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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parenting: The Path of Most Resistance

The first evidence that I was really taking this pregnancy/parenting thing seriously was my reading of a book entitled: "What to Expect When You're Expecting". I eagerly digested every morsel. Remember those tomes? They sequeled them out to "What to expect in the first Year; What to Expect of the First Bowel Movement.....the First Tooth. get the drill. I've decided that I will offer my wisdom and experience to the next iteration of the "What to Expect" series as I have discovered that they are missing an entire segment of the life cycle: The Teenager. Here are some possible Chapter sketches.

Birth Announcement for Baby: "We're expecting a Baby! We're registered at Pottery Barn for Kids, Toys R Us, Kids R Us (or just send a check). Baby shower will be _______. We will play silly games and guess the gender FOR HOURS. If this is not fun enough, we will eat a great deal of food & punch containing carbs and sugar so that you will not be able to function for the rest of your day. "

Birth Announcement for Teen: "We're expecting that our child may grow up but we are not sure when or into what. We are registering with many colleges in hopes that he will make it into one of them. It cost $50 a pop so if you can send money, that would be great. We're having a graduation party on ________ where we will sit around and play games and guess what he will do for the rest of his life FOR HOURS. If this is not fun enough, we will eat a great deal of food and punch (which we hope Junior won't spike), so that you might be able to function the next day."

Nesting Habit for Baby: Happy parents transform spare room into a welcome place for new baby replete with teddybears, sailboats and soft colors named after food items like "melon", "lime" and "butter". Gentle fabric puffy creatures adorn walls and mobiles with chimey sounds hint a simple lullaby. I proudly hang a pastel crucifix over the crib for special blessings on baby. The environment smells of fresh powder.

Nesting Habit for Teen: Catatonic parents shudder to learn that bedroom has been turned into a den of bats featuring actual guano-like substance stuck on desk (don't ask). There might actually be melon, lime or butter under his dresser. I think the color of paint is 'scuffmark' beige. Che Guavara, Vladimir Lenin and the Flaming Lips posters adorn the walls making it look like a fool's holiday. There is a challenging feng shui notion going on as there is fire in one corner and water in another. I hang a St. Benedict Cross under his bed and sprinkle the room with holy water. It smells....bad.

Lamasz Class: Expectant parents bring pillows and nervously tell each other to calm down and BREATHE.

Substance Abuse Class for Teen who just got caught: Angry parents bring notebooks to class and nervously tell each other to calm down and BREATHE. This technique also applies to Driver's Education and/or Rock Band Recitals.

First Trimester Mom of Baby: "I am sooooo sick"
First Trimester Mom of Teen: "I am soooo sick of this kid"
Second Trimester Mom of Baby: "Was that a kick?"
Second Trimester Mom of Teen: "Would you like a swift kick in the rear end?"
Third Timester Mom of Baby final Push: "Get it out."
Third Trimester Mom of Teen final Expulsion: "Get out."

There is screaming, then there is silence.


The baby comes out all fat, wrinkly and slimy.

The parents end up all fat, wrinkly and sweaty.

But our story does not end here. Oh no. Let us fast forward several years from now to a special place in the future. Remember that powdery fresh room? It now has been decorated by my son and his wife. I now understand God's punchline: a parent's greatest revenge is the arrival of his or her grandchild. Through a wry smile I quote scripture to my reconverted son: "Vengence is mine, I will repay".

1 comment:

  1. I can feel the pain in this blog entry - prayers are with you.