One of my least favorite things about being a mom is when you are "outed" by your own offspring. I don't really have any big secret shames. Yet, when my kids publicly reveal my weaknesses and eccentricites, I feel like a shy animal being spied upon by scientists and imagine the tabulation of my shortcomings. (My good friend also known as the Snee, refers to this as being "busted in your own habitat.")
And I have been so busted lately.
First, I take my 11 year old son to the doctor and I have to sit there while he is interrogated, knowing that I will be blamed for any unhealthly habits that are uncovered, because that's what mothers are for, right? We do well on helmet safety and seat belts. And then comes this question, "So, what do you have for snacks ?" I tense up. This could go anywhere. Who cares that I or my husband make dinner from scratch six nights a week, that I pack a homemade lunch every stinkin' school morning (for a kid that won't eat sandwiches), stock the fridge with fruits and vegetables and have a freezer full of grass-fed beef. Oh no, I am going to be judged by that after school snack I urge him to forage for himself. I brace myself for the worst (chocolate chips ? cookie dough ? ice cream ?)
Son: "A bowl of cereal" (I inwardly sigh in relief)
Son: "umm, Honey Nut Toastios." (ok, but the word "honey" could sound bad.)
Doctor: "Well, that should be more of a special treat food." (I'm burning with shame.)
Doctor: "Yes, thats better." (Is it really ??)
Of course, the granola has 1/3 more sugar than the other cereal (I checked later), but the damage is done. I'm demoralized that it all came down to that, not all the other meals. And I'm feeling pissed.
Next, the healthy living talk moves on to smoking and my son was instructed to never even try a cigarette. The doctor backs this advice up with a staggering simplistic statistic (SSS): 100% of all smokers had a first cigarette.
I feel like interrupting with the idea that this advice is in conflict with my parenting style. My kids are already too cautious. They have never even played ding-dong-ditch. If they logically equate smoking a single cigarette with a lifetime of addiction or with the advice to never, ever smoke crack, it seems there could be some very bad outcomes. Of course, this is the time to be silent. It's too complicated and besides, I am a mother who lets her son eat sugary cereals after school
Tabulation of scores:
Provisions and prepares 25 healthy meals a week: 0 points for Standing In Front of the Stove (SIFOS)
Provisions Mom's Best Honey Nut Toastios, and tells son to "make your own snack": -200 points for Being A Slacker Mom (BASM)
Thinks Incorrect Thoughts About Anti-Smoking Education: ? ? ?
The second time I am busted, I wasn't really busted. I just felt that way. It was 9 pm. and the dining room table was covered in sewing junk and I had decided to take the cover off my sewing machine to check on some things. (I have become like one of those guys who always has the hood up on his car to fiddle with the tuning.) Tools, parts, sewing patterns everywhere and in walks my teenage son with his girlfriend. They had just been to concert and wanted to have some fresh cookies and milk.
Tabulation of scores:
Two Counts of Dismantling of Sewing Machine on Dining Room Table: -50 points for Bizarre Behavior on the Part of a Parent in the Presence of a Teenager (BBPPPT) and -25 points for Encouraging Odd Ideas About Dining Rooms and Thus Food (EOIAF)
Provision of cookies at 9 pm: -50 points for Parenting with Disregard for Sugar Foods (PWDSF)
Teenage son eating cookies instead of (and hopefully not because of) smoking dope: ? I Might Be Doing Something Right (IMBDSR) and then again, I might not.
Total Busted Score: -325 points
So, have you been busted lately ?