Random musings of a mother gone mad


Allow me to introduce myself . . .

I am THE WORST MOTHER in the world. Apparently. In fact, it is my understanding that there is no other mother worse than I in the entire universe.

How do I know this? My darling little munchkins, of whom there are four, say it is so. Their findings are based on exhaustive studies of their friends who are apparently allowed to do anything they want, whenever they want. They are lucky to have the best mothers ever! To which I so lovingly respond; “maybe in another life you’ll get a better mother”.

For this life, they’re stuck with me.

I wasn’t always such a cool and confident ‘worst’ mother. The first time Number One delivered the salvo “you are the worst mother, ever!” I fell to my knees, crushed to the core that the little girl who at one time worshipped me and every breath I took, had fallen out of love with me. The room began to spin out of control. My child was laughing at me in slow motion, like in a scary movie; They’re coming to take you away, ha-ha, hee-hee, ho-ho. I sent myself to a corner for a time-out.

Eventually I came to notice that such behavior on my part only served to power up my freshly minted teenager, and the salvos escalated in direct proportion to the weakening of my spine. I needed help. So, I hit the books. One of my favorites has been Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall, by Anthony E. Wolf. This book introduced me to the secret language of teenagers, where what they say and do is rarely thought through, and outcomes are often unintended, if not downright scary.

It turns out teenagers have a big secret; they don’t really want to grow up. Sound confusing? Then we are definitely from the same planet.

In a nutshell, I had to reinforce the core belief that my children love me, they really do love me; it’s just that they have absolutely no way whatsoever of showing it once they hit puberty. I had to learn to understand (but not necessarily speak) a whole new language, peppered with grunts, sighs and a lot of eye rolling and foot stomping for emphasis. I had to accept that (for now) friends are everything, adults are jerks, and parents are meant to be taken for granted. I needed to accept that if men were from Mars and women were from Venus, teenagers were from HD209458b, a rogue planet outside our solar system about 150 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. Typical traits of these alien beings include (but are not limited to) egocentric thinking, a compromised ability to extend logic to abstract concepts, a decline in body image and self-esteem, laziness, increased body odor and challenging any and all rules previously set forth by parental beings.

I take heart in the fact that Number One eventually came back from The Dark Side and is now in law school. That’s one kid down (almost) and three to go.