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In the last few days, an article about the benefits of “nagging” your daughter has come across my Facebook feed a couple of times. The premise of the article is that the daughters of “nagging” moms are more likely to succeed later in life.
I hate this article. When you look at the details, what it really says is that if you encourage your daughter to make smart decisions, she will listen. The examples they give? Tell your daughter to go to college and not to become a teen mom. Duh! That’s not nagging. That’s doing the minimum required to be a mediocre parent. In contrast, nagging is getting in your kid’s face all the time — often over little things that don’t matter. That’s not a good thing. I’m not sure when encouraging reasonable expectations for your kid became nagging. Because it’s not. And why is it that it’s always the moms who “nag” and the dads who “encourage”? Because that’s sexist. It just plain is.
Stepping off my soapbox now.
And a cleansing breath . . . .
Even though I found the article extremely irritating, it did get me thinking about some of the expectations and requirements I have for Boo. First, I need to clarify that Boo is either a really good kid or the greatest con artist in the history of humankind. I don’t spend much time worrying about her becoming a teen mom or driving drunk or taking drugs or becoming romantically involved with someone on death row. Of course, it’s possible that she has me completely fooled, and that she’s out robbing banks and driving around town, pregnant and on meth, while I’m at home writing stupid blog posts. But I don’t think so.
Anyway, the result of my thinking is the following list of Thy Mom’s Ten Commandments. Feel free to copy, revise as necessary, post on your refrigerator, and/or carve into stone tablets. Which really seems like the least you can do given that I’m not charging you for my words of wisdom.
Thy Mom’s Ten Commandments.
- Although thy Mom would prefer that thou remaineth tattoo-free, thou shalt take a month-long timeout between the time thou decidest to get a tattoo and the time thou actually gets said tattoo. If thou insisteth on getting a tattoo, thy Mom thinkest that the word “Mom” in a heart is the optimal choice. Thou shalt never, ever get a tattoo of the name of thy current girlfriend/boyfriend/gender-fluid-friend.
- Thou shalt promptly respond to texts from thy Mom inquiring about when thou shalt be coming home. And if thou shalt not be home for dinner, thou shalt let thy mom know ASAP. Thou knowest thy Mom hates to cook. Thy Mom sayest this for thine own good. Thou knowest that thy Mom can get cranky.
- If thou art going to engage in a perilous activity such as sky diving or bungee jumping, thou shalt not advise thy Mom of such activity in advance. Thou art 18, and therefore, thy Mom knows that there is nothing she can do to stop thou, but thy Mom will be frantic with worry. Thou mayest inform thy Mom of thine exploits after the fact — but maybe not even then. Thou shalt use thy discretion in determining if and when to inform thy Mom.
- Thou shalt be particularly careful driving into/out of/through parking lots. Thou knowest that thou hast a tendency to scrape thy Mom’s chariot against inanimate objects in parking lots. Thy Mom is not amused when that happens.
- Thou shalt complete the personal statement for thy college applications so that thy Mom can stop stressing about it. Thou must concede that thy Mom hath demonstrated the utmost restraint about this matter even though it is Eating. Thy. Mom. Alive.
- Thou shalt not object and shall provide all necessary information when thy Mom insisteth on running a criminal background check on thy girlfriend/boyfriend/gender-fluid-friend. Thy Mom shall not abuse this right. Better yet, do not have a girlfriend/boyfriend/gender-fluid-friend that thy Mom is likely to suspect is a felon.
- Thou shalt cut thy Mom some slack when thy Mom uses the wrong pronoun when referring to one of thy friends. Thy Mom spent the better part of 5 decades with limited pronoun choices, and it’s hard for thine old Mom to learn new pronouns.
- Thou shalt bring thy f**cking water bottle home from school. Thy Mom estimateth that thy school is the repository of approximately $800 worth of thy nice water bottles.
- Thou shalt not get annoyed with thy Mom when thy Mom asks thou to repeat something. Thou art not one with a right to complain given that thou hardly ever respondeth to thy Mom unless thy Mom is literally in thy face.
- Thou shalt cast thy first ever vote for President of the United States for Hillary Clinton or be prepared to face the wrath of thy Mom. #Thymomiswithher. Fortunately, thy Mom knowest that even though thou felteth the Bern, thou art sensible enough not to vote for an insane misogynist Orangina and is not losing much sleep over this. Also, thy Mom is thinking of forming a band called “The Insane Misogynist Oranginas.” Thou shalt be the lead vocalist. Thy Mom shalt play the tambourine.
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