I have wondered all my life why I am just the smallest titch shy of perfection.
No seriously. I have.
‘Cuz I’m, like, 99.99999% perfect.
Well, maybe 54%.
Ohfuckit I am at least 27% perfect!
But the important part isn’t how perfect I am not.
(it is, but for the sake of argument we’ll say it’s not)
The important part is who is to blame for how perfect I am not.
And the most important part of that important part is that I am not to blame for how perfect I am not.
According to Paula Spencer — THE self-appointed grand poobah of authority on all things family — my parents are to blame!
Paula points her pious index finger squarely at good ol’ mom and dad in her latest Parenting.com piece ‘9 things you shouldn’t say to your child’.
Like the time when I was 6 and I
stole found my older sister’s Walkman and I tiptoed into my parents’ bedroom where my mom had retreated after one of her migraines attacked her like a Presa Canario on a trapped Lacrosse coach and I turned the volume all the way up before I slipped the headphones over her ears and she let out a pain-fueled shriek before screaming ‘Leave me alone!’
Yup. Paula pulls the WRONG card on mom for that one.
Paula says mom should have ‘set up some parameters in advance’.
See mom? You should have been psychic so you could have could ‘set up some parameters in advance’ to know that your precious little snowflake was gonna get her brat on, bust in on you and stomp all over your need for one tiny little shred of a serene second.
‘Cuz that damaged me.
Then there were those times you and dad told me not to be afraid and not to cry.
Paula says you guys shouldn’t have done that either.
Like my irrational and baseless fear of all things fungal that I’ve had since forEVER that reduces me to a weeping, wailing mess collapsed and convulsing in the nearest corner?
“… saying ‘Don’t be’ doesn’t make a child feel better, and it also can send the message that his emotions aren’t valid — that it’s not okay to be sad or scared,” Paula pontificates.
You guys should have embraced and even reinfuckingFORCED the illogical fear that’s crippled me to this day and is responsible for at least one job loss and three relationship fails I can think of off the top of my head … ‘cuz that fear was rooted in emotion … and emotions are valid.
And remember this one?
‘Stop or I’ll give you something to cry about’
Turns out unleashing every bit of hysteria a minor can muster for not minutes, not Hours, but whole and entire DAYS after being thumped on the upper arm by her younger sister was an ok and appropriate reaction after all.
And so, according to the Spencinator, were all of those floor-of-the-mall maximum decibel level crying jag, hissy fits you FORCED me into when you refused to just give me my fucking way already.
‘The problem is that sooner or later you have to make good on the threat or else it loses its power.’
You gave me something to cry about, alright.
Does that make you proud?
‘Cuz Paula says it shouldn’t.
And remember all those times you guys said ‘Hurry up’ to me?
‘There’s a tendency when we’re rushed to make our kids feel guilty for making us rush,’ Paula pronounces.
So, yeah, I mean — even though you guys were technically rushed because of my lack of rush like pretty much every moment of every day from the time I was, mmm, BORN until just about the time I went off to college and learned the ULTRAHARD WhatdoyoumeanIactuallyhavetoBEpresentforyour9a.m.class,ProfessorBlanchard?!?!? way that my convenient personal timing was causing all kinds of inconvenience for others … it was still wrong of you guys to hassle me about hurrying up.
‘Cuz Paula said.
But you’re forgiven.
Because you didn’t know.
Because Paula wasn’t around to tell you.
Damn if I know how ANYONE parented properly before that bitch!