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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Amazed: How Have I lived So Long?

How did I make it to 56 years old?

When I was growing up: I didn't wear a bike helmet, no seat belts until I was in high school, got smacked when I was bad, had chores, climbed trees, rode horses without a helmet (unless I was jumping), was bottle fed after 6 weeks, been hazed, bullied, tormented.

I got filthy dirty, did hard physical labor, have NEVER had a flu shot, talk(ed) on my cell phone next to my EAR, stand (stood) near microwave ovens, drank pop, ate crap with crap in it, slept in my own crib/ bed, WALKED to school, broke many bones, took my knocks, spilled hot liquid all over myself, got cuffed for bad manners....etc. etc.

I'm serious. HOW HAVE I MADE IT SO FAR? According the "Modern Parenting System" I should be DEAD!!!

Stop the molly-coddling, please, Modern Parents.

Please. Stop. Now.

Kids. Are. Resilient.

A whole generation SURVIVED. They thrived, even.

Boomers. We may be crazy in a ton of ways but we're pretty tough. Granted, our parents were even tougher!

I'll even give some GenXers a Moderate Thumbs Up.

Modern Parents are big old scaredy cats. It's a messy, confusing, basically thankless job, raising the next generation.

Ohmigod, if we bottle feed them, let them sleep in their own rooms, let them ride a trike (much less a bike) with the wind in their hair, let them cry, give them rules, boundaries and limitations, stick them in a play-pen for a few hours, make them eat what's on the table, make them behave in public, have manners, don't sue our neighbor when our kid breaks an arm on the neighbor's swing set, let them GO on a swing set/slide/teeter totter, etc. etc. WE'VE FAILED! We've "stifled their growth." We've "crushed their individuality." We've squashed the little flower that they are.

Oh, please. I am a beautiful, complex rose bush, full of fragrance, softness and thorns. I'll always bloom someway, somehow until it's time for me to rejoin Mother Earth and Father Sky, my spirit soaring.

Guess what? Using the Modern Parenting System, we've raised a generation of self-entitled, spoiled, whiny, self-important, standardized-test-taking, techno savvy but socially inept, irresponsible, lazy, rude brats. And I don't see any improvements happening soon. If I'm unfortunate, they'll be wiping my ancient butt. The thought terrifies me because they won't because it's dirty, hard, sh*tty work.

Please. Stop. Now.

Stop enabling kids.

You are not their friend. You are their parent. You get to be their friend when they're not living with you (or off you) any more. When they're on their own, with a job, paying bills, not living in your house...THEN you get to be friends.

I can't even get some 20-something arse-hole to give up his seat on the bus to some woman old enough to be his great-grandmother. A ten year old may be able to hack into my computer but he can't make his bed or clean out the cat box? God forbid he should stand up when a woman of any age comes into the room. The whiny 22 year old with the dyed black hair and fingernails? God forbid she should do the dishes even though her parent(s) are paying for her car/phone/housing.

Please. Stop. Now. You're enabling.

You. Are. Not. Helping.

If you want to read something elevating, put down the Mouse and read Denis Leary's WHY WE SUCK. He says it way better than I ever will. The audio book is even better.

I give kudos to my next-door neighbor. He's managed to raise two really nice, helpful, funny, bright, athletic, well-adjusted boys/young men. I bet he'd be happy to share his parenting tips. I'm guessing they include a bop upside the head when needed.

Sometimes I think I should way too much like my grand-mother: "Kids today....blah, blah, blah..." Mea culpa.

I ask again: how have I survived so long?


  1. If you ever see me turning into one of those helicopter parents please take me aside and smack me upside the head... we co-sleep (what can I say? I really like it) and I wouldn't let the little man cry, mainly because I wouldn't let ANYONE I love sit alone in a room and cry... but aside from that I agree with everything you're saying here. Kids are supposed to get into trouble, they're supposed to get dirty and fall down and do stupid stuff. How else do they learn? And although I see myself being a pretty relaxed mom, you better believe little B is going to have good manners!

  2. Just out of curiosity: when and by whom did you get "cuffed for bad manners"?

  3. Cuffed? By your mother. Haven't you ever heard that story???

  4. No ( or if you did, I've forgotten) you'll have to tell me on Monday.