Friday, July 2, 2010

Don't Ground Me, Mom & Dad

Lillian likes to point to things using her middle finger. I'm not sure exactly where this comes from. Maybe her parents' penchant for vulgarity has passed itself down in some fashion, and before truly harnessing it, most likely in adolescence, she is unconsciously doing so now.

Everything get the treatment.

"Look at the bunny."

"Mom, a cicada shell."

"Ooh, that's a big plane."

Middle finger. Middle finger. Middle finger.

It's going to be a really sad day when she twirls it appropriately up and directs it at me.

If you have young kids, do you ever wonder what in the hell they're going to try to get away with? I mean, my parents kept a tight leash, and I STILL managed to do some damage. I'd write about some of it here, but I worry about my future employment. And I suppose my parents could STILL ground me, although it would be awkward explaining that to my kids.

Okay, I can give you ONE example only. And it involves the theft of construction paraphernalia. Namely, orange cones. A few co-conspirators and I set out to do this one night. And we did it. And I am duly ashamed. Sort of.

I am keeping a running list of things I hope my kids never do. This list involves syringes, getting in the car with drunk people, bypassing latex, and passing out drunk against a tree in college and having a female lacrosse player carry them home. Or to a friend's apartment, which is what happened to me one night. She was very strong. Okay, that was seriously it with the personal examples.

The list also involves squatting in vacant houses, joining a fight club, hanging out in the bathrooms of bars, and creating bonfires on a school's soccer field. That last one may or may not have involved me. I'll keep you guessing.

Have you ever seen that show 16 & Pregnant? For once, MTV has done something right, and shows the general realities of allowing your punk boyfriend to use the line 'but it feels better without the condom.' Watching that show made me want to scoop up all the adolescent girls and carry them somewhere to have a talk.

I mean, imagine. You're changing diapers at 15, and your boyfriend didn't even know what he was doing in bed. Lose, lose, if you ask me.

Not that a talk would make a difference. Because I'm thinking back to my late teens right now, and cringing heartily. Sigh.

So, what's the answer? I pay attention to my girls and love them and make them understand their value and worth. We set limits and keep them. My husband does the same. And we cross our fingers?

What I do know is this: if the worst thing that happens is a middle finger directed at me? Not so bad. Not so bad at all.


Anonymous said...

Not only does my kid routinely flip me the bird, but he accidentally calls me an asshole in sign language. And a lesbian. And a dick head.

Constructive Attitude said...

oh my goodness. Maybe once she gets a little older, you can explain it to her and tell her why she shouldnt do it?

flutter said...

Oh how I love you.

Anonymous said...

Lorenzo does that with the middle finger, too. He is very formal and likes to raise his finger when he makes an important point, clearing his throat and saying, "Excuse me...." We smirk. My best guess is that it's because it is the longest finger.

Honestly, I don't ever think in detail about the stuff their going to get into. As my mother likes to say to me with a tilt of her eyebrow, "Even when parents think they've done their best, kids can get into a LOT of trouble." I nod, and take it one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me (raises middle finger) I meant "they're."

Lora said...

Jake does that middle finger thing too. Weird.

It's actually more comfortable to use the middle finger. For me at least. I used to have a teacher who did it (and I wasn't even allowed to sing "where is middle, where is middle" under parental orders, not even at school) and I was appalled, then I tried it and realized why he was doing it.

It feels good.

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