Every night the hubby and I participate in the what seems to be the only universal accepted American past time. We sit in front of the boob tube (TV for those of you whose brain is still fully functional- mine has been turned into a mushy ball of fat from watching) Well change that- we attempt to watch the boob tube. Now that we have teenagers it is more of a word scramble where we attempt to hear every third word between the “Mom-I’m home’s, Mom- I need a ride to school early, Mom- Let me tell you what happened today, Moooooom, he farted on me, and the list goes on and on” They can go all day and only manage the simple words of “fine and yeah”, but attempt to do something where they are not the center of attention and all hell will break loose post haste.
I remember the days fondly when they went to bed at 8 (o.k.- 9 – I was never super mom) and there was at least a few hours of adult time, but alas those days are gone and we are left with the only hope of ever getting those hours back in the highly anticipated empty nest and at the rate mine are progressing – I’ll probably die first.
Tonight while in the pursuit of the ever illusive third word I actually grabbed two in a row. (it was a commercial so there was no reason for them to talk at this point) The two words I grabbed though were tremendous. My ears perked up. Apart these words are not special at all, nor would they of grabbed my attention. These were two words that I had never ever thought about putting in the same sentence. They were- get ready for it- “Intelligent Toilet”
To most people I’m sure these words don’t mean much, but to me they cause my brain to go into a tailspin. The face lights up and the idea’s start going faster than a roller coaster. After the initial look over at the man of my dreams and saying “Exactly what the heck is an Intelligent toilet” (well heck wasn’t the word, but my mama will be happy) followed by another 5 of the crazy idea’s in my head out loud- the look on his face alone after the 5th said I needed to hush and go write it down. The show was back on and he really would of liked to hear every third word at least.
The first thought I had after the initial “what the heck” was there must be a new definition of “intelligence” that everyone forgot to tell me about because……..
Exactly how “Intelligent” can a toilet be? Scratch that- there are people with actual brains not much smarter than the average toilet
Does it talk to me? If so, what would it say. I’m imaging something along the lines of “Good morning – are you going to moon me again today?” Can I set the voice to say anything I want? That would be fun- I would set it to scream like a horror movie in the 16 year old’s bathroom every time you sat down or better yet say “Clean me” in an authoritative football coach voice. Yes- that one mama likes!!
Is it perceptive and if so what does it perceive? If it’s who sits down by our weight- well let’s just say if it’s got a weight component you can keep or it’ll end up in the burn pit sitting right next to that horrid scale. However; I might have to purchase if it can perceive a teenage boys is going to miss the bowl and move itself to catch it- that would be a cool trick!!
Does it comprehend it’s own existence? If so – can you imagine how bitter it would be? There are humans running around extremely ornery who just perceive they’ve been shit on- this thing would be miserable.
Does it read and learn? That’s a scary thought and all I can see are millions of Americans everywhere running to the “water closet” to hurry and change out their reading material in order to not “dumb down” the toilet.
I finally decided google was in order- I just had to know what makes a toilet “intelligent” It sadly doesn’t talk. Which is a shame because that little gift to my family would of been fun!! I was impressed -let me tell you this thing lights up, warms your tush, washes you and even cleans itself and it does all this for some crazy astronomical number that if I actually bought would mean I had more money than sense.
So there you have it folks – the new definition of “intelligence” – being able to warm your ass and cleaning yourself after a shit. That sure does puts a whole lot of people back in the intelligent quadrant of society- who knew?? Who needs a college education? I got this licked – or dried!! (Yep it does that too)
It makes me curious what’s coming down the pike next. I don’t know about you but I’m holding out for the “brilliant” box of rocks…………
So yesterday I had another birthday! I got out of the bed, went into the bathroom and looked into the mirror and said “Wow- so this is what 46 looks like?” Since I was reflecting, I spent a few extra minutes and low and behold I noticed those new wrinkles and pounds I had been purposely avoiding. I had seen them, but I am convinced that avoidance is a perfectly acceptable way to get through middle age. I can’t avoid the creaks in my knee’s anymore so only just glancing in the mirror is really my new survival mechanism.
I wish I didn’t, but I remember like it was yesterday being a teenager and thinking 46 was ancient! I remember listening to Prince singing “Party Like It’s 1999” and thinking I would be soooooo old (32) when it turned to the year 2000. Now it’s 2014 and it amazes me because I’m sure if I had even thought about being this age I would of pictured myself in the nursing home. I see my parasites (children for those nicer than me) faces and remember how ancient they think I am now and it makes me giggle. I get that evil age smirk every now and then as my brain says “Yes my child- please believe I don’t know what your thinking so I can bust you just for fun!!”
My brain has a remarkable way of convincing itself most days that we are still just 15 with just a little more wisdom (other than hangover days when it screams loudly “you are 40 something honey-what were you thinking??” but I don’t think those really count cuz it did that when I was 15 too!)
Since I had decided to do a little reflecting I was sending my poor 15 year old brain into a tail spin. It was doing all sorts of somersaults of justifications, excuses, and it’s best trick avoidance. I refused to listen I just kept right on looking. As I noticed the deep wrinkles I laughed as I remembered the immortal words of Dolly Parton in Steal Magnolia’s “Time marches on and eventually you realize it’s marching across your face” Yep- there were those pesky boot prints of the army of time. God bless my 15 year old brain because it kicked in immediately. It decided we should make some faces and I realized most of my deepest wrinkles are laugh lines. I realized an array of smiles have crossed this face over 46 years. I decided I wouldn’t be depressed about laugh lines- they really should be celebrated. Maybe with Botox, but celebrated just the same.
When I got around to the extra pounds I decided to listen to my young brain immediately (it was nicer). For those of us that did not get smiled on young by the breast goddess a few extra pounds can do WONDERS! I am convinced that those babies are the first place a woman gains and loses weight. That old statement that most men like curvier women makes much more sense to me. I am convinced for every 20 pounds a woman gains it equals a bra size. Now I understand most men don’t even see the extra 20 pounds, just the new boobs! It gives a whole new meaning to “give em what they want”, but me and the brain are going with it!! I think about losing the pounds all the time, but then the dessert hits the table and my teenage with wisdom brain says “yes, but those go with em” and I eat the cake anyway. Hey- I could always be gaining because I was pregnant and another year older is always better than 3 months late any day!!
As I slide down the ramp of my 40’s and reflect in the mirror on this birthday, I realize more and more it seems to be all in your outlook of life. I can be depressed about the wrinkles or I can celebrate the army of laughs and emotions that have crossed my face. I can be sad about the body, which is changing daily, or I can relish in actually getting to buy a real bra size. I can be sad that my parasites see me as ancient or be excited that my brain actually knows what they are thinking and enjoy busting them and seeing their confused faces.
So as I stood there contemplating the years I realized the only thing I have truly learned in 46 years is that the truth is always just in your perspective and so stay happy and just make it up as you go along!!!
Today I was sitting eating lunch and there was a cute little picture above the table with a couple of toads. These three cute little toads were arranged side by side and one was covering his eyes, one was covering his ears, and one was covering his mouth. It started me thinking about the saying- See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. This is a great concept we should all strive for, but is it really practical or even remotely possible.
I decided to spend the afternoon trying to accomplish this monumental task.
When my youngest parasite came home and decided to play ball in the house- I covered my eyes and walked away. When I heard the lamp break from the other room – I covered my ears. When I came out and saw the mess – I just covered my mouth before I could let my normal loving caring words toward my little nightmare slip out. Now so far I am impressed with my new found super abilities so I decide to keep it up.
When the oldest parasite came home I went down to his room to check on his day – because as we all know teenager boys love to talk to their mothers. When I saw his dinner plate from last nights dinner still on his bedroom floor- I covered my eyes and walked away. When I heard the strangers bad language coming out of his computer game speakers – I covered my ears. When I went down to say goodnight and the dinner plate was STILL sitting on his floor, I covered my mouth in order to avoid sharing more of the bad language with him he had heard earlier.
Now I am incredibly proud of myself so I think it’s a great idea to continue. When my middle parasite gets home and I notice her shorts are entirely too short and her shirt is showing more cleavage than I even have- I covered my eyes. When I hear song lyrics coming out of her room which are degrading to women I just cover my ears and when she over steps her bounds and her mouth smarts off to me- I just cover my mouth in order to not yell back or punish her.
Then a little thing hits me- What the HELL am I doing??? You can’t parent and EVER live up to those ideals.
See no evil?? You better keep your eyes wide open and look for the evil even if it’s not there. They are kids and their brains aren’t developed to the extent of yours. They don’t see evil and are counting on you to see the evil and protect them and steer them in safe directions. If you don’t see the evil – trust me they won’t.
Hear no evil?? You better keep your ears as open as your eyes. Listen to the parasites! Spend one on one time with them- even when they do their best to avoid. If you listen they will, in their own ways, tell you about the evils they are facing. They usually crave direction when they are confused. Let them tell you and work with them to avoid the evils.
Speak no evil? Now this one is the most tricky and the one most parents have difficulty. This is the one that is more like a tight rope. You don’t want to teach them to be judgmental, but you also want to teach them. You do not want to be degrading, but make sure they know they don’t know everything yet. Let’s just clarify here that punishment is not evil. Punishment for bad behavior is a protective maneuver. Neither is teaching them the age old saying “Fly with the crows – get shot with the crows” or Lay down with dogs and you’re gonna get fleas” You aren’t being judgmental- you are being protective. Let’s face it- the statements are true.
So after my day of striving to See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speaking no evil the only thing I’ve learned is it might work with strangers, but it certainly shouldn’t be implemented as a parenting style. So I’m going to change it to SEE ALL THE EVIL, HEAR ALL THE EVIL, AND SPEAK THE TRUTH!
As I’ve said many times- I should not be allowed to watch the news!! It is a confusing and disturbing time of day for me. Today I saw a an 18 year old teenage girl in New Jersey sue her parents to support her because she didn’t want to live by their rules. Now I live in the South and I’ve watched Jersey Shore, but I truly thought those producers sure are good. There could not possibly be that many people that self absorbed – Well – I stand corrected. I have some great friends who are from Jersey and they don’t exhibit this trait, but hell they also moved to the south. Now- I also saw a New Jersey judge throw the case out so my faith has been semi restored
I’m by no means saying my family is perfect. Insanity comes in a takes a long slow stroll through periodically just for fun, but I was taught to respect my elders even if I didn’t want too. The reasons are many but her are a few:
1) They hold all the money so they hold all the cards
I thought I was all grown up about the same age and informed my parents I was leaving. My daddy being the unreasonable man he was promptly went in my room, put my suitcase on the bed, sat down and said “Pack” Now as I’ve told you my dad and I can both be stubborn so I obliged his request. As I folded my first shirt he asked “Did you buy that or did your mom?” I replied “Mom” He said “Put it back- you can take anything that you bought” This exercise was repeated through my entire wardrobe. Needless to say after I finished packing my 3 pair of underwear and one pair of jeans I decided to stay. Pride always cometh before the fall they say- well I fell off the cliff.
2) Youth and Enthusiasm will lose to Age and Treachery every time
When your young you always hear about this stuff called wisdom. You think it’s only a scam that old people say to feel better about getting the wrinkles. As I age I’m realizing there might be something to this thing. Wisdom isn’t really the ability to be wise, scholarly knowledge, or even good judgement. Wisdom is the ability to out maneuver your off spring. The parasites which you carried for 9 months, you fed, you rocked, you changed, you sang to etc etc etc and in general accomplished keeping alive will soon TURN ON YOU! They will think you are now the dumbest human alive. I am not insulted by this phenomena. It actually brings out the evil in me. I remember starting in the business world in my 20’s and having “men” underestimate me and me feeling the evil Grinch smirk form on my face- I get the same reaction now with my teenagers. I now just sit around and formulate plans. My favorite so far – If you get in trouble in any way during middle school- I will come eat lunch with you for a week. I will make a big scene about how cute my babies are and in general embarrass you to death. Two though middle school and no issue’s yet. Why are you crying mama cuz treachery is fun!!
3) Guilt is a powerful thing
My parents and I learned from the VERY best the ability to dispense quilt and it’s power to motivate and manipulate. Now over the years manipulate has taken on an evil context and I don’t understand why. We all manipulate. When we talk our spouse into watching the chic flick instead of the blow em up movie for a little nooky- that’s manipulation. Why is it evil to use it on our children? My Great Granny was the QUEEN!! She demanded command performances for holidays. It went something like this “We WILL be having lunch on Thanksgiving day and you will be there, unless you seem to think you have something more important to do than your family?” These could only be considered optional, at your own guilt free risk. The most powerful guilt manipulation words of all time are “We are disappointed in you” followed up with “if we didn’t know what you were capable of it would be ok” Now I always knew and understood exactly what they were doing and swore I would NEVER parent like them. Guess what I said to my eldest 3 days ago who is failing his first subject ever- yep – word for word! Amazingly it still seems to work.
Our families teach us many things as we grow. We learn respect. We learn to deal with people we don’t like or even understand. We learn to let arguments go because they’re not going anywhere anyway. We learn wisdom, treachery, and manipulation techniques. We learn the roots to keep us grounded and that we really need our wings to sprout so we can get the hell out for a while before we kill each other.
We all from time to time wish we could return or at least exchange a family member or two. Thankfully God made family with a no replacement policy cuz I’m pretty sure I would of replaced all of them by now at least once. Since it’s not an option I guess I’ll just learn and teach the lesson that many a generation have been passing down on to me- unconditional love. If ya can’t beat em might as well join em- and hey- the treachery part is fun!!