As I flip through Facebook statuses, a lot of things make me roll my eyes. There are always super religious posts or political “arguments” on Zuckerberg’s brain suck site. No matter where you fall on the religiopolical spectrum, there is always something to piss you off or make you want to cry. I can deal with all of the usual visual hot air, but nothing makes me roll my eyes more than moms who post about missing their babies.
I’m not talking about moms who have had children taken from them. This is different. You’ve seen it. It usually happens on Throwback Thursday or any number of children’s birthdays. The mom posts a baby picture of her teen with a status about how much she misses her sweet little baby. I always found this to be hurtful. To me, it’s like saying that your current, older kid is not a kind, wonderful person. I always wondered how kids felt about it, so I asked my personal expert on all things teen, my eighteen year-old son. Here is how the conversation went:
Me: Hey, if I put a baby picture of you on Facebook and talked about how much I missed my sweet little boy, how would you feel?
Son: Like shit.
Ok. So, it’s not just me. Think about it. Imagine if your spouse put an old picture of you up and said, “I miss this skinny, blonde person.” That is how teens see this “I miss my baby” nonsense. Teens have so many hormones running through their bodies, which can make them even more sensitive. So, as a mom, I try not to hurt my son’s feelings. Also, truth be told, I DON’T miss the baby and little kid years. I wouldn’t go back in time even if it meant I would drop twenty pounds and about a hundred gray hairs.
I don’t really NEED to be needed. I applaud every step towards independence my son makes, not just because I am a lazy mom who would rather sit on the couch and drink wine and eat peanut butter cups. Well….. Seriously, my main job is to prepare my son to live on his own and not be an asshole. So, every step he takes towards being a sane, kind adult makes me hear a round of pre-recorded 1970’s sitcom applause in my head. There are so many good things about having an older kid.
For one, I get credit for Easter baskets and Christmas gifts. Sure, it was kind of fun to pretend that Santa or the Easter Bunny delivered surprises at night. It is much better to get full credit and thanks for the presents. Also, I can give my son his presents early since he knows that mystical creatures do not enter our home on certain nights. This is great because I would almost burst when I had to keep stuff hidden in my closet until just the right night.
I’m a better parent now than I was in my twenties, when I had my son. I have more patience now. I’m a happier, saner person. I’m happy with my husband, and not going through a divorce like I was when my son was little. I am parenting with love rather than a fear of losing control. I was a screamy yelly mom in my twenties. I got over that.
The boy is no longer a puke fountain. If he has to vomit, he knows how to get to the toilet or at least the sink. No more middle of the night sessions of running the carpet cleaner, the washing machine, along with my expletive spewing mouth.
They can pick you up when you fall on your ass. A few weeks ago, I fell on my ass in the driveway. Damn ice. It’s invisible, slippery, and deadly. I didn’t think I could walk after I hit the ground. My son helped me up and drove me to the ER for x-rays. He could not have done that when he was a toddler.
Really, there is an endless list of things I love about my son. Like most parents, I think my child is the smartest, most talented, funniest person in the world. In fact, I wrote this blog for Scary Mommy about why my son is better than any little kid. Now, this piece is written in Sarcasm. If you are not fluent in this ancient tongue, you might be offended.
So, what do you think? Do you miss your little baby? Let me hear from you in the comment section.
When we first moved here to Wisteria Lane, I knew we didn’t fit in. First of all, let me clarify, we don’t actually live on Wisteria Lane. We live in a cookie cutter subdivision where everyone has 2.5 children, a dog, and a vehicle with third-row seating. Sure, everyone said hello when we moved in. It’s not like they stood around making the sign of the cross and hissing. They asked us where we had moved from, and what brought us here, etc. When they found out that we had a teen son, they asked us the question that pretty much ended any hopes that our son would have best friends in the neighborhood, “Does he play soccer?”
I may or may not have rolled my eyes before answering. Does every child have to play a sport? My son does not play soccer, or lacrosse, or football, or basketball, or baseball, or any sport. He plays guitar and drums, and keyboard, and he sings and writes music. Metal music. My son is a musician, and I am a metal mom.
Whenever I told the new neighbors this, they gave me the uncomfortable smile. You know the one. It’s similar to the one you make when you’re at a crowded party and you have to fart. But this one wasn’t due to gas; this smile was because they thought my son was “bad.” They never said that in so many words, of course.
In reality, he’s not bad at all. As far as teens go, he’s actually kind of calm. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t even drink alcohol except for the occasional beer I allow him to have at home. He only stays out late when he has a show or goes to another band’s concert. Other than that, he is in our basement practicing with his band or watching TV with his girlfriend. He cuddles with our dogs and cats and passes out candy to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. But, he does not play soccer, so most of the local kids and their parents didn’t know what to say to the weird new kid with the beard and the stretched earlobes.
That’s ok though. We are used to being odd, and in truth, my family and I would rather be weird than “normal.” Normal sounds dreadfully boring. Personally, I would much rather be a metal mom than a soccer mom, and here’s why:
- My car is way better than any soccer mom’s ride. I have a Volkswagen Jetta GTI Autobahn Edition with paddle shifters (that I don’t know how to use), a Fender stereo system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth, not a minivan filled with fast food trash and dog hair.
- My son has learned not to fit in. He doesn’t NEED to fit in. He will never do something just because the other kids are doing it.
- He’s creative. My son wrote a song about all of the people who have died in our family. It is a beautiful song, and a great way to deal with grief.
- Every season is metal season. My son can enjoy his hobby of choice at any time of the year. There’s no waiting until summer or fall or whatever.
- I don’t have to sit outside at some field either sweating or freezing my ass off. His gigs are INSIDE, where there is some sort of climate control happening.
- Also, his shows are usually in places with a full bar. Can you get a martini on the soccer field?
- He’s more interesting to talk to, at least for me. I don’t want to hear about balls, and goals and coaches. BORING! My son can talk about how he is inspired by hair metal bands that I listened to in school. He also knows which songs are Ozzy Osbourne and which are Black Sabbath. I don’t even know that.
Right now, there are at least 852 soccer moms who are just itching to post a nasty comment under this blog. Go for it. But before you do, take a look at the header on this site. It does not say Dr. Stork’s parenting advice column. It’s a humor blog. Don’t worry; I’m not going to run for president and make soccer illegal, so don’t get your panties in too much of a bunch.
The other evening after I had settled into my nighttime spot on the soft red couch blanket, mother came out of her chambers dressed in the clothes she wears to leave the house. This was weird because she had already gone to bed for the night. I know this because she let that big, black stupid thing go outside to do its personal business. I don’t know why the creature cannot use the littler box as nature intended.
Mother left the house even though the sun had gone to bed hours ago. She was gone for quite a while, and I started to be concerned. Not only was she gone, but Father had left earlier that day carrying one of those things the humans take with them when they abandon us for a while.
My first thought was, “how I am I going to open my food with no thumbs?” Then, I wondered how soiled my litter would become without mother and her scoop. Finally, I began to plan how I would kill the big dog for food when my feline siblings and I could not get the door to the food room open.
Right as I was about to jump on the counter to try to get a knife from the block, Mother came in with the Boy. This was strange because the Boy had left with the Girl earlier in the evening. Normally, when they go out together they also come back together.
The Boy did not seem like himself. He sat on the couch with Mother. Normally, he likes to be in a different room from Mother, either the one with his bed or the one with the big TV. I jumped up on the Boy’s lap because he is my brother and I was worried about him.
There were some strange smells on him. His sweater smelled like that sweet fizzy drink he likes, the brown one. I also noticed that he smelled like the inside of a car. I hate that smell because it normally means I’m going to the doctor. I hate the doctor because he blows air at me that makes me go to sleep so I can’t kill him.
I noticed that the Boy had more water in his eyes than usual. It was fresh eye water, and some was dried on his cheeks. Normally, I would help by cleaning his face, but he pushed me off of his lap. So, like a gentleman, I stayed near him and allowed the white yippie dog to do her inspection.
Big, black, and stupid kept pawing at the Boy and trying to get him to play with her nasty, spit-filled toys. Of course, the Boy had no interest. Could the stupid creature not see that he was ill or sad or something. Could she not smell the scents on him and see the eye water?
I got angry because I knew that someone had hurt my brother. I don’t know what Mother was saying to him, but she was using her love voice, the one she uses if she has to give me medicine. I hate medicine. So, I knew something was wrong. I don’t have my paw swords anymore or I would have caused damage to the person who hurt the Boy. Instead, I jumped up on the back of the couch and kept watch over him.
I’m still not sure what happened to him, but Mother has been typing feverishly on her light square. So, I am certain you will hear the whole story on Thursday. She is a fierce mama cat. I’m surprised she didn’t bring home the carcass of the culprit.
When my son was little, well-meaning but really dumb people would ask me when I was having another child. When I told them I wasn’t really thinking of having another, they said well-meaning and totally stupid things like:
What if something happens to him? I assumed they meant death. Well, it’s not like I would stand next to his grave with my arm around my second child and say, “Thank the universe I had the spare.” It would still destroy me.
You don’t want him to be spoiled. Well, I was raised as an only child because my brother lived with my father after the divorce that occurred before I can remember even being alive. I don’t consider myself spoiled. Bite me.
Aren’t you afraid he will be lonely? Nope. I would be more afraid if he didn’t learn how to be alone. I’m an introvert, just in case you have never read this blog before and don’t get that.
As my son got older, people were less inquisitive about any impending pregnancy. Now, that he is 17, most new folks assume I am his sister. Because I’m that hot. I made that up. Seriously, people have finally stopped asking. So now, I will actually answer. Here are the reasons I never had a second child:
- The labor experience was HORRIBLE. No, I didn’t forget. Seventeen hours of labor, with a necessary SECOND epidural, and then an unscheduled C-Section. This was followed by REALLY UNSUCCESSFUL breast-feeding.
- I soon realized that I am not great with babies. I like humans who can talk and tell me what the hell they want. I don’t do crying and sleep deprivation well.
- I was not put on this earth to clean up shit and puke. Some people love to care for others and can deal with this nonsense. They are called nurses. Go hug one.
- I separated from my first husband when my son was three. Even though it is in vogue, I opted to not have the bastard child with a random baby daddy that I thought was cute on a Saturday night while I was drinking. And like I had time to date. I had a PRE-SCHOOLER!!
- When I did remarry, my son was already 8. By the time my husband and I realized we had fertility issues, he was 12. Sure we could have tried super expensive medical intervention, but why? By this time, my son didn’t even bug me in the middle of the night when he puked. Sometimes, there’s no going back.
So, there you have it. This is why the apple of my eye, and he is, is my ONLY apple. I love this boy more than peanut butter cups and kittens, and I’m glad I can focus all of my maternal love on him. Tune in next time when I tell you why I never had him baptized. 😉
That is what I said to my hairdresser/friend, M, in a dream last night. I wasn’t referring to my hair, as my hair is nowhere as large and jolly as Santa, though it is red. And it is a LOVELY shade of red thanks to my FANTASTIC hairdresser. Anyway, in the dream, I was referring to M’s new baby daughter. In real life, M does not have a baby daughter, and she is not going to have one any time soon, so, I’m not sure where that came from.
So, we were standing in an elementary school hallway, when Dream M shared what a difficult time she was having with the new baby. That’s when I said, “Hold on to it like Santa Claus. Soon it will be like she was a mythical creature.” M gave me a look that said, “I don’t want to hear all about teenagers again,” but she never actually said that in the dream. Then I woke up.
And I started thinking about what a poet and philosopher I am in dreamland. Really, little kids do become mythical creatures as they age. When I look at my son, I try so hard to find that little blond boy who wore costumes everywhere. Sometimes, I catch him, just for a second, in a smile or laugh, or love of “worms and dirt.” I started thinking that I should have held on to him like a child hugging Santa, back when I was still allowed to hug him.
As I got up, and made coffee, and heated up some sweet potatoes for breakfast (Why not? They are good for you and your stomach doesn’t know what time it is.), I started expanding the metaphor to include, well, everything. So many people, things, and times in our lives come and go, so quickly. They eventually become foggy memories. A lot of times we don’t appreciate them when we have them.
For example, I remember being sixteen and desperately wanting to be a grown up, so I could do whatever I wanted. Because ALL grown ups can do whatever they want. They just happen to want to work and pay bills and clean the house and do laundry and clean up the excrement of others, both furry and non-furry. Really, I should have been clinging to my high school years like Santa, holding on to it like it was the Christmas morning of my life.
In a way it was, but in a way right now is like Christmas Day. All of the presents are unwrapped. I have everything I have ever wanted right now, a loving, wonderful husband, a creative, funny, smart son, lots of great friends, and a job that allows me to wear jammies or yoga pants daily, and cats and dogs who follow me everywhere. I’m going to cling to all of this like Santa. I’m going to squeeze this red velvet suit of a life for all it’s worth. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Soon, it will all be a memory.
Disclaimer: I love my son more than I love Reese’s peanut butter cups, vanilla ice cream, elastic-waist pants, and cats. I do not think he will kill Harry Potter, or any other living or fictional person. I admire his individuality and intelligence, and would take him over any honor student/soccer player/ cookie-cutter kid.
All of my blogs are meant to be funny. If you do not have a sense of humor, please find a nice, serious blog to follow. Perhaps one on politics, religion or nuclear medicine would be more your cup of tea.
We all know the wide-eyed elementary school parents. No, they are not a folk band. They are those very optimistic parents of young children. In fact, you may even be one of them. If you are, I have news for you. Brace yourself. Before you know it, that perfect elementary kid you parent, your sweet little Snookums, will turn into something so dark that you will swear he or she was put on earth to find and kill Harry Potter. It will be shocking and sad when it happens, but, fear not soccer mom. It is normal. Every parent enters into the TEEN ZONE. [Cue Twilight Zone Music]
Here is how you know that you are entering in to teen zone:
- There will be mysterious door slamming, for no apparent reason. Your sweet baby will be so angry that you swear he or she will hit you. When I sensed this in my son, I told him he better make it good because he wouldn’t live if he hit me. Since he is pretty sure that I truly do possess a magical cauldron and a flying broom, he has abstained from physical barbs and instead resorted to passive aggressive mumbling. Works for me.
- “I KNOW, Mom!” becomes a standard reply. Your teen truly thinks that he or she knows everything. Sit back and chuckle. THEY are in for a long, rude awakening.
- Your teen will have boyfriends or girlfriends that seem to come from the depths of hell. It has taken whatever acting skills I learned from Mr. Davis in Freshman drama to be civil to my son’s last four girlfriends. His first girlfriend set the bar pretty high. [Waves at Sara. : )]
- His or her friends, in general, are frightening. At this point, you start to wonder if you are being punked. You aren’t. Ashton wouldn’t do THIS to you. Your child is trying to kill you with a random string of drugged/drunk “best friends.” This too shall pass.
- Suddenly, your up at the crack of dawn angel sleeps like the dead. You prayed to be able to sleep in on a Saturday, at least until 8:00 AM, and now you find yourself knocking on your child’s door at noon, just to be sure he or she is not dead. This is normal. Relax, and go back to bed, if your peri-menopausal hormones allow it.
You will survive this, parents. Your sweet child will be back, in young adult form, on the other side of this dark hole. In the mean time, find a hobby, or a wine of the month club, and DVR some good shows. It will be a long, bumpy ride.
Porcupines aren’t the cuddliest creatures. They look kind of cute, actually, almost like you could pet them if you approached slowly enough, but don’t try it. In fact, if you tried to cuddle with one, if you even moved too quickly or too closely to one, it would likely, well definitely, raise it’s quills in defense. Porcupines use these sharp spines as visual and tactile deterrents to protect themselves from being harmed. Teenagers are very similar to porcupines.
Something happens after about age 10, sometimes earlier thanks to added hormones and other crap in our food; our sweet little kids become adolescents. They stop hugging us all of the time, or at all. They stop smiling when they see us. Actually, they try their best not to see us often. If we try to hug them, those quills come out, not literally, but verbally, in the form of loud sighs or “stop!” It’s almost like we are hurting them by trying to be affectionate.
We try to think back to when we were teens. We didn’t act like this. Sure, we didn’t really want to be around our parents. We avoided them, only spoke to them when we had to or when we needed something, but that was different. Our parents were overprotective, annoying and totally not cool. We are cool, right? Why would our kids not want to be around us? It’s different, right?
Wrong. Parents are parents. Even Gene Simmons’ kids have expressed their embarrassment of him on their reality show. AND THIS IS GENE SIMMONS – THE DEMON OF ROCK. If his kids find him embarrassing, you can bet that the rest of the young adults in America, the ones without rock star parents, aren’t the biggest fans of their parents.
The teen years seem to take forever. In the meantime, we have to make it work, somehow. So, either we try to avoid those quills, or we suit up and hug anyway. If we practice avoidance, we stop hugging all together. We stop communicating, just to spare our own feelings. Let’s face it; those quills hurt. They are a constant message that we parents are no longer heroes or protectors; we are just pests and obstacles. In spite of that, the only thing we can do is keep hugging, and gritting our teeth when the sharp points are pricking us. One day, the quills will fall out. One day.