Posted by: coloradokiwi | October 14, 2007

Why you will never *really* win an argument with your parents

All of us have had at least one experience in common. That is, if you have parents, know them, and are on decent terms. So, some of you. Anyway, it is this: up to a certain age, usually at least throughout your twenties and possibly further, your parents secretly hold in contempt whatever it is you do, say or think with which they disagree. Well duh, right?

But when I say “contempt” I mean that they feel that they should hold more sway over you than they do, and they know you’re merely being silly by, say, voting Democrat. It’s the nature of parents. I used to think it was due to parents merely being parents: they raised me, after all, and it makes sense that having basically molded me to some degree and having undertaken the enormous responsibility of raising me, they may feel a bit hurt when I say things that are impossible for them to agree to (like, say, insisting that talk radio is the bane of a functional democracy).

Now that I am a brand new parent, however, I think it may come down to something much more specific than “parenting” in a general sense. I know for certain that there is one thing in particular that will probably stick in my mind when one day my kid gets all uppity: kid, I changed your diapers.

Bear with me, but the devil’s in the details here. I have watched my wee girl soil herself in every possible way. I have seen her projectile pooping with nary a care in the world, then when I almost have her totally cleaned up, watching her shit and/or piss all over herself once again. I have had to personally stick my wetwipe-coated finger into/onto her “hooha” and her “pooper”. I have had to…well, you get the idea. Mind you, as a capper: newborn feces, while they are breastfeeding, looks like a mixture of cottage cheese, mustard, and the horrid mustard water you get when you don’t shake up the mustard bottle properly. When it comes out, it’s usually not a very dignified process, particularly considering that coming out of a puckered infant anus, bubbles are also likely to form. (Hey, bubbles aren’t always cuddly and magical.)

Anyway, I think it’s the mix of thankless care, the responsibility, and what would be the extreme indignity of this process that will forever imprint in the parental mind the fact that my mouthy whippersnapper (of whatever age) was once dependent on me in this fashion, and she will never remember it–wouldn’t even know it!–if this wasn’t common knowledge. Perhaps that’s the extra kicker: it’s a little extra bit of knowledge, never discussed, that parents will always have over their children.

So now I have a greater appreciation for my folks’ exasperation and incredulity when I haughtily point out how wrong they are about any particularly political topic–I think it’s because deep down they can still recall the days when they were changing my diapers.

Well, to be fair, odds are I may end up changing their diapers if they make it past ninety. Then I suppose we’ll be about even. Alas, odds are also good that when I complain about Republican shenanigans or the state of the world to them, the reply might be something along the lines of, “Never mind the ape’s gonads. Fetch me my onion bag so we can have some tiddlywinks for stew.” Which will probably be sad and frustrating, particularly if they haven’t cured Alzheimers by then. But it would also be hilarious. So there’s that.

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Responses

  1. Wow – this REALLY makes me want to have kids….

  2. Wow – I seem to have lost all desire to have children…and mustard


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