When Did I Become the Worst Version of Myself?

Remember the good ol’ days when your kids were little and the worst thing that could happen was that their bad day and your bad day would be the same day and the result would be their tantrum, alternating stiff-as-a-board-body with sloopy-doopy-spagetti-body in tandem with the sucking-in-air-no-noise-open-mouth scream and the blood-curdling-my-head-has-just-popped-off-and-started-
orbiting-the-sun scream during which you would grit your teeth, extricate both your bodies from the public place you were in as best as you could while speaking totally absurd mother-isms that you never thought would come out of your mouth and then burst into tears on the drive home? And sob? And weep? And then pray that they won’t remember most of what you said while you send yourself to Time Out in the form of a long bath or a large glass of wine or both as the next rational step?

I miss that.

Because now I’ve entered a whole new realm of mother-isms that I have no recollection of recording and lining up in my repertoire of Things to Say to Your Child That Will Make Them Hate You and Begin Their Life of Crime and/or Prostitution. I’m supposed to be the cool mom. Not the ‘Cool You Can Drink Rum in my House’ cool, but the ‘Cool You Can Tell me Anything and I’ll Understand’ cool. The ‘I’m Wacky and Let’s do Art Projects Instead of Clean Your Room’ mom. An ‘I’ll Never Make You Repress Your Feelings’ mom.

I’ve hardly raised my voice to my kids in over 4 years. I can’t think of a time that I was sincerely disappointed in anything any of them did which would cause me to yell. It’s not that they are perfect, although, with me as their mom, it’s obviously only a matter of time. It’s that I’m so long-suffering and understanding. Oh yes, I ‘Get. It.’ So, how is it that on the morning of Sunday Last, I uttered the words, ‘Oh, yes you will, Young Lady! Oh. Yes. You. Will. Get. In. This. Car. Right. Now!!’ Did you imagine the gritted teeth and sardonic smile? With the piercing eyes? Like your dad had? That is a very important element. Don’t forget that part.

And so I find myself unable to open my mouth. I can’t speak for fear that something else completely asinine is going to tumble out like, ‘Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?!?’ or ‘You know that this is for your own good and some day you’ll thank me!’ or ‘Short skirts are for hookers!’ Just kidding. Short skirts aren’t just for hookers. Thongs are, though, and I really can’t seem to get my mind to accept that they are just underwear. Not to get too personal, but I don’t even like them. I prefer to at least start the day with my underwear -not- in my crack. When did 10-year-old girls start wearing them under their low-waisted boy cut jeans? When did Wal-Mart start offering them in blister-packs of 17 made out of jersey material? I feel old.

In any case, my beautiful, amazing and talented daughter was in the Miss Ventura Teen Scholarship Pageant last weekend. She sang so beautifully that I almost cried and/or threw up the whole time, every time, she was on the stage. She walked slowly, sashayed, twirled, sang, answered a relevant random question regarding the youth of today and their text-messaging slang all while smiling and never breaking into a sweat. And then she lost with dignity and grace, and I’ve never been so proud of her. Ever.

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