CHILDREN RAISING PARENTS

I spent years teaching my little brood of six everything they needed to know to succeed in life. Well, I tried.  I’m not responsible if they choose to ignore the fountain of eternal wisdom spewing from my mouth.

But the times they are a-changin’.

The kids who grew up too quickly have now surpassed me.  They range from  10 to 25 years in age and treat me like  the baby of the family.  They worry about me, hover over me and advise me. It’s getting to the point where I’m not sure I can live without them, or if I dare.

I mean, what if I mess up?  What if I never learn to dress myself?  What if I say the wrong thing?

 

From a child’s view, parents mature into incompetence.  At the age you think you’ll be the matriarchal pillar of wisdom for the generations, you realize you’re just a few drools away from a toddler’s capabilities and impact. So, in humble submission to the older, wiser people in my life, I am submitting to their instruction.

~Ten Basic Life Skills I am Relearning~

1.  Walking

Over the holidays, I bought my first pair of real high heels. Ya’ know the real kind with the spikey heel and not the orthopedic chunk heels? I wobbled like a hobbled horse. Between laughs, the girls tried to give me pointers. And no, they weren’t laughing with me, they were laughing AT me. There’s a big difference, or so I tell myself.

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(frantically telling my son “Get the shoes!”  “Make sure the shoes are in the picture!”)

Then, they settled for warnings. “Just don’t fall.”

“Don’t hurt yourself.”

Hey, like I used to laugh at them when they were learning to walk and would run into that corner of the coffee table?

I never laughed when they took off running and their big diaper butts waddled them right over on their little faces?

When they were going through puberty and their feet reached adulthood before their brains, I NEVER teased them about tripping on latitude lines, nor did I call their feet SKIS… more than once or twice. And let’s not even talk about how those SKIS smelled…

Like I laughed when someone was 16 and walked straight into a wall for no reason and got a huge egghead lump? Oh, maybe I did laugh, but thought they were old enough to handle it.

2. Dressing Myself

“Mom, those jeans need to be worn with flats.”

“You’re not going to wear that, are you?”

”Um, that needs to be worn with skinny jeans.  No, I mean skin tight skinny jeans.  You can’t have knee wrinkles.

Even hubby, “Nobody at work dresses like you.”

“It’s OK if all that tummy blubber hangs over your jeans.  It’s called a muffin top.”

3.  Talking

They use their cool words, then turn to me with a smug explanation.

As if I couldn’t figure out what “perfs” or “sup” means.  C’mon, I know I was born a bajilion yesterdays ago, but I can still figure out things in context.  It’s just when they change the meaning of words that I get a little confused.

These words now mean something good: wicked, sick, tight, fat, killer, filthy, gnarly, dope, redunk, and boss. Even though I can’t say it at the airport, if “you du bomb” that’s really good.

When my son says “brah” he isn’t talking about unmentionables he shouldn’t mention.  He’s addressing another male species, usually his father, who isn’t impressed when called unmentionables.

If you’re a “noob” it’s not horrible, but not exactly good, and nobody can define it, but everybody knows what it is.  It’s a noob.

Even if a word was invented and used cleverly by my generation, a patronizing discussion will still follow. “Mom, do you know what this means?”

4. Safety from  sharp objects

They take all my scissors and my paring knives.  Even fingernail clippers and nail files must be dangerous, I’m not allowed to have those, either.  I never have a problem getting through security, my kids take all my dangerous items before the airport officials can.

5. Public Behavior

They now sneak out to shop and have coffee without me, and I assume it’s because of my behavior.

Well, I don’t know what they’re worried about, it’s not like I’m going to throw myself down and have a tantrum or climb the library shelves, like some people I know.  When they take me out,  I’ve never peed in anybody’s front lawn, or picked my nose and wiped it on the wall, like some people I know.  I’ve never stolen suckers from the grocery store, eaten coupons or broke a bottle of cooking oil, like some people I know.

But, I might talk too loud and I might need help with social skills.  See #1, #2 and #3.

6. Eating

“Mom, did you know you should be reading the labels to find out the sugar content of cereals?”

“Did you know iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value and you should be eating dark green leaves?”

“Whoa, Dude, didja’ know too much salt isn’t good for you?”

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na.  I can’t hear you!  Your lips are flapping and the wind is blowing my gray straggly hair all over, but I’m not listening! I’m gunna’ keep buying Fruit Loops and iceberg lettuce.  Wait, I haven’t bought those things in years…..

7. Matching

Apparently, your shoes and purse no longer have to match.  You can accessorize a brown purse with a *gasp* pair of black shoes.  You can wear random single colors today that aren’t in the same color palette. Unmatching is the new matching.

My daughter will wear brown boots, that look like cropped cowboy boots, a black jacket, a turquoise shirt, fishnet stockings and a cream skirt.  She’s adorable, but  I try not to stare, because in my mind, I’m painting those boots black, like they should be.

Now I know how my poor mother felt when I dared to wear white shoes after September 1st.

8. Basic Life Skills

Since I grew up without computers, technology is  a mystery.  Facebook?  Texting?  Instant Messenger?  Skype?  It was all invented to keep parents out of their lives. When I began emailing to keep in touch with my kids, they switched to Facebook.  When I got on Facebook, they moved to Twitter.  I haven’t moved to Twitter yet, but I’m wondering how many new places there are to hide and how long it will take me to find them.

Speaking of Twitter….really?  It musta’ been invented by someone who was sick of listening to their mom.  “Hey, if you can’t say it in 140 characters, don’t say it at all!”

I can keep it to 140 characters.

#Call your mom and tell her you love her.
#Buy your Mom a present.
#Send your mom to Hawaii with all new clothes.

#Maybe I should get on Twitter after all.  #It could come in handy.

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Beka researching scarlet Fever and study her states and capitals on this old cell phone. Silly me.  I didn’t think it was good for anything.

“Wow, Mom, you text slow.”  Ironic that this is coming from the teenager who types 20 words a minute using two fingers and has  100 errors, compared to my nearly 100wpm with two errors using all ten fingers.  Since when did typing lose its place in the world as a necessary skill?  Yes, I’m fully aware they call it “keyboarding” now but you’re still not learning how to use all your fingers and “keyboard” without looking!

9.  Bathroom Habits

“Mom, since we’re going shopping, why don’t you just go potty now so we don’t’ have to find a bathroom as soon as we get there?”

“Mom, you feeling OK? You were in the bathroom for a long time.”

“If you have a tummy ache, you probably have to use the bathroom.”

 

10.  Gaining self-confidence

“Don’t worry, Mom, everybody makes stupid comments.”

“You really look good….for your age and everything.”

  

Kids, I really love you and appreciate your efforts in raising me.   I know it’s a lot of work.  But it’s only fair I warn you.

 

Watch out.

Some day soon I’ll be a teenager…….

Making your home sing Mondays

What Joy Is Mine

The Life Of Faith

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21 Responses to CHILDREN RAISING PARENTS

  1. hjhusbyJoan March 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Right on, Mindy! This couldn’t be funnier, or truer!

  2. Nita March 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Absolutely hilarious!

    • Mindy Peltier March 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      Thanks, Nita. Since you’re in the same stage, I thought you might relate to some of the things.

  3. Maureen Lytle March 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    So funny, Mindy! You have a great relationship with your kids! Oh, and you are still the wise matriarch, they just don’t want to admit it!

    • Mindy Peltier March 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      yes, I’m kinda’ glad I kept them all….:)

  4. cookiecharm March 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Great Read!

    • Mindy Peltier March 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I always appreciate the encouragement.

  5. Dana Kolste March 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh dear……this is in my future? Can I give my kids back and avoid it? Funny stuff.

    • Mindy Peltier March 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

      It reminds me of that line from Monsters, Inc, “Put that thing back where it came from or so help me”….

  6. momstheword March 12, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Hahaha! This is made of awesome. I have boys so I have no idea what jeans to wear with flats and what to wear with skinny jeans. Mine don’t really give me much advice but they do laugh at me every time I ask what an ipod is for the 1,000 time and they happily show everyone the awful texts that I send. I can’t help it, my fingers get all mixed up.

    They also watch over me carefully when we’re walking in the snow. I went shopping once and my son held up a shirt and said something like “Mom this is ugly so you should buy it. It would look good on you!”

    Thank you for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday” today!

    • Mindy Peltier March 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Your son’s comment cracked me up! I have heard similar comments from my son. “Hey, mom you look good today, I should take your picture since you don’t usually look like that.” But, I figger if we keep “informing” them we might have them ready for marriage?????

  7. wholeheartedhome March 12, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    I’ve been going around saying the same things. You put it so well!! Sometimes this is funny and other times being ‘corrected’ by your child who thinks they are grown is so hard to take.

    • Mindy Peltier March 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Yes, having adult children can be…um….well…..um…..challenging. I have been TOLD a bajillion things I know I TOLD them a bajillion times. They don’t believe it until they hear it from someone else. That’s what makes blogging so sweet. We have peeps that listen. 🙂

  8. Tandis March 12, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Ever heard of Bill Cosby’s show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?? Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about here. Hehe. Just tell them to wait, their day of having kids is coming. They will learn. Yep. And then you’ll be the trendy looking one and they’ll be sportin’ spit-up. 🙂
    :

    • Mindy Peltier March 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      I have often thought it would be fun to collect sayings from kids. I used to check out Family Circus and Baby Blues comic books from the library when my kids were your age when I needed to laugh instead of cry.

  9. Melodee March 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I could add comments to every item, but #4 caught my eye and made me smile. Every year I put brand new high quality nail clippers – not the cheapest one on the display – in their Christmas stockings. Every year by March 1, I hear, whether riding in the car or sitting in the living room next to my basket of essentials, so I can relax, “Mom, can I use your nail clippers?” This year I even went to Hobby Lobby, bought beads and crafted a cute little ‘key ring’ and attached it to the nail clippers. Where do their nail clippers go and why do I still have the ones that I purchased years ago? Come to think of it, nobody has asked to use mine and it is past March 1. I should have done that years ago!

    • Mindy Peltier March 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Melodee, I LOVE that idea! I also buy the kids nail clippers EVERY CHRISTMAS and not only do they lose theirs, they take mine. The other day the spare one I hide in my desk is gone, as well as the one I hide in my Jeep. I LOVE your creativity! Do you have a pic of that?

  10. Miriam March 14, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Yes, to all of this:) I have four kids, aged 7-22, and I can relate to everything you’re saying…

    • Mindy Peltier March 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Miriam, thanks for stopping by! With kids those ages, I think you probably could have also added to the list!

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