Credibility Gone

Monday, November 09, 2009 Edit This 12 Comments »
When my daughter asked me what she should do about her friend using bad language around her, my suggestion was that she politely ask the friend to not say words like that in her presence.  I told her that most people respond well to this request.  I also mentioned that it wouldn't hurt to cultivate new friendships with less mouthy friends.  I suppose I should not be surprised that my suggestion morphed between leaving the house and arriving at the schoolyard.  What she said: "My mother said I can't play with you anymore unless you quit using bad language."  

Perhaps her courage failed her when she approached the girlfriend, peer pressure weighing heavily on her, so she chose to remove herself from the (perceived) prudish request and instead placed the blame for it solely on me.

As a mother, I am accustomed to taking the rap for things.  I've had many a conversation with teachers, grocery managers, checkout operators and youth leaders attempting to readjust their opinion of me, formed from the unfortunate choice of words my children have used.  Like... "My mother told me if I didn't finish cleaning my room, I would not be allowed to eat for a week.  That's why I don't have any lunch."
And, "My mother gives me so many chores... scrubbing the floors and toilets, walls and ceilings, that I don't have time for homework."
And, "I was going to hand in the $20 I found on the deli counter at Albertsons but my mother wanted it."

This is the one that had me on the phone for half an hour: "My mother told me to hit back.  It's called 'self-defence'."
This is my all time favourite delivered to the school counselor... "I got this (horrendous black and purple) bruise from walking into a door.  My mother didn't hit me or anything."  (The child walked INTO a DOOR.)

This doesn't mean that the kids don't stick up for me at times.  I have overheard C telling someone that I make a pretty good loaf of banana bread... "It tastes good, if you ignore the hard brown bits and if she uses real sugar not that fake stuff, and if she doesn't put that organic muck in it... it's not that bad."

My reputation is completely shot and it's my children's fault.  

"Did you make this mum?"

12 brilliant observations:

Barbaloot said...

Yeah-but at least they realize the importance of you using the real sugar.

Kristina P. said...

Yes, the old self-defense argument. I've heard many kids say the same thing.

Happy Mom said...

This is soooo true!

Lissaloo said...

It's always the Mother's fault, lol. Which works fine, unless you are a girl then YOU become the mother, so not fair :)

Nichole said...

I knew I was getting a bad rep from my boys. You proved it, and made me paranoid! Hahaha

I try to remember when I hear kids say stuff "little liars!" and hope people listening to my kids think the same thing "stinkin liars" hahaha

Sarah said...

I should have learned a long time ago not to encourage my children to speak for just this reason.

The Garden of Egan said...

Well, just get used to it. You are in for many many MANY years of being the bad person! Embrace it!
The only suggestion I can give you (because I'm very old and have lots of sage advice) is to use real sugar more often!
Yup. That's the only thing you can do! Trust me, you'll feel better.

Lucy said...

There's so many things about this post that take me back to motherhood it's spooky! :)

wendy said...

That was hysterical. It reminded me of a time my oldest was in preschool and we had the "teacher/parent" meeting to see where his "learning" basically was at. (I am not wording that right) anyway, the teacher showed him a wooden spoon and she asked him what this was used for.
MY HEART PANICED. Yup, he said , thats for spankings sometimes.
DON"T FRET --I didn't beat my kids, just a whack on the behind every now and then and they hardly ever cried. HONEST. (sheeeesh, I never beat my kids)

but as they got older, I often told them if they were in a situation they didn't want to be in, they could call me and make it sound like I was MAKING THEM GO HOME. (Cause they just really didn't want to be there, and when your under peer pressure, well, it is just hard sometimes.)
I was happy to be that scape goat at times.

Organic baking?? ------come on now!!

DeNae said...

I get such a kick out of the way you write! And I have lived this dream over and over and over...

How is it that we are responsible for every bad thing they do, but if they clean their room or get a scholarship to cheer camp - well, that was one hundred per cent THEM!!

honeypiehorse said...

Aw what mom doesn't dream of their beloved daughter telling someone they don't totally suck?

Debbie said...

That is so funny! In a whole "I've been there" sort of way:)