It really is a wonder that Thomas and I have managed to live this long being so incredibly clueless. But we’re not alone in our stupidity. There are thousands and thousands of parents out there who don’t have a logical thought and we’re all raising kids who are smarter than us whether the child is 2 or 17.
It’s a difficult existence for us all, isn’t it? We get up every day, vowing to teach our kids right from wrong, trying to keep them safe and healthy when all we are really getting across is, apparently, incorrect nonsense.
How do we parents know this is all true? Because our children tell us every day, whether they out-and-out say “you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about” or they simply ignore us as if they never had any intention of doing what we told them.
Take today, for instance. I’ve already been incredibly stupid and it isn’t even noon yet. First, I’ve been telling Grant for weeks that he needs to be wearing the tiny rubber bands on his braces that his orthodontist gave him or else it will delay him getting the braces off in a few months. Since I don’t know what I’m talking about and neither does the orthodontist (who is, may I point out, a DOCTOR), Grant hasn’t been wearing them and thought his teeth would miraculously move into place. At today’s ortho visit, they said they could clearly tell he hadn’t been wearing the bands, added an additional set of bands to the already required ones and reiterated how important it is to stick to the treatment plan. Poor, foolish doctors. How do they stay in business being so dumb?
In another act of stupidity on my part, Grace rolled her eyes at my insane idea that she should ask the teacher for help if she is not understanding the concepts he’s covering. Oooo boy, that was a good one, worthy of two eye-rolls. Silly me.
Okay, in all seriousness, and trying to put my frustration aside, this is one of the things that makes parenting so darned hard. The majority of parents ARE smart, and wise and have lived long enough to learn a lot. And it’s our responsibility to pass that wisdom on to our kids. And, yes, it’s also their responsibility in some twisted, developmentally-appropriate way, to rebel against us by thinking they are being raised by fools and to “question authority” (I hate that bumper sticker!!!!)
So what are we to do? Keep foolishly giving our words of wisdom until they become less idiotic in the eyes of our kids. I often think of that Mark Twain quote: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
I can’t wait until my kids grow up so I can be smart again.