Scout likes to watch reruns of "Supernanny" while we eat dinner—"I like to see kids being bad"—and God forgive us, some evenings we acquiesce.
Last night's Hapless Mother was failing at playing diplomat between her Out of Control Kids.
"That woman needs to add two words to her vocabulary," I muttered into my wine glass, thinking the word "vocabulary" would throw the six-year-old.
"Tough gazotts?" Scout said.*
* Tough gazotts was my mother's term (it sounds Hebrew but it isn't) for—well, you know what it was for. And it's my term, too; in fact, I'm not sure that, without it, I'd be able to handle parenting at all. (Another good thing Mom used to say when we complained of some unfairness: "It all works out in the Great Cosmic Wash.")
MY mother’s answer to the age-old childish cry of: “But that’s not FAIR!!!” was:
“And who told you life was FAIR?!”
Frankly, I wish more of my generation’s parents would adopt one of these mantras – your mother’s, my mother’s, SOMEONE’S! Just so long as they get across to the generation of monsters their “diplomacy parenting” are producing that they DON’T in fact get to have whatever they want whenever they want!
Whew! I feel SO much better!
David Murray says
To (s)mothers with boundless energy to resolve their kids’ every conflict, square their every circle, pad their every tumble, I say: “Read books. Get a job. Join a flag football team. Get a drinking problem. Do SOMETHING, do ANYTHING that keeps you from these obsessions.”
Eileen B. says
Man,kids listen to EVERYTHING, even when we mumble, eh?
Kate Zimmerman says
Oh, tough GAZOTTS! Man, I couldn’t hear you when you told me this story on the phone, even after I asked you to repeat the punchline, and I’ve never heard that expression before. Very funny!
Robert J Holland, ABC says
Amen, brother. An entire generation of children who’ve had every problem solved for them and every conflict averted and every demand satisfied is completely unequipped to handle real life. In an attempt to be the Best Parents Ever, these helicopter parents are in fact being the worst.