I am a mum of two teenagers and they both think I’m stupid.
When my children were younger, they would look with me with such admiration. ‘You’re so clever mummy!” Or, “when I grow up, I want to be just like you Mummy!” It was a lovely stage of mutual affection. However, every parent of a teen will nod their head when I say that I’m now the biggest idiot around apparently. I know nuffin’. I have no relevance in modern life. Here it is; My teenagers think I’m stupid. When did my children suddenly change their minds about me and think I’m a complete idiot?
I can’t work the TV (obviously).
I don’t know the causes of The Spanish Civil War (who does!)
I have never, ever been out to a club (Nooo)
I cannot possibly know how to Tweet (actually…..)
I love gardening (eye roll)
Did you know that if you ate less chocolate, you could lose weight (really? Who knew!?)
My daughter now clutches my leg when I’m driving….
I have never revised for these exams! (Possibly….actually!)
Your arms wobble, look! (garbs my upper arm and physically shake it!)
You have no idea what drugs are out there mum (Just. Stay. Away. Please)
Is stupidity in the genes?
I remember thinking the same as a teenager; my Dad was an idiot too. He used to try to embarrass me on purpose as a joke (it was actually funny but I could never let him know that). In a queue of traffic, he would press the brake in time to the music with his window down so that anyone in the street could see our car moving to the beat of the music. It was the 1980’s so it was Wham! Or Madonna. OMG it was so embarrassing! My Dad would ask my friends when he first met them if they were married. We were possibly 12 or 13…every other Dad was mighty scary but my Dad was hilarious to everyone around him, apart from me. He would grab my hand when walking along the street and start skipping! He was an idiot in my rolling, teenage eyes. Perhaps all parents are idiots? Is it a stage? Like having toddlers? Perhaps it’s in the genes??
My Dad, The Legend
The thing is, that as an adult I realise that my lovely Dad was a legend amongst my friends. I didn’t know it at the time as I lived in a state of constant embarrassment. There is one moment when I realised that he might not be an idiot after all. When I was about 17, I asked him what was the worst thing I could do as a teenager in his eyes. Expecting pregnancy or drugs, he replied, “there is nothing you can do that would shock, embarrass or shame me. You will always be perfect in my eyes.” I had forgotten this amazing conversation until a recent chat with an old school friend who reminded me how amazing my Dad was. I had forgotten because, at the time, he was an idiot but now I realise he was amazing and I was the idiot.
Are things changing?
As their important exams loom, I think my children are finding a new found respect for their old mum. During the Easter break, we purposely didn’t plan any trips so that they could both revise. As a teacher, I am lucky that we share the same holidays so I could be around to support them. I made sure we had food in the house, tested them if they asked and helped my younger child with his GCSE’s. It was harder with my daughter’s A Levels but I was still there to help with Spanish tenses (I’ve never studied Spanish!). I hope my teenagers have a new found respect for me. I actually knew some answers (sharp take in of breath…) and could mark their past papers (well….not maths)! It was fun at times and we laughed together. As they get older are they thinking that maybe mum is not an idiot after all?
I hope that one day, they will look at their old mum in the same way I see my Dad now, as a legend. Until then, I shall fly the flag of stupidity with pride. I just need to think up some really, stupid yet embarrassing things and be like my Dad; it is in the genes after all.