Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dumbing Down

I have been asking myself the same question over and over lately: When did I become so stupid?

According to my teen and pre-teen, I have apparently become the stupidest person in the world. This is evident in the fact that they seem to roll their eyes at everything I say lately.

Although I have been on the earth for forty-plus years, I apparently know nothing and understand nothing. I had an argument with my daughter before school the other day all because I would not allow her to simply roll out of bed and get on the bus. I am critical of everything she does and, of course, "don't understand" anything. All this because I insisted she do something with her hair.

When Sean was on crutches and I had to drive him to and from school, I thought he would die from embarrassment. I was absolutely not allowed to get out of the car to help him under any circumstances and should stay as hidden as possible. I considered renting a white cargo van and wearing dark glasses, a hat and a fake beard simply to spare him the humiliation of the entire middle school realizing that he actually had a mother.

What happened to the days when they hung on every word and I was the center of their universe? I suppose it is called "growing up."

It is only natural for teens and pre-teens to begin questioning beliefs and testing limits. I can remember living in constant fear at that age that my own mother would say and do something that I deemed embarrassing in front of my own friends. And "something embarrassing" usually consisted of being in the same room.

I can accept this (although I call them on the eye rolling and mumbling) as long as they understand that there is no compromising on certain prinicples. When my son decided recently that there are too many rules in our household, he informed me that when he is 16 he is doing whatever he wants. I informed him that if he thinks that will happen, he better have a full-time job and his butt better be out of my house.

Rules regarding morality, grades, curfews, substance abuse and going to church will never change as long as my children are living under my roof. Period. As I have told them before: If you don't like it, get you own house.

My kids know the saying ad nauseam: This is not a democracy. This is a dictatorship. Heil, Mamma!

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