Sunday, November 30, 2008

Secret Shame: My Inner Child Is Disappointed

I think slowly overtime my children are turning me into my parents. When I was a kid, and my mom or dad would say something, I would swear up and down that I would never do that to my kids....

Well it seems that despite my best intentions I am finding out that my mom and dad were right about a lot of things. Now that I pay the bills, it's really not cool to have the house lit up like a Christmas tree.  It is also not cool to be heating the outside and leave the door wide open.  Yeah,  a little body only needs to be so clean, why are you running my water like that?  No I'm not rich, and I will not buy you that over priced piece of plastic crap. I am your mother not your friend recognize the difference. Oh,  when your little friends come here if they cannot even bother to say hello, then I cannot be  bothered to let them in my house. Finally, my least favourite but the most correct, pride feels no pain.

I have developed my own woe is me when I was kid I used to walk 12 miles in the snow stories.  The only difference is mine are bullshit; whereas my parents had legitimate hard times. 

I have come to the conclusion that it is children that bring this shit out in you. A parent may start off with the best of intentions but slowly over time as they plug your toilet with foreign objects, refuse to pick their underwear up off the bathroom floor, speak in slang that makes you feel old, and generally give you grey hair with their lack of fear, children bring it out in you

The only consolation I have, is that when or if Mayhem and Destruction become fathers, they will repeat all of the things that I have said to them because their own children will drive them nuts.

Okay what have you said or done that you swore that you would never do?


AR said...

Okay what have you said or done that you swore that you would never do?

Enlist. My beliefs in even such usually constant areas as religion changed so radically during my adolescence that I swore off swearing in, um, wait a minute...

Coolred38 said...

My mother seemed to be able to read my mind as a kid...she always ALWAYS knew when I had done something...never could figure out how she did it....was years later when I realized that she used the old...pretend like you know more than you do and let the guilty party dig their own hole...technique on me. Boy was I mad...but I find myself doing the exact same thing with my kids now...and I hate doing it..but sometimes its the only way to find out what the little criminals have been up to...sigh.

hyrax said...

I am visiting my friend and her 9 year old over Thanksgiving and I heard myself say "... because WE are the adults and YOU are the child" at one point.

SjP said...

I think that's the "curse" all parents put on their children that they will someday become them! It always cracks me up when I hear mine "being me". But, what really gets me is when I look in the mirror and see my Mother! Yeah, I got the curse and now I'm passing it on! LOL

erika said...

i'm not a parent yet, but my inner child would be horrified that i now LOVE vegetables. bring on the spinach!

Anonymous said...

I babysit kids a lot, and I've heard the beginnings of this phrase come out of my mouth, "Oh, you wanna cry? Well, I'll GIVE you something to cry about!" Then I realize I'm crazy and force myself to breathe.

Arum said...

I have a list as long as my arm. From falling asleep on the sofa to the strange collection of plastic shopping bags stuffed under the sink ("I'll re-use those next time I go shopping!") my Mum's habits are becoming mine.

"Because I'm your mother, and I said so"
"Who is the parent here?"
"I don't care whose fault it was - you're both to blame" (Argh.... !)
"Because you're the eldest, and should be more responsible" (I HATED that when I was a kid!)

and.... drum roll here....

"Mummy's busy, go and watch the telly."

Oh, how I swore I'd never do that one *hangs head in shame*.

On the upside, I've got a real thing about being late for my kids. My mum was always, always late for everything. I feel I spent half my childhood waiting around for her. She was one of those women who, if the phone went at 5 to 5, she'd pick it up, and be in the middle of another crisis. Me, my computer is switched off and I'm sitting with my coat on ready to go! I can honestly count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've made my kids wait around for me. Of course, the little buggers probably won't remember any of it, but it's significant to me! LOL

Sandalstraps said...

When I was growing up, the thing my Dad did that most horrified me was, when I did something I wasn't supposed to do, he'd make me sit on his lap and explain myself to him.

That doesn't sound so bad, but my Dad is a lawyer, and he would cross-examine me until I couldn't see straight. By the end of being interrogated by him and having to defend myself as though I were on trial, I'd rather have just been spanked.

But he never spanked me. He never hit me. He never even yelled at me. He just let me sit on his lap with my guilty conscience, trying to talk myself into believing that I wasn't in the wrong. But I never could. I just sat their crying, defenseless, wishing that I somehow had the ability to build arguments, to call up some stirring oratory to my defense.

I just sat on his lap, knowing that I was wrong and that he was right. Knowing that I was still the child, and he still the parent.

Now, when my son Adam breaks the rules of the house, I don't get mad. I don't yell at him. I don't berate or belittle him. I certainly don't hit him. I just sit him on my lap and invite him to explain himself to me. To convince me that he hadn't really done anything wrong, hadn't really broken the rules.

And, like the childhood me, he just sits there on my lap. He tries to muster up some defense. But, in the end, like the childhood me, he just cries, saddened by the knowledge that he's done something wrong, and is without excuse.

Then, like my Dad, I send him to think about what he's done, and charge him to do better. And, like the childhood me, he does his very best, until temptation strikes again, and I have to sit him down for another talk.

Arum said...

Incidentally Renee, glad to hear you're another parent who insists that other people's children are polite in your home. It's unbelievable how rude some kids can be. I have a one-chance policy - they piss me off, they don't come back! This produces howls of "unfair!" from my kids, but I refuse to put up with smart mouthed little brats on my time.

There was one little charmer in my eldest's class who got herself banned from just about everyone's house by swanning into people's homes and making cutting remarks about their decor! Bear in mind the kid was about 7 at this point. She grandly informed one of my friends that her house was "rather like our house. Except of course that ours is bigger, tidier, and has nicer carpets". I won't tell you what she said about the grouting in my kitchen. What kind of 7 year old notices grouting, fer fecks sake? I also recall her mother ringing me when eldest was round at her house for tea, and questioning me on what my partner did for a living! Ho hum. Lily and her mummy soon found that most of us were no longer in the market for new friends.

Scott said...

Something that I am ashamed to say that I swore I never would is say the following to my children

"Do as I say, not as I do"

Theresa said...

" I am your mother not your friend recognize the difference."

So I don't have kids (yet), but I used to HATE when my mother would tell me this during my rebellious teenage years. I used to wish that she was one of those cool "friend moms" that probably only exist in television/movies. But after I grew up a bit I became grateful for all that she did and now we have more of a "friend" relationship than a mother one.

Clare said...

It's not so bad if you find that your parents had some good points that you adopted and at the same time you remember how it felt like some kind of "oppression" to be directed to these values.
It's not so much knowing that you're "right" as having confidence that these values will serve your children well.
So what if you sound like your parents - as long as you are sounding like them in ways that reflect how you have adopted similar values?
The only really sad and difficult thing is when you find yourself acting in ways that were hurtful to you as a child.
If that's not the case, if what you are saying was just a pain to hear because you were, age-appropriately "immature" and needing to grow, then you know you are passing on something that you have found to be of value and that you believe will similarly be of value to your child.
Otherwise, this is just about "how I never imagined that I'd actually be an ADULT." But, hey, it's got its good points, and your kids are counting on it. ^_^