Parenting provides numerous opportunities to lecture, quiz, question, rebuke, remind, stifle, correct, and nag our children.
Outrageous requests for privileges, transportation, money, and electronics must be met with quick retorts like “You gotta be kidding!” and “Your birthday is only 11 months away.”
And parenting is a different ball game now. Parenting today requires quicker reflexes, nerves of steel, deeper pockets, and possibly anti-anxiety medication. I think our parents had it easier.
Here are 22 things I’m fairly confident your parents never said to you when you were a kid:
1. It’s too hot outside; c’mon on inside and watch TV or play video games.
2. Hurry, you’re going to be late for lacrosse practice.
3. Did I see you riding your bike without a helmet?
4. No, you can’t lick the bowl. The brownie mix has raw egg in it; you could get salmonella.
5. I think one tattoo is plenty.
6. For your birthday party we can rent out the Laser Tag place for the whole afternoon and then take everyone to Outback. I’m still working on the gift bags.
7. A summer job? You don’t need a summer job.
8. Why aren’t you studying those S.A.T. prep manuals your testing coach had me buy?
9. Come back here and put on some sunscreen, young man.
10. Josh gave you an Sonic gift card for your birthday. What kind do you wanna give him?
11. OK, for the last time … Ashley is your second step-father’s daughter from his first marriage.
12. No, we’re not stopping at Starbucks. You’ve had enough espresso for one day.
13. Here’s the $20 I owe you for mowing the yard.
14. Why do you want to take the school bus? I can take you and pick you up every day.
15. Would you like to explain this photo on your Instagram account?
16. No, I’m not driving you to get a movie at Redbox. Our TV gets 300 channels!
17. You should be the starting mid-fielder, not that Taylor kid. I’m e-mailing the league director.
18. Let me get this straight: you hate to go the dentist but you want a lip ring and your tongue pierced?
19. No, you can’t go. Chuck’s house is in the next subdivision. I don’t want you walking that far.
20. I don’t know; $125 seems like a lot for a pair of sneakers. Do you see any you like under $100?
21. Yes, our whole family will gladly sacrifice our weekends so you can play travel soccer.
22. A hotel room after the prom? Sure, sounds like a good idea.
The other day in a restaurant I overheard parents conversing with their pre-teen daughter about her desire to get her navel pierced. Dad blurted out, “When I was your age the only girl whose belly button I was staring at and drooling over was Barbara Eden’s in “I Dream of Jeannie.” A moment of awkward silence followed.
Parenting really is tough these days.