By Karen Gordon
Every now and again, I send myself little notes, reminders, messages, etc. If I don’t have my calendar, planner or empty gum wrapper, then I send myself a note (text message).
Many times, these things happen in such a rapid-fire fashion, I simply forget about them until I stumble upon them while looking for something else.
So in preparation for this piece – coincidentally, I was purging my phone’s memory so that I could record a rehearsal and I discovered a couple of voice memos from last Fall. In one, I’m listening to LeScoot explain one of his pet peeves. First of all, I don’t think a 9 year-old is old enough to have gripes and concerns. But I digress…
“I don’t like it when someone tells me to do something and then I do THAT THING but then they tell me to do it over AGAIN,” LeScoot explained. “But then they see that I’ve already done it so THEN they just want to yell at me for NO REASON and I didn’t do anything wrong.”
You’ve gotta listen to it (it’s on my SoundCloud). The tone of his voice is rife with “shade.”
In another, my favorite nephew Jamil recalls the time we were at Grandma’s house for Christmas and Georgia bit him on the behind. He’s not afraid of dogs but Georgia is a little larger than he likes and she is pretty assertive about being the center of attention at all times. Side note: she’s great at cuddling.
“So, we had the frisbee and (Countess & Lebarron) were like, “Let’s play with Georgia,” so I was like, “Well, I’M not gonna do that.” So I stood on the back of Uncle Cliffe’s truck and the ONE TIME that I decided to get down, I got bit in the butt (hysterical laughter).” Then more laughter and more….
These two remind me so much of my big boys, Chris and Malcolm and because of that, I can not help but notice that I’m a very different Mommy now, than I was when the big boys were LeScoot’s age. You’ve seen those commercials, right? First kid: you buy all the parenting books and resources and you get ALL the safety mechanisms – even the experimental ones “AS SEEN ON TV.” When the pacifier hits the floor, then you dunk it in boiling water before baby gets it again.
Second child: Mine came 11.5 months after the first so I was good. I’d figured some stuff out and the five second rule was in full effect. Pacifier falls to floor, we’re good for five to 10 secs. Maybe I’d rinse it off. Maybe.
Fast forward 17 years later. Bossman and I are expecting a baby. Easy. We’ve done this before, right? Except it’s not easy. It’s like technology, ever-changing and evolving. ALL the things I knew from the big boys and all the things that made me an expert are outdated. Archaic.
When the BIG BOYS were 9 and 10 years old, the only thing I had to do was insist that they friend me on My Space so that I could monitor their activities. Now, Scoot has his own tablet, has figured out how to create a Google+ account, upload YouTube videos and link to his Instagram (Dude, you are 9. How about these multiplication tables and long division?).
Every now and again, someone will ask me for parenting advice. You know, because I’ve DONE THIS BEFORE. Always conflicted, I say “Be firm but flexible, be tough but loving, be the boss but willing to learn from them, be loving, be supportive and laugh a lot”. But, more often than not, by the time we’re done, I just leave them with these words of wisdom…..
“Hey, you’re on your own with that. Good luck!”
Side note: Third kid drops the pacifier on the floor and you don’t even pick it up. You just put the baby on the floor and let him figure it out.
Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.
This article appears in the June/July 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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