Single Mom Slice Of Life: Wait! ..Am I Turning Into MY Parents?

More than once I’ve stated how I am not an average parent, I’m not traditional, and quite possibly, sometimes, I’m just barely good enough.  But good enough counts, and it turns out that quite possibly, I just might be more traditional than I thought for.  How do I know?  Because the following age old comments have crossed my lips recently:


Creative Commons/Muffet

Creative Commons/Muffet

Justin: “How do you spell camouflage?”
Me: “You’ve already asked me to spell certain, adventure, and cloak. Your three free words are used up. Go get the dictionary.”
Justin: “How is that going to help? I can’t look it up if I don’t know how to spell it!!!”

Ahhh… it’s good to know the oldies are still alive and well.  My aunt was quick to point out that these days there is also to use, but as I warned her, that would seriously inhibit my ability to… well… torture my children.

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Comedians have said it for years, and people have laughed over it for generations, and yes, in the middle of my kitchen, I am ashamed to admit, this conversation actually happened:

Me: “Is the rule that if you can smell the milk, you don’t drink the milk?  Or is that fish?”

Nick: “Both.”

Me: (sniffing the milk carton again) “Um, I think I smell the milk.”

Nick: “Then don’t drink it.”

Me: “But it’s a whole carton… here taste it and tell me if it’s any good.”

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Creative Commons/PaleRoots

Creative Commons/PaleRoots

Ok, so this one isn’t necessarily an oldie, or traditional, but it has definitely become a regular in our home.  Nick has taken culinary (we used to call it home economics in my day) for three years now.  Once a week his class has a lab where they cook.  It turns out that one day, during a chili cook off, one of his friends said something negative about the pot of chili Nick had cooked, and royally pissed him off for the whole day.

I had originally thought that this was his last class thus the reason he was still so hot immediately after school, but alas, it’s one of his first classes.  I had to explain to him that chances were that his friend had forgotten about the comment and that Nick was the only one still upset over it – and that by still being upset about it, Nick was still technically carrying the whole pot of chili with him throughout the day.

So now, when one of us is still holding onto something and are driving someone else insane with it, the first question is, “How heavy is the chili pot?”

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Creative Commons/mikecogh

Creative Commons/mikecogh

Ah yes, the ultimate in double edged parental swords.

I first heard these contradicting statements when my dad was talking to my brother.  I promise one day it was, “Stop thinking about just yourself!  There are other people in the world besides you!”… then the next day he was being told, “Stop worrying about everyone else’s business!  Just worry about yourself!”

At the time it didn’t make sense, and only went to prove that parents are C-R-A-Z-Y.  Seriously, old people.  Ugh!

Yeah, except now I’m one of those old people parents – and on one day, I was yelling at Nick that the world is bigger than just himself, and how he needs to consider how his actions affect not just his immediate situation, but those around him.  Not a week later, my poor son stood in front of me while I lectured him about staying out of other people’s business… how he needed to focus on his own problems and butt out of his brother’s actions.

That realization was immediately followed by a phone call to my parents to once again apologize for ever having been a teenager.

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So there you have it – actual proof that I’m not quite as off the beaten path as I thought I was.  What are some of the classics you find floating around your home?

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Wendy Syler Woodward has been a single parent for 10 years, with two boys ages 12 and 16. Originally from southern California, Wendy moved her family seven years ago to Phoenix where she manages a law firm for work, writes for fun, and this year returned to college for her B.A. Follow her on Twitter @WendySyler.