In her link-up today, Charity at The Wounded Dove asks us to post about a parenting fear. Well, my kids are a little older now, so in addition to the standard fears about their safety, nutrition, health, friends, grades, etc., etc., I’ve added a new one.
What if I really am the dork they think I am?
It’s clear they think I’m ridiculous – every instruction I issue, every idea I suggest. (I once overheard my youngest son parody me with the following snarky phrase: “Let’s watch a G-rated movie while eating healthy snacks.”)
And, lest I cause them great public embarrassment, they would rather I didn’t:
- Like any pop music even though I am forced to listen to it every minute I’m in the car. (Or at least not admit to it.)
- Wear my puffy winter coat into their school even if it is -20.
- Sit in the same movie theater.
- Volunteer at a school dance.
- Display my affection for them in front of another human being.
- Talk to them at any public event.
- Talk to any of their friends, ever.
- Talk to any of their friends’ parents.
They’d probably be happiest if I never talked at all. I have to admit, even I’m sick of some of my more frequent quotes:
- Close your mouth and eat your food.
- Can you please use your head for something other than holding up your hair?
- You people would try the patience of a saint, and I’m no saint.
- Rise and shine, especially the rise part.
- This is not a diner!
- The family dinner is highly overrated (nearly always stated during dinner).
I’m sure they find the constant repetition of these words, and the frustration that usually accompanies them, beneath contempt – and will continue to do so, at least until the day they hear themselves saying this stuff to their own kids.
Lucky for me, my self-esteem should hold up to the constant negative reinforcement. To all you parents who find yourselves in the same boat, who have aged out of “cool”, don’t worry – your popularity will soar the minute your kids need a ride somewhere.