Apples Don't Fall Far From the Tree...

On passing down or quirks and "talents" to our kids, and then wondering how on earth they came up with this stuff??!!

Dear kiddos,

It may come as a complete surprise to you, but when it comes to your antics and manipulation, I'm on to you.

I know you spend minutes, if not hours, coming up with your excuses and drama and thinly-veiled lies misdirections and omissions in an effort to put your dad and I "off the scent", but we're on to you.

I know you think that MacGyver and I are dumb, if not completely stupid, and just "don't get it", but we've been there and done that.

It's truly amazing how every generation thinks they're smarter and more cunning than their parents and/or grandparents.  That somehow the youngest generation has finally cracked the mysteries of the brain and it's psychology, and that they can pull the proverbial wool over their parents' eyes.

Yeah.  Right.

Now, I'm fully aware of the fact that I was once part of that youngest generation of misbehaving miscreants that thought they were so genius.  That my parents didn't know that I sneaked out of my room through the window and down the pine tree out front whenever I was sent to my room for whatever evil misdeeds I committed (sassing back, hitting my brother, being a general ten-year-old a**hole) and ran over to my BFF's house claiming parental abuse for being locked in my room.  

It never actually occurred to me, until I had children of my own, that my mom was perfectly aware of what I did and where I was.  She was just happy to have some freaking peace and quiet in the house.  It never dawned on me that there was a "mommy brigade" that would have called my mom and said "hey, did you know Christine was over here?" and that my mom probably said "who cares--I'm on my last nerve because of her.  Wanna keep her until she's 18?"

But now, I have a whole new appreciation for my mom (and dad) and what they put up with for all those years with my brother and me.  Mostly me.  I was always the one that pushed the envelope.  The one that found everyone's last nerve and set it on fire.  Speaking of fire, I was really pretty good with matches--and the ability to torch many a bridge in my time.

So now, it is any surprise that I have kids that do the same to me?

The Drama Queen puts on award winning performances on an hourly basis around here.  The Wild Man leaves a trail of legos and Star Wars figurines like Hansel and his bread crumbs.  And said bread crumbs inevitably find their way to the wicked witch in the forest, screaming that someone is ruining her house (yes, that would be me).

I need look no further than the nearest, probably dusty, mirror to find out where they get their "quirks".  That talent for drama comes directly from me.  The trail of crap in their wake--I can't count the number of times my mom yelled at me for my junk around the house.  One time, she scooped it all up and threw it on the back porch to be swept away by the wind and the neighborhood dogs.  I'm starting to think she was onto something, there...

And the slamming and locking of doors?  Yep--my genes.  The ability to break the locks on almost any door, unless it's dead-bolted?  Where, dear DQ, do you think you got that from?  I know you think you have a singular, special talent (which is exactly why MacGyver and I have a second inside lock a la "Modern Family" on our bedroom door), but I'm sure your grandparents can tell you a heap of stories involving me, a credit card, and a spam key.  And, that my talent came in handy more than once when we were locked out of our house.

It's both funny as hell, and irritating as crap, to see your own quirks come out in your kids.  The lies ("I didn't do that!" "It's not mine!" "It's not my fault!") and the manipulations ("I feel so sick today, mommy.  I need to stay home in bed and sleep and snuggle with you.") are the same I used on my parents, and they used on there's, all the way back to the Neanderthal munchkins claiming they didn't eat the last piece of mammoth pie before dinner, or that it's not their fault the paint on the cave drawings are smeared--their little brother did it, not them.  Of course, the cave-moms weren't able to scream "I have a fingerprint kit, and I know how to use it!  If I find one scrap of your DNA on this wet paint, I'm raiding your college fund for money to pay for my nervous breakdown!!!!!!"

No.  I've never said that. (Ahem....)

So, this year, I vow to try to stop yelling and getting so frustrated with the DQ and the WMB when they push my buttons with the very buttons I installed in them.  To try to remember that I did the same things when I was little, and that someday they will have kids that drive them to the brink of insanity by doing the exact same things they're torturing me with today.  And, I will no doubt tell them the same thing I heard many, many years ago...

"One day, I hope you have kids just like you!"

And, like I did to my own mom many many times since, they'll grow up, have kids, and say---

"I'm sorry, mom.  I'm so so sorry...."

And, just like my mom, I'll just smile and say "Too late.  Too late..."

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Joey L January 03, 2013 at 12:00 PM
There wasn't much you or Andy could hide from good ol' Crystal (HELLO-SKI)!!!! That's why Andy didn't bother acting out LOL!!!! I'm sure she loved listening to you beat him up!!! I know I loved reading it LOL!!!!! Ahhhh how the mental scars have effected him LOL!!!
Maryann January 03, 2013 at 03:39 PM
So true! This is why the teen years have me terrified. Just keep remembering--some day they will have kids just like them :)
Christine Wagner January 03, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Thanks, Joey! Yep, my mom definitely knew exactly what we were up to, every moment. And, she LOVES to share the stories with DQ and WBM. Thank goodness neither kid inherited the sibling rivalry gene from me--that would be a disaster!
Christine Wagner January 03, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Maryann--I totally understand!! I dread the teen years. I was a pretty good kid, but still... If either kiddo does half the things I did, I'm in big trouble! And, yep--I can only hope they'll have kids just like them :-)


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