Senseless Sunday Sarcasm : Parenting cycles
What I remember about my mother can be summed up into 3 cliches:
- There is a silver lining behind every cloud
- It’s darkest just before dawn.
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
What I remember about my dad can be summed up into 2 cliches:
- If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.
- You ain’t quite right.
You’d think my mother was angelic and my father was draconian. In reality, mom resembled Lois from Malcolm in the Middle. Dad was more like Hal.
This was my face the many times I found myself in trouble…
Both mom and dad had the same outlook on dating:
When my parents were born, most girls were expected to get married between the ages of 18 and 20. My mom was very modern (in her eyes). She insisted that my sister and I learn to type so we could get jobs as secretaries. Why? If anything happened to our husbands we could provide for ourselves.
She never put it into these words, but it boiled down to this: “Some day you’ll find your prince.”
Yes, my prince finally arrived — a year ago — and he was a dog. Really.
These days, children born in the 1990’s have the maturity of a 20 year old when they’re 37. My mother had the mind of a 60-year-old before she turned 30. That’s what happens when you’re 4 and have to stand on a stool to wash dishes after each meal. By the time she graduated from high school, she had a college degree by today’s standards.
This is what my sister and I understood at a very early age: It was like being raised by your grandparents.
We lived in the same house for our entire childhood. Both my sister and I wanted to travel. Almost every year,”vacation” consisted of 2 days in a motel “up north” in Wildwood, Florida, that had a pool and served free coffee. All I remember about any of those vacations was the time I touched the lamp after getting out of the pool. It was a shocking experience.
A few times we went to North Carolina and stayed at the same motel in the mountains. What do I remember about that vacation experience? I loved the scenery when we were in the mountains. Once, my dad drove off and forgot our dog. When we arrived back to the place we’d accidently left her, she was sitting there waiting for use with a “what the hell just happened” look on her chihuahua/terrier face.
Then there was the one time we drove from Florida to California. If Satan wants to find the perfect torture, I’d suggest the
8000 8 hours it took to cross Texas. The worst was this:
After 20 hours of flat land, you see a mesa in the distance. How exciting!
…and you see it, and see it, and see it until you fall asleep in your
see it seat. When you wake up 2 hours later, you see it, and…
You get the picture.
I soooo wished we’d lived in many different places, and longed to live way up north in a place like Orlando.
Fast forward to life in my household.
For the first 5 years of our marriage, my children’s father and I lived in several different places. My son was not even 3 when he went to the door of our hotel room and said, “I want to go home.”
Neither of my children wanted to go to different schools every year of their lives, but it seemed to work out that way. Both complained about leaving their friends and having to make new ones all the time.
Geez — it seems that no one is happy!
Then, as teenagers, I complimented my children on the fact that they weren’t as rebellious as most kids their age.
My daughter said, “We didn’t have anything to rebel against.”
Did I mention that my mind was 20 when my body was 40?
They turned out great! Both are hard workers and loving parents, but they don’t take S#!t from any of their kids. When I visit, their parenting expectations are a lot like my parents house.
Except for one teensy difference.
My mother could slap an elephant across a football field. My children use a very stern voice and insist upon a time out. I had time out, too, when I was a kid — after mom blistered my butt.
Sometimes, it’s better to be slapped and blistered than to listen to lectures. My children learned from their mother the find art of torture by lecture.
What will the next generation do?
I’ll have to wait until we can peel them away from the phones to find out if they’re going to do anything at all.