My mom, like many other people's moms, is the World's Greatest Mom. But that didn't mean she never did anything that weirded me out while I was growing up. There were plenty of WTF moments in our household, in which I'd witness some bizarre act that I silently swore I'd never do. Of course, now that I'm one of the many World's Greatest Moms myself, I've found that on too-frequent an occasion, I'll do something instinctually and then all of a sudden jerk upright with pained realization: "Oh, no. I've become my mother." Not that that's a bad thing — it's just I never imagined a person could so matter-of-factly pick a booger out of someone else's nose . . . or that I'd become that person.
Here are seven (and counting) eye-rolling things my mom always did that I find myself doing all the time:
1. Wiping snot with her bare hands.
"What is the urgency?!" my elementary-aged self probably wondered when my mom just wiped my runny nose with nary a tissue. Now, I do it all the time. And if you think I then immediately sanitize my hand, you probably don't ever want to borrow my jeans.
2. Using saliva as a cleaning method.
It's a cliché mom maneuver, but I can now attest to its greatness. I'll be sitting mere steps away from a baby wipe, and it still just makes more sense to lick my finger and rub the banana slime off my kid's cheek. (The hygienic implication of doing this and the aforementioned snot wipe is not lost on me.)
3. Forgetting her age.
There were at least a half-dozen times growing up in which I witnessed my mom hesitating to say how old she was, and not because she didn't want to reveal her age. She could spout out my complete medical history but she couldn't remember the amount of years she'd been on this earth, which left me dumbfounded and concerned about her mental capacity. Until earlier this week, when I had to use an online calculator to determine if I was 32, 33, or 34.
4. Wanting to be sick instead of her kids.
Whenever I'd be in bed with the flu or a fever, my mother would always say the same thing: "I wish I could take away your pain and be sick instead." Yeah, right, I'd think. You don't literally mean that. And yet there I was, with my child who was suffering from a stomach bug, and I truly, honestly would have given anything to be the one projectile vomiting . . . and not just because I think I've got better aim. (Side note: catching vomit with my bare hands and allowing myself to be vomited on without complaint are two other insane acts I've inherited from moms worldwide.)
5. Hating today's music.
Well into my late 20s, my mom would lament the downfall of music whenever I picked the radio station. Now I'm the one asking anyone who'll listen what a "nae nae" is and why Drake's "Hotline Bling" is even something that is allowed.
6. Eating previously chewed-on food.
It used to always remind me of the mama bird method of feeding, but now? If I share a morsel of my delicious meal with my child, and she takes a bite and decides to spit it out, there's a 97 percent chance I'll pick up where she left off and finish the job.
7. Saying, "you'll see when you're a mom!"
Whenever my mom said this, it was alongside an unsettling sneer. Clearly, she meant it as a threat. Why would my mom be so vengeful toward her own daughter? These days, I finally get it. Based on the amount of times I've given her grief for doing the above six things alone (never mind all the other moments I wasn't appreciative of her, only to gripe about the thankless job that is parenting), I can see why she'd want a little payback.
Although I'm not especially proud of this realization, I take comfort in the fact that someday, I'll be able to pass the torch to my own kid. The snotty, germy, poopy torch.