5 things only a Sicilian mum would do

The infamous wooden spoon. Photo by Lia Kurtis.

Today is Mother’s Day, so I thought I’d write a little something about Sicilian mums . Any reference to real facts or people is purely coincidental. (Love you, mum!)

PLEASE, NOTE: the following features do not apply to Sicilian mothers -in-law. They are an entire different species with whom thankfully I’ve had very little contact in my life.

Here are the top five things only a Sicilian mum would do to your life.

1. A Sicilian mum will try to feed you 24h a day

“Take a little bit more, dear”

“Come ooonn, just a little bit mooore!”

2. She will ‘gently’ remind you to wear the ‘undershirt of health’

The undershirt of health (la maglia della salute) is something that doesn’t exist outside of Italy. But within the borders of the boot-shaped peninsula, this piece of clothing  certainly holds magical powers. You must always wear it underneath your normal clothing to avoid sudden death. A Sicilian mum has the primary responsibility to make you wear the undershirt, even if it’s 40°C outside.

3. She will tell you off for walking barefoot around the house 

Another thing that might induce sudden death (in that notoriously freezing country that is Sicily), is  walking barefoot on a tiled floor. If you don’t believe my word, check out this post by Sicilian Godmother. Sicilian mums know that slippers can save lives, and they will help you save yours.

4. In some cases, a Sicilian mum might wield a wooden spoon against you (e.g. when you walk barefoot around the house, or forget to wear your undershirt of health)

If that happens, remain calm and do as she tells you. Don’t worry, the infamous wooden spoon (la cucchaia) has only ever been used in rare circumstances. In most cases, the threat of using it is enough to make any child behave.

meme from An Italian from Jersey
meme from An Italian from Jersey

5. She will try and keep you under the same roof until you’re 65

Except she won’t, really… She will be supportive of your choices and always stand  by your side. She will even learn how to use The Facebook and The Tablet to stay in touch with you.

Mamma Franca learning The Tablet.
Mamma Franca learning The Tablet.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the great mums in the world!


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