I received my second negative parental review from one of my daughter’s friends. This one was delivered indirectly, second-hand from my daughter. Apparently one of her friends, who we’ll call Spazmonkey here in order to protect her identity, thinks that I “could be better”. Interesting. Riley followed up her report by adding, “But I think you already are better,” which, though meant to soften the blow, was less than effective.
Could be better. Already is better. Better than what? A crack ‘ho? Or mother of the year? Because it does make a difference.
But the good news is that Riley thinks I am better, which suggests that I’m getting over my parental faults like a cold. I might still have a little post nasal drip but all in all I’m a better parent already.
I told Riley that we shouldn’t speak ill of other people’s parents, that nobody is perfect because we’re all human and trying to be better people, etc. At no point did I refer to Spazmonkey as a poo poo head or question her intelligence. I felt I was very adult about the whole thing. But as soon as Riley left the room I had to admit to myself that I was secretly crushed.
Eight year old girls are diabolical. Sure they look all cute in their Target outfits and speak politely to your face, but then they cut you down behind your back like little Pokemon-loving Judases. I’m going to have to start emotionally frisking these girls before they enter my home. They’re dangerous.
Granted, I shouldn’t give this too much stock. The source is a girl with whom Riley has already been having issues. However this puts me in an awkward position, because I see this girl regularly at Riley’s school and it’s going to look bad when I throw her into a headlock and give her a noogie, yelling “Who could be better? You could be better!”
I’m going to end up looking like the bad guy when in actuality I’m totally justified.
So why am I crushed over this mild insult from an eight year old girl with a questionable nickname? Well I suppose part of it is because it’s totally unexpected. I think in my heart of hearts I always expected my kids’ friends to love me. I’m the cool mom. I’m funny. I have many faults but kids aren’t supposed to notice them, because…I’m cool and funny.
Did I mention that I’m cool and funny?
Yeah well, cool and funny go a long way. They make up for a lot of other deficiencies.
My main concern however is not my own feelings, but those of my daughter. Do you remember the first time someone said something less than flattering about your mom or dad? I do. I was in middle school and it was not the best day ever. How devastating is it to learn that your parent’s are not perfect in the world’s view? Riley shouldn’t have to face that yet. She should come to that conclusion on her own in a puberty-spurred epiphany, the way God intended.
I didn’t expect the few years I have left of unconditional love from my children to be undermined by my daughter’s peers. Nor did I expect to have to use a high-powered pellet gun on eight year old girls.
I’m just kidding about that last part. I would not use a high-powered pellet gun to shoot young girls in the butt no matter how much they subconsciously begged me. Because it is wrong! And if you hear any stories about that sort of thing happening to an eight year old girl, it wasn’t me, I have an air tight alibi and we never talked about this.