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How do the stupid survive?

DeWayne Bartels

I forgot all about Mother’s Day — well at least as far as getting a story in last week’s paper in advance of the holiday.

I didn’t forget it to the point of failing to get something from the kids for their mother. That would be stupid.

But, it got me thinking about the idea of belated Mother’s Day cards.

In all of my years of buying stupid cards for all sorts of occasions I have yet to run across a belated Mother’s Day card in a store.

I went to a couple of North Peoria card stores in search of any.

I found cards in the “You’re Important” category, the “You Are Loved” category and the “You’re Special” category.

Try as I might I could not find a “I Forgot About You” category.

I asked a clerk at one store about that.  She looked at me like I was crazy.

“Forget Mother’s Day,” she said.

She made my point.

What kind of moron forgets Mother’s Day?

But, when I hopped on the Web — where you can find anything — there they were, belated Mother’s Day cards. What struck me was what most of them said on the exterior. There were three little words: “You are special.”

You have got to be kidding.

I would have expected to find three other little words: “I am stupid.”

Can you even imagine forgetting to get Mom at least a card on Mother’s Day?  

I can just imagine a kid talking to his mother the day after Mother’s Day without a card or a call.

“I forgot,” the kid says.

And, Mom in a very understanding voice — using all the passive-aggressive powers that are instilled in mothers at the moment of birth — would say, “That’s all right dear.”

But, it wouldn’t end there. Not a chance.

She would go on to say, “The important thing is I didn’t forget to:”

• feed you

• bathe you

• change your diapers

• teach you not to touch the stove

• teach you the refrigerator is not a good place to play hide-and-seek

• remind you to come in out of the rain

• take you to the doctor

• make sure your underwear was clean

• teach you not to run into the street

• make sure your new shoes were a thumb too big

• teach you not to wipe your nose on your sleeve

A pause to catch her breath, and then,

• teach you that peeing on the grass is not the same as watering the grass

• teach you that sticking your finger in every hole you see is a bad idea

• keep vegetable oil handy because you never did learn your head does not belong between the slats in the front staircase

• teach you that broom handles are not designed for poking wasp’s nests

• that it is not a good idea to dig up the dead bat your father killed and buried in the backyard

And, finally, “Luckily, I didn’t forget to teach you that burning ants with a magnifying glass while they are crawling on your leg is not a good idea.”

You might wonder how I know all this having never forgotten to get my dear departed mother a Mother’s Day card. 

It’s easy.

I got this lecture from my mother if I forgot to wipe my shoes before stepping on the carpet.

What’s really amazing about mothers is that they can recite all that from memory. As a dad I can’t recall what I told one of my kid’s 10 minutes ago, let alone everything I taught them. 

Forget Father’s Day? No big deal.

Dads don’t remember anyway unless there’s a Hallmark commercial during the game and he can’t find the remote to go to another channel.

But, that’s dads.