The moments when you realize you have turned into your mother are cliched, but catch you off guard none the less. I had my pants around my ankles and was daintily applying toilet paper strips to the white seat in the stall at work when I had the realization. This was something she does. And this was something I never thought I would do. I always thought I would be a squatter. Until it got to be too much. And I began to wear heels all the time. And I began to drink my eight ounces, so my urine streams down like an unending river that no amount of squats can prepare my quads for such a workout. So I sit, just like she does.
We try to be good parents and swear we won't do things like them. Especially in those tear induced moments when we are crying so hard we can't breathe or see straight. When we scream out, "I hate you", not realizing how harsh that is to say to a parent. If mine ever say that to me and who am I kidding, because they will, I will most surely join them in the tear fest. But then you have to be butch and realize they don't mean and they will regret it if not now, then in 15 years when they realize it was hormones and adolescence. And that we, as parents, really try our best. And that when we swore not to do it like they did, we actually don't mean it at all since they not only did the best they could, but they did a pretty damned good job.
I am clearly ahead of myself as I have not birthed an individual. But I know, and predict, and sense, and have been on the giving end of the parent rage. And I consider myself a mother to the little beagle who inhabits my space. We try our darnedest to be good to her with the understanding that we want to spoil the crap out of her. She is a freaking dog after all and deserves to be loved and cuddled, especially after spending the first six years of her life abandoned. But there is a time when that bites us in the butt. When she pushes and pushes and really never stops peeing on the carpet. We try to discipline and try to scold. But you truly cannot teach an old dog a new trick. And you can't teach a beagle a damn thing since they are more stubborn than, well, than me. And I am an Aries litigator. That bitch will not back down. The more we try the worse it becomes. We have baby gated her into the section of the house with tile. Because tile is easier to clean piss out of than carpet. She takes this as an open invitation to pee. Every day the same place. Now she refuses to go behind the baby gate and will no longer accept a bribe of cookies and Dent-a-Bones. She whines and stares and asks in her Ginger voice to not be caged in. And what can we do? It only makes her pee more. Which is the opposite goal we were looking for. And she throws the "I am so very cute" card our way and we cave. After a debate that consists of such compelling and strong arguments as,
"Do you want to lock her up?"
"I don't know. Do you?"
"We probably should, but she is just so cute."
"I know and I just feel bad for her."
We are bound to eventually give in. So much for our disciplinarian techniques. Are we doomed to fail as parents as well? Or do you just get over the cute and scold and reprimand when necessary so you don't raise hellions? You have to wonder if dogs are truly different than babies. Sure the snarky answer is clear, but are they? I have heard that raising a dog together is excellent (though not quite complete) training for child rearing. So really does that mean I will have spoiled little snots? I know we will try our best to succeed and put in place rules and regulations. But life takes over and they are our kids. It gets messy and in the end we want to just give them unconditional love and support. We want them to know that and pass it along. The best we can do is draw from the tools given to us by our parents. Instilled with their love and coddled with their vision and passion, both good and bad. They tried and failed at times, but more often than not the love was what shone through. Those ideas they used and taught us with are actually quite valuable. In so many varied ways. Teaching us the tools to be a good person and a great parent. Just like they were. So when they creep up on us while sitting on the john, we know it is a good thing that we may be turning into our mothers. Since they did an excellent job with us giving us the means by which to do a good job with them. Even if them is a seven year old slightly overweight beagle with an irritable bladder.
Well, I clearly have no room to offer advice, now do I? After my recent beagle tirade, I came home to puke and poo in Sierra's baby-gated laundry room area, so now I have no idea what's going on with her. Oy.
The only dog I ever had I was terrified of so got nothing for you on that one. The other day I found myself folding and flattening plastic bags so I could throw them out...mid fold/flatten I realized my mom does that so I balled them up and threw them out. So rebellious am I.
There are so many things thatI find myself doing and I stop and thing..holy crap, I'm becoming my mother.
Enjoying your blog!...great writing.
The things we do for dogs, I tell you. Before my dog, I would have never believed I'd make all the concessions I do. Now, it's second nature.
As for becoming our mothers, I see it more all the time. Yet another thing I wouldn't have believed just a few years ago.
I am ok until I start drinking a quart of gin every day...then I will know that I am my mother;-)
AM: I know (or can imagine to know) what it must have been like growing up - but that comment made me laugh. You have been given a "different" perspective on the mother thing.
Some of us do crazy things for our cats too...but then that is what turns us into crazy cat people. Why are you guys never crazy dog people?
In the last couple years I have found myself doing things like my Mom too. Some bother me cause they were weird...others I'm kinda glad I do.
Heh--my mom does that toilet-paper-on-the-seat thing too.
First time on the blog, thought-provoking post. You know what they say "you marry someone like your parents".
My sister and I were arguing the other day and in response to her childish behavior, I uncontrollably said: "You disappoint me." Instantly, I grabbed my mouth. She, mouth open, pointed in disbelief, saying, "You are turning into mom." I, just as dumbfounded, immediately begged, "I take it back, I take it back." We both laughed, and then fell silent. The fight was over; we had more serious matters to tend too: I was turning into our mother.
ps. loved the post.