Sayings of Biblical Mothers

  • SAMSON! Get your hand out of that lion. You don’t know where it’s been!
  • DAVID! I told you not to play in the house with that sling! Go practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons!
  • ABRAHAM! Stop wandering around the countryside and get home for supper!
  • SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO! Leave those clothes outside, you smell like a dirty ol’ furnace!
  • CAIN! Get off your brother! You’re going to kill him some day!
  • NOAH! No, you can’t keep them! I told you, don’t bring home any more strays!
  • GIDEON! Have you been hiding in that wine press again? Look at your clothes!
  • JAMES AND JOHN! No more burping contests at the dinner table, please. People are going to call you the sons of thunder!
  • JUDAS! Have you been in my purse again?!

Flu Notes

(Notes pinned to the pillow of a mother who has the flu by a well meaning husband who has inherited the house and kids.)

  • Monday A.M. Dearest: Sleep late. Everything under control. Lunches packed. Kids off to school. Menu for dinner planned. Your lunch is on a tray in refrigerator: fruit cup, finger-sandwiches. Thermos of hot tea by bedside. See you around six.
  • Tuesday A.M. Honey: Sorry about the egg rack in the refrigerator. Hope you got back to sleep. Did the kids tell you about the Coke I put in the Thermoses? The school might call you on this. Dinner may be a little late. I’m doing your door-to-door canvas for liver research. Your lunch is in refrigerator. Hope you like leftover chili.
  • Wednesday A.M. Dear Doris: Why in the name of all that is sane would you put soap powder in the flour canister! If you have time, could you please come up with a likely spot for Chris’s missing shoes? We’ve checked the clothes hamper, garage, back seat of the car and wood box. Did you know the school has a ruling on bedroom slippers? There’s some cold pizza for you on a napkin in the oven drawer. Will be late tonight. Driving eight Girl Scouts to tour meatpacking house.
  • Thursday A.M. Doris: Don’t panic over water in hallway. It crested last night at 9 P.M. Will finish laundry tonight. Please pencil in answers to following:
    1. How do you turn on the garbage disposal?
    2. How do you turn off the milkman?
    3. Why would that rotten kid leave his shoes in his boots?
    4. How do you remove a Confederate flag inked on the palm of a small boy’s hand?
    5. What do you do with leftovers when they begin to snap at you when you open the door?

    I don’t know what you’re having for lunch! Surprise me!

  • Friday A.M. Hey: Don’t drink from pitcher by the sink. Am trying to restore pink dress shirt to original white. Take heart. Tonight, the ironing will be folded, the house cleaned and the dinner on time. I called your mother.

A Mother’s Dictionary

  • Amnesia
    A condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have sex again.
  • Bottle
    An opportunity for Daddy to get up at 2am to do the feeding
  • Defense
    What you’d better have around the yard if you’re going to let de children play outside.
  • Drooling
    How teething babies wash their chins.
  • Dumbwaiter
    One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.
  • Family
    The art of spacing your children the proper planning distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.
  • Feedback
    The inevitable result when the baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.
  • Full Name
    What you call your child when you’re mad at him.
  • Grandparents
    The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.
  • Hearsay
    What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.
  • Impregnable
    A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.
  • Independent
    How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.
  • Look Out!
    What it’s too late for your child to do by the time you scream it
  • Prenatal
    When your life was still somewhat your own.
  • Prepared
    A contradiction in terms, especially in terms of childbirth
  • Puddle
    A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.
  • Show Off
    A child who is more talented than yours.
  • Sterilize
    What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it
  • Storeroom
    The distance required between the supermarket aisles so that children in shopping carts can’t quite reach anything.
  • Temper Tantrums
    What you should keep to a minimum so as to not upset the children.
  • Top Bunk
    Where you should never put a child wearing Superman jammies.
  • Verbal
    Able to whine in words
  • Weaker Sex
    The kind you have after the kids have worn you out.
  • Whodunit
    None of the kids that live in your house.
  • Whoops
    An exclamation that translates roughly into “get a sponge.”

Moms and Understanding Computers

For years I badgered my mother with questions about whether Santa Claus is a real person or not. Her answer was always “Well, you asked for the presents and they came, didn’t they?” I finally understood the full meaning of her reply when I heard the definition of a virtual device: “A software or hardware entity which responds to commands in a manner indistinguishable from the real device.” Mother was telling me that Santa Claus is a virtual person (simulated by loving parents) who responds to requests from children in a manner indistinguishable from the real saint.

Mother also taught the IF .. THEN … ELSE structure: “If it’s snowing, then put your boots on before you go to school; otherwise just wear your shoes.”

Mother explained the difference between batch and transaction processing:


“We’ll wash the white clothes when we get enough of them to make a load, but we’ll wash these socks out right now by hand because you’ll need them this afternoon.”

Mother taught me about linked lists. Once, for a birthday party, she laid out a treasure hunt of ten hidden clues, with each clue telling where to find the next one, and the last one leading to the treasure. She then gave us the first clue.

Mother understood about parity errors. When she counted socks after doing the laundry, she expected to find an even number and groaned when only one sock of a pair emerged from the washing machine. Later she applied the principles of redundancy engineering to this problem by buying our socks three identical pairs at a time. This greatly increased the odds of being able to come up with at least one matching pair.

Mother had all of us children writes then mailed in a single envelope with a single stamp. This was obviously an instance of blocking records in order to save money by reducing the number of physical I/O operations.

Mother used flags to help her manage the housework. Whenever she turned on the stove, she put a potholder on top of her purse to reminder herself to turn it off again before leaving the house.

Mother knew about devices which raise an interrupt signal to be serviced when they have completed any operation. She had a whistling teakettle.

Mother understood about LIFO ordering. In my lunch bag she put the dessert on the bottom, the sandwich in the middle, and the napkin on top so that things would come out in the right order
at lunchtime.

There is an old story that God knew He couldn’t be physically present everywhere at once, to show His love for His people, and so He created mothers. That is the difference between centralized and distributed processing. As any kid who’s ever misbehaved at a neighbor’s house finds out, all the mothers in the neighborhood talk to each other. That’s a local area network of distributed processors that can’t be beat.

Mom, you were the best computer teacher I ever had.