Friday, February 5, 2010

Mom Snobbery

There are some things I just never thought I would have to deal with. I guess because I was a Mom Snob. The only cure for Mom Snobbery, I have discovered, is a great big dose of Humble Pie! And since I have four kids, I get four times the dosage.

Middle School provides a wonderful assortment of Humble Pie for Mom Snobs. Each Middle School smorgasbord has it's own brand of bitter, distasteful ingredients. I haven't met too many Mom Snobs who make it through Middle School without a least a little taste. And for those who coast on through, watch out. High School Humble Pie is even bigger!

I was blessed with very good kids. I realize that God granted me this blessing because He knew I would have no idea what to do with kids who aren't so well-behaved. I have a naive belief that when people are presented with right and wrong, everyone will naturally choose right. Sometimes, I forget that not everyone has the same understanding of what is right.

When Kate was an 8th grader and I attended the mandatory athletic parent meeting, I zoned out through the academic ineligibility discussion. With my A/B student, I would never have to worry about that. Not like some other poor parents, like that one over there with the stern look on her face. We all know what her son is like. I wonder if he'll make it through the season this year.

Guess what? He did. But guess who didn't? And all because she thought the assignments were stupid, so she shouldn't have to do them. And when her team had to play the champion game without their 15-points-per-game point guard, you'd have thought we would have learned our lessons. But then track season came along to prove us wrong. Two HUGE helpings, one after another. That was hard going down.

But by the time the next daughter made it to eighth grade, I apparently had forgotten the taste of Humble Pie. Bless my daughter's sweet heart for serving up her own unique recipe. You see, I'm an educator. My pet peeve is cheating. I've perfectly parented the point that cheating is for board games only. So, therefore, my children don't cheat. Imagine my shock when the principal called one morning to tell me that my daughter had been caught cheating. She had given the answers to a friend who forgot to do the assignment. The school has a no tolerance policy on cheating. She and her friend would have to serve one day in-school suspension starting that morning. At first I thought the principal had dialed the wrong number. My kids don’t cheat. I’m a teacher. My kids don’t cheat. I hate cheating. I never cheated a day in my life. My kids would never…

Okay, stop right there. One of the Top 10 Rules of Roaring Mom parenting—never say my kids would never!

Next up, the quiet, yet calculating one. The one who has never been in trouble in her life. She doesn't have any idea what the term "grounded" means. She just always makes good choices. So, I'm enjoying a Friday night high school football game when my daughter dashes up the crowded bleachers to inform me that she has just punched a kid in the stomach. Lovely!

She explains, "He was kicking my friends in the shins and he didn't stop when I told him to. So I punched him." Makes perfect sense. "And then a teacher made me come stand by her for the rest of the quarter and when I told her who my mom was, she said she knew you and she was going to have a talk with you later." Extra nice, she was caught by one of my colleagues.

And this daughter's not even in eighth grade yet. Open up, Mom, here comes a great big bite!

My son told me just yesterday that he would never act like his sisters. He would always do what he was told and what was expected of him. I hugged him and said, "You will have to figure out your own choices along the way, as well. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't want you marching through life like a soldier, doing only what others tell you is right. You have to understand you have the right to make your own decisions and to accept the consequences of those decisions."

Then I smacked myself in the head. Did I really just tell my fourth child to spread his wings and try to fly. And while he's up there to just go ahead and drop a big dollop of Humble Pie right on my head because obviously I haven't had my fill yet.

And maybe I haven't. But I'm hoping I've had enough to cure my Mom Snobbery. Or maybe I've just changed into a different kind of Mom Snob. Because the second I hear some ill-informed mother claim, "my kid would never..." my pity for her starts all over again.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Very reminiscent of my own experiences. I expected things wouldn't go right all the time, and they didn't. But it was when my oldest complained loudly about an unfairness dished out by her teacher, and I visited the teacher, ready to do battle. Self-righteousness was my friend! Come to find out, daughter had not given me the full story. I quickly had to dump my attitude. After that, I never again practiced righteousness until after getting the full story. Sometimes I had reason to do battle, but not always. And sometimes doing battle is called for.