Buffy & Jodie

ajonesjwhitakerMany of you aren’t old enough to even know who Buffy & Jodie were. Many have just forgotten the show. In my family, we’ve been saying it for so long that we’ll never forget those kids, or the creepy doll, Mrs. Beasley.

“Act like Buffy & Jodie” was code my mother used whenever we were out and about (or as Dickie would say—oot and a boot). It meant that my sister and I, and later my brothers, should be on our best behavior. I vaguely recall my mother’s snark (because yes, that’s where I get that from) declaring on occasion, “maybe if you’d been adopted orphans you’d act like that all the time.” Of course, her idea of punishment when we weren’t was saying things like “When you get out of intensive care… you’re grounded.” I heart my mom.

I miss my mom.

It’s one of the few things about Wisconsin that I actually miss. She sends emails about once or twice a week with the subject line “kid check”—you can guess the message. And I call her regularly and check in, hear the drama, etc.

I called her this morning to say Happy Mother’s Day. I got the feeb count, the irritations of the week, and the sibling spew. You see, whenever I talk to her, my mother tends to tell me what my sister and two brothers have done wrong now. I wonder sometimes how she talks about me to the other three, but that’s neither here nor there. No. Today it’s all about being the good child. There was a time when I was referred to as “Moonbeam” and my sister was “Stardust”, but we’ve gotten over that. Now I’m just “Buffy” to her absent “Jodie” whenever possible. Because whenever my mother does these spews I laugh and say that it’s easy to be the good child.

“I just sit back and do nothing and wait for them to screw up.”

And it’s true. You want to be the good kid? Call your mother occasionally. Send gifts, flowers, cards or even just a phone call on those important dates: mother’s day, her birthday, tuesday. And keep your nose clean. Because as long as yours is clean, your siblings will get theirs dirty. And while mom reads this, the siblings don’t, so I can repeat the best line of the day… “You were cute when you were little… I should have quit there!”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there—those that quit after one (Hi, mom Ford!) and those that felt the need to punish themselves over and over and over. And to the children in the audience… go call your mothers!

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