The Trouble with Parenting, otherwise known as, Why Mommy Drinks in the Morning

You know the trouble with parenting? 

Why it’s so exhaustingly, frustratingly comic (like an old episode of Three’s Company–you know you’re gonna cringe every time you watch but you just keep going back again and  again–I think it’s Susanne Summers ponytails–I mean, you gotta watch to see which part of her head they’ll be sprouting out of next)? 

The kids. The trouble with parenting is, in a word, kids. 

Case in point: the 12-year old boy. Here’s my conversation with one this morning:

Me (standing in the bathroom, with my pants undone, looking into toilet water that’s a shade rather close to lime green): Moses! Get in here and flush the damn toilet!


Him (two octaves above his normal tenor, from three rooms away:) Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttt??!!! It wasn’t me! Why do you always blame me!!! Arrrrggggghhhhh (a 
cupboard slams and foot pounding ensues, not unlike an old school Appalachian country clog dance, as he approaches the bathroom). I didn’t doooooooo it!

Me (irritation-level ratcheted up to match said 12-year old octave change): Get. In. Here. NOW.


Him (he enters the bathroom, rigid, grunting, stomping and pre-teen-want-my-parents-to-hear-me-mumbling-mumbling): I SAID I didn’t do it! Why do you always say I do it?! I flushed. I didn’t even go!


Me (eyes narrow, lips compressed, blood pressure rising. Pointing ominously into the bowl): Look in there and tell me: Is there any toilet paper in the toilet at this particular moment? 


Him (fiercely not looking in toilet): I flushed! It wasn’t me. I didn’t even GO!


Me (fiercely looking at him not looking in the toilet): Hmmmmm. Well as you haven’t looked, I’ll tell you. There is no toilet paper in the toilet filled with pee. There are exactly four people in this house right now, and three of us have vaginas. If it wasn’t you then one of us is walking around with a drippy crotch. Girls drop your pants for a pantie inspection.


Him (round-eyed, horrified, and ready to flee): MUM! I didn’t do it!!! You always blame me!! I always get left out!


Me (wondering why the Hell I didn’t just flush the toilet myself): Left out? Left out of what? Having a vagina?


Him (with previously unregistered volume and turning a new shade of My-Mom-is-Horrible purple): MUM!


Me (realizing that my coffee is getting cold, my pants are still undone, and my bladder is not getting any emptier): Oh! Just go brush your damn teeth! (Flush).

Him (yanking open a drawer, pulling out a dry, paste encrusted toothbrush that looks like it hasn’t seen the inside of a mouth since Christmas, slamming the drawer, and storming out of the bathroom): I already diiiiiddddd!! Why do you always say I didn’t brush my teeth!! I already diiiiid!!!

10-year old daughter (bouncing into the bathroom wide-eyed and innocent, ready to pounce on the I’m-the-good-kid-right-mom? opportunity that has just presented itself): I brushed my teeth mom, (baring her teeth in grin that might be considered threatening in the animal kingdom) see!

Me (eyes glazed, bladder bursting): Yes babe, I see. Very nice. Now go get mommy the green bottle in the cupboard that says Tanqueray on it, okay? 

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