Sunday, July 20, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Parenthood

My Father, MrBusDr, has a theory about kids and their parents.

  • Small children think their parents are SuperHeroes. They can fix anything, do everything, magically de-tangle gum outta hair, and kiss any boo-boo and make it better.
  • Preteens, still trust their parent's overall judgment, but start to doubt their parent's coolness factor.
  • By the time kids are Teenagers, they believe all parents are just Stupid.
  • Young adults begin to realize their parents know a little bit about something, especially if they need advice on fixing cars or raising small children.
  • Our parents become "smart" and "wise" again, once we reach our 30's.

It is when we are parents of teenagers ourselves do we realize that we have BECOME our parents.

How many times have you caught yourself saying something your mom or dad said??? It's that realization that "I have just turned into my mother" that makes me cringe. On the other hand, as I am writing this, I realize there are a lot of things my parents said that I would NEVER say in this day and age. Though you have probably heard some of the statements listed below from your own parents, others will make no sense, as they are "family specific". Either way here is the list of...

Things My Parents Taught Me...

"If you fall and break your neck, you're not gonna go to the store with me." Love this one. Threaten the child with NOT going to the store. Never mind her neck will be broken and she will be dead!!!

"Drink your milk. It will put hair on your chest." This could very well be the number one reason I do not like milk...huh.

"If you two don't stop fighting, I'm gonna break your arms off and beat you up one side and down the other with them." This was a classic at our house - inflicting violence to prevent violence. No worries - this one was more of an empty threat, usually said in jest.

"Don't talk back to me when I am talking to you - now answer me when I ask you a question." I'm so confused...ahh!

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper." Being the child who talked the most at the dinner table, I am sure I heard this more than once. Still, never quite figured out how to keep my mouth shut and eat my dinner at the same time.

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning." Heaven forbid blood, sweat and tears get on the newly mopped floors.

"Knock it off or I'm gonna sell you to the Indians." Okay, this one is just wrong, not to mention so politically Incorrect. Nonetheless, NurseMom said it ALL the time. I never really knew what it meant, since a)we were not under current attack nor threat of attack from any Indian Nation...and...b)there were no Indian Reservations within a 40-mile radius.

"Take these shopping bags and put them in my closet -- And don't tell your father!" Okay - probably something every child hears at one point or another if they have ever went shoe shopping with their mother. But honestly...using the children to do your dirty work???

"You will eat it and you will like it." It didn't matter how many times I was told this - I never did like it. Which is why it usually resulted it, "You're gonna sit here all night until you finish that." Once I remember falling asleep at the dinner table because I wouldn't finish a stupid meatball.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" Apparently "a million times", because we kept doing it, and because this statement was often interchanged with, "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times..." I never really got that math either.

"I don't care - just do it quietly and clean it up before your mother gets home." This was a typical response when NurseMom wasn't home and MrBusDr was caught up in a book. I'm sure all he heard was, "Dad! Can we...blah, blah, blah blah?" Then, of course NurseMom would come home and it hadn't been cleaned up. He would smile sheepishly and say, "I don't know what has gotten into these children."

"Let's not and say we did." This is when MrBusDr didn't feel the same enthusiasm for activities that we did. "Dad, can we go to the park?" - in 100 degree Indiana humidity. Just one example that would invoke such a response.

"If you ask a stupid question, be prepared to get a stupid answer." So, what exactly happened to "there is no such thing as a stupid question"?

"Because I said so." An all-time favorite.

"Do it - or else." We didn't always know what the "or else" meant. However, we knew not to cross NurseMom.

"Wire Hangers!!!!!" Just kidding. We never heard NurseMom say this...just had to throw it in there to keep you on your toes. (*Mommy Dearest)

Parents are funny. They do their best and hope they have acheived their goal of being better parents than the previous generation, just as we hope to do when we ourselves become parents.

I love this idea of evolving and getting better with each generation. One of my favorite movies of all-time, "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya-Sisterhood" demonstrates this very principle, of breaking the cycle and improving with each generation. Watching this reminds me of the struggles of the generations of women in my mother's family - not to mention they were all a little "cuckoo-cachoo" sometimes. I suppose the "nut" doesn't fall too far from the tree. I think it is admirable how NurseMom was able to break many of the cycles.

Recently, MrBusDr came to town and we went to dinner. Afterwards, we dropped my son off to his mid-week church activity. CleanFreak was there, and was talking to MrBusDr and made some comment about me, how adventurous and saucey I've become since my divorce. MrBusDr just chuckled his, "I'm not surprised" laugh, as if to say, "She has always been this way; This is the Emma WE know. " and "What Emma wants, Emma gets."

MrBusDr was never the sort of dad to "grill" the boys I went out with. Maybe perhaps because he was busy working long hours or traveling. I also tend to believe (or hope) that he didn't worry about me because he knew I would put these boys in their place if they acted up. (Right, Camaro Creep???) He would usually just ask me afterwards if I had a nice time.

Not like Big-D's parents. (Whom by the way, has been upgraded from ComputerDude.) We stopped by Big-D's folks' house to check something out, and of course they were home. I practically got the 3rd degree from GardenMom. Who am I? Where am I from? how long have Big-D and I known each other? How did we meet? (Gasp! "really?" was her reply) Is that really your last name? Why are you single?......whoa Nelly!!! Stop the carnival ride, I wanna get off. Kidding. Actually GardenMom is sweet. I did however have to pull an Eddie Haskell to try to win her over. Something I have never had to do in the past. So, I of course complimented her on her fabulous yard and gorgeous flower beds. Schmoozing the mom... FishingPop, however was taken to me from the moment he saw me. He was just glad that his ManBoy of a child had brought someone home! He practically kissed me on the cheek and welcomed me to the family! Easy there, FishingPop. One step at a time. I guess once a parent, always a parent. Oh - and he did warn Big-D that the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight, and that he should definitely have me home by then, hahaha. Yeah - Big-D wasn't embarrassed in the least bit!

I am sure I will turn into my parents more and more as time goes by. I suppose the nut doesn't fall too far from the tree, afterall. Just the other day, two of my own kids were fighting...It was my mouth that opened, but NurseMom's voice that came out...

"You two better knock it off or I'm gonna break your arms off and beat you up one side and down the other with them."


ciciray said...

Or how about the all time favorite, "Do you want me to spank you?" Uh.....NO!!! Duh!
And "Do you want me to pull this car over?" Again....NO, I wonder what would have happened if the car was pulled over?? I guess I'm glad I never had to find out. And don't forget the all time favorite...."This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.." Uh...I don't think so!! I can probably think of a ton of thease being the oldest of 6, its too funny!

mrbusdr said...

This blog made me laaugh out loud. I always felt that you knew we were not the perfect parents and you knew we were doing the best we knew how.

ann said...

I don't know what you are talking about my parents never talked to me like that ever...HA HA! Just kidding! As I was Reading this I kept saying yep herd that one!!! mostly Do you want me to pull this car over? But again she never did. I on the other hand I have had to pull the car over I'm here to tell you it was not a pretty site! But have'nt had to say it again!!! I love parenthood would'nt changs anything for the world!!!

Puphigirl said...

The thing about some of these threats, is well you might believe that they are empty threats. But then we had seen NurseMom carry out other threats...So who's to say she wouldn't beat me with my bloody stump up one side and down the other.
Oh, and I frequently heard "shape up or ship out", "you need and attitude change", "because you're the oldest and the other kids look up to you", and "it'll be good for you."

Puphigirl said...

Kyle says, he heard many times, "You got anything going on today?" after he responded with a "no", then parent would follow up with a "Good, you're helping me."

okeydokeyifine said...

Ruth had me read aloud which I could barely do because I was laughing so much that I had tears in my eyes, like when I watched Scavenger Hunt and the guy had panty hose over his face.

My Mother would say she was going to Skin us alive until we Cried like a banshee.

Ruthykins said...

i seriously thought that she would sell me to the indians, but now, looking back that didn't make any sense. mom just told me yesterday or the day before that her mom used to say that she was going to skin them alive. then one day aunt glenda said she was going to beat her children and then grandma said that wasn't a good thing to say and glenda was like "oh, and skinning us alive is okay?"

greenolive said...

I never got the "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about" thing. I obviously already have something to cry about. And if you really want me to stop crying, why would threatening me with physical harm make me stop?