I know many will be shocked — nay floored — that I don’t yet know everything, but it’s true. Luckily, my kids have also recognized that deficiency and have pitched in on project Improve Our Mom™. Like when Big Boy points at those obnoxious weight loss clinic ads on the TV and screams “Yeah Mom!! You should do it, too!! Look how happy that lady is! And you get new clothes!!”
“Yeah,” adds Princess. “I’ll come with you.” (She’s 5.)
Or how my darling son pokes at the exposed small of my back as I scrub the tub. “Time to get a Trendy Top, Mom!”
Of course, tells me that my first step must be to cancel the cable. And stop cleaning the bathroom. But beyond that, here is Liz’s Guide to Wisdom (Gleaned from People Not Yet That Wise):
Sarcasm from the under 18 set is always welcome
The best way to build a relationship and be taken seriously, is to totally roll your eyes when you talk, and add geez, just kidding to everything. Trust me — this-is-suuch-a-good-idea <sigh>.
Many problems aren’t solved, not because you lack the solution, but because you just don’t want to do it
I have talked myself hoarse to tell kids the same thing over and over. Everyone understands, everyone hugs, tomorrow’s a new day, yada yada yada. The next day or week or month we’re right back at it. I’ve now realized that the easiest way to deal with a problem, is to blow off steam by getting someone to brainstorm your solution, and then completely ignore it as you go back to acting the way that you always have. It won’t actually fix the problem, but it makes you feel better for however long it takes for you to actually change your behaviour .
People are born thinking that, whatever they know, is the sum total of everything that there is to know
Yesterday, Dad tried to “scare” off Tall Girl with threats of a “Mercy Fight.” This should have filled her with genuine terror, considering that her Dad is a veteran of both the High School wrestling team and Air Force Cadet Survival Camp, not to mention a really rough Junior High School. Instead, she kept trying to grab his nose while squawking, “What?! Bring it on!” The concept that something really, really awful could exist outside the knowledge of her 11 year old mind, totally escaped her. In other words, a junior version of “what could possibly go wrong?”
What really needs doing is the absolute last thing anyone wants to do
Be rich and famous, and drone endlessly on about your personal brand; tonnes of takers for that. Repeatedly wipe down the powder room with Fantastik, plan menus on a budget, spend supper time conversation on why war happens, vacuum up Kleenex from under the bed; not too many line up for those duties. Unfortunately, the first isn’t really needed, and the second is becoming more and more neglected, leading to a whole bunch of problems for everyone. Which leads me to my last big lesson:
Real success often means looking like a failure
“Can’t you let your sister win? She’s only a baby!” And after some grumbling they do. Later, they do it without being asked — let someone go first, bite their tongue, give the big piece away — it’s what makes a parent proudest. Yet, who really wants to do that? Doesn’t it sound better to be one of those judges on a reality TV show, barking out insults and walking out to your limo? No one ever calls someone a hero because they grabbed all the change off the table. Unless it was to deliver it to the poor.
Now, thanks to my genetic contribution to the world, we can all become smarter, wiser people. Maybe they still need the plots of iCarly explained to them, but they unintentionally do tell you a lot of what right and true. Even if sometimes you need to hide in the mini-van from all that right and true, which of course is wrong and false, but nothing has burned down as of yet so no harm done. Right?
Have a Merry Christmas Season and a blessed 2013!