Mr. Puffer-Bill and the Note from Mama


I’ve been cleaning off bookshelves and going through things as part of the “Fresh Paint, Fresh Start” efforts.  Yesterday I found on a shelf this book that Mama had given me a few years back.  She said it was my very favorite when I was little.  I would sit in her lap and listen to her read it over and over.  It’s been well-loved.  There’s tape all through out and a torn page or two inside.  Apparently I really loved this book.

My very favorite book when I was little.
My very favorite book when I was little.

In the back there was a note from Mama.  For some reason I had forgotten what was on it, so it was with great anticipation and excitement that I took the note out to read.


Well.  Huh.  That explains why I didn’t remember it.  I probably put it out of my mind almost as quickly as I did the first time Mama handed me this paper so long ago.  I’m thinking it was a few years after we sat reading Mr. Puffer-Bill together.

Things Your Mother Should Have Told You (and obviously did not):

Gum thrown into trash can sticks to said can.

Newspaper on floor is in the wrong place if one wishes to walk on said floor. 

Neat, clean clothes that are not properly put away stay neither neat nor clean. 

A useful commode should be flushed.

Shoes not on feet can trip feet.  (Hands can assist in avoiding accidents, i.e., said hands can put said shoes away.)


I am laughing so hard over this.  First of all, if there were any doubts where I got my sense of sarcasm and parenting style from, well, here’s the clarification–my Mama.  (Although I did get some techniques and the teasing from my Daddy.)  The other thing I’m laughing at–better laugh or I’ll start crying–I have turned into my Mama.  I could print this out and use it with my own zoo crew right now.  Today.  I could substitute any number of things for the “newspaper on floor,” but other than that–exactly spot on.

I guess some things are universal to motherhood.

Tonight I am thankful for a Mama who was loving and shared her love of reading with me and so many others.  She seemed never to tire of reading to little ones.  But I’m also thankful that she shot straight with us and didn’t let us get away with less than our best.  I love this list, and I think I might need to frame it and hang it in a prominent place on one of my freshly painted walls.  After all, a fresh start is all about changing our ways for the better, isn’t it?  And I’d say picking up and putting up and flushing toilets pretty much falls under the category of “better.”

Love and memories that make you smile to all.




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