Can the words cool and mom co-exist?

Growing up I remember this one mom who seemed like the coolest woman on earth. Most of the time she looked like she had just wrapped up a cover shoot for Vogue. Her hair and make-up were always perfect. She had the body of a twenty year-old, and there was no subject that seemed too awkward or taboo for this woman to tackle. Even at the age of twelve, I knew that’s the kind of mother I wanted to be when I grew up.

I just recently figured out that I most likely will never be anything remotely resembling cool to my own daughter. If you have a child, then you probably know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, take some notes so you won’t be sent reeling when your six year-old looks at you like you’re a hopeless idiot.

Misery loves company though, and at least I’m not suffering alone. My sister-in-law works overnights at a TV station in Indianapolis. Her schedule is one of those self imposed sacrifices we mothers make so we can be there for our kids when they get home from school. Last week her daughter looked her square in the eye and asked if she had sunglasses on. Perplexed… my bare eyed relative asked her what she was talking about. Her daughter said she was just trying to figure out why there were big dark circles around her eyes. That’s not a punch line. She was serious. This is the moment as a mother when you want to scream… “It’s YOU kid! You’re the one causing the dark circles under my eyes!” Like the rest of us, she bit her tongue and changed the subject instead.

My daughter… though a little less direct… does manage to make me feel like a fashion invalid. She critiques my wardrobe and hair with the enthusiasm of a Hollywood stylist, and reacts like the soup Nazi if I don’t take her advice. Sadly, I must admit that some of the things she puts together are an improvement. And all this time I thought she was flipping through People magazine for the articles.

You would think that being on television might earn me at least a few brownie points. I know doing the news isn’t necessarily cool, but at least it’s different. Plus, I practically share a desk with the most famous penguin on the planet! Despite her massive collection of Snowbird slippers, beanie babies, cookie jars, watches, nesting dolls, stuffed animals, and lunch boxes… none of it has garnered anything more than a weak, “thanks mom” before quickly redirecting her attention back to the latest Wizards of Waverly Place episode. Doesn’t she realize people are in bidding wars on E-bay over this stuff?

I’ve finally reached the conclusion that it’s OK for her to think I’m a complete dork. The reason I’m not cool to her is because most of the time I’m the one who ends up having to be the bad guy. Someone has to step up to the plate and tell her that she’s not wearing the child sized stilettos and a tube top out to swing no matter how much she begs. Someone has to teach her that Red Bull isn’t a good bedtime snack even if Brittney DOES mix it with Vodka and feed it to her boys through a baby bottle, and unfortunately you have to do your homework and pass your spelling test if you want to live the lavish lifestyle of Paris Hilton. Another words… the inheritance will be sparse.

Now that I think back on it, the mother I admired so much as a child wasn’t mine, and fifteen years from now… even Hannah Montana’s kid will one day look at her like she’s an alien from another planet.

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2 Responses

  1. Stilettos & tube top! Hilarious. My 15 year old fashionista came into the bedroom one night while I was packing for a business trip. On the bed, I laid out a sport coat/pants and two suits. She said, “I thought you were going to be gone for 3 days.” I said, “I am. I’ll wear the sport coat on the plane tomorrow, the blue suit Tuesday and the gray suit Wednesday on the flight back.” Her mouth flew open in a half-yawn with her eyebrows raised so high I thought for a moment they were part of her hairline. She almost sounded frightened when she said, “You mean you’re only taking what you PLAN to wear?” I thnk it’s pretty cool the thought, time and skill-set that girls put into fashion–as long as I don’t have to pay for it.

  2. The saying I’ve always heard is “Like everyone else’s mother but your own” or something to that variation is what my mother told me growing up…I could never understand why everyone LOVED my mom, she’s goofy and will do whatever it took to embarrass me, without even thinking. If my mom was on TV, though, I’d think she was cool!

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