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Local Column

Cheeky Mama: Go ahead; put me on the naughty list

It all started out like a normal morning. I had a big cup of java and began to wash some dishes.  

I heard some little footsteps coming down the stairs. My insides got excited because Hannah Jo woke up early to have breakfast with me. I know she doesn’t do this intentionally, but I find it precious.

We were both eating strawberry cereal and chatting about Carrot, the Elf on the Shelf. Hannah Jo wanted to know why Carrot hadn’t moved lately. I reminded her that Carrot only moves if she has been extra good.

Well, that’s how the tale goes in our home.

Right then and there, I felt the Earth shift. The morning either was going to go extremely well or extremely bad. Crossing my fingers for a smooth morning, I went about our routine.

As I was blow-drying my hair, I shouted to Hannah Jo to change. She replied, “All right.”

Well, 10 minutes passed, and she still was just lying there playing on her iPad. So I walked up to her and removed it from her hand. Needless to say, she went into a frenzy, bursting into tears because the iPad was gone. Makes no sense, but she is only 3½.

I explained to her that she needed to follow instructions. After she changed her clothes, the iPad was returned.    

We had about 15 minutes before I needed to drive her to day care. Brushing her teeth and hair was next on the list. She would not brush her teeth because the new generic brand of toothpaste was too “spicy.” Geez, Louise!

Then, only Daddy could brush her hair; however, Daddy already was running late. So I struggled to get her hair brushed, wanting to put her hair in pigtails, but time was ticking and I was frustrated, so I just stuck a bow in it.

Finally, we got in the car and she was adamant about buckling herself. Hannah Jo was struggling. I waited so she could work through it. After she started crying, I jumped out of the car, only to fall. Then I started to cry, too.

Hannah Jo hurried to get out of the car to see what happened. She said, “I am sorry, Mama.” And we both sat there on the garage floor crying together.

Now I would like to be put on the naughty list for Santa. However, I want Santa to know Hannah Jo should be on the nice list, as well, for saying sorry and showing compassion for Mama.

He didn’t get into any awesome mischief, but Carrot moved that night.

• Becca Hirst is a proud DeKalb resident who writes about her life as a working mother. She hopes to bring more enjoyment to and less shaming and judging of herself and other mothers. Reach her at 

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