La La How The Life Goes On

Cluelessness is Not A Virtue

Posted on: January 14, 2013

I am a big believer in Brutal Honesty. Not the “you’re fat and your shoes are weird” reality TV version that confuses being an a-hole with truth-telling. I speak of the kind where you tell me if my zipper is down, my boyfriend is cheating, my breath is toxic, or my kid is being a first-class jerk. Because more than anything in the world, I fear being clueless. I don’t want to be The Chick With The Hellacious Breath. I don’t want to be The Woman With The Dirtbag for a Boyfriend. And I really don’t want to be The Mom Who is Clueless About Her Kids.

I have seen these moms and the idea of becoming them repels me. Lets discuss Steubenville, OH winner Michael Nodianos. He of the 12 minute video making hilarious, can’t-stop-laughing fun of the gang rape of an unconscious 16 year-old girl. I watched that video. I was nauseated by that video. And I told the BabyDaddy that if I ever had played a role in raising a human child who thought it was hysterical! Hilarious! So awesome! to laugh at the brutal rape and videoing of an underage girl, I would buy a gun. I would load that gun. I would put that gun in my mouth. I would pull the trigger and blow my brains out in shame for my role in the creation of this disgusting, awful creature now walking the earth. “But he was drunk! Peer pressure!” No. Sorry. I know plenty of guy-guys who drink until blotto. None of them get either rapey or jokey-about-rape. Because its not part of who they are at the core. And, if you listen to the voices off-camera you hear other guys saying, “hey, bro. That’s not cool.” This kid had ample social cover to stop being an evil bastard, but didn’t. Which goes to character. and which raises the question for me, vis a vis parenting: how do you raise this creature and not know? How clueless are you as a parent that your kid finds the violation of a young girl to be funny enough to joke at length ON CAMERA?! Did signs appear that you ignored? Or did you refuse to see them? I just want to know my child, for good and for bad, and I’d hope that anyone who saw my kid acting like an ass would tell me so I could kick that ass into next fucking week…BEFORE she has the kind of cesspool of a soul that finds violence on another human to be hilarious.

On a much less serious level, I’ve experienced this cluelessness volunteering for Bambina’s school musical. Kids with no respect, no integrity, no shits to give. And then the mom or dad arrive to school me or lecture me on how their child is being undervalued, underused, under appreciated. A-hole, your kid doesn’t listen, doesn’t participate, is openly rude to parent volunteers, and generally impedes the progress of this entire production. But YES please tell me how your precious snowflake should have more lines. Then go fuck yourself for being clueless. I did not collect and then lose your child’s script (as your child told you) . Your child lost his script. Why would *I* have your son’s script?! We don’t collect scripts because we assume 10 year olds can be responsible for some collated paper. But you go ahead and accept at face value the ridiculous story that a grown up has conspired to cheat your son out of an Oscar. Then go fuck yourself for being clueless. And when I speak to you about the fact that your child is disrespectful, be sure to find reasons why *I* am mistaken, again, even though no rational or logical reading of this situation would in any way support your child’s version of events. So do tell me how awesome your kid is…and then go fuck yourself for being clueless.

Listen, I do my children no disservice by acknowledging that they are human. Capable of lying to save their asses, of being mean, of lacking judgment. I do them no favors by pretending they are beyond reproach. I WANT to know my girls as they are. I want to love them as they are. I want to be the parent who sees it all and addresses it all. I want to assume the best of my kids…but because I’m not an idiot– check IDs regardless. Because my kids are no better or worse than any of us, and isn’t it better to know so that when I declare, “my daughter would never do that!” I’m actually speaking the rock solid truth rather than bleating out a lame defense that is laughable on its face?

It is not a failure of parenting to raise a child who makes mistakes and who needs to get checked now and again. As I remind Bambina, I still get checked at times by other adults for various things—and thank goodness! But it IS a failure of parenting to be clueless, intentionally or otherwise…especially when that failure impacts the lives of other kids.

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