Thursday, May 26, 2011

Parents Do the Darndest Things

Ew, no.
Gag, no.
Scotty, Lauren, Scotty, Lauren...SCOTTY!!!

I admit it. This season I got sucked into the vortex of American Idol for my very first time. I don't even watch television. (Per capita, our household has one television for every six people; the fat kind, not the flat kind.) Even the shows we really DO like, like 24 and, like 24, we watch in four-hour recorded batches. And we haven't done that in about three years.

Television is a time waster.
And a brain-cell killer.

So, imagine my surprise walking into my family room and finding my children watching and discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of the AI contestants. "How do you know who Pia is?" I wanted to ask my eight-year-old. "And WHO turned on this nonsense anyway?" My 18-year-old gave me a sheepish grin. Oh, sister.

My older children are adults now, and I am not inclined to order them around. But I did lurk from the kitchen, where I could both get something done and hear what was going on. I gaped at the immaturity of Stefano, who was about as advanced as my two year old. And I marveled at the chick who looked like she wanted to be a floral Carmen Miranda when she grew up. But even my "parental" oversight did not keep me from getting sucked in. "Lauren is going to win," I announced somewhere around week three. Big heads, medium heads, little heads all turned and gaped at me.

Did I just say that?
I had an opinion???
I had an opinion!

It was curtains for me. From that point on, I hung on just to prove myself correct.
"That song just didn't do it for me."
"She doesn't have enough star appeal."
"He KISSED J-Lo???!!!"
"Lauren's gonna win..." over and over and over...

Last night, I was downright misty-eyed when Scotty and Lauren, the two nicest kids on the show, stood on stage as the winner was announced.
"Oh...that was so sweet," I crooned.

What happened to me?
I'll tell you what happened. My kids happened. Kids push us into territory no one else can.
When we brought Zach home twenty years ago, I got a huge education on what I was willing to endure for my children--starting with childbirth., I insisted shortly after the birth.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah...

Then my milk came in.
(That is a story unto itself, the details of which I shall spare you.)
The endless spit up.
Zach had a projectile--not vomit--but poop. Right on the wall. I haven't seen anything like it before or since.
I was getting highly educated in fluids pouring from bodily orifices, both his and mine, I had never even thought about.
My motto became, "Eh, it'll dry."

Then they grew a bit, and the hormones arrived.
My young men checked out, and Brett assured me they would return someday.
Me: Did you do your Algebra II?
Them: huh?
Okay, see you on the other side...
My young women suddenly burst into tears for no logical reason or predicted, with Harold Camping accuracy, that their world was going to end because their hair was turning wavy.
And if you want some real fun, time the spacing of your children so all these hormones can collide like asteroids around the dinner table.

In retrospect, I guess a little singing contest wasn't such a horrible thing. I could do without Lady Gaga; we all could. And, while I love Steven Tyler in the context of Aerosmith, I think it is a categorically bad idea to ever give that man a mic when he's not singing. (It was kinda fun to watch him do Dream On...)

But it was still probably one of the dumbest things we've done together.

Ah well. American Idol is hardly the final frontier of parenting.
But I'm so thankful for the spice, in terms of both laughter and tears, my children have added to my life.
And if your kids aren't spicing up your life, you're probably not paying attention.


  1. "I will never..." Remember that post? You were so faithful with this "I will never like American Idol." You seemed a bit more obsessed than your daughters...Just a bit. :P

  2. I'll have to talk with Zach about his former projectile-like pooping habits. Fascinating. :)

  3. so funny!
    This is like me admitting that I got sucked into watching....uh....never mind.


  4. ha ha Scarlett! I knew I was not alone out here. :)