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Blah Blah Blah… and other important life lessons I have taught my kids.

It was one of those weeks that makes me want to pull my hair out strand by strand… I could then use these home grown threads (which come in a variety of colors, from dark brown to the grays my kids have inspired through the years) to weave my own Bayeux Tapestry depicting the tragic conquering of the babbling mother by her three brilliant children, two of whom apparently achieved full enlightenment upon reaching THE TEENAGE YEARS.

The tale would reach its dramatic peak with the depiction of the poor maternal figure realizing that each time she opens her mouth in an attempt to engage, or bestow knowledge upon, her children, the only sounds that meet their tender ears are, “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH”. Or so it would seem…

There is really no need to get too far into the frustrating details, is there? I mean… most of the parents that I know who have or have had children of a certain double digit age know exactly what I am talking about (except for maybe a few… and I have to admit that their tales of familial perfection tend to make me more anxious than envious. Heck, I grew up watching Leave it to Beaver and was trained to keep an eye on the Eddie Haskells of the world).

Anyhow… this week if I said “left”, they went right. I cited incidents and was told they never happened (despite having SEEN them with my own… apparently feeble… eyes!). I said something… anything, and was more often than not met with a word that has come to make my hairs stand on end (making them much easier to pluck, coincidentally): “ACTUALLY!”

“Sweetie, watch out when you let the dog out. There’s a lizard near the door.”

“ACTUALLY, that’s a gecko.”

“Hey, guys, could you get the cat off the table, please?”

“ACTUALLY, he’s not on the table. He’s on the tableCLOTH.”

“Honey, could you say goodbye to your friend; get off the computer; and come to dinner?”

“ACTUALLY, I am doing homework. You don’t want me to do homework?”

Even the one that is currently over 1,000 miles away managed to score a few points by phone (I think they may be secretly holding some kind of “irk Mom” competition… though I am not sure what the winner gets in the end)…

“Hey Mom!” (May I just say that I miss the “Mamma” days. Nowadays, it seems they only use Mamma when they are emphasizing their incredulity at my lack of knowledge about something… kind of like me using their full names when they are in trouble, I guess… Touché.) “My phone battery keeps dying. I think I may need a new phone.”

“Sweetie, you do not need a new phone. Your dad and I can see your phone consumption on our plan. You need to use it less for things like streaming and more for things like… calling or texting your parents to shoot the breeze.” (Notice how I skillfully added a touch of humor to cushion any hint of criticism…)

“Oh, I forgot you could see that. Well, I NEED to stream certain things for classes. Never mind. Gotta go get some work done. Bye!”

…doesn’t call for the next few days and only texts one word answers, if any at all, during said days…

Anyhow, in the grasps of motherly frustration, I sometimes wonder if anything I say is even getting through, or if I maybe sound like the adults in a Charlie Brown show. I get that our kids need to make their own mistakes… live their own lives… fall down and pick themselves up… etc…etc…etc, but it would be nice if, occasionally they could avoid some of the drama by paying attention to a morsel or two of advice.

Throw your poor mother a bone, kids! I can’t hold on to that time you THANKED me for not letting you have social media, when your friends got sucked in and tied up in drama because of it, forever. Though, I am pretty sure that this week, if I mentioned it, you would deny it happened anyway. (I really should have recorded that moment.)

Ok, there was one time this week, when My Sun sat and quietly listened as I drove her to a doctor’s appointment and talked to her about my take on some trouble she was having with her little brother. She listened intently: no eye rolls, no arguing, bobbing her head in agreement. And it felt wonderful… right up until the very moment that I noticed the thin white cord extending from just under her hair all the way down to… HER IPOD.

“UGH! Did you hear a word I said?” (tapping on her shoulder)

“What?!” (sigh and eye roll) “I’m listening to my music.”

“…never mind.” (parks car and secretly hopes there is a vaccination due)

I tossed and turned this all around my brain, like a hyper-active pinball. Am I having any influence on my own offspring? The beings that I have brought into the world and will eventually unleash on society? THIS IS MY JOB! AM I FAILING AT MY MOST IMPORTANT JOB? AM I GETTING THROUGH AT ALL? (I have often wondered from whence they acquired their dramatic flair…)

Then… when I was heading to Little Man’s room, preparing to deal with whatever situation had him sobbing behind his closed door… I stopped. Was that My Sun’s voice? Yes…it was… I pressed my ear closer to the door.

He was worrying about starting the 5th grade. He was afraid that kids would think he was weird… My heart ached. Then… My Sun chimed in…

“Remember, Buddy. Weird is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing! It means you are an original!”

Hey… I said that. I even remember saying that to her once when she was not invited to a party. The kid had called her weird. She was pretty upset, and I was sure that she had not heard a word I’d said… But… there it was! And then, miraculously, other similar examples popped into my head… of moments when the girls would echo advice I had once given them, to their brother or each other… or even to the dog.

So, I guess, if I think about it, at least some of what I say is getting through… sometimes. ACTUALLY, probably a lot more than I think…

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