Thursday, August 14, 2008

Turning into whom? or what?

I need to thank my old friend Mike for this post topic. He started a comment chain on my grammar police post from a few weeks ago, and rather than continuing that thread, I thought I'd bring the topic upfront. Let me digress a bit though. Mike and I went to grade school (k-8) together in Detroit. He was my main academic rival for 9 years, and I think we're both better people because we had a constant challenge to be the best. We haven't seen each other since I moved in 1974, but it's funny how old ties still bind. We now have children of similar ages, and are going through similar experiences... and that's where I will begin the topic at hand.

Our previous thread started delving into the murky area of communicating with teenagers, specifically, communicating with 14 year olds. With Matt at that age, this is the third time I've navigated this channel, but it really doesn't get any easier. Mike mentioned that he has turned into a cross between his dad and Red Forman from That 70's Show. I'm just not seeing Mike as Red, but I thoroughly understand the sentiment.

I don't think I'm turning into my mother, per se. Instead, I think I'm turning into the stereotypical middle-aged mom. I find myself saying things like"I don't need a reason" or "because I said so" or "I'm not your personal ATM," or other equally trite and banal mutterings. Now, my kids are generally pretty even-tempered, and we still actually speak with each other regularly. At times, they'll give me too much information--things I really don't need to know although I'm grateful that they feel we can have discussions at that level.

If you've ever called my cell phone, my ringback tone is Bowling for Soup's song "1985." It was my boys' idea; they say it is sooo ME. They are probably correct, although I don't recall ever wanting to dance on the hood of White Snake's car. To them, I am crazy, eccentric--and in public, thoroughly embarrassing. I tell them it is in the mom's handbook and is payback for every embarrassing moment they provided me before they entered kindergarten. My two youngest boys helped at my class reunion last weekend (more on that when I get time to download my pics!). I think they realized that they have it good (or at least that I'm not an isolated case of crazy).

What typical parental phrases do you find yourself saying even though you SWORE they would never escape your lips?

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