatment too. Nothing could make you feel so low.

Dog_geek said...

Red Ants?!? I laughed out loud when I read that (which is why I should never read the blogs while I'm at work, but it's okay because I'm the only one in the lab right now.) Where in the world did she come up with red ants? That's too funny.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Yes, I think they really knew how to deal with us in those days.

And if all else failed, "just wait until your father gets home."

Oh my, the longest few hours of my life.


Rudee said...

Flydragon, your mother looked lovely in that photo. How many daughters did she suffer from?

My mom was a screamer. She'd get going and we'd all scatter.

flydragon said...

She was young there, Graduation picture I think.
Moms sure can use the guilt trick, can't they:)

We got our spankings when we were younger but when we got to be teenagers, it was all guilt. We could outrun her then:)

She was definitely a good looking woman.
I didn't like those silent treatments at all! Bet my kids would have rather had those than the yelling, though:)

I have absolutly no idea where that came from. That must have meant that she was really, really, mad though:)

My mom never used the wait for father one. If there was any punishment to be had, it was all hers. I don't think my dad knew how to deal with girls:)

My mom had to deal with 3 girls. She was probably pretty happy that she finally got one boy after us:)

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

you're really outdoing yourself on these last few posts, dragonlady.

wish i had the patience or fortitude to give my kids the silent treatment, but nope - they got the screaming. then the hour long lectures....

no wonder my oldest moved so far away.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Beautiful photo! Red ants was the worst thing she could think of? She was truly a lady! :)

Anonymous said...

I remember Grandma made the mistake of babysitting us once (yes, only once). Now, I think after putting up with 3 daughters and one son, that she would have no problem handling 4 girls. But, as I said, she only did it once. I wonder why? If I had to bet, I would think that FD#2 did her magic on Grandma.


Brenda said...

Your Mom was very pretty and don't we all wish we could have been like her. My mom cussed a lot. I don't know what I did. Maybe I should ask my kids. I think I looked like a stressed out maniac most of the time. That should have scared the bajeebies out of them!

Betty said...

Ooh, your mom was gorgeous! Sounds as though her tactics worked pretty well. My mom had five daughters, then a son. She really had her hands full! She was the 'disciplinarian' (can you say 'spanker'?); but, she taught us how to be ladies and all-around good people.

Thanks for sharing your funny story...I'll have to remember Red Ants!

flydragon said...

And two (so far) of mine have moved cross country??

Yep, red ants. Maybe it meant something to her that we didn't know about:))

I never asked her to babysit unless it was some kind of emergency. I figured she went through enough with us.

LOL, I also was a maniac most of the time. It's a shame I didn't inherit the quiet gene from my mom:)

Your mom had it worse than mine then:)
When we were young she would threaten to get a switch from the tree out back. I don't remember her actually doing it, so maybe the threat was enough:)

Di said...

What a classy lovely lady. My mom was Italian, need I say more? No silent treatment for us, even so, she was very loving and I loved her very much. The dicipline my parents doled out was effective immediately, if you get my drift. Batta-bing - problem solved. :)

T said...

Oh this was just funny, Red Ants, who would have thought!
I never got into any trouble, I was such a good girl, all my mom would have to do is tell me she would be disappointed in me if I did anything wrong, that was enough of a guilt trip I needed.

Love your moms photo, very pretty.

flydragon said...

After seeing some of the kids today, I'm thinking there should have been a lot more "batta bing" in their past. Even in their present:)

Always the good girl, huh. Show off:))

Anonymous said...

Guess you knew this would get a rise out of me, didn't you. You know Betty WAS the good kid and "You're full of ..." shows it. You probably don't know what I got when I mouthed off, but I probably deserved it! Seems we all three (and probably the 4 of us) remember different reactions or events, right. I definitely remember the sticks against legs--where were you? But maybe I deserved that too:-)

Beautiful picture of mom--don't think I ever saw this one. Really nice.


spookydragonfly said...

Great story...I'll have to remember the red ants comment and use it on my adult kids when I feel the need. Just like to hear their reaction to that one! Beautiful photo of your mother, she seems like she was a great woman...with alot of patience!

flydragon said...

I don't remember you mouthing off. Of course, I don't remember me mouthing off, either:) I think I only remembered this one because it was Goody Two Shoes that said it:)
I remember being threatened with the switch when I wouldn't eat my pea soup. I hated pea soup:))
I've had that picture forever, and that frame was actually moms. It had a generic pic. of flowers in it at one time.

She either had a lot of patience or maybe just decided by that time "what's the use" :))

Rose said...

Your mother sounds like a wonderful person and such a beauty in that photo! My mother never uttered a word of profanity, either, nor did she yell at us. Whether she intended it or not, the guilt trip worked very well. As for me...well, let's just say I am very different from my mother:) Somehow my kids know how to lay a guilt trip on me instead.

TC said...

Mother slapped me once for sayin sh*t. I was bein a smart-mouthed teen and deserved it. I can honestly say she slapped me so hard I saw stars. And to this day I won't utter even a mild expletive in her presence. But I might say "you’re full of red ants."

Anonymous said...

I remember that. I was thinking maybe it was a dream or something. Do remember when we were younger, Mom use to get a switch from the tree off the back porch when we lived in Cleveland. I think she might have used it a few times. I do remember the silent treatment also. I think we did the dishes when that happened to get back in her graces. Don't remember if that worked or not. I don't think I ever used the silent treatment on my kids. If I did it never worked. Middle sis (goody two shoes)

flydragon said...

lol, I am also not like my mother:)) I never gave my kids the silent treatment because I knew they would like it:)

Let me know how that works out when you say you're full of red ants in front of her. I don't advise saying it TO her, just in front of her:)

Goody two shoes,
I didn't know if you'd remember that or not. Maybe she gave us the silent treatment just to get us to do the dishes:)

troutbirder said...

For sure that could have been my mom too... If there was any heavy lifting in the discipline field though she would banish us boys to the basement "till your father gets home from work". Oh oh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Flydragon, Thanks for your comment on the old hymn I posted. I am letting my closest friends know that the MRI shows Nalley has spots on his brain and they will be doing a spinal tap next week. You have been such a blessing to me and I wanted you to know. Thanks, Mildred P.S. Harriet looks pensive in the photo because she's afraid what I might make her wear next! ha

flydragon said...

Oh Mildred, what a scary time for you right now. Just remember you are not alone. Although we might not be standing right with you in person, we are definitely all around you and our collective prayers are swirling all over you and Nally. We will help you through this.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Oh, how sweet! Your mom sounds lovely. Very pretty, too:)
My mom was a 'yeller' and just the opposite. I still felt guilt, though...and I was a good girl, oh yes:) Then I grew up! And I can raise my voice quite well:( With my 2 kids I've not been the perfect mom I wish I could have been. But, most aren't:-0

I know that silent treatment does kind of 'hurt' though. It's like you need to get back on her good side and until you do, you feel awful inside.

She sounds like she had a good sense of herself and knew how to be loving and 'effective' at the same time!! You were very fortunate!!

The Crusty Crone said...


"she wouldn’t yell or rant like some mothers I know, (no need to mention names since I know who I am)"

ohmy... thanks for that great laugh. Now my knees are weak and trembly. But dang, that felt good!

I suspect 'red ants' showed how deciplined she was... I'm sure she was thinking 'shit'.

flydragon said...

Hi Jan,
I'm afraid I could raise my voice with my kids too, and did on many occasions:)) No silent treatment there:)

Hi Crusty,
Most definitely she was thinking that, because she hesitated after the "full of".....before she came up with red ants:)

Maria said...

Very nice photo of your mom! Maria

flydragon said...

Hi Maria,
Thanks, she was a good looking lady. Too bad I didn't inherit that gene too:)

oldcrow61 said...

That is soooo funny, lol.

flydragon said...

Old crow,
Some funny things just stick in your head forever. This was one of them:)

sweet bay said...

Your mother was beautiful. That's such a nice photograph.

flydragon said...


Jan said...

I know I'm a bit late to the party here but I just wanted to say that your mother was beautiful. My mother was a quiet one too and didn't swear. And my daughters make fun of me sometimes when I get mad and say something out of character for me. They think it's funny. Oh well. We all just do the best we can in this life of raising children. Wish each kid came with a manual!!!

flydragon said...

Manuals sure would have helped wouldn't they. My kids aren't surprised at anything I say anymore. In fact, they're surprised when I don't say something weird:)