Friday, January 29, 2010

Norma Rae's Kids...Sister Power and How Bonding Can Go Wrong

January 29, 2010

Norma Rae’s Kids

My daughters always think I’m “losing it” and at no time is their strong bond more readily apparent than when they gang up on me to “remind” me of something about which I am historically inaccurate.

You see, I made the mistake of fostering their close sisterhood union by saying things that, as it turns out, I didn’t really mean and have worked against me. Things like, “If you’re going to be mad at somebody, be mad at me or your father. Don’t be mad at your sister.” I even screamed mantras of connection like, “Sister Power!” and “Goddesses Who Are Related Are Never Hated” and “Buy the Union Label!”

Okay, so maybe that last one was a little off track, but you catch my drift I’m sure. So along about now, as I redefine my role as the parent of young women in the technological age where I receive “push me/pull you” verbal and non-verbal cues, I come away a bit perplexed.

As an aside, by the way, does anyone remember the 1967 Rex Harrison version of the movie, “Dr. Doolittle” that featured cutting edge technology in the form of talking animals? One of the aforementioned animals was called a pushmi-pullyu (pronounced "push-me-pull-you") which is a gazelle-unicorn cross with two heads at opposite ends of its body and when it tries to move, both heads try to go in opposite directions. Now try working that tidbit of information into your next cocktail conversation! This gives a whole meaning to the term “I don’t know whether I’m coming or going” which is more than you bargained for as I launched into the reason for my push me/pull you reference above. Straight away let’s rejoin my topic, if not my frayed nerve synapses.

Subsequently, in a twist of something, likely my gut, my daughters are dating two separate guys, so far so good, both of whom have similar names that are a derivative of what could be deemed the “original” name. For instance, (and I will be changing the names to protect the not-so-innocent me), one is dating a fellow named Johnny and the other is dating a dude named John. The original name may be Jonathan, but I assure you it is a big, fat, hairy deal to err on the side of one syllabic misstep as I attempt to ask questions about the beaus of my fetching princesses.

I do shoulder some blame here because the fun ensued when, in my continuing efforts to attempt humor without a net, I tried to mess up the names on purpose, in the beginning, just to irritate my daughters. This is something I do as a matter of course in my personal Passive-Aggressive Olympics which makes up for all the times my children had temper tantrums in stores, told me off in front of their friends or borrowed something of mine and tried to tell me it was already in their closet. My brief victory in this event – I figure I medaled at least a bronze – created a mental block, so that I am now rendered entirely incapable of saying either guy’s name correctly. At this point, I am convinced both of them will become my future son-in-laws because of my stupid antics.

Once again, I’ve come to a conclusion that is all too familiar: Parenting IS a popularity contest…you’re just never going to win – not even a bronze!

*DR. DOLITTLE MOVIE REFERENCE: Information courtesy of Wikipedia and my brain.

**BRONZE MEDAL REFERENCE: By the way, did you know that the current medaling system was not implemented until after the 1896 Summer Olympics? No, it’s true. This information TOTALLY came from Wikipedia.

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