Soon they’ll be showing up on your doorstep, so we might as well talk about them…Those little ghouls and goblins—otherwise known as children.
In October, they don masks to hide their identity…but in reality, their true natures come out of hiding.
Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed. The begging for treats and candy doesn’t just start in October. Nowadays, it has become an endless quest for kids: “Gimme… and gimme. And gimme some more.” It doesn’t stop at candy. They want I-pods and Play Stations and X-boxes and MP3 Players. They even want Blackberry cell phones, for crying out loud!
And modern parents give it to them…That’s the sad part.
Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever have. It comes with no training. No fringe benefits. No pensions or 401K’s. No retirement. A full-time job with less than part-time benefits.
At birth, when babies first open their eyes, they steal your heart—only to leave it abandoned somewhere on the Road to Teen-hood. They’re hardly out of the womb before they’re making their demands known. Feed me. Hold me. Burp me. Give me you’re your life…Your bank account…Your dignity…Your everything.
Laugh with me. Cry over me. Then leave me alone, and don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.
And what is our response as hip-and-chic Parents of Today? We overindulge these munchkins… These pint-sized Czars who set up camp in our house. We cater to their whims. We spoil them senseless.
They give us a hug and a slobbery kiss full of cookie crumbs. Then we beam. We stamp the account: “Paid in full.”
Manipulations? They learn to do it very early. “I wuv you, Poppy and Mummy.” They can hardly say the words, yet…but they know how to play mind-games and they con us mercilessly.
Are they using psychology, or reverse psychology. Or is it double-reverse psychology which is actually—?
Oh never mind. It’s too confusing. Too humiliating. Who wants to be known as a parent who’s being manipulated by a tot in diapers. You’ve turned into a dysfunctional Enabler with a capital E…and you have no idea how it happened.
Modern parenting is not for cowards. Apparently, it’s only for martyrs and morons and other less-than-dignified-individuals. Just ask Bart Simpson!
But I digress.
By the tender age of two, these ankle-biters have learned to divide the household—pitting Poppy against Mummy. They can cause World War III at the blink of an eye…those big baby-blue eyes that look so innocent.
There are no peace treaties…but many casualties. They are cunning in their strategies—calling in reinforcements…Their siblings. The family dog. The parakeet.
They don’t abide by the Laws of Nature, or the Geneva Convention…nor by the rules of the Household.
Parents soon become Prisoners of War—with children as their guards and wardens. You can’t go out to eat because your kid throws such embarrassing fits. So, you’re stuck at home—feeling lonely and depressed. The POW scenario becomes even more real when the kids become teenagers. Every aspect of a parent’s life is ruled by the behavior of rebel offspring….
Junior is on parole and must be constantly monitored. Nobody trusts him, or wants him around. Susie is pregnant and you don’t know what to do with your future grandchild. Should you kill it while it’s still legal (abortion)…or should you raise the kid yourself for the next 20 years? If so, what happens to your retirement? And what about the “Golden Years” that you were promised?
Oh my. That’s grim. Let’s change the channel and find something more pleasant.
Ah—how’s this? A mom and kid playing in the sandbox. Those long-ago memories of early parenthood. Days of dewy disillusionment. Before the advent of X-boxes and I-pods and MP3Players. Before Junior developed an obsession for carrying knives, and Susie developed a penchant for carrying unborn fetuses.
Where did all those years go? There’s nothing left of them. Just yellowing photos, and old home videos. Bittersweet memories that bring tears to your eyes. How tiny the kids were. How incredibly precious.
How you wish you could’ve gained control of them back then!…Before they made you their POW. Before
they became the ultimate controller of your life! How did these little ankle-biters turn out this way?
Good question, folks. Like I’ve said before, I think it’s due to parental over-indulgence and a lack of consistent love and discipline and—
Oh never mind! My phone is ringing and I’ve got to climb down from my soapbox to answer it.
I can see by the phone ID screen that it’s my own ankle-biter on the line. Well. She’s not an ankle-biter any more—well, not very often. At the moment, she’s a Straight-A Honor-Student.
But God only knows what tomorrow holds. Kids nowadays are so plagued with stress and peer pressure–far beyond anything we knew as youngsters. It’s all because we—
Oops. There I go again. Ready to climb on the soapbox. I’ve got to run, folks.
Just remember to put something special in the Trick-or-Treat bag this year. Then shut your door and lock it, and be glad that all those modern-day ghouls and goblins outside aren’t your responsibility.
At least, not until they break your door down.
Good luck to you all!