It’s official, folks: I’m the Meanest Mom in the World. Yes,
It’s official, folks: I’m the Meanest Mom in the World. Yes, it’s true! If you don’t believe me, ask my 10-year-old daughter. She’ll gladly tell you the one and only purpose of my existence is to ruin her life and make her miserable. OK, it’s not like I didn’t expect this. I mean, we’ve all read the literature on pre-teenage girls. But I always thought things would be magically different with us.
And it was. Way back about, say, a year ago everything was fine. I was a good parent, active in school functions and on time for the carpool. Little did I know I’d become the embodiment of true evil and terribleness. Frankly, I’m not sure how I crossed the line. And I doubt anyone on this earth can tell me. Except, that is, my daughter.
So, in all fairness, I’ve provided you with a list of her reasons.
I’m the Meanest Mom in the World because …
…I correct her homework.
…I turn off the television during dinner.
…I serve broccoli.
…I take her to the doctor for shots.
…I make her wear a coat when she leaves the house during the wintertime.
…I mention anything about her ever being a baby.
…and wearing diapers.
…and sucking her thumb.
…And that she once sang Barney songs.
…I cook scrambled eggs for breakfast.
…I insist she brush her teeth before going to bed.
…I talk to the teacher during back-to-school night.
…I sing “fa-la-la-la-la” louder than the other parents during the Girl Scout Christmas sing-a-long.
…I insist she tell me where she’s going.
…I listen to AM radio during the carpool and sing out loud in a Stevie Nicks voice with the windows down.
…I show her how to sort laundry.
…I refuse to buy cold cereal based on the prize in the box.
…I wave and call out her name from the audience during the school orchestra recital.
…I won’t let her wear (pick one) nail polish, lipstick, eye shadow, platform shoes, mini skirts, underpants with words on the front, or any outfit designed by Jennifer Lopez.
…I make her practice the violin that she begged to learn how to play.
…I talk to her friends’ parents.
…I kiss her good-bye in public.
…I take pictures.
…I check to see if she washes behind her ears.
…I brush tangles out of her hair.
…I breathe too loudly.
…I show off her baby pictures.
… I give her applesauce and Jell-O when she’s sick.
…I breathe too softly.
… I make her get out of bed and go to school.
…I cook a meatloaf instead of buying fast food.
…I insist she take swimming lessons until she can safely tread water for up to 537 hours and swim the length of the Pacific Ocean to China.
…I read classic children’s literature out loud instead of books with characters named after underwear.
…I make sure that she wears her headgear.
…I give her purple cough medicine.
…I refuse to serve dollops of raw cookie dough for lunch.
…I drive her to school instead of letting her walk by herself.
…I refer to her as honey, darling, sweetheart, dear, or anything that would lead anyone to suspect that she’s my pre-teen daughter and not, say, a 21-year-old international, supermodel living on her own in Paris.
…I won’t let her see movies with a PG-13 rating.
…I go out in public.
You know, after looking over this list, I realized something astonishing: I am ruining my daughter’s life. I know because it’s exactly the same way my mother ruined mine.
Believe me, there’s nothing, nothing to prepare a parent for this type of revelation. About the only thing to do is take comfort in the fact that most likely I won’t have to go on ruining her life forever. Only until she has kids of her own.
Debbie Farmer’s column appears every Monday.