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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Things I Don't Miss About My Children's Childhood

Hello dear friends.  This week has just whipped by.  I wish I could tell you that I did lots of important things, but I can't.  


If you're wondering what kind of hair style I had, you're in good company.
I am too.


Every once in awhile, I will spot two little girls, about 2 years apart, dressed in identical dresses with gigantic colorful bows in their hair.  Before I can control it, I get a lump in my throat.  I can't help but think of how much I pine for those days with my girls.  There are so many things that I miss about their childhood.  I loved everything about their babyhood - the sweet smell of them, their babbling, giggling and their angelic faces as they slept.  And I enjoyed almost every minute of their growing years; everything from watching them learn to walk to years later, snuggling on the couch with me watching Gilmore Girls.

When I become melancholy, I immediately try to remind myself of the things in the girls' childhood that I don't miss so much.




For instance, I remember the first Mommy and Me class that my #1 and I attended.  I was so excited to meet the other moms and to give my girl an opportunity to interact with other babies.  

Our first class was a little daunting, to say the least.  Every mom knew every word and hand signal to every song.  They sang with gusto, as if it were a competition of who could be the most animated.  It felt like I was either in a cult or got trapped in a scene from Stepford Wives.


My little traitor

The teacher was bubbling over with excitement.  At one point, I thought that she was going to foam at the mouth. My #1 was positively mesmerized by her.  Before I knew it, my little traitor darling #1 was on her knees crawling over to Miss Perky and settling right into her lap.  I spent that class, and every class thereafter, singing my heart out to "head, shoulders, knees and toes" solo with all the vim and vigor I could muster.  I tried my best to get my #1 back in my clutches.  It never worked.  She wouldn't even look in my direction.  I resigned myself to being a solo act for the remainder of the session.  The new Moms would occasionally ask me if I came by myself.  I just snarled my answer.   




Another thing that I don't miss is the almighty classroom party.  I remember one particular class Room Mom in first grade that asked me to bring an entire turkey for the Thanksgiving Feast which was to be served at 9:25am, the day before the holiday.  Lucky, the Mister knew how to cook a turkey because I was at a loss.  



So I brought in the perfectly garnished turkey, thanks to the Mister,  which the Room Mom decided to carve with a plastic knife.  I was instructed not to bring it carved because I was told the children should see it when it looks so pretty.  And naturally, no carving knives were allowed, which was fortunate for the room mom, because I would have used it on her.



Meanwhile, another Mom brought in a couple of packages of Oscar Mayer sliced turkey.  The children, including my own, were in a line which circled around the room to snag a slice of her hard work and labor of opening the package.  Meanwhile, I glared at the Moms assigned to bring plastic forks and paper cups.

By the time #2 was in school, I told the room mom that I would be responsible for paper napkins for every party.  She gave me a knowing look as if to say "this ain't your first rodeo."  




Having girls in middle school is no picnic either.  This is the beginning of drama.  I consider it Real Housewives training camp. 

It's a tender time because I hated to see my daughter hurt, and yet I was not naive enough to think my kid was perfect.  Now this brings in another aspect of the miserable middle school years.  The mothers are as bad as the kids.  The Moms that I would unwillingly be dealing with were the "Not My Kid" Moms.  It was never their kid's fault. 






I remember another situation from those tumultuous middle school years that again involves my #1.  It could be that I remember more horror stories concerning #1 because I became seasoned by the time it was #2's turn.  

My #1 and her "friend" were going to be in the no talent competition at school.  They had practiced doing a dance and song routine that not even a mother could love.  I would watch them with a fake smile on my face secretly hoping that the show would be cancelled and the family name would stay in good standing.



  

The night before the no talent show, a blood-curdling scream came from upstairs.  I thought #1 was being held at gunpoint.  I ran up the stairs and #1 could barely get control of herself.  Finally she spit out "Susie* doesn't want to be in the talent show with me anymore."  Susie decided to take her act solo.

For a minute, I do admit to letting out a sigh of relief.  My kid wasn't going to shame the family name, after all!  But then I looked at her streaked cheeks and red eyes and my heart sunk.  I decided not to call the kid's mother because deep down I thought things would straighten out. I also was a strong believer that parents should butt out of girl fights.








Well guess what.  Susie did take her act solo and my #1 sat in the audience with a big fat frown on her face.  By the way, I may be just a bit biased, but I have to say my girl couldn't sing or dance to save her life, but Susie was even worse.  I later heard that after the performance, Susie's family was looking into changing their name and joining the Witness Protection Program.

I saw Susie's mom at the big show.  She came up to me sheepishly and she said that it was too bad the girls couldn't work things out, but Susie felt that my #1 did not practice enough.

I had two words for her and it wasn't happy birthday.
   
*Susie's name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

So, when I start to feel sorry for myself and miss my little girls, I remind myself of these stories and a few others.

I still miss the bows, though.

Is there anything that you don't miss?

Until next time...
















Katie Clooney
Katie Clooney

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

35 comments:

  1. Hilarious! I do NOT miss chaperoning at dances. My kids hated it and so did I!!

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  2. Hilarious! I do NOT miss chaperoning at dances. My kids hated it and so did I!!

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  3. Fabulous Post. I miss everything about my son's growing up years. But never did I get in the school helper trap. Not my thing and I never felt guilty once. After all they thought my name was Matthew's Mom!!!!!! XOXO R

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  4. OMGoodness...can I relate. Ours are almost 4 years apart (4 years apart school wise). If I hear, "not my child" one more time I will puke!! My favorites were the ones who wanted something for nothing. They wanted their child to participate in everything, but failed to be supportive...show up, cheer, fundraise, etc!!! This is coming from a mom who ran two booster clubs for 3-4 years each. Volunteer was tattooed on my forehead. Room mom, team mom, booster club mom...you name it, I had the title. Hence, I have seen it all!!! I do not miss ONE thing about middle school. And, to all the "haters" all I have to say is "how do you like my girls now?"

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  5. OMGoodness...can I relate. Ours are almost 4 years apart (4 years apart school wise). If I hear, "not my child" one more time I will puke!! My favorites were the ones who wanted something for nothing. They wanted their child to participate in everything, but failed to be supportive...show up, cheer, fundraise, etc!!! This is coming from a mom who ran two booster clubs for 3-4 years each. Volunteer was tattooed on my forehead. Room mom, team mom, booster club mom...you name it, I had the title. Hence, I have seen it all!!! I do not miss ONE thing about middle school. And, to all the "haters" all I have to say is "how do you like my girls now?"

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  6. Hi Katie,
    I always seemed to fall into the car pool trap. How many times did I log 10 miles driving around town for an event that was half a mile from my house! Inevitably somebody's parent wasn't home at drop off too and I'd spend what seemed like forever idling in a driveway. I agree with you. Looking back, the kids were almost always delightful, not so much the parents! Best regards, Cathy in NJ

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    1. Cathy... I got in the carpool trap because my 2 little angels never had any problem offering my services. The kids that used to drive me crazy were the ones that would jump out of the car and never say thank you. Have a wonderful weekend, Cathy!

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  7. So funny and I do not miss ALWAYS driving to all the field trips. Mercy, I drove a van at the time and that automatically meant that I was expected to drive and really, I wouldn't trade those times for anything. But, I don't care to repeat it. Happy weekend!

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  8. Although I had two boys...I remember some similar stories in my days as Mother of the Fear...oops I mean Year...I was home full-time back then and every little thing that occurred seemed larger than life...now that I am in the classroom and see the DRAMA first hand...I can't believe that my heart used to break for every little thing that happened...now I'm like Tony Soprano...."Forget about it!" ...I spent 25 minutes of Math dealing with girl drama after PE today...you are right there are many wonderful things I miss, but just as many I am glad are memories.

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  9. First things first - what a BEAUTY the Mister captured -sincerely! Teen girls are mean, mean, mean! And don't miss the field trips sitting in those horrid buses. Those days I didn't have the padding on my seat I have now and my hearing was more acute hence it was misery on all counts. Having said that, wish I could go back to those simpler days.
    Denise

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    1. I totally forgot about the field trips. If you want time to slow down, get on a school bus with a bunch of kids. When are you coming back to Mass?

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  10. I started reading this post, then had to dash out the door to the high school jazz band concert (excellent), but while I was there, sat and thought about what you were saying. Yes! Yes! There are sorrows of leaving the past, but we need to realize not everything in the childhood year is golden.

    Now that I've come home to finish your post, I think it's my favorite you've ever done. Very truthful and honest. And as always, very funny. Cheers to our (almost) grown children!

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  11. Guess what- When you get grandkids that live close enough you get to do all that STUFF a second time because Moms & Dads today are working so grandparents get to step in to fill in the blanks. My favorite is trying to help with the NEW MATH. The second grader has it down pat and is doing the 5th grader's homework for her because Grade 5 girl doesn't give a crap...lol And so it goes- xo Diana

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  12. I don't miss:
    o Being told at 8 pm that it's "our" turn to provide food for a class the next day
    o Being told at 8 pm that "we" are all out of poster board
    o All the time and energy w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶d spent on art-based school projects
    o The stressful college application process

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  13. Bonjour Katie. When my son was at nursery school, he wasn't invited very often to birthday parties and I hated when children distributed their invitation cards just in front of him (he didn't care!). So I am so happy now to see how sociable he is.

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  14. Oh my, I have been thinking about this too after attending a 5 year old baseball game last Sunday. I couldn't help but think how fast the time has gone by and it felt like just yesterday that I was spending every waking moment on a sports field of some sort! The childhood years have both happy and difficult memories for me too and some of it I miss but mostly I am just grateful for me and my three to have survived all of the ups and downs!

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  15. Katie,
    I loved your 'happy birthday' comment. I had an 'Auntie Mame' grandmother, complete with all her clothing made by a small russian woman (who's house always smelled terrible) mink coat(s), diamond broaches, Chanel 5 and she wore TURBANS over her coal black (dyed) french twist. We adored her. So classy. But, once in a while, much to our delight, she found the need to say 'happy birthday' to someone who deserved it. We loved her even more. You are a GREAT Mom! Your girls are lovely and fun.

    Warmly, Katleen

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    1. Oh Kathleen, you were so lucky to have your Auntie Mame. That was the first broadway show that I ever saw with Angela Lansbury. I got the album and memorized all the words. I always wanted an Auntie Mame. Enjoy your weekend, Kathleen.

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  16. I love this!! There is much that I don't miss, which I need to remind myself on a regular basis when I start to tear up around little ones...I certainly don't miss homework, teenage drama and the college process. Have a great weekend!! xoxo

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  17. Oh, and I love the Erma Bombeck hairstyle! maybe more Betty Draper.....thank goodness it wasn't an 80's style, the girls couldn't have squeezed into the photo! I was guilty.

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  18. This might my favorites post of yours yet. I saw it on my ipad last night while still sick in bed and this was the highlight of my week, you had me laughing so hard visualizing you and your daughter at the playgroup, that scene needs to be in a sitcom!

    There are things I miss but many I don't......that frantic scream that we are out of poster paper just as I am settling down to finally rest at 9:30 pm, those wake up calls in the middle of the night that their ear or throat is killing them, definitely do not miss one bit the whole SAT/ACT prep thing and the stresses of the entire junior for that matter, and most certainly don't miss changing diapers...no thank you. But I do miss a lot i must admit, call my sappy but my best years ever are when my kids were young and I am still getting used to an empty house that is always pristine:) UNTIL summer.........lol. Great post!
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  19. Oh my word this is SO true about the moms are as mean as the girls (if not meaner)!!!! We actually stopped cheering and gymnastics for our daughter in middle school over the awful and hateful moms!!! Horrible cliques were formed and the things it taught my daughter thru all that were priceless!! Kindness being the big one!!!! I'll take a kind soul over "popular yet despised" any day of the week!!!!

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    1. Me too! Where were you when I needed you!. Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  20. I had BOYS so different ballgame..............I do not miss the school days.I MISS DRIVING Them to school!!!
    SO< the SON tells me he will be in Wellfeet and Turro..........spelling on those?He also tells me he bought a pair of shoes in THAT MARSHALLS where you went to shop!!MY GOD HE READ YOUR POST!!!

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  21. Once again, laugh out loud funny. A whole, cooked turkey at 9:30a.m.?
    My boys are in 8th grade, but I miss a lot about the baby/toddler/preschool age. Excited for their high school years, but I'm already wondering how we will handle three taking the SAT/ACT/college applications at the same time.
    Can not believe that any Mom would allow her daughter to take the act solo the night before the show. What a jerk.
    Enjoy the weekend. Assume you will have the same great weather that we are supposed to have.

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    1. 3 taking SAT/ACT and filling out college apps? OMG!!!! Get on medication NOW!!! Have a great weekend!!!

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  22. I enjoyed this post so much.

    As the mother of 3 adult daughters, I know exactly what you mean.

    I loved the turkey story!

    Laura
    White Spray Paint

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  23. I remember the year I got roped into being in charge of the fashion show. UGH!!! Thanks for the laugh xo Laura

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  24. Katie, I love reading your witty writings!! I laughed outloud when Iread this. I have 17 year old twin boys but all of this still applies. Then sent it on to a friend who has two girls in middle school! Thanks for the smiles.

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  25. This is awesome. Things I won't miss are making dinners that kids only pick at (hey I'd love to eat out meals as often as you kids but...,) and really messy rooms that have a funky smell to them within minutes of being cleaned. My junior in college son has a wonderful internship (yay) far away from home (boo) but gotta let them spread those wings and fly. Easier to say with high school sophomore son. I appreciate you reminding us of the things we won't miss!! The sweet in the bittersweet.

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  26. As the mom of a freshman in college (boy), I do fondly remember the younger years! It all seems so sweet to look back on although at the time I was probably wishing it away! My son was "energetic"!! He was an athlete and I do not miss the middle school/high school years of football. Parents whose kids were decent athletes thought they were going into the NFL!! Noone from our town was anywhere near going pro!! Don't miss that nonsense! Parents can be so competitve!! Glad to be away from all that!.

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  27. So funny. But let me add to the list as I do not miss packing lunches, long homework nights, those perfect room moms, teen drama, driver's ed. But I sure do miss good night kisses, giggling sleepovers, summer afternoons playing card games, car pooling and so many other things that come to mind now that my "baby" is engaged and getting married. Where did the time go?

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  28. Anything and everything connected to teaching them to drive. Course mine were adults then, but still it makes my stomach twist just thinking about it. Mean girls for sure. That still kind of stings for my oldest. Packing lunches every.single.day. THE SCIENCE FAIR-ugh!!! Still there are days I'd love to have my girls at age 8 and 10, sitting at the kitchen table.

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  29. Field trips and mean girls...no thank you!

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  30. I'm so glad I ran across this post. It is was thoroughly entertaining. My daughter is only 10 months, but I see I have much to look forward too ;-)

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