Tag Archives: sarcasm

Will You Still Need Me, When You’re Thirty-Four?*

Letting go is easy.

Not grabbing them when they’re falling. . . that’s much, much harder.

Rearing children means that you’re responsible for not only their safety and well being at the very moment (and every moment), but that you’re supposed to be laying the groundwork for them to take control over their own lives and make good decisions on their own.Burning magnesium is really, really, really, really bright.

The first part of that last sentence is enough to drive just about anyone to the edge of sanity. The second part is what will take you, pick you up and hurl you like a caber so far over the line that even on a dark night you wouldn’t even be able to see it if it were etched in neon and burning magnesium.

Children are the living embodiment of the thought that everything has consequences. What you do with and to them now will have lasting ramifications in their later lives.

As parents, we want to make sure our little dudes and dudettes learn not only from their own experiences, but our experiences. That way, they won’t have to suffer like we did. That is the platonic ideal of parenting, but you know no teenager ever actually listens. Why would they? I mean, they already know everything already.**This is an example of a very stupid punishment. Firstly, twerking? That's what you're worried about? I'd think peer pressure would be enough to curtail that after a few tries. Secondly, if you think public shaming will teach her any lesson beyond "Don't get caught," you're crazy.

Which is why punishing kids ever more extravagantly as they grow older isn’t going to work all that well for you later on.

The most important lesson you can pass along to your little dudes is the instinct to, when they don’t actually know what to do or where to go, actually ask questions. Ask for help. And more, turn back to their parents for the first shot at offering said help.

Even now, I’ll use my dad as a sounding board before making certain decisions. I know he’s got my best interests at heart and has experienced a lot of what I’m already going through and he’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. And I say this long after the parent-worshiping phase has worn off.

It took a while, I will admit. I didn’t look to my parents as sources of help until some time after college. Before that, I was bound and determined to do it my way because I was the smartest man (I am a MAN!) in the room.

Fortunately, my parents didn’t start screaming at me when I made a bad decision or did something stupid as I was growing up. They offered advice, let me know what was expected and, for the most part, were calm but firm when I crossed the line.

The teenage years didn’t irreparably damage our relationship. Thankfully.

As the young dudes grow older and the consequences of their dumb decision-making become more significant, the urge to tighten our grip and tell them exactly what to do can become overwhelming. If you want to have any influence in your little dudette’s life as she grows older, you must let her make her own decisions.

That doesn’t mean you don’t set rules or allow her to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. However, once you’ve made clear your expectations and the consequences of not meeting said expectations, you have to simply drop into an advisory role and pick your battles with extreme care.

I’ve always felt that, as long as it’s not disturbing class, my young dudes could wear whatever they wanted, have whatever hair cut they wanted. If I thought they looked horrible . . . Well, my being horrified by their looks probably was a plus.Didn't we already do that? When they were 18? I'm almost positive they were supposed to move out at one point.

Provide options, help them understand probable scenarios from various actions, but don’t’ try to force your decisions on them.

It’s never easy watching as your darlings make a mistake, but it’s one of the necessary steps they have to take if they ever want to grow up and be independent.

After all, we all want to use that extra bedroom as a place for us, not as the room for your adult child who’s moved back in.

Footnotes & Errata

* Still apologizing to the Beatles, still not regretting using the allusion even one little bit.
** For the sarcasm-impaired among you, that was sarcasm. Teenagers don’t really know everything. They just think they do. This has been a friendly reminder from Mr. Obvious.

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Charlotte Parent: Urban Chickens

Eggs come from styrofoam containers.

Chicken comes in convenient breaded fingers. That’s all you need to know.

Unless you’re the type of parent who wants to show your little dudes and dudettes the *begin sarcasm tag* truth *end sarcasm tag*.

I’ve got a bit of a screed on the subject and it’s not because I got scared by a chicken clucking behind my back like a sneak, taking advantage of the fact that no one — no one — expects the chicken inquisition when walking down a suburban street.

Today at Charlotte Parent, where I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name, I’m letting it go with both barrels when I start ranting about urban chickens. No, you mispronounced that. It’s not ur-bane chickens. I was talking about urban chickens.

That is, chickens that people keep when they live in the city. Living chickens that haven’t been divided up into convenient fry-ready pieces. Yet.

Join us, won’t you, as we all head to Charlotte Parent for the day?

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Giving Greetings In His Native Tongue

You know, there’s a reason Sarcasmo is called Sarcasmo.

Mostly, I’m thinking that all comes down to him having been corrupted by a certain bad influence for long periods of time than his younger brothers. Not that I’m going to name names. Something about the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution or something.

Ahem.

Anyway. Today’s a big day for Sarcasmo. It’s the day he gets to finally have a birthday without a zero or one in front of his age. He’s not 06, nor 16, but 20. Which, oddly, is more frightening than I thought it would be, having a little dude in his 20s. You know, I’m just going to stop doing that right now. Let’s be positive.

The reason Sarcasmo is called Sarcasmo is because he believes sarcasm is his native language. Not English. No, that would be far too easy. Instead, he likes to refer to sarcasm as just one of many services he offers.

Oh, right. Like he’s got any sort of monopoly on that. Erm. Ah. Or something.

As I was saying before that bit of sarcasm slipped in, Sarcasmo has had a number of different names over the years, but this is the only one that was 100-percent Sarcasmo approved. He likes to think it fits his self image of a worldly man. I’ll not mention the other ones because I don’t want to have the young dude stroke out on his birthday.

Although it’s sometimes hard to remember that he’s the same child I once held in my arm (that’s arm, not arms. Arm. I could balance him on my forearm, with my palm cupping his head. He loved that.) when I think of my now about 6-foot-4-inch young man, there’s still a little of the baby dude in his eyes.

Even though he’s spent the last half decade or more attempting to grow a hard, cynical outer shell so as not to take anything more than glancing blows from an angry world, I believe at his heart there still exists a core of effervescent joy constantly seeking out the marvelous and wonderful in the world around us. Being older, but not old enough, it can have a hard time showing through, but I see it in his actions, if not most of the words.

Sarcasmo is one of the scariest-smart dudes I’ve ever met. If he ever begins to use his powers for evil, instead of good, I, for one, am running for the horizon at speed. This is a dude who has the tools to create a world of his choosing, should he only choose to use them.

It’s tradition on birthdays that the loved ones surrounding the birthday dude or dudette give gifts. There’s one gift I’d like to give Sarcasmo that I don’t think he’ll take, but I’d like to see him do it anyway. It’s this metaphorical hammer and chisel to maybe crack open that cynical shell a bit and let some of the joy in the world seep inside.

Sarcasmo is a young dude’s nickname. Here’s hoping he earns and accepts a new one.

Until then, though, it’s time to air kiss a bit of love his way. Happy birthday, Sarcasmo! We love you.

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