It was the summer of ’69, my mother was at the wheel of our Buick Wildcat. My sister and I were fighting in the back seat and my toddler brother was rolling around, unsecured in the passenger seat. My mother was probably smoking a cigarette and coming off a gin and tonic buzz from an afternoon of sunbathing with the other stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood. The smattering of freshly squeezed limes always added an extra bright hue to our lawn each afternoon. It was the 60’s – this was completely normal. Back in the car, our sisterly scuffle escalated. We must have kicked the driver’s seat one too many times. At the speed of light, my mother could keep control of the car and simultaneously turn her hand into a windmill of slaps coming at us. While this was mostly a scare tactic, she could have used some Rose-Colored Mom Goggles.
Rose-Colored Mom Goggles is the term used to describe how a mother only sees the good in her children. It is mostly an excuse for not having to discipline your child. These are the glasses I prefer to wear on my peepers. Let’s face it. I am horrible when it comes to the subject of discipline. You name it – the dog, exercise, diet, chores and children. My sister even says it would be easier to discipline my daughter if she wasn’t so darn cute. Her corrective lenses would be known as, Rose-Colored Aunt Goggles. I have to admit, these too were worn by me around my nieces and nephews. But hey, my job is to be the fun aunt and turn the kids back over to their parents for discipline. At least that was my philosophy before I became a parent.
Rose-Colored Mom Goggles let you see the message over the action, eliciting more of an “awe, isn’t she adorable” response as opposed to a “go to your room for life” response. For instance, my daughter once drew with ink pen all over an off-white, slip-covered parsons chair. Her message of choice was hugs and kisses symbols (x’s and o’s). It’s not like she wrote “die sucka”. The other day she rang the doorbell and handed me a bouquet of freshly picked flowers that she, quite frankly, ripped out of the neighbor’s potted plants. And, her frequent habit of not speaking to others when spoken to is just a foreshadowing of that ventriloquist career on the horizon.
The above mentioned philosophy is especially sticky when dealing with the subject of foul language. This calls for the “Rose-Colored Mom Hearing Aid”. The first time a two-year-old drops the f-bomb is quite the quandary. For example, when my daughter couldn’t get comfortable sitting in her Winnie-the-Pooh pajamas with the feet in them, she shouted in frustration, “F*&^ing pooh suit!” Often when I stop myself short in a road rage rant, she finishes with, “Daddy would call that guy a jackass.” It’s hard for the adorable light not to go off when she whispers to you, while watching “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”, that she wants to “kick Burger Meister Meister Burger’s ass”. This next statement may make me sound like one of the “people of Walmart”. However, all you can hope for when a child happens to utter one of George Carlin’s seven dirty words, is that it is used in the correct context.
I’d better shine up my Rose-Colored Mom Goggles because I have to yank my daughter out of a playdate to go to a family dinner. The yanking will be followed by several Sergent Hulka-like commands for her to fix her hair, take a bath and brush her teeth. Frazzled, we’ll make our way to the dinner. I may be better off throwing back a few gin and tonics and lett’in the ol’ windmill fly – just as a scare tactic. Besides, our lawn could use a little extra greenery.