From the Podium

A few words from an award-winning mom

By Renee Whitmore

My son, Kevin, just told me I was the meanest mom in the world. I made him ride his bike for 30 minutes before he could come inside, and I told him he could not have Tootsie Rolls and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups before dinner. So, in his defense, I clearly am awful.

I am so honored. Meanest mom in the whole world. Wow. Out of all those other moms, me! Just a small-town girl with big dreams, hiding from my kids in my closet, armed with a box of Dove milk chocolates.

So, I wrote a speech for when I accept my award. I walk up on stage with the best Beyoncé reaction I can gather.

(Waiting for applause to die down.)

Thank you. Thank you. Family. Friends. Please be seated. I am absolutely in shock right now. I am so blessed to be standing in front of you today. I truly wasn’t expecting this. (I try to run my fingers through my hair nonchalantly but can’t get past the tangles of dried chocolate.)

Something like this cannot be accomplished alone. I stand on the shoulders of all the mean parents in the world who do not give in to every whim and demand their children make.

Karen. Debi. Shelly. I feel like you guys should be up here with me. Karen, I saw you stop your daughter from standing up on the slide — so cruel. Debi, you only let your son be in two activities at a time — positively sadistic. Shelly, you didn’t buy your kid a third iced donut when he already had a sprinkled one and a glazed one — what were you thinking?

Of course, this day would have been impossible without my long-suffering campaign manager, Kevin, who I sincerely believe will recover from my many dastardly acts in the fullness of time.

My message for you today is a simple one: If I can do it, so can you. You, too, can be meaner than you ever thought possible. So, join me in a toast. Let’s raise a second cup of coffee:

To all the moms who make their kids play outside.

To all the moms who don’t let their kids eat cookies and popcorn for dinner (lunch maybe).

To all the moms who say no to a third dog or cat.

To all the moms who do not let their kids go to school in the clothes they slept in the night before.

To all the moms who pitched out their kid’s once-favorite toy that they haven’t touched in two years.

To all the moms who enforce a bedtime.

To all the moms who make their kids eat green beans.

To all the moms who say “no.”

To all the moms who recognize the purpose of toothpaste.

To all the moms who teach their kids to clean up their own messes, love others and respect authority.

This is for you.

Hold your head up high and be mean.

You can do it, too!

World’s meanest mom. Wow. These are heady times when anything seems possible. When any ordinary mom can aspire to an achievement like this.

Thank you. Thank you so much. I am honored.

They like me. They really, really like me!

(I make a mad dash back to my closet and my Dove chocolates).  PS

When Renee is not teaching English or being a professional taxi driver for her two boys, she is working on her first book

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