I’d Be Much More Popular If I Could Stop Talking

We want to be COOL PARENTS. Not here-is-my-favorite-bong cool — more like hipsters. Parents who dance, see the best movies, and dress in that trendy, age-appropriate spot between teenagers and people who are trapped in the nineties. (I wanted to say eighties, but those people are currently HIP. I can’t WAIT to get back to giggling at their pinned jeans and big sweaters.)

This clearly will not happen through music. The best I can hope with my kids’ ipods is saying: Your favorite band is RAD. (But not actually using that word.)

So I’ve always thought that my cool would be through conversation. Knowing cool things to talk about. Like feminism. And the MAN. Throw in my naturally slang phrases like “You’re all up in my business!” and “It’s all good.”

Except my oldest won’t actually let me talk.

My son has an imaginary friend. Except she’s not imaginary. She’s his best friend at preschool. I’ll call her Z.

Their greeting are full of HIGH FIVES and GET AWAY MAMAS! Their departures are Romeo and Juliet painful.

And SHE COMES OVER EVERY DAY. Except she doesn’t. She goes home after preschool and naps. E just pretends. FOR HOURS. So she’s an imaginary unimaginary friend. Or an unimaginary imaginary friend.

Me: Whacha doing E?
E: MAMA! Stop talking. I’m talking to Z! {turns to empty space next to him and laughs with Z. AT ME.}

The following day, Z FINALLY goes home. It’s my chance to bond with my son. Establish some COOL CRED.

Me: Do you want to play E?
E: No, I want to swing.
Me: Do you want me to push you?
E: No.
Me: Do you want to talk?
E: NO! I’M ALREADY TALKING MAMA. {turns to the large tree on his right and has long conversation involving swinging, laughter and a little rapping of Parents Just Don’t Understand}

Later that day, I am finally allowed on the swing. I don’t even try to talk to him.

E: Don’t say that Mama. Stop saying SWING.
Me: You don’t like when I talk, do you?
E: No. {pause} I like when I TALK!

I’m already losing to an imaginary friend and a tree. By the time he’s a teenager, I’ll be full-on stuck in the 2000s blasting Lady Gaga in my minivan while getting passed by hover crafts.

E on his hover craft

I am so screwed.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

25 thoughts to “I’d Be Much More Popular If I Could Stop Talking”

  1. My 2nd grader has had the same boyfriend for two years. (!!!) He even pulls out her chair for her every morning. Sweet, but rather alarming. I laughed at the line “I like it when I talk.” At least he’s honest!
    .-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog ..For Love of Harriet =-.

  2. I’ve already had the eye roll and doors slammed with ‘I hate you Mama.’ Usually when I’ve done the unspeakable like suggest a snack, turn off the tv, or ask if she needs to go to the bathroom. And she’s four. I guess we’ll be ready for teen angst. If I survive.

  3. Haha! Well, at least now you know. You are not cool and never will be… I’m sorry was that a bit harsh? You know what? You ARE cool. You are so cool that right now your child can’t see it, or feel it, or anything. It’s like the high pitched noise only dogs can hear. So, you a very cool to dogs. I hope you feel better now.

  4. The sooner you realize that you won’t be cool to your kids, EVER, the better! I must admit, though, that now that my girls are in their late twenties and early thirties, I have achieved a modicum of credibility with them that I have never had before. So take heart. There may be a time in their lives when your children will give you a tiny bit of credit and perhaps some of the respect that you deserve! molly
    .-= molly campbell´s last blog ..TIVO WARS CONTINUE TO RAGE =-.

  5. My latest post is about the fact that my three year old daughter now has three imaginary friends created out of various body parts (her own feet and hand). This however does not stop her from still talking to me, all day long. I am not a naturally chatty type, quite content to think along silently or listen to others chat, so I often hear the cry “Mommy, TALK to me!” Maybe we can swap once in a while 🙂
    .-= Aging Mommy´s last blog ..Ode to Toodles =-.

  6. When I drop my 3 year old off at preschool, he takes my hand and says, “You go, Mama. I’ll show you the door.” I know this means that when I drop him off at college in 15 years, he’s going to take me to the door of his dorm room and say, “Leave, Mom, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. But don’t forget to send money!” It might be less humiliating if he would just pretend not to know me.

  7. Brings back memories…Like the time we had Dad’s night at his school with all the other kids and thier dads and the kids showing thier dads the works they do everyday and E walked me to the door and kissed me goodbye three times hoping I would leave…(as in 3 seperate times walked me to the door and told me to leave, not 3 loving kisses)…Awesome.

  8. You are cool. All moms are cool. You just have to judge by your own standards instead of allowing your children and their friends to judge you by theirs.

    Because I? I am a cool and happening and hilarious mom.

    Unless you ask my daughters, who, if they deign to acknowledge me at all, will tell you that I am desperately uncool and mortifyingly embarrassing to be around.

    Luckily, thick skin is way cool.

  9. You’ll never been cool to your kids, so you might as well give up that battle right now. My parents were actually much cooler than me in an effortlessly bohemian sort of way, but I didn’t realize that until I was well into my 20s. I thought they were uncool and embarrassing. You have to watch the movie “Blame it on Fidel”–a perfect illustration of how kids want to be the opposite of their parents.

  10. I’m with Stayathome, MD – you’ll never be cool to your kid. I have no such ambitions because I have an allergy to failure. So I’m aiming for visible. If she even sees me with all that’s happening around her, I’ll be happy 🙂

  11. Soooooo depressing. When it starts this young, what does that foretell for the teenage years? Are they going to demand their own trailers in the backyard and pretend not to know us, even when we are delivering them hot meals, car keys, and groceries?

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