I’ve had a few friends rave about a book they’ve read. “If you read nothing else for the rest of your life, you must read this book” (name escapes me). The theme is mostly centred around self-improvement and I think I’ve been clear, I don’t read anything that might trick me into becoming a better person.
Also, enough people have told me various snippets from the book, I think I could write a paper on it and pull off a solid B+.
The one theme from this mystery book I can’t stop thinking about that for some reason has really gotten into my kitchen, is this: Don’t give your kids things that make you hate them?
I think about this often. I stopped giving my kids Moon Sand when they were two because the tiny, grains of sand would wash across our house leaving no line of grout unfilled and I couldn’t clean it up. Also, they were eating it. It was the messiest, (albeit, creative), worst toy anyone could have introduced my kids to. Then it was Play-Doh, then slime. These were toys I couldn’t stand despite the creative doors they opened and the motor skills they may have honed. I couldn’t handle them puddling on my carpet or the yellow stain on Hanna’s ceiling (still there) from the time she threw GAK up there and it never came down.
Skip ahead to the teenage years, the thing that has resonated with me most about this is how much I hate that we gave our kids electronic gadgets and unlimited hot water for ridiculously, long showers.
But nothing makes me angrier than the complete and utter disservice we paid to our then 14 year old, despite her being the last teenager in the history of teenagers–to finally get her own phone.
If the time machine app worked on that thing, I would go back and leave it at the store. And we pay EVERY month to watch our kid turn into a robot, methodically morphing in real time and we hate every second of it.
Don’t give your kids things that make you hate them. Hmmm. Someone should write a book about that.
I started thinking about all the things we do as parents that make our kids hate us.
Here are a few;
- Talking to their friends. My husband was volunteering at my daughter’s swim meet on the weekend and said several of her friends wandered over to him and said, “Hi Greg.” When he opened his mouth to respond, an arm came from out of nowhere and he was quickly whisked into a secret closet and told, “Don’t talk to my friends. Not cool, Dad.” He’s not even sure who it was. Just a generic, teenage-arm with a basic understanding of what was about to happen.
- “Good Morning Sunshine!” Why does my Mom always have to be so cheery in the morning? The sun isn’t even up and she’s all, ‘good morning, sweetheart.’ Bleh.
- Driving us places and expecting us to be grateful– forever. Don’t you think if I could get the Kardashians to drive me around in a Bentley instead of this minivan, I would be thankful?
- Subway Order—how hard is it to remember with our small family of five that I like a 6” on Italian with “white” cheese, no, “swiss” cheese, no, is that the kind with the holes in it? “plain, white cheese,” not toasted, tomatoes, lettuce, crispy bacon, Bacon. That’s. Crispy. not toasted, extra, light-mayo. Not extra-light mayo. EXTRA….light mayo. This sub has light mayo, but there’s no extra. JEEEEZUS!
- Saying hello to teachers or coaches when running into them in a public place. “Hey, I saw your English teacher at the grocery store today.” Oh my G! Did you talk to her? “Yes, I said hello and that this weather has been really cold.” Oh bloody hell. My life’s over. Thanks a lot.
- When they try to limit or regulate my “screen time.” What the hell else is there to live for? There’s no reason for me to have to turn away from it. I can still eat and watch something at the same time. Duh. If I fall asleep with it on my pillow, enough of the image can seep through my closed eyelids that I still absorb some of what’s happening.
- Quinoa. I told her I didn’t mind quinoa ONCE and now we have to eat it four times a week?
- When she buys me a new, fleece hoodie and then has the audacity to wash it so the fleece goes from feeling like a baby lamb sleeping on a cloud to sand paper scraping a nail file.