My son before turning into a scary teenager.
Honestly, I love my kids more than free shoes and Midori margaritas. If you’re not familiar with my arbitrary scale, that’s a lot. But I swear to you, no matter how much I love them, I still really, really want to whack them in the head sometimes.
No need to call Child Protective Services. I’m not the punchy, kicky type. And I don’t hit my kids. Maybe that’s why there are times that the thought of smacking my son in the forehead with a piece of Hot Wheel track brings such joy to me. I find myself unconsciously giggling and wringing my hands. People gaze at me with that look. You know that look right? Ok, maybe it’s just me. But when I see that look on people’s’ faces, I realize I’m doing the cackling evil genius thing out loud. And then I tell them to mind their own cheese eating business. Jeez. Can’t a girl have a fantasy moment? Cut me some slack. Kids can make you really crazy, you know?
Like today, for instance, my son is home with me. Have you ever tried to do anything productive with an ADD teen in the house? Holy fuck in a fart taco, you guys. It’s harder than trying to maintain composure with an angry mongoose up your pant leg. And only just slightly less painful. There is NO concentrating on anything here. ANYthing. If I haven’t made any sense at all so far, that’s why.
Raising kids is a bitch. And it most certainly has the potential to turn a girl into a raging one. And if you run across a parent who says otherwise, ask them for a hit of their medical marijuana. Because they’ve obviously got the good stuff. I’ve known people who, pre-kids, were the coolest, more fun people ever. Then after a couple of weeks/months/years as parents—it takes some longer than others—they turn into preachy, judgmental douche canoes.
The worst ones look around and see that nothing anyone else is doing is deemed as acceptable, or responsible parenting. I, personally don’t think that generalizations have a place in parenting. Every kid is different. And those parents who want to judge other parents on their choices, need to be tied up and stuffed into a time machine. Because (in my opinion), everyone should be forced to see how their own kids turn out, before being allowed to judge others. Not every child turns out to be the President. And thank (name your deity) for that. I can’t think of a more awful job. So, ya, douche canoes, your kids can be the President, (Yay you!), if they don’t crumble under your pressure to be perfect, and turn into crack heads. Which, by the way, is probably slightly ahead of the President as suckiest life aspiration. But that’s just my opinion, of course.
Parenting involves a whole lot of planning, and then even more stomping your feet, yelling, “Shit shit SHIT,” and then changing your plans. Or maybe that’s just me. But no matter what you decide for your kids, they are their own little people. And eventually will make their own choices. And if you’re a total dickweed about things now, chances are they’ll just go ahead and do what they choose, and choose to not talk to you about it along the way.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not referring to basic morality. You can instill, brainwash, whatever you want to call it. I’m all about that. Basic morality is society’s cornerstone. Right? Have at it. But if you’re going to preach it, you’d damn well better practice it. Because kids see so much more than you think. And they’re more likely to follow what you do, rather than what you say. If that scares you… well… I’m just sayin.’
I think the most important thing for kids to know is that they have loving, caring parents, who demonstrate good values and are willing to listen to them, and accept them. When they’re willing to talk. (If you have teens, you totally get this.) Sometimes they need to retreat into themselves. This is ok with me. I mean, hell, it gives me a nice break. In fact, I wish my son would do a little of that retreating thing right now.
I just hope my kids are able to follow their passion. I try to give them enough (I think) non-judgemental leeway to figure out what that is. I hope they can do something in life that makes them excited to get out of bed every morning. Yes kids, I will make your asses go to college. But you decide what floats your boat. It doesn’t matter what it is. Somehow you can find a way to make a living doing something related to your passion. The worst thing you can do is wake up when you’re forty and figure out that you hate what you’ve become, and realize the road back is a long, and sometimes impossible one. There’s not much worse than that. Not even an angry mongoose up your pant leg. Or a mom with a piece of Hot Wheel track.
But what do I know? My kids have already made me batshit crazy.