Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm THAT Old

It's come to my attention that I'm getting older. No, not because of wrinkles. I have creams for that. It's not even because of the grey hairs. There's a wheel-o-color at any given salon to hide that. Maybe you think it's because my kids are closer to out of the house than they are in the house, but you're wrong.

There was a time when I was all, "$%^# the man! Parents are a drag, yo!" (I like to mix my generational slang). Until today, that is. Okay, maybe that part ended when I became a parent, but I didn't really feel it in my soul until today. Fine, I stopped hating parents quite a long time ago. That's when I started hating kids. Not my own. Sure from time to time I didn't like my kids, but I never hated them. Why are you judging me? We're getting off track here.

This afternoon, as I sat in my ivory tower of motherhood (that's what I call my bedroom), bitching silently about how the kids suck up all the bandwidth with their bazillion (which I think is like a Brazilian with more hair) wireless gadgets and Xbox-y type things, I overheard something that made my blood boil. When it comes to eavesdropping on my kids I'm usually pretty amused. They regularly say stupid things that make me giggle or bring back memories of a time when I was also stupid. Today was not that day.

My son's friend, who happened to be assisting in the sucking up of bandwidth, was on the phone with his mother. The poor asshole child had tried to call her TWO TIMES already in the last FIVE MINUTES to ask her what time he needed to be home for dinner. When she finally answered the third time he was a bit angry. Angry enough to snap at her and say, "What are you doing?! I have been trying to call! You got off work 10 minutes ago! Well, what do you THINK I was calling for? When do you want me home for dinner.. GOD!"

It took all I had, plus the weight of this laptop to keep me from slapping the shit out of him. Instead of risking jail for beating a minor, I leveled him with an icy stare and said, "You will either speak to your mother with respect or get out of my house." The look on his face was one of instant "holy shit-ness" as he realized that I actually meant what I said. Needless to say, after the few tense minutes that followed, there was a bit more Xbox and then a brief, "Jacob, can you give me a ride home?"

More and more often I hear kids back talking their parents and the parents blowing it off. I'm all for a little good-natured sarcasm, but this trend toward kids speaking to their parents as if they rule the roost has really started to piss me off. More than the back talk, I am sick of parents shrugging it off and smiling through it with an "Ah, kids. What can you do?" look. Do you know what you can do? Stop letting it happen. Stop letting it happen at home and it will be a lot easier to stop it from happening in public. Just stop it. Now.

I've learned over time that no matter how naughty most kids are at home, they are a hell of a lot nicer to other people. They know what their parents will tolerate by learning from experience. My son's friend is, aside from being an ass today, not disrespectful to me. He knows what I expect of my own kids and wouldn't dream of losing the privilege of eating all of our food and hogging all my internet by being a jerk to me. Chances are he won't be here tomorrow when I get home, but I bet he's back the next day. I would also place a bet that he won't ever speak to his mother like that in front of me again. Brat.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this, holy shit I've gotten old.

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