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 have spawned offspring that have reached Teenagedom, you’ve made the mini-replica voodoo doll and you’re wondering if you should cast the spell upon them. Yes, “The Curse” works but I believe the electric chair is a more humane punishment.
In the last week, our crumb snatchers have engaged in behavior that clearly indicates our parents cast the spell upon me and hubby, Chief Money Maker. Sure, neither one of us was a piece of cake, but did we really deserve “The Curse?” I think not!
One night, Sweet Pea asked for my help getting her cartilage earring back in the hole that God never intended to be in her ear in the first place. Since I’m not a spring chicken anymore, my eyesight is a little off. Like, “Mama that’s a drainage ditch, not a highway exit!” off. I couldn’t see the hole in her ear. Suddenly she becomes the spawn of Satan and I’m in the starring role of “Rosemary’s Baby.” Except my name isn’t Rosemary.
The next thing I know, Sweet Pea is in tears, 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, after we cleaned up all the broken glass, we talked about the argument. 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.” Why I did I teach them “Thou shalt not lie”?
I also witnessed “The Curse” with G-Bear and Chief Money Maker as they father-son bonded over a woodworking project. In between the back and forth of 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.” Oh yeah, THAT’S why I taught them “Thou shalt not lie.”
As you can see, “The Curse” works, although the damage doesn’t manifest until years later. I can envision our parents sitting in their clean living rooms, stocked pantry and sans the sound of door-slamming. 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!