My kids think I am ‘cute’

When your kids suddenly think they're smarter than you...

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I’ve always had a certain flair. A bit of pizzazz (autocorrect changed that to “pizza” three times. That also fits).

I like to think I’m a firm but fun parent.

However, this is the first time in my life that I really felt my children conspiring against me.

Basically behaved

Of course they ganged up on me when they were very young.

They bonded to each other and became each other’s partners in minor league household crimes.

“Who did this?” was met with blank stares. Silence was rarely golden and often indicative that they were up to a good (for them) and bad (for me) time.

Still, they were basically well behaved children.

They both toed the line with me (autocorrect changed that to “wine.” That also works).

The look

I used to be the “this is your mother on the edge warning device” mama.

I never had to raise my hand or my voice much because both children could be managed with “the look.” That was a mixture of stern maternal disappointment and “I will embarrass you in public if you embarrass me.”

Then I went ahead and became “cute” to my kids. Nowadays I’m adorable.

They listen because they are decent human beings who find me funny, not because they fear me.

Sure I still control a steady supply of food, clean laundry, and own the cars that they drive but they mostly get along with me out of respect I think.

Oh SnapFace

They spend their days saying “no mom, there is no SnapFace. It’s Facebook and Snapchat. Also, please don’t make that blurry shot of your thumb your “story” for the day.”

Little do they know my “misunderstanding” of social media is all for show. A mother does more online research than the FBI. Trust me on this one.

I remember when I knew everything. My kids would tell you. I could control everything too. From the weather to red lights, in their eyes I had mad powers.

Now I’m just darling and silly. Darn whippersnappers.

I try to be hip and they’re all making eyes at each other and bonding over how darned precious I am. “Oh she tries” the eyes say.

Dude, I remember when you couldn’t tie your own shoes — or walk. Don’t you be condescending — however sweetly — to me.

Watch this

I spent years dropping everything to stare raptly at “Mommy watch this!” which is basically the toddler equivalent of “hold my beer.”

Now they enjoy saying “let’s see mom try…” and laughing, and for all I know surreptitiously posting video of my antics on YouTube.

I am not even remotely athletic so my attempts to ride a bicycle, tube on water, sled, or cross creek with anything resembling agility and grace are always met with chuckles.

Adept

On that note, however, it’s nice when they do start being handy.

My son can think I’m adorably inept all day long if he keeps leaping up to work with a “mom just let me” admonition.

He is already convinced I can’t use power tools, hammers, or ladders, so he does all that for me.

I’m working on convincing him I don’t understand the dishwasher or vacuum cleaner next.

Cute

Now I don’t know what is scarier, that my children are beginning to sound just like me, or that I’m beginning to sound like my mother.

Of course, I realize now that my mother has gotten so much smarter since I became an adult. Isn’t it funny how that works.

I remember thinking she was pretty cute back in the day too.

I want my children to be independent, headstrong people. Just not while I am trying to tell them what to do.

To my generally well behaved children, let me just state for the record that it is futile to argue with me no matter how “cute” you think I am.

Where do you think you got your attitude and stubbornness? I have a 30-year head start on you.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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