So the other day, my son told me that the skin on your elbow, the elephanty skin we mortals endure, is called a "weenus." I don't think that's really a word, but whatever. I won't stop him from trying to make weenus happen.
It seems fitting as a title here, because there's that saying that opinions are like assholes because everybody's got 'em. When I use that phrase with my kids, I say opinions are like elbows, but let's be real, here—elbows are boring. Weenuses (weenusi?) sound much more intriguing. And this is nothing if not an opinion-filled think piece (I wish I could stop "think piece" from happening. It's just a fancy way of saying "someone else's weenus").
One fine morning last week, I lost my shit, as sometimes happens to ordinary humans, especially those charged with parenting children. I totally dropped my basket, blew a tube, got my bitch on, wigged out... you know what I mean. If you're a parent, you may have engaged in the same behavior. Maybe... maybe not. But most likely you have. While I railed on (and on) about something stupid that was a legitimate reason for me to freak out at that moment, my son went to the fridge to get me a water as I had asked him to do, before losing my shit.
And when he came back with my water, he also brought me a bottle of chilled white wine.
Because, the yelling.
And he knows that I like to relax with a glass of wine after a long day that may or may not (but probably may) include some yelling.
Now, if he were younger, this might make me cry—I might think I was a failure of a parent because he knows that I relax with a glass of wine when I'm stressed out—but he's a teenager. And seriously, by the time I was 7, I was mixing drinks for tips and pulling beers from a keg like a pro when we had family parties. I'm okay with the fact that he knows I drink wine. Maybe I would care but at this time, I have zero shits to give (remember? I dropped them all at the beginning of this anecdote).
It's summertime in the suburbs and I live in a bedroom community where there are like 3 kids around during the day and 2 of them are mine. As a current SAHM, I just can't justify putting them in a summer camp every day. It's hot outside and they complain about going outside to play and I haven't yet gotten to the point of my own mom (pushing them outside after breakfast, calling them back in at dusk).
To be clear, my children are my favorite things to have ever been surgically removed from my body. They're awesome. I love them. And though I read think piece (ugh) after think piece (stop already!) about how parents should let their children respond with anger and insolence if that's their truth, when my kids talk back to me or roll their eyes, I nip that shit in the bud. Because that's how the real world works—you roll your eyes or get belligerent with the wrong person and life gets harder.
Basically, I lose my shit with my children so you don't have to. I spend a lot of time with these people, and I need them to be people I want to spend time around. Respect for others is an important part of this. Because the other side of that coin is unpleasant.
Case in point: A (possibly) well-intentioned mom shared her weenus with me one day, when she told me that I'm too hard on my kids. Threw some shade my way while walking past me and telling her own kid, "I'll never talk to you like that" after I disciplined my child in her proximity. The next time I saw this mom and kid, the kid was yelling at her mom, belittling her, cussing and refusing to do as she was told, telling her mom that she was stupid. I turned to my own kid and said "you'll never talk to me like that." Her response? "I never would." I think that lady's weenus is out of whack.
My kids are a lot of things—good, bad and indifferent—but they know
how to be respectful. Because I taught them that. Sometimes, with the yelling. So I guess my
parenting isn't so bad after all, and that shade-throwing parent can go
suck a bag of weenuses. (Weenusi?)
And that's my weenus. I mean opinion.