When I was a lass, my mother would sometimes tell me to do the damnedest things. Things like, "Don't just leave that there, take it and put it away," and "The living room floor is not where your shoes go, put them away," and "No, you actually have to rinse the dishes off after you wash them, you can't just put them in the dish drainer." All of these demands (and others) perplexed me greatly and I would always ask her "Why?"
Every time. "Why can't I just leave that here?" and "Why do I have to put my shoes away?" and "Really with the rinsing? WHY?"
My mother would answer me, but apparently she was speaking another language because that's the only reason possible as to why I was not getting an acceptable answer I could comprehend. Sometimes she would just look at me, sigh, and explain again in her strange, foreign tongue and I would be forced to conclude that she was crazy. It went something like "because we blah-biddity- blah clean house - blah blah blahda dadblah - all live here- blah bloop bladdam - do your part - blahdadoo blah - not the maid" or something. I can't remember exactly, but I'm sure I'm close.
Deprived of a satisfactory answer, I would question her again and again.
And then she just started answering me with teeth clenched, "Because."
"Mother," I would say in my most reasonable tone (which was something like muh-THER or Muuuuuh-ther!) "'because' is not an answer,"
"It is too," she would say.
"It isn't!" I would argue; reasonably, I might add.
"It is too, because I said so!" this she would say with triumph, casting her lengthy finger at me.
Oh-ho-ho, ladies and gentlemen! Did she just go there? Did she? I think she did! Because she said so? What kind of garbly nonsense is that? Because she said so. Pffft.
Only, I couldn't really argue with it. Because she was my mom, and when my mom said to do something, said in The Voice, with that glint in her eye, and actually meant business... yeah. Kinda had to do it. Because she said so.
I would mutter under my breath (but more, like, in my head, because if she heard me, sooooooo not worth the angst) "because she said so... pfffft... really? when I'm a mom... not gonna do that.... explain to my kids... actually have a conversation... instead of do this and do that... because I said so... what the heck kind of mom does that?"
I was oh so put upon, as you can imagine.
Fast forward, like, a whole lotta years later. Now, I'm the mom. Now, I call the shots, which isn't as glamorous a job as I thought it was when I was ten.
I tell my kids, "Hey, you. Yeah, you there. See that pile of stuff right in the middle of the living room floor? Yeah, that stuff. Otherwise known as YOUR CRAP. How about you put it away...? Cause that's not where it belongs... why, you ask? Well, because this is our home, not a pig-sty, and in our home we put our things away. This makes our home clean and tidy, and it also takes good care of our things. So you go and put that stuff away. No, now, not later. What do you mean, why? Because, you see, this is our home... wait, I just told you why. Now go do it. I'm not doing it for you. Why? Because I'm not the maid. And other people live here, not just you, when it's just you, you can do what you want. So go put it away, okay? What do you mean, why? I just told you why. Because! Because, okay? It is too an answer. Because I said so!" and there I am, steely glint, finger pointed, using The Voice and realizing that oh em gee, I am my mother.
Her fondest wish for me has come true, that when I had kids, I would have one just like me.
Weird how that happens.