Thursday, July 06, 2006

Teach Your Children ... Well?

Lately TinyTuna has been picking up on my (sometimes bad) habit of public commentary. Usually it is a gentle mutterance about needing to use the pedal on the right to go, causing major bottlenecks by abandoning carts in the middle of grocery store aisles, or waiting in long line at McDonald's and then still not knowing what you want to eat.

PSA -- It's not rocket science: Burger, Fries, Coke.

In the past, I could vent my spleen in peace, knowing that TinyTuna didn't care what one earth I was saying. But now, sadly, because she is older, she listens to me at, frankly, inopportune moments.

"Mom!! Why are you making fun of people?"

It's a drag to be scolded by a 12-year old. It's even worse when it's your own 12-year old, because it means you have been caught doing something scold-worthy, that is, something which you yourself have scolded others on in the past.

My best defense is an admittedly weak argument of parental immunity, as in, "I'm not making fun. I'm ... just saying ... "

TinyTuna doesn't buy it.
If I were 12, I wouldn't either.

Having been chastised (yet again) on Sunday in the grocery store parking lot, I tried hard to keep my mouth shut. As I was looking for a parking spot, I had to wait for a teenaged employee to push a quarter mile of carts through the parking lot back to the store. From the neck up, this guy was sporting a look that could be best described as a cross between Don King and Bob Marley. Although it was crying for commentary, I wasn't going to say anything and risk another lecture from Miss Manners.

As he passed the car and I began turning into my parking spot, what should I hear coming from the back seat?

"Bad hair day, anyone?"

The proper parent in me laughed and shot back, "Who's making fun of people NOW?"

The improper parent channeled Miss Clairee from Steel Magnolias and said to herself, "Very good. Spoken like a true smart ass."

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