Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why Are Parents So Stupid? (With an Appearance by the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Sometimes, it's hard to tell the truth to your kids. This is a fact that doesn't change, no matter how old they get.

I came home from school today and plopped down on the couch next to 21-year-old Jared, who was multi-tasking. He was watching ESPN, emailing, creating a spreadsheet for the fantasy league of which he is now the commissioner, and eating a late (!!) lunch of a frozen pizza. (I should have such a strenuous day. I had wrangled teenagers through American Lit. and suffered through a pulled fire alarm which sent all 2500 of us out into the streets during 37-degree weather and a persistent drizzle for 15 minutes of numbing cold. But, I digress.)
Suddenly, a preview for the new Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle movie interrupted us. "Feh," I said dismissively, once I saw the heavily shaded CGI graphics. "We saw the original back in the 80s. Live action, remember? You were just a little guy."

"What!? You must be kidding! I am pumped!" my son said. "I can't wait. This year is the Year of Jared, Mom. Do you realize that The Transformers movie is coming out, too? I loved the Transformers. I collected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers. I'll be reliving my childhood!"

"Jared. What the hell are you talking about? You never had a single Transformer," I said. "You and Sam owned every Turtle action figure ever made, but neither of you ever had even one Transformer guy. Seriously. Those came out way before you were old enough to play with them."

Jared continued to stare at me, dazed and openmouthed during this entire declamation. He looked as if I had just told him that there was no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, and that he was, in fact, adopted.

"You had these little toddler toys, like blocks, and they opened up on a hinge into people like a sailor and a policeman, but they weren't Transformers. Maybe you're thinking of those."

He blinked, still fishmouthed, and struggled for words. I waited. "Jared," I said. "Seriously. You never had any Transformers."

He took a deep breath and composed himself. Then, "Mom," he said. "You know absolutely nothing about my childhood."


  1. It it unfair, for you as a mother, to rip away childhood memories, shame on you! Who cares if they are figments of an overactive imagination!

  2. You know who loved the Teenage Mutuant Ninja Turtles more than anybody? Jackson. I can't remember if you had him as a student or not.

    In fact, I think I'm going to go buy one and send it to him in Iraq. I think he'd appreciate that.

  3. nina--yeah, I guess I shoulda let him have that, huh? but as a mother, it's important that I always be right. Especially after I worked all day. LOL.

    ih--Jackson? I don't think I had him because the name's not ringing any bells. But then, I am almost 48 and, as my mother so unhelpfully says so often these days, "almost 50!" It could be pre-Alzheimer's. Now, are you sure this Jackson did, in fact, love the Turtles and not the Transformers? Because, there seems to be some confusion occurring between the two...!

  4. See, this is why I don't read the bible. I'm convinced that there were people around at the time saying, "No no no! That's not how it happened at all! You're getting it all wrong!"

    History is in the eye of the beholder.

  5. Anonymous8:18 PM

    Har! I loved the last line. I can't wait to hear what the last 15 years have actually been like. ;)

  6. Anonymous6:40 AM

    lol, my son loved both of those as well, but his favorite was spiderman!
    i'd say your son had a secret childhood life that you apparently know nothing about, it usually happens when the kids are in their teens, not when they are little tykes. enjoy the movie, i'm assuming you'll be taking him, only this time, he can buy the popcorn.

  7. brookelina--history is indeed in the eye of the beholder. believe me, this is only one case in thousands in which my memory has diverged from jared's.

    not-faint-hearted--oh, my dear. you simply have to browse my archives to read the many charming jared-stories. he and i have had many, many encounters in which our "philosophies" have clashed.

    bsts--whether or not i accompany jared to this film is now the bone of contention in our home! he thinks i'm "ridiculous" and "a loser" if i don't go. perhaps i will, if only to keep up a running commentary in his ear about how this film is a big fat cheater for using CGI when the FIRST turtle movie used real actors in suits and had a memorable soundtrack. any opportunity to annoy...!

  8. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Memory plays weird tricks on us, eh? This reminds me of how my brothers and sister and I get into arguments over what did or did not happen when we were kids. All four of us can each come up with a different version of the same event, usually full of details the others swear did not happen. And I know that my version is right. I mean, I was there, right?! There must be something in those Transformers... you know, the toys you never threw out when he outgrew them. If only you had known how special they would become, heh, heh... :-)

  9. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Those little hinged block people had SECRET identities, Nance. YOu only thought they weren't Transformers.

    My son--no action figures or superheroes of any variety. He asked for and received Hunter Dan, which was Cabela's version of a GI Joe. He liked Hunter Dan's equipments (hunting knives, rifles!) but not Dan himself, who discovered Barbie that while E-Grrrl's Barbie was shallow and pretentious, she still kept him warm in the toy box at night, probably to make Ken jealous. Whatever.

  10. Anonymous6:34 AM

    OK, Blogger ate my second comment yesterday which declared that I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when I wrote my first comment. I'm simply a victim of words that flow faster than I can type or edit them. Apologies to the Department for my strings of gibberish. Trust me, this is NOT the fault of public education, and if Nance had been my English teacher, she would have insisted I always check my work TWICE before attempting to post it.

    Why does Blogger only eat my good stuff and not the junk food I shove in the comments box?

  11. O'tizz--Honest, Jared never had a single Transformer. He had Ghostbusters, Turtles, and all of their accoutrement, but not a single Transformer. Sigh. What is he paying you?

    V--Don't apologize. I hate Blogger's comment verification, too. I want so desperately to turn it off, but the AdBots strike and leave comments like "great blog. did you know you can save 6% on your mortgage if you go to" and it really frosts my cupcakes. I even have to verisign for my own freakin' blog. I still love you, and so does everyone else.

  12. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Nance: Oh, I wasn't siding with him. I know that you know that he never had a Transformer, and I do believe you. It just made me laugh because it reminded me of the arguments I get into with my siblings over "what really happened."

  13. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Hee Hee - just wait until he has kids of his own....then you shall be revenged.

    here via Mist1

  14. karmyn r--Oh, I know, I know. I've added it to a long list. Thanks for visiting the Dept., and I hope to ses you again.


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