I'm talking about this word parenting, of which I know nothing. Even though my lower half has been used as a channel tunnel for 3 new arrivels...I still know nothing. Yes, I've had three, count those stretch marks. Even the word Parent fills me with fear and loathing...I remember when I'd hear, "Wait until your parents find out, boy is your bottom going to be whipped…" No, not my parents. Please here take my fingernails, I'll tweek them out myself, just don't tell my parents.
Parents, executioner, executioner parents...it's all means the same to me. I still can't think of myself as a parent. I sat with my kids having shoved play dough up our noses, gluing hula hoops to the cat waiting for our mother to come home and make dinner and then it occurs to me and I convulse with fear...I am the mother. I'm sorry I don't know how to do it. I got all those manuals you buy that Miriam Stoppard churns out. You know, 'how to maintain baby…when to have it serviced and when to change the oil'. We wonder how well adjusted her children are. She gives you scoops; at 5 weeks the baby should be able to distinguish you from a sofa. Yeah, thanks for the Miriam, what if he's already 5 and decides he likes the sofa better. Forget those books, you could shove a kid in a box for 10 years and it could come out a well-adjusted, loving genius and another kid comes from one of those perfect families where the mommy makes dollies that match the biscuits that match the curtains, dries her own flowers and can stuff a turkey with her tongue and the kid's becomes a Jehovah's Witness....who knows anything. These days you see parents hysterical to do the right thing cause really nobody knows anything. These days as soon as baby is out of that womb they have to go to gymnastics; ballet; tennis lessons. Come on Joey point those toes. I know you don't know where they are but point them. I'm paying for this... Look his fingers are moving, get in a piano coach it's going to be a maestro or a computer genius. I say just show the kid how to cross a road without getting squished that's all you can get right with parenting.
I have only unhappy memories of being a teenager. Everything before those teens was bliss, the tooth fairy, Santa, the Easter bunny…and then wham, those hormones hit and life turns ugly...One minute you're the most popular thing on a swing then next minute if you haven't got boobs you have no meaning on planet earth. It didn't matter anymore that I held the school record for loudest burp...bra size suddenly became the only show in town. You were nothing if you didn't have a bra. And it had better be a big, big pointed, giant size bra. And of course my mother wouldn't buy me one...don't tell me about a cruel childhood, this was the Cruella Daville of motherhood. Anyway, I ended up stealing one of hers and stuffing it with newspaper in my desperation for popularity. It didn't matter my breasts had 15 points...they were breasts. I made this crunching sound when I walked and you could spot a few letters through my shirt. People used to ask me, "Why does it say something about President Kennedy on your left mammary?” I was terrified my mother would find out so every day when I got home from school I'd bury it in the garden and every morning I'd have to dig it up again. I'm the only woman who can claim earth worms lodged in my cups. And then you had to suddenly be interested in boys. Spending hours in the back of cars as they fondled my Chicago Daily News. And just as all these hormones are driving you to conform, another juice kicks in that makes you want to be a rebel; became the school anarchist. In this area no one could touch me. I became head of a school gang called the Vandelous Virgins. You got in our way, we spray painted you. A big V.V. for Vandelous Virgins on your face. As a member of the VV's I did anarchist things like stick sardines in the lighting fixtures at high school so it had to be evacuated for 2 weeks. And with that little triumph behind me I pulled the most popular boy in school, the golden boy....the one every girl dreamt of and I became Queen of my high school. For one whole year I was queen...I reigned in the girls’ toilet. I held court in there, sitting in my cubicle, demonstrating new techniques in pimple popping and blowing smoke rings. A year later my boyfriend went gay on me. So I'd rather not discuss my teens. Good luck to the next generation...I hope they figure it all out.