Badass mamas represent yo
I still clean out my ears with cotton swabs. Something, like riding in the front seat and lead paint, that has gone out of fashion since my youth. If the children catch me sticking cotton-tipped lollipop sticks in my ears I say, "You shouldn't use these in your ears, they are for grown ups." Yep, condoms and cotton swabs, for grown ups only.
But, oh, those lovely swabs.
And-this was so fun-remember bench seats in cars? I could slide an easy two feet on a turn when Grandma got me strapped in next to her in the old sedan. Even seat belts were a joke then. I'd be in her lap if I had my polyester pants on.
When I wasn't being flung side-to-side in my unnatural fabrics on Naugahyde, I was fiddling with the cigarette lighter. Remember that torture stick? It was the in-car entertainment before handheld gaming. How close could I get my hand to that red hot spiral? Feeling really lucky? Touch that sucker when the red fades to gray again.
Children's cough medicine, aspirin crushed up in a spoonful of OJ, Michael Jackson. We lived on the edge back in the day. A nation of reckless youths riding on BMX bikes without helmets, without knee pads, without our retainers in.
We didn't worry about BPA in our Coke bottles as we washed down a packet of Pop Rocks and looked the devil in the eye, daring him to explode our foolish heads like Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials.
I ate eggs when they were not incredible and edible, but considered the seat of demon cholesterol. I ate mini ravioli-out of dented cans. Botulism, the supermarket killer.
I played with yard darts, mother truckers.
But my kids? They're soft. They have helmets for bike riding, three-stage, convertible car seats for carpooling, grapes and hot dogs skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces.
But this isn't going where you think it is. I don't want to hop on the "kids these days" bandwagon. No ranting about my days running through the 'hood like a parentless hooligan. I'm happy to have my kids under the thumbs of myself, the NTSB, and "caution: coffee is hot" product recalls.
In my house, where my kids can already program the DVR but can't tie their own shoes.
In my house where my kids kick my ass at Guitar Hero even though they can't spell guitar and don't know what hair bands are . . .
In my house where new math renders me incapable of helping my second grader add two, three, and four digit numbers . . .
Those cotton swabs and my knowledge of the cigarette lighter as more than an outlet for charging a Nintendo DS are the only claims to my badass status.
How you like me now, offspring punks?