I have always known that I am an older-kid-type-person. I taught high school biology back in the day. I loved my freshmen. They were awkward and squirrely, still malleable and adorable. They were uncool enough to be able to talk to. They were fun.
I have also always been a little mystified by babies. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I can't for the life of me understand why people just want to keep having them. I love to hold them, and pat their little diaper-covered bottoms, smell them after a bath. But that not sleeping part is sheer torture for me. I remember the nights of tucking my kids in, and as soon as they would hit that crib mattress, they started crying again, and then I'd be crying again and I'd be sure that I was never ever ever going to sleep again, boo hoo hoo, boo hoo hoo.
Believe me, I harbor serious mom-guilt that I was not better at handling those first six months. I wish I could do it all over again and be less stressed, be more Zen, but I can't so, yeah. Moving on.
The older my kids get, the more I enjoy them. There is this sick, twisted part of me that looks forward to the junior high and high school years. I know we will have some bumps in the road, but I'll be able to talk to them. They will be people, with personalities and brains that can process more than "Elmo loves you!" or "Why? But Why?"
I really do have a point. As the kids got older, I started to introduce them to some of my favorite movies as a way to keep myself sane. In hindsight, this may not have been the wisest choice. JJ let KJ watch Army of Darkness when KJ was 3 or 4. (In JJ's defense, he only let KJ see parts, but when your three-year-old is walking around saying, "This is my BOOMstick!" you get some strange looks). KJ was an early and fantastic talker.
Not long after Keebles was born, I was at Wal-Mart with the kids getting some retail therapy, perhaps looking for other adults to talk to. Remember, I willingly admit that the early years were not my best as a mom. One of my favorite things to do was to fish in the $5 bin for old movies. Lo and behold, one day I came across Ghostbusters. I probably hadn't seen it in 20 years, and I remembered it as funny and harmless, so I bought it and watched it with KJ. In my defense, he was only mildly terrified of Slimer.
Not long after that, KJ got Men in Black as a gift. He was probably 5 or 6. Of course, I let him watch it. It's hilarious.
We added the Star Wars six-ology to the repertoire. I would not allow KJ to watch the end of Revenge of the Sith because he loved Anakin so much. I was worried about how seeing his hero become Darth Vader would affect his psyche. See? I do have limits. Then we added in the Indiana Jones Trilogy. I made them cover their eyes when the faces melted off at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and when the heart got ripped out in Temple of Doom. But they needed to see these movies on order to be culturally literate elementary students. How else would they ever understand the meaning of, "You cheat, Dr. Jones!"
As time went on, the movies they liked got to be ones I could watch without stabbing myself in the eye. We replaced Elmo and The Wiggles with Pixar movies and other computer-animated movies. We had reached an equilibrium.
Now they are older (12 and almost 10.) A few months ago, they saw the edited-for-TV version of Happy Gilmore. They walked around quoting it, saying, "The Price is Wrong, Bobby." And they laughed. I was dying though: they were quoting it wrong. So, I broke down and let them watch the real version, because I couldn't let them be the only two kids in North America who didn't know what Happy really says, "The Price is Wrong, Bitch." Not that they understand the reference, but still.
Tonight, I let Keebles watch The Cutting Edge. It's only PG, so I felt pretty safe. Now I am fairly certain I have ruined her idea of romance for the rest of her life. She's going to have to take up figure skating so she can fall in love with some washed up hockey player turned figure skater. That's going to be costly.
Before you think I am the worst mom ever, I still won't let them watch anything R-rated. KJ's friends can't believe he hasn't see Wedding Crashers or Bridesmaids or The Hangover. I don't let him play any rated M games. It affects him socially. His buddies have all seen the movies and play the games. They laugh and talk about them and he is left out. But I won't budge. Not while he's still a pre-teen.
We will see how this all turns out. I never ever brag about my kids. I feel like it is in poor taste. That's something for grandparents to do. I will say this. I am proud of them and how they have turned out so far.
But I suppose I could always end up paying for therapy later.
P.S. Because I hate having posts without pictures...here's another way I am ruining them. I served root beer floats in real beer mugs. Gasp!