Have you ever met that person who just isn’t cut out to be a parent?
Fortunately I’ve never wanted to be, and maybe if I had have, I would have taken the time to develop some of the maternal traits that currently aren’t present in my being. Like picking up a baby, changing a diaper or quieting a crying child (without the use of a pacifier, bourbon or duct tape) or the general use of good judgment.
Believe it or not, I do have godchildren, which is always amazing to me because I’m not the best influence. In fact, I’m probably the most adult person that I know. I have been ever since I was a child. I don’t understand the way that kids think, I have no language filter, I have zero interest in kiddie movies or Disney, I’m not appreciative of the noise or messiness, I’m deterred by bodily functions, and I’m always terrified that I will say something that will put them in therapy for their entire adult lives.
Of the four godchildren, there are two that I haven’t seen in a while, mostly because one is far away, and the other is usually extremely busy with her huge natural family. I feel guilty because of this, which is saying a lot because being raised by a Catholic mother has desensitized me to guilt. But I digress . . .
The remaining two — the 12 year old boy and 16 year old girl — have always been my little appendages as little adults in their own rights. They have been trained to me, and they know and accommodate many things about me. They’re aware that I have road rage, a fluency in profanity, and they know not to repeat anything I say.
Fortunately, their parents actually get a kick out of the things that I tell them that no adult in their right mind would share with a child. Did I mention that I have no filter?
We had brunch today, and here are the topics that we covered:
- Why Auntie Gina sometimes needs a cocktail
- What “proof” means when it comes to liquor (to my credit, their father who was also present, helped with that one)
- How sugar and liquor together is usually a bad idea
- The order in which one consumes wine and hard liquor (I went all physiological on their asses)
- The circumstances under which marriage is a good idea
- What is a prenuptial agreement, what it protects, and why it’s smart to have one
Bad, right? But the good news is that I countered the corruption with a few good lessons:
- Why a car is not an asset
- The total cost of ownership of a vehicle
- Why it’s stupid to own a luxury vehicle without having given thought to purchasing a home, which is an asset, for the most part
- How to think proactively about college selections
All of this in less than two hours! I’m more effective than an online university!
Is there any wonder that the 16 year old gleefully refers to me as the “anti-parent?” (I earned this title last year when I told her that one of her little friends might be a bit of a slut and is not to be emulated.) She would like to drink with me on her 21st birthday. I’m not sure if I should be proud or mortified.
In the interest of full disclosure, I called their mother as soon as I dropped them off today to share the topics of our brunch. She laughed, because she’s used to me, and told me that she would provide me with a list of things that she’d like for me to teach her daughter before she goes off to college.
The good news is that they don’t take me seriously . . . against all odds.