So, I’m truckin’ along, finally feeling human enough to get some cleaning done (some as in very little) when I discover an information card from an old wallet of mine. You know, the kind you get with your wallet that you can list all your personal information on in case you lose your wallet or purse? Or, after your sh*t gets stolen, the piece of paper that makes it easier for someone to come by and finish the job? Anyway, one of the listings on there was for allergies. I don’t really have any, but as I was thinking about that, I suddenly had a flashback to when I was about 8 or 9 and got a brand-new purse of my own for the first time. I had the same kind of card and filled it out, and in the “allergies” section, I put “Chocolate.” Somehow my mom saw that and was like, “Um, you’re not allergic to chocolate.” And I distinctly remember arguing with her, saying, “Yes I am! You TOLD me I am!” and she’s all, “No I didn’t!” and I’m all “YES, you DID!” and she’s like, “DID NOT. Now shut up and go clean your room!”
Because that’s what parents do when you’re annoying them and they want you out of their face.
This struck me as I looked at the more recent wallet card because while I don’t remember my mom telling me I was allergic to chocolate, I do distinctly remember being adamant that I HAD been told I was allergic. (If that makes sense. It doesn’t have to. This is going somewhere, just hang on…) It also struck me that I probably WASN’T told I was allergic. I probably was just bugging my mom for candy and after she got tired of the 14th “WHY?!?” in response to her telling me no, she probably replied offhand, “Because you’re allergic and your face will blow up! Now shut up and go clean your room!”
And WHY is this relevant, you ask me? Because I then suddenly realized, I will soon be a mother. Which means I’ll have children. Which means they’ll ask me lots of questions. Which I’ll have to answer. Which they’ll believe the answer to, because kids believe everything. And, worst of all, kids don’t get sarcasm.
Which means…I will never be able to speak to my children.
No, REALLY. THIS IS SERIOUS, Y’ALL.
Do you know how many times I’ve said, “Mommy needs a cocktail?” in my lifetime? What happens when I AM a mommy and suddenly I’ll have little kidlets telling their teachers, “When I talk, Mommy says she has to have a bloody mary”? How am I supposed to respond with anything but “Suck it,” when I change the channel and someone whines about it? Am I REALLY supposed to stop yelling out, “Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ!” in response to really stinky smells emanating from my dog or my husband?
Am I going to turn into one of those people with a 12-inch voice that says things like, “We don’t DO that, now do we?” in a sweet cajoling tone? (Cause those people annoy me. Tell that baby NO and then get its tongue out of the light socket, dammit.)
Will I start saying toots and tinkle constantly?
Am I going to be NICE all the time?
DO I HAVE TO STOP CUSSING?!?
Lordy, I hope not.
And I probably won’t. I eventually calmed myself down (this freakout was like 2 minutes tops) and used the voices of my more sane friends to give myself comforting affirmations like, “No, of course you can cuss, your mom did it all the time,” and “You’re going to mess them up in many other ways, the way you talk is the least of your problems…”
Ideally, I’d like to be like Calvin’s Dad in Calvin and Hobbes. Whenever Calvin asked questions like, “Why do my eyes shut when I sneeze?” he’d respond with lovely advice like, “If your lids weren’t closed, the force of the explosion would blow your eyeballs out and stretch the optic nerve, so your eyes would flop around and you’d have to point them with your hands to see anything.” SEE? Amazing, right? But as funny as that is, I don’t need the kind of parent/teacher conferences answers like that will generate. Gotta save that stuff for the nieces and nephews.
Still, this kind of thinking is…odd. Not the thinking, but the fact that I’m having to do it and consider my parenting style. Which I believe will largely consist of winging it. Which will either work, or make me the star of a sharply worded memoir when I’m old.
It’s a toss-up.
*This title is a misnomer. I have had plenty of freak-outs. This is just the first documented on on Kind of a Mess.