If you're familiar with Dooce, you've heard her say that because she's crazy she doesn't hear and see things the way other people do. That someone can say something as innocuous as "Hi" and in her head, she hears something else...like, "I hate you." Yeah, I'm like that.
And I'm like that all the time, every day. And while I can carry on a perfectly normal conversation with you, and you will think I'm fine, but I hear something that for me, interprets to "I hate you, Laura, and also, you smell bad." I know, I know, that it's me and not you. I know that you think we're having a normal conversation and you have no idea that I'm dissecting every nuance of whatever it was that was said. I'm going over and over it in my head, hearing all the ways I am just not good enough to even be sitting this close to you, let alone presuming to talk to you.
So because I'm crazy, parenting has all sorts of room to reassure myself that I am, in fact, the stupidest person who has ever lived and shouldn't even be allowed to have spiders build their webs in my corners, let alone be in charge of raising a whole other person. For the most part, I manage to keep my crazy from impacting the midget too much. Because I know I'm crazy, while I will obsess over whether the midget will end up in a gutter somewhere, saying "If only I had a decent mother..." I also, am pretty good at keeping those fears to myself. Because, if I'm not careful, the midget will end up reassuring me (ME!). Which is not okay and is just going to lead into a whole other round of self-recrimination, that will lead to a downward spiral which will end with me sitting in a gutter...or throwing the midget into the gutter myself to prove to myself that I am, in fact, a horrible parent.
One of the most interesting (Did I say interesting? I meant mind-blowingly idiotic.) aspects of the crazy as it relates to parenting is that if I see someone on the television doing something stupid, I immediately wonder about how his or her parents feel about it. It's why, to this day, I can't watch Jackass or any of the stupid spin-offs spawned by it. Every time I see them doing those stupid, disgusting things, my inner mom thinks, "Please, please, for the love of all that is good in the world, let me be dead if the midget decides to ever do that and televise it."
It also leads to me telling the midget not to do things. A girl get bullied online in a Lifetime movie? Clearly this calls for an hour long discussion about what to do if she's bullied online, and what will happen if I ever find out that she's been bullying someone. And Teen Mom? Please. There isn't enough Xanax in all the world to allow me to sit through that one.
Needless to say, the midget is used to being instructed not to blow up buildings or dismember people or wear dirty underwear, just depending on what we're watching. However, I apparently offended her intelligence tonight. We were watching a show about BASE jumping, as I turned to her to say "Please, don't ever go BASE jumping." She got that look that all parents of adolescent girls know and hate so well and said "Really? Really, Mom? You're going to tell me not to go BASE jumping? Really? How stupid do you think I am?"
I couldn't decide whether to smack her or laugh....kinda like most moments with a 12 year old, really.