There’s a tragic cycle of parenting that carries from generation to generation that must be broken. It must stop with ours. It must stop now. I’m not talking about spanking, or free-will parenting, or planting your child in front of the tube to watch Sponge Bob while you sneak to the patio to down a glass of wine. I’m talking about the “One Day I Hope You Have a Child Just Like You” curse.
You know your parents said it to you, and if you’ve been blessed with a child that has reached their adolescent phase, you know you’ve at least wanted to cast it upon them. Yes, “The Curse” works but I believe the electric chair is a more humane punishment.
In the last week, I have seen “The Curse” manifest in the crumb snatchers and it isn’t a pretty sight. I know I wasn’t a piece of cake as a teenager, and I doubt Chief Money Maker was either, but did we really deserve “The Curse?” I think not!
Last night, Sweet Pea asked for my help getting her cartilage earring back in. Since I’m not a spring chicken anymore my eyesight is a little off. Like, “Mama that’s drainage ditch, not a highway exit” off. I couldn’t see the hole in her ear. So in her eyes, I suddenly became a horrible mother.
The next thing I know, Sweet Pea is in tears and throwing a tantrum. I yelled, “I hate you,” because we never fight and I forgot that the rules of Teenagedom state that she is supposed to yell that phrase at me. Later, we talked about it and she said, “I’m sorry Mama. Sometimes I just get so frustrated that I take it out on those around me. I’m just like you.” Before I could open my mouth to protest, she cut me a look and said, “You know it’s true.” Yeah, it is.
I also witnessed “The Curse” with G-Bear and Chief Money Maker as they father-son bonded over a woodworking project I requested for flower boxes. In between patient instructions and hammered-thumb expletives, I watched Chief Money Maker’s frustration grow. When G-Bear insisted on “doing it his way” Chief Money Maker sat back and allowed G-Bear to split the wood on the project.
Chief yelled, “Oooh, Mama Bread Baker is gonna be maaaad.” But I digress. Then he said, “I told you. But you’re so stubborn and hard-headed you had to do it your way.” G-Bear said—wait for it—“Dad, I’m just like you.” Before Chief could open his mouth to protest, I cut him a look and said, “You know it’s true.”
As you can see, “The Curse” works, although the damage doesn’t manifest until years later. I can envision our parents sitting around in their clean living rooms with their stocked pantries without the sounds of door-slamming or exclamations of “You just don’t understand!” They’re looking at their watches and smiling at one another. “Honey, it’s 2012. The Curse should have kicked in by now.”
I might be over forty, but I still say this is child abuse!
© 2012 CThacker