First, there was the genosn (sneezed) that meant it was the truth, and our earlobe was pulled. To this day I do not know if there is a good medical reason for it. However, her most powerful ammunition came with her uttering gegenetst. “Uh, du host gegenetst, du darfst itst geyn shlofn” (Oh, you yawned, you need to go to sleep.)
Just like many other children we boys wanted to stay up later—that’s what grownups do, so it must be good. It usually happened when we formed a semi-circle around the tall Philco radio that stood on four legs. It was in the evening and the program was The Shadow. When the voice said, “The Shadow knows,” we actually got goose pimples from fright.
Mama watched us for a sign. When one of us yawned, she invoked her mighty weapon, “Uh, du host gegenetst, du darfst itst geyn shlofn.”
Of course there were lesser instances that included brushing our teeth and washing our hands.
Mama had signals from G-d.