My daughter came home for a visit the other day. We immediately resumed nagging her.

She’s a grown woman now, of course, and is usually hundreds of miles away, living on her own, no longer even ordering from the children’s menu. She pays her own rent, occasionally on time, and generally even remembers to look in her mail box, sometimes when we have not reminded her for the eighth time.

She works and she hangs out and she knows people we haven’t introduced her to at a playgroup and she buys things and she can take the subway without getting lost. She’s only left her cell phone on the subway one time. Her voice mail message no longer has assorted giggles in the background. It is, in fact, amazingly professional and, despite everything we’ve done to her, so grown up.

Still, when she comes home, even before she goes up to her old room — the one with the stuffed animals piled high on the upper bunk and the tissues from the last century under the bottom bunk, not to mention the old box of Oreos in the desk drawer — the temptation to nag is irresistible.

It’s something we’ve trained for, something we’ve spent most of her life doing extremely well. We’re really good at it.

So, we mention, without even knowing we’re doing it, that she should keep her hair out of her soup. We suggest, without even believing that it’s more than a suggestion, that she shouldn’t walk barefoot on the splintery deck, leave her clothes in a ball on the floor or try Hula-Hooping while eating her soup on the splintery deck.

We remind her, without even knowing that we’ve already told her this six times, that she should fold her clothes carefully, brush her teeth from left to right, top to bottom, brush her hair from front to back and don’t jaywalk in the city as much as we used to.

When she goes out, we repeat three or four times that she should drive carefully, don’t exceed the speed limit, finish reading “Great Expectations” and don’t hesitate to call us if you have trouble understanding chapter four.

Also, shut the lights out when you come back home, lock the door and if we have a cat, put it out.

We don’t have a cat. But if we did, we’re sure we’d have to nag her about it. Of course, we also don’t think of what we do as nagging exactly. We think of it as gently reminding her that no matter how old she gets, no matter how professional her voice mail, we will still be crotchety.

To her great credit, she indulges us, letting us nag as much as we need to. When she leaves, at the end of her visit, we make sure to smuggle in a few extra nags into her bag, just so she’ll know we’re around. We’ll keep the Hula-Hoop, though.

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