Steve Wiley on Parenting, Eye Rolling, and "When I Was a Kid"
Steve Wiley is Jackalope Ranch's Parent Hood. He's a slightly unorthodox father of five who will weigh in weekly with his mildly rebellious views and observations. If you'd like to see how he came to write this column, watch the intro video. This week, he breaks a childhood oath and lets fly with a few "when I was a kid" thoughts
Tell Us About When You Were a Kid, Dad
I remember being a kid and hearing adults say "When I was a kid..."
Of course, what usually followed was some sort of comparison between the two time periods, usually highlighting how much easier us stinkin' kids had it than those hardship-laden adults did in their day.
Whenever an adult would use the ol' "when I was a kid" comparison, it would usually induce the same reaction: My awesome eye-roll. I could convey a lot of emotions, phrases, and feelings with that eye roll -- mostly attached to not-nice thoughts I was directing at my parental units -- thoughts I hoped my kids would never think about me when I was at the helm.
I promised myself that I was gonna be so cool to my kids that I wouldn't have to worry about it -- we'd all get along and I'd see things from their perspective -- and under no circumstances would I go into any of that "when I was a kid" shit.
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
Now that I am at the helm... it turns out that's a promise I just can't keep. Well, I could keep it, but I'm just not going to do so.
It's not that I've forgotten my "be cool" pledge -- I do try to be as cool as possible -- it's that I've got parental responsibilities that prevent me from keeping them truly satisfied with me.
In other words, I won't give them everything they want.
So regardless of how cool I try to be, there's not a chance my kids aren't going to think some "not-nice" thoughts about me. It's happening already. The eye rolls (which are weak compared to my youthful masterpieces). The sarcasm. The glares.
Alas, just like my annoying parents before me, now I'm a conehead too.
So what the hell... I'm gonna start saying "When I was a kid".
Besides, these spoiled kids today do have it easy, dammit.
It's gonna be great.