Monday, October 4, 2010
When Did Parenting Get to be So Much Stinkin' Fun?
It was a cold, blustery night. January 1, 1992. I had just been through 28 hours of excruciating, exhausting labor. I was lying in my hospital bed on the mom/baby ward at Littleton Adventist Hospital, fast asleep with a little bassinet lying next to me. Suddenly I was awakened by the soft cry of my baby girl. I jolted up and to the bedside. I immediately had tears welling up in my eyes from the pain I felt post-childbirth trauma. I tried to console my daughter by putting a pacifier in her mouth. She spit it out and cried louder. I rubbed her little back. She cried harder still. I picked her up out of her bassinet and held her close--and I started to cry. We were both sobbing. I could barely see her through all the tears pouring out of my eyes. There I was, a scared, stupid teenager with this beautiful little girl in my hands. I held her up and looked at her little face and remember saying, "I am so sorry...I don't know what to do with you." **insert sound of record player needle scratching across the surface of a record** FAST FORWARD 18 YEARS: So the beautiful baby girl I just told you about is now a beautiful 18 year old teenager. She has given me periodic heart attacks throughout my life, but last night I thought I might just have a myocardial infarction that would be enough to guarantee that I will get that pink mausoleum I have requested to be buried in much sooner rather than later. Paige bought earrings a couple of weeks ago that are used for "gauging". If you are not familiar with this hideous trend, please examine the lovely picture in Exhibit A which is located at the top of this page in the left corner. Yes. That lovely piece of dangling flesh is what my daughter had decided to start striving to achieve. The trend is to just keep sticking larger gauge earrings in your ears until the skin becomes so stretched out that it's a huge hole. Now--I'm not a prude when it comes to expressing yourself through body jewelry. I myself express deep love and affection for my football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, through a green rhinestone belly button ring. However, tattoos can be removed, and so can piercings--gauged ears?...not so much. Paige assured me that she wasn't going to go big with her gauged ears. Little consolation for a mother who spent 9 months of her life trying to get her daughter to come out looking normal. Last night I noticed that she had stuck larger gauged earrings in her ears. I immediately lost my mind. I yelled at her and said, "What on earth is the matter with you? Are you crazy--or just stupid? What makes you think that this is remotely pretty or ok? If you want to do weird, tribal-looking crap to your body then I'll sew a plate in your mouth, or give you neck rings to elongate your neck so you can look like a giraffe! I'll make you look like one of the natives straight off the pages of National Geographic Magazine! Might as well! That's how stupid you're going to look once your ears are saggy and look like the butt of an elephant hanging off the side of your head! Why would you want to make your ears look like someone shot holes in your head? Get those stupid things out of your ears and if I ever see them in there again I will rip them out myself and then you'll really have holes in your head!" Ahem. Yes...I lost it. I never thought that when I held up my sweet precious child on that blustery day in 1992 that I would be sitting here in 2010 trying to convince her that gauged ears are the stupidest thing I've ever seen. When did this parenting thing get to be so much stinkin' fun?