Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things to teach my daughters

I was an oopsy baby.

Or a one-third-life crisis.

I could be wrong, my parents haven't ever really hinted at the fact, but my brother is 11 years older than me and my sister is 8 years older than me, so yeah.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't planned, or I was just a last minute thing.

Hey, you feel like making a baby today?  Sure!

As a result, while my brother and sister got cool vacations and fun times at home with mom, I got two full-time working parents and crying at the door when my mom went to night school and playing in my babysitter's creepy ass basement and lots of carry out dinners. 

I'm not bitter or anything!

Ok, really I'm not.  Mine wasn't an extraordinary childhood, but nothing particularly traumatic happened to me (except I swear I accidentally saw my grandmother's boobs once and she was missing a nipple.  Part of me hopes I'm making that up, but another part of me hopes I'm not because what kind of sicko makes up seeing her grandmother's deformed boobs??)


What I am bitter about is that it seems my mom sort of phoned in the guiding-your-daughter-into-womanhood thing.  I don't totally blame her.   As long as I can remember, she was always working a lot, and going to school as well when I was young.  And I'm not exactly an easy person to talk to.  I'm very aware I come off as majorly douchey to most people but really I'm just tragically shy and awkward and my brain just processes human encounters in a strange way.  Sometimes I can't believe people even talk to me a second time.

Anyway.  Mom was busy, I was weird, and I feel like our incompatible existence caused me to miss out on a few basic but essential lessons, and the further I get into "adulthood", the more I'm finding out how clueless I am.

Here's some things I want my girls to learn before I kick them out of my house:

How to feed yourself.   I remember once, before Violet was born, I tried to grill frozen fish fillets.  Like, while they were still frozen.  I still don't have a clue what Joe and I ate before I got pregnant because I know I wasn't successful with a single homemade meal and had no real desire to figure it out either.  Three years later, I still screw up at least one meal a week over something dumb. 

I feel like if I give my girls a basic understanding of thawing and baking or grilling meat, chopping vegetables, and maybe one good casserole and one good sauce, they should be good to go and can figure out the rest on their own.
Baseboards need to be cleaned.  I am half ashamed to admit this, but I didn't even realize baseboards could get dirty until I lived in my third apartment at the age of 23, during my second year of living there.  I was cleaning up around the high chair and caught a glimpse of a furry baseboard.  I was pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be like that, so I wiped it down and history was made - my first time cleaning a baseboard.  I wasn't given chores during my 19 years at home so I never had any reason to think about how things got clean.

I'm still working on learning all there is to housekeeping, but hopefully the girls will know better than I did that cleaning isn't finished after you clear your floor of all the piles of clothes and junk.
How to keep pots and pans clean.  And how to respect all of your eating, cooking, cleaning and living utensils and appliances to extend their time with you.

I'm still clueless on this one too.  And to make matters worse, I have Joe around, who is even worse about taking care of things.   Good thing I've got at least 15 years to figure this out though, right?

Something besides down or a ponytail.  In my mom's defense, I've never been a girly girl.  I was never interested in gettin my hair did or cute clothes or wearing any make up, so there really wasn't any opportunity to teach me these things.  These days though, I really wish I did have a little knowledge of these things, because sometimes I wouldn't mind looking pretty but I just don't know how to do it.  I'm afraid people would judge me for being presentable... how weird is that?

I want my girls to be confident with how they look, with or without make up and a fancy up-do, and I don't want them to be afraid to do whatever it is that would make them feel beautiful and feminine.  If the only time they see a braid in their life is during a MommyVioletLeela slumber party, then so be it, but at
least they'll have that information for later if they ever want to use it.

Imagine Daria teaching two girls to be girly and you'll understand my problem.

Ok, pause.  This list is sounding a little archaic.  Cook this, clean that, suck in your tummy, make me a sammich.  I mean, I would like the girls to grow up to make me grandbabies and be stay-at-home moms to them, but I'd be perfectly ok with them being cat ladies or business wimminz too.  And in any case, they need to keep a clean presentable body in a clean environment right?  You can't keep an office organized if you can't keep yourself organized.  And no one's going to hire you with Hermione hair.  Anyway, back to the list.

Men are not demons.  My parents did not have the most fantastic relationship when I was young, and my mom may have unintentionally slipped in a few less than flattering remarks about my dad and men in general.  And I may have watched a lot of Lifetime movies that elaborated on that subtle message and then beat it to a pulp and then injected itself directly into my cerebral membrane.  And if you watch the news for two minutes today you'll probably hear "Men are dangerous rapist murderers!  And they eat babies!  All from their couch" quite a few times.

So that's yet another thing I can work on!  Nothing but positive words about Dad when the girls are around.  I'll just wait to call him a dumbass after they go to bed! 

How to drive a stick.   Even if only to impress their father.  Or some hottie.  Because it will impress them.

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