posted by Momo Fali on November 30, 2009

Sometimes, in the middle of doing something completely mundane, I will think to myself that there are so many things that I have not yet taught my children. Most recently, while preparing dinner, I thought about how my daughter should know that you only use Wondra flour to make gravy.

These are the things I forget to mention during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They may not be as important as reading and writing, but you know…people will judge you on your gravy. Trust me.

It’s other things too. Little things. Like the fact that vinegar is the one and only thing you should use to clean glass, or that at least once in your life you should watch a sunrise.

My daughter should know that you can put toothpaste on your zits before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with clearer skin. I need to tell her that she should always wear cotton underwear and never a thong, which I have also heard referred to as a bacterial superhighway. Go ahead, use your imagination.

My son needs to be taught to always let women through a door first and be seated first, and that the gender and age of the other passengers plays a part in when he should exit an elevator.

They need to know that hard work builds character, that nothing is free and that there are a whole lot of people in the world who don’t believe either of those things. Oh, and if you put feminine hygiene powder in your shoes, it will take the feet smell away and if you wait until your spouse goes to bed, he or she will never know that you put Vagisil in their boots.

I want them to understand that there are certain things on which you don’t skimp, such as toilet paper, paper towels and car tires. Their first tool should be a hammer, followed closely by an electric screwdriver, their first car should be a very large piece of junk and their first kiss should be with someone who really likes them and respects them.

They need to know that nothing will hurt as much as their first broken heart, that All in the Family is a great TV show and that they must always floss their teeth.

More than anything, I want them to know that it’s okay to take risks, but they should never, ever be reckless.

Especially with gravy.


  • Monica

    Wow Momo, I love this! I spend lots of time thinking about the things I need to teach my kids. You pretty much covered most, if not all, of that ground here. Bravo!

    Got the Write of Passage thing. I'm intimidated. Eek.

  • BeautifulWreck

    This is probably one of my favorite posts that you have written.

    I would also add lunch meat. do not buy cheap lunch meat because it spoils quicker and doesn't taste nearly as good.

  • Bridget

    Wonderful list!

    (I'm doing the Write of Passage thing too, and I'm very intimidated. Some amazing writers!)

  • Viv

    Found your blog through Monica, and very glad I did, this was a beautiful post.

  • Twenty Four At Heart

    Wondra flour? Do they have that in Orange County? Because my gravy came out lumpy this year. I've been making it for a bazillion years and it's never been lumpy before but this year it was. I feel like a GRAVY FAILURE!!!

    PS I loooooved this post! : )

  • ChefDruck

    This is an amazing post! Not only because it is beautifully written, but also because it is filled with nuggets of info that I did not know. I have Wondra flour in my pantry, but have never used it for gravy. I will be purchasing Vagisil tomorrow first thing!

  • DysFUNctional Mom

    Wow, I love this! I need to write one of my own. And I need to take notes from yours. Wondra, huh?

  • Ed

    Great synopsis on some very important life lessons. Though I have to admit–a good whisk can overcome a marginal flour–and make for some excellent gravy. I'm just saying.

  • ifmomsaysok

    Fabulous commentary on life lessons.

    I've even learned a thing or two myself… Wondra and Vagisil… who knew?

  • Oscar

    What a great post!!! Even I learned from it.

    That is so heartfelt! You're a great mom!

  • Kori

    I loved this; however, I use the cheapest flour there is and I never have lumps. Which isn't at what your post is truly about, and I get that. šŸ™‚

  • WeaselMomma

    Those are some FANTASMIC tips! I love this post.

  • sandra

    Love this!

    I think my mom taught me all of these with the exception of Wondra and the Vagisil.

    I used to stay up very late just to watch All in the Family šŸ™‚

  • Maureen

    Just yesterday I stopped cooking to tell my daughter when making Irish stew to never add parnips into the pressure cooker; they have to be steamed separately or they'll be mush.

    It was a small nugget of info she needs in the future. After all, she's part Irish too.

    Love this post Momo.

  • anya

    Your kids are so lucky. What a great Mom you are.

  • Jaina

    Momo, you just taught me a few things too! (my family loves Wondra for gravy) Gravy can totally make or break a meal, for sure.

  • AlisonH

    Ah my. Memories. Trying very awkwardly to find out how much my son (sixth grade, I think?) knew of the Facts of Life. I started by happening to notice and asking him if he knew what those were for. (Those being mini-pads.)

    Of COURSE I do! he spluttered indignantly. Sneaker liners!

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    I think this may be my very favorite post from you!
    I love–sadly we have to use corn starch for gravy because of the gluten so I guess my kids will learn how to break a sweat whisking šŸ˜‰

  • Caroline, staff to Romeo the Cat

    Great post, Momo! I love it. And, I learned a few things from YOU! Wondra? Who knew! I laughed v. hard about the powder in the shoes. Especially because I am picturing you explaining why they even make that kind of powder to your kids……

  • madoliv

    I love this, I mean really love this.

  • Aunt Juicebox

    Awesome! I see being a lunch lady has made you very wise indeed! šŸ˜‰

  • Amy

    The Vagisil in the boots made me laugh out loud – that is so funny!!

  • the*4*of*us

    awesome post! My gravy is always lumpy šŸ™

  • geeksinrome

    These are great lessons for life! maybe you can write them all down for your kids?

    I would be so afraid of getting Wondra and Vagisil powder mixed up one day. and yet lump- and itch-free gravy sounds so intriguing…

  • Heather

    Wow, Momo. Just wow. You are so right, these are all things that one needs to learn before "being on their own" and growing up.


    Thank you for this one, thank you.

  • Deb Thaxton

    –>AWESOME post. By far my favorite of yours to date. It's ALL true especially about the gravy.


  • Sadia

    This is one of those posts that I would buy if it were a poster.

  • ZDub

    This is rad.

    And I invited my MIL over for breakfast once and I attempted to make biscuits and gravy. My gravy was a disaster.

    I know because she told me so.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Okay, I love ALL of your posts, but THIS ONE? Is one of my VERY FAVORITES ever.

    "but you know…people will judge you on your gravy. Trust me."
    That made me laugh out loud.

  • meleah rebeccah

    ooh, and I also signed up for write-of-passage via your invite! xoxoxo

  • mrsmouthy

    This is sweet. Thanks for the warm fuzzies!

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