Cats and lists

The other night my oldest daughter came downstairs holding her big kitty. It is stuffed, of course. I would never have a real cat in my house, because a) they are evil, and 2) my dog would kill it. My dog is a very sweet little thing that's friendly to everybody - but a cat shows up, and she's psycho dog from hell. But I really don't like cats, which seems to be the general feeling among posters on this blog. But my daughters LOVE kitties. "They are soooooo sweeet!" "We can put Maggie outside!" "Come on, Mommy, can't we bring this kitty home?" "Why can't we have a cat?" "Amy has a cat." And my personal favorite: "When I grow up and get my own house, I'm going to have a cat." And that is fine with me. When you grow up, do whatever you want in the cat department. Go ahead and discover the evils of all things feline. I'm pretty sure that now my oldest is compiling a list of things she's going to have when she grows up that her mean mother vetoes. Which reminds me - I wonder how I'm doing on the list of things I would always do/have when I grew up? You know, that magical time when nobody could tell me what to do anymore. My Non-Comprehensive List of: When I Grow Up, I Will: 1. Eat sugar cereal every day. Preferably Crunch Berries. (I actually do usually have Crunch Berries in the house now. I just really like them, though it's by no means my daily breakfast). 2. Not make my children take lessons of any sort. No dance lessons, no piano lessons, nothing that seriously cuts into their play time. (I have, of course, changed my mind on this one). 3. Make my children lunches every day, and those lunches will include all things COOL, including chips AND drinks. I will NOT tell my kids just to get water from the fountain, while all their friends pull out their groovy Capri Suns. (The irony in this one is that I actually began to do this - with water bottles to drink, because it turns out that Capri Sun=not so good for you - and then my daughter requested hot lunch, because NOBODY brings cold lunch to school. Sigh....) 4. Never be late. Ever. And I will NEVER pick up my children 20 minutes after everyone else has gone home. (I'm doing pretty well on this one. I am occasionally late, but it is by no means a chronic thing, and I do always pick my kids up on time). 5. Keep my house clean and organized. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) I have a friend who buys tons of fruit roll-ups because her parents would never buy them for her. I have another friend who spends too much money on cars because she was embarrassed at the clunker her parents always drove around. Not a financially wise decision, but a very emotional one. And one gal I know won't iron anything, ever, because her chore was to iron all the linens in the house, and she had to do it every week, and now the mere thought of ironing makes her ill. So I wonder if my daughters will turn into crazy cat ladies, with 30 cats around, just because they could never have one growing up. I wonder what they will hate and resent about how I raised them, and in what form it will manifest itself - i.e. massive amounts of fruit roll-ups in the food storage. Heaven help me. And heaven help all parents who mess up their kids without knowing it. So I guess that means - God bless us, every one.


Anonymous heatheroman said...

Mine was always "I will sleep as late as I want to."

My own mother says by the time you are at a point in your life where you can actually get all the uninterupted sleep you want and need, you are so used to being sleep deprived your entire life that your body has no idea what to do.


11/18/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

heh heh heh My daughters are the same way - they LOVE cats, and I'm allergic. We actually have a little problem right now. A few months ago we started noticing a little kitten around the house. My girls fell in LOVE with it. Turns out another family around the corner had purchased him, and apparently just stopped taking care of him. So, he wasn't our cat, but we felt bad that he seemed hungry, so we started feeding him milk and tidbits of this and that now and then. And so of course, we figured we’d better get a bowl to feed him. And then, since we had the bowl, we figured we might as well get him a little cat food. And we might as well leave the garage door open just a tad in case he was cold and wanted to sneak in and sleep on the little pillow thingie, which my husband bought one night because he said the garage floor looked cold. And ok, yes, we did get him a flea collar - but just because we didn't want our garage infested with fleas. Not out of concern for the cat, you know. But he ISN'T our cat, I swear! Except now it's starting to get cold and I'm not sure he'll survive in the garage. I don't know what to do. He can't come in the house because of my allergies. Can you give away someone else's cat? Anyone want a cute black kitten? I’m honestly not sure what to do. Maybe he can live in the basement. Is that mean?

Here’s my list: I will not try to control my children’s every waking moment. I will not lock the fridge between meals. I will not dress my kids in clothes from DI if I can afford not to. I will let my children stay up all night reading if they want to. (OK, maybe not that last one…) I’m sure my children will have their own list – in fact, I am sure there will be many issues to work out in therapy at some point.

11/18/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

My kid list included stuff like:

I will buy sugar cereal.
I will not have to wear hand-me-downs.
I will not have an orchard.
I won't punish my kids based on their siblings' problems.
I will have lots of money.

Good list! So far, I'm doing well on the first three. I only have one child who is only 1 and doesn't do much to get punished (except she figured out how to turn on and off the tv, sheesh that's annoying). Finally, I would rather be comfortable than totally loaded.

I love Heather's sleep comment. It is probably sadly true.

11/18/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

At present, I only have boys, but I suspect the baby I am currently carrying is a girl, and I am sooo afraid of the things I might do to mess her up!

Eating store-bought food was always on my kid list, because nothing is more embarassing when you are 10 than homemade graham crackers and home-dehydrated fruit leather. Now, man, I think that was cool! As far as sleeping in, Heather is right- it's just not in the cards. By the time you don't have kids waking you up, either as babies or as seminary students, you are beyond hope. And I hear when you get old, you need even less sleep, how ironic is that?!

11/18/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Suzie Petunia said...

Cats ARE evil! My neighbor (whom I love) lets her cats roam free ... and yesterday I stepped in cat poo AGAIN! At least they keep the mice away (?) I'm really trying to not let the cats get in the way of me liking my neighbor!

And every time I feel like cursing at one of the dozens of stuffed animals my daughter insists on "caring for" and leaving around the house, I try to feel grateful it is not a real, live, living, breathing, shedding and pooping animal.

11/18/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

Mine are kind of sad:

I will never move my kids around

I will pay my bills and never get my lights turned off

My kids will always have shoes and underwear

I will take my kids to the dentist early and the doctor if they need it

I was going to be everything my mother wasn't. But I forgot to do it nicely.

11/19/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous heather h said...

Oh I like this, I had forgotten that I had ever said those " Whne I am a grown up I will do..." things.

1. I think eating marshmellow creme out of the jar when ever I wanted was on the list. (I Ocassionally induldge myself in this pleasure)

2. I will never automatically side against my children. I will hear the facts BEFORE I cast judgement

3. I will listen to music LOUD in the car and will let my kid pick the station ( OK, I can only listen to Wheels on the Bus so many times before I have to find something else!- But I have been known to hit the replay button a few times in a row...)

Mostly I just wanted to make sure that my kids felt the love and acceptance that I feel my upbringing lacked. No matter what choices my children make, I want them to know I am their mother and will always love them- even when I don't agree with them.

11/19/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

Oh my. My list is long.

A) I would always treat my kids the same. No matter what.

B) I would never jump to conclusions.

C) Sleep overs would be everyweekend.

D) Never ever ever ever would my kids have to wear home made clothes.

E) I will NEVER critasize, chastize, humiliate, or punish my children in front of their friends.

Um.. hum... I wonder.. how AM I doing? *chuckle*

We don't allow sleep overs at ALL! And it didn't occur to me as youngstr that you can't treat your children the same, because they ARN'T the same.

Another thing I wonder...is WHO is this person that I call Mom. It can't be this caffine, candy toating creature who indulges every whim of my children.

Heather..so sad but true about the sleep.

I do have vauge...very vauge memories, of laying in bed late on Sunday mornings, when we had the afternoon block...before we had children. Oh how delicoius that was.

Maybe it was a dream...

11/20/2005 07:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Aside from the clothing, homemade bread and other things that seem fairly common, the first thing that came to mind was "I'm sure you'll make the right choice".

How come this phrase was only used when I was getting ready to do something my parents thought was categorically wrong? The first time I remember it being used was when I was about 12 or 13. A friend from where we used to live was visiting, and was only going to be there on Sunday, and she asked me to go horseback riding with her and her family in the mountains for the day.

At 13 years old I was old enough to see that this was a set-up, and a double standard. How come when we're driving from Houston to SLC we'll travel on Sunday, eat at McDonald's, and skip church in order to make our annual pilgrimage to Zion, that is an acceptable breaking of the Sabbath?

I honestly don't remember what I decided to do, but I do remember wanting to go, just to make the right decision for me, rather than what they said was 'right'. I bet I didn't go, though.

So, what I'm trying to say is that I want to give my kiddos a little less guilt about making choices for themselves, or perhaps acknowledging my own inperfection a little more? Yes, there is a double-standard. I don't always practice what I preach. Deal with it.

As an aside--I'm not a cat person, and my one child is horrifically allergic to all things furry. But even if she weren't, and thank heaven she is so I have the perfect excuse for no furry pets in the house, I would still despise cats the most, and here's why--they go with the little cat feet from the dusty cat box directly to the kitchen counter! Gag!

11/20/2005 05:11:00 PM  

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