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Picture this scene: you’re out to breakfast with your significant other, having an otherwise unremarkable meal, when a table full of unruly children arrives. You try your best to ignore the increase in noise and finish your meal in peace, when, lo and behold, a child from said table walks over to your table and without prompting, sticks his hand into your open purse. The mother, gently chides the child for touching other people’s purses and you are left sitting, dumbstruck and awed by what just happened.

Having been a waitress as well as a hapless consumer, I am constantly surrounded by children and their parents. Hell, I have my own, whom I pick up and take to a school filled with MORE children. My point, roundabout as it may be is this: I see tons and tons and tons of kids. I genuinely like kids, truth be told, maybe I’m not the most gooshy of parents, but I dig the shorties. They crack me up.

I’ve been waiting awhile, trying to place my finger just on what I’ve been thinking, and on Monday it dawned on me. With the whole PC-bullshit generation of Baby Boomers kids having their own kids, it became highly fashionable to eschew the harsher punishments that were often handed down to us. I mouthed off as a kid? I got smacked. I didn’t listen to my parents? I got smacked. I lied? I got smacked AND grounded, and so on and so on.

Parents today want to subscribe to the whole new-agey parental role of being a guide to your child, a resource for them to use to navigate through the more tricky paths that life can offer. They are expected to reward positive behavior with praise and adoration (NEVER bribes) and overlook the negative behavior so as not to reinforce the attention. Yelling is passe, talking quietly (but don’t be TOO NEGATIVE!!!!) is in.

I think it’s bullshit. Your kids should respect you. They should respect you and they should respect authority.

I shudder to think of the generation of Special Snowflakes that will grow up and be SHOCKED to learn that really? We can’t all be fucking astronauts. Or ballerinas. Hell, we’re not all winners. I love my children and I’m not about to try and stomp on their dreams like tiny bugs, but at the same time, disappointment and failure are both real things. I’ll be there for my child when it happens, because it WILL happen.

And when my kid is wrong, I’ll say so. When he needs a spanking, he’ll get it. And he’ll respect me because I am his mother. Not his friend or his playmate, his mother. Which, at the end of the day, is a kazillion times more important.

I am his mother.

A list of things that just Piss Me Off, in no particular order:

1. People who pull out from the side of the road directly in front of me when there are no cars behind me so that I have to SLOW DOWN. If you know me, you know that I hate most things that impede my ability to drive fast.

2. People who use blogs as a personal forum for complaining about their lives, and then get incensed that people read it and may have an opinion about it. If you don’t want the Internet to know that you hate anal sex, have trichomoniasis, or like to beat off goats, DON’T PUT IT ON THE INTERNET. Plain and simple.

3. The terminology associated with being a wine connoisseur. I have no problem whatsoever with people liking particular or good wine, but listening to them talk about things like “smooth rounded tannic finish” makes me want to give myself a root canal with my fingernails. Maybe I’m embittered because I’ve been to a number of wine classes and never been able to understand or care what is said. Come to think of it, the only reason I went was to get drunk at 9am on a Saturday. No wonder I didn’t listen.

4. Cheerful people who tell me dumb things like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Seriously, I’ll take those motherfucking lemons and make me an ass-whuppin’.

5. People who have to bring up politics in standard, garden- variety, small talk. The proper forum is key, here. Don’t take the statement “Nice day today” to bring up things like global warming or the oil crisis. If I had wanted to discuss that, I’d have said so.

6. Belly shirts. I hate this poor excuse for fashion trend, as it is never, Ever, EVER utilized by people who should be wearing them. Trust me, sweetcheeks, no one wants to see your (or mine) spare tire. It’s unsightly and nauseating.

7. People who take themselves That Seriously. Anyone I’ve ever met who has taken themselves So Seriously has never really known what Serious is. Take a step back, knock of the pretentiousness and get yourself together, people, it isn’t that hard!

8. I forget what eight was for.

9. Kevin Federwhatshisname. We all hate Britney’s man, but seriously I think he may be the most useless piece of wasted space ever to have graced the limelight. Have you HEARD his new song? Terrible doesn’t BEGIN to describe the bleeding that my ears did when I first heard it. GOD, he makes me ITCH!

10. The “Healthy” Menu at McDonald’s. I had the foresight to check out what would be BEST if I ate at the bestest restaurant in the world, and I was AMAZED at how awful their healthy shit is for you. You’re better off with a cheeseburger.

11. People who feel totally sorry for themselves for all of the Awful, Terrible, Horrible things that have happened in their lives and use that as a Victim Card to excuse their bad behavior.

12. Jello. Because really? There’s so often no room for it.

Along with the new-and-improved fat pattern distribution, and the lovely accordion like belly skin, Ben has imparted upon me a more lasting legacy. A more centralized and less forgettable type of bodily change, making me prone to looking as though I have nits.

I didn’t, unfortunately, think about the consequences of pushing out a child dubbed ‘Buckethead.’ Possibly the most horrific thing to happen to a freshly 21 year old mother (besides forceps and 4th degree tearing). A hemorrhoid. Yes, folks, it’s true. The ‘roids are not only for the old and infirm. The young, nubile, swollen, and fat get them too. And ass pillows.

God, the ass pillows.

I’m waiting until I’m done pushing out the crotch parasites and then I’ll get them cut off. Until then, I’ll pretend that I’m buying the economy sized vat of Preparation-H for my mother and laugh uncomfortably whenever anyone comes across my ass pillow.

Oh, who am I kidding.

The second I got my Tucks, I labeled them “Ass Pads” and displayed them on top of our toilet. If you can’t beat ’em, announce it proudly to the world.

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