January 22, 2013

"Living in the future": January 20-26


Mother, Interrupted
by Debra Carpenter

2013. It sounds awfully futuristic, doesn’t it? And yet, here we are, still driving gas-powered vehicles, dealing with natural disasters, and spoiling our children. Where is my hovercraft? Why isn’t there a “Fold” button on my dryer yet? Things have changed a lot in the 21 years that I’ve been alive, but they haven’t really changed all that much. Let me demonstrate.

This is a hovercraft the guys on Mythbusters built.
It doesn't look futuristic or classy. I love it.

Children haven’t changed. It may be more common for six year olds to wear mini skirts and lipgloss these days, but I won’t get into that. Children still love to learn, be creative, and make messes. Only God knows the extent of those messes they love to make, because some are well hidden from Mom. Oh, hello, crusty, moldy oatmeal inside a backpack behind the bed. I wondered where you got off to!

Spankings haven’t changed. They’re still there (sorry, kids). Although, I must say, the spankings that were around when I was a child seemed a little scarier and more effective than the spankings I occasionally dole out today--but only when I have to, and my husband isn’t home. Just give me a badge that says “Good Cop.” 
Side note—once, when my mom was going to spank me in the grocery store, I started yelling out “Please don’t beat me! Please don’t beat me, Mama!” I can still remember the stone-cold Mom-stare those words earned me, and that was scarier than any spanking.

Reminder: Good cop= Me. Bad cop= Dad.
For short, good= mom, bad= dad.

Marriage hasn’t changed, as far as I’m aware. It’s still the only way you can move in with your significant other without your mom offering her extreme disapproval. Marriage is also still the best way to stalk and find out every single detail about another person, with the only catch being that you have to find out every single detail about that person, complete with their bathroom habits and strange sleep-talk. Marriage is actually the reason the phrase “TMI” (too much information) was assembled, most likely.

The phrases we use to threaten our children are relatively the same today as 50 years ago.
You better watch it! You’re skating on thin ice! Wait until your father gets home! I’m giving you until the count of 3! You’ve got 2 seconds to get your butt over here! You’re cruising for a bruising! If you are lying to me, I WILL find out!
Funny, those phrases sound so much scarier when they are being yelled out an angry mom’s mouth.

Scary. For the record, I've gotten some pretty wicked spankings with a wooden spoon.

I find comfort in identifying ways that our fast-paced society still hints of the simpler times. My mother came from a family of 12 (you read that right!) and has some wonderful stories about her childhood and life. Most of them involve some of the elements I listed in this column. As I raise my daughter with my husband, I try to stay grounded in those beliefs and instill the same values and morals in her that were taught to me. Well, all the good ones, at least.

Love, Mom

Debra is a young housewife and mother transitioning from wild to mild and braving the waters of PTO meetings and play dates. This is harder than it sounds.
You can email her at interruptedmom@gmail.com or visit the website at www.motherinterrupted.com

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