Momma is stupid

Now is the time of year when Momma is stupid.

Because, you see, Momma doesn’t know that sleeves are supposed to be short.

As it’s grown colder, Momma stopped using the old familiar shirts,and she pulled out these other shirts. Shirts Kiddo#4 had not seen before. Shirts which, when Momma put them on, went all the way down to his wrists.

And there he stood, making pathetic jabbering sounds, plucking helplessly at his sleeves, trying to make them go where sleeves ought to go. Namely, up above his elbow.

Vaguely he remembers something like this happening before, maybe a third of his lifetime ago, back when the ground stopped being white and Momma stopped putting him in those huge wraps every time they went outside. But the memory is fuzzy, because in that dream-like recollection, it seems he was trying to pull down the sleeves, that they were already up above the elbow and instead he was stretching them down toward the wrist, where they belonged. How backward — never mind. The point is, Momma was stupid then and is being stupid now.

And Momma shows him her own sleeves, how they are long, and Kiddo#4 cares not a whit. Let Momma wear the rotten, wrong sleeves. But he, he knows only a very few things about the world, and this knowledge he applies with rigor. He knows where sleeves ought to go, and it is not, not I tell you, down to the wrists.

Nor, he would add, should he wear a thick shirt over his regular shirt when he goes outside.

Nor those new sneakers, shoved onto his feet after the woman in the store full of shoes dared touch his feet and then traumatized him forever by putting his foot into that metal thing with numbers all over it. Oh, how he cried, heartbroken, that someone could do such a thing. Eventually Momma stopped being stupid, and his shoes, his own regular shoes, went back onto his feet. How else would he recognize his feet? For a minute there, they looked like someone else’s.

And now this sleeve thing. He’ll accept that Momma is humoring him by rolling them up. But sometimes they come down again, and he’s once more filled with the certitude that, distressingly, Momma is stupid.


  1. christopher

    LOL Sounds all so familiar. The whole “stupid” impression unfortunately will probably last for a long time with the stupid value being applied to wider and more diverse things… I didn’t drop the “Momma is stupid” kick until I hit thirty I think! And then I started kicking myself, “wish I’d listened to momma!”

    1. philangelus

      I can’t remember which person said it, but some writer is quoted with, “When I was sixteen, I thought my parents knew nothing. When I was 26, I was shocked by how much they’d learned in only ten years.”

      1. karen ^.,.^

        i’m probably wrong, but wasn’t that mark twain who said that?

  2. cricketB

    When my daughter was 2, she refused to wear mitts, and by the time her hands were cold enough to consider it, the mitts were cold. I finally started bringing a small blankie, which she happily wrapped her hands in. I don’t blame her about the mitts. They really did get in the way of using her hands, even if it’s just to play with her other hand. Now the argument is which mitts are warmer. She’s convinced the expensive ones with home-knitt woolen liners are cold, and the dollar store red ones are warm. We’ll see how it goes this year. At 8 she’s old enough to want her hands warm.

  3. MoonReaper

    Aren’t kids funny? My son is a dress up master. If he is going to be a character, it must be right. And thanks so much, creators of Diego, for never putting him in pants. I *am* grateful that you did allow him two different colors of shorts–green for cousin Diego, and blue for regular Diego, and that you did put him in snow gear to go snowboarding, but my 4yo son didn’t quite get the concept that Diego lives in zone 10 or so, while we live in zone 5. You know, where it gets cold and you don’t generally wear shorts outside. And, Tabris, mommies are stupid when it comes to suggesting long pants too, because DIEGO never wears them.
    Thankfully, now that he is 5, he likes to be other people who wear long sleeves and pants. Like Spiderman and Batman. Granted, I would be happy if he wanted to be Diego now, instead of insisting on wearing his Batman costume under his church suit (complete with dress shirt and tie) to play outside in 80 degree weather because he is being Bruce Wayne.
    Ah well. I guess he is just breaking me in for when he is a teen and will only be able to wear ripped jeans and logo tees in order to be cool.

    1. philangelus

      Man, I hadn’t even considered Diego.

      My eight year old asked me about the 80s (I made some derogatory remark) and I explained to her, “That was a very special time when perfectly normal people wore their underwear on the outside of their clothes.”

      While my husband was choking on his dinner, my daughter said thoughtfully, “Like Superman?”

  4. MoonReaper

    Exactly! Though thankfully my son is happy with paper triangles appended to his shirts…