Capital News by Marc Kovac, Capital Bureau Chief
There ought to be a law, just for mothers.
Not a cliche-ridden, greeting-card resolution filled with flowers and bunnies and sunshine.
Not a bridge or a highway or a playground or a soccer field or a month named in their honor.
And most certainly not a license plate with some cutesy crayon drawing of stick figures and smiley faces. Those legislative activities have their place at the Statehouse (whether they're an easy means of gaining political favor with the voting public back home is a discussion for another day).
No, I'm talking about a good, old-fashioned, toothy law rewarding moms for their sacrifice and their impact on the state of the family and the state of Ohio.
The law books aren't devoid of motherhood. A quick word search noted at least 98 mentions of "mothers" in Ohio Revised Code and 99 in Ohio's Administrative Code.
But those are mostly in reference to babies' health and the adoption process.
Otherwise, there hasn't been a whole lot of practical legislation enacted to make mothers' lives less stressful. So there ought to be a law, just for mothers.
It could prohibit kids from kicking each other under dinner tables or pinching each other in back seats or pulling pigtails in church pews or, perhaps above all, whining.
It could mandate the cleanup of toys and clothes and books and board games and puzzle pieces, particularly in areas of homes frequented by guests.
It could impose severe penalties against youths who publicly utter or subsequently laugh at words related to body parts, odors, toilets or the contents of diapers, or for whining.
It could restrict children from coming closer than 6 feet and/or "knowingly touching" moms while they're talking on the telephone.
It could force children to maintain eye and ear contact and refrain from asking questions during maternal dissertations about inappropriate behavior, like whining.
Breakfast in bed wouldn't be a once-a-year occurrence reserved for Mother's Day. Code language could be developed requiring at least once-a-week bedside service of girly brunch delicacies -- quiche, exotic fruits and (especially) little sandwiches made with cucumbers and capers. And the dirty dishes afterward? Ohio's youngsters could be granted full authority over spigots and sponges with firm timelines to return formerly soiled supper-ware to kitchen cabinets.
There'd be no more writing on walls, no more climbing out of cribs without permission, no more screaming hitting, yelling, pouting or tantruming.
Did I mention no more whining? Apparently that's do-able: State code already allows rangers to make pet owners remove their animals from parks for excessive "whining, howling, crying and other incessant, sharp, abrupt outcries."
I don't own any dogs or cats, but the latter sounds emanate from my house every day.
Countless moms are losing sleep and hair and wits over this kind of thing.
Enough is enough.
There really ought to be a law, just for mothers.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Newspapers capital bureau chief. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.