Friday, October 30, 2009

Parents Just Don't Understand

Most of you know that the kids and I have moved in with my parents to weather this economic crisis. Griffin and Molly are overjoyed. They get an acre to run around, chickens, a dog, a big house, multiple TVs, computers, and toys. Plus, dinner on the table every night at 6:00 with their grandparents. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Not so much.

Let me start with the good stuff. I'm living here rent free! My parents ask for NO MONEY in exchange for feeding, clothing, and housing all three of us. Oh, and they gave me a cell phone too. And I'm not the one who has to make that 6:00 dinner every night; it's only my turn two nights a week. I do get along with my parents superficially. We don't stray into any deep conversation, but we watch Survivor and The Amazing Race together. As long as I stay agreeable, everything runs smoothly. But here's the hitch: I'm not always agreeable. I know, you're surprised!

When I moved back in my parents informed me that I would be living under their rules, which is fine. It's their house. But what they failed to mention was that these rules would be the same rules that I lived under when I was SIXTEEN! Whatever they ask me to do, I must respond, "OK, Dad" or "OK, Mom," otherwise the shit hits the fan. That means any chore, at any given moment. It also means that they can do whatever they want. For example, my dad makes breakfast every morning and then leaves for work. I come in and the coffee supplies are out, the peanut butter, jelly, whatever. If he gets home later and it's his night to cook, I hear, "Jen, the kitchen needs to be clean for whoever is cooking that night." What? Then clean up, you stupid old man! They go out and get high on the front porch and the chips and bottles will stay out there for a week. I leave my mail on the table for an afternoon and I'm "not picking up" after myself. "OK, Mom." They gave me the cell phone so that I could check in and tell them where I am and when I will be home. If I don't, you better believe they'll be calling me. Here's the icing on the cake. They are both in their 60s and my dad has had a minor stroke. They both have NO MEMORY. So I'll tell them what I'm doing and they don't remember anyway! We've lived here four months and they still don't know what nights the kids are with Angus! Every fucking week, "Where are the kids?" ARGH!

LOL. I know, I know. I should shut up and deal with it. On the scale of things, I don't have it bad. I know people whose relationships with their parents are waaaaaay more fucked up than mine (I'm talking to you, Pitrey). But I'm feeling particularly crazy about it right now because on Monday we all leave on a five day trip to Disneyland. My mom got it into her head that my children "deserve a wonderful memory." What, taking them to eat at the pizza place with a playland is not good enough? So she booked flights and four nights at the actual Disneyland hotel. "Oooh, Jen. There's a Rainforest Cafe at the hotel! We HAVE to do that!" Holy Jesus, please help me!

I'm not sure why I am dreading this trip so much. It's an amazing thing, right? Except, it just one more thing that I HAVE to be grateful for. I have to be giddy about it or else I'm a bad daughter. What woman would be giddy about this trip? I'm the one who has to do all the packing. I'm the one who have to keep the kids on good behavior during their sugar fueled death march through the Magic Kingdom. I'm the one who has to be polite and make conversation with two kids and two grandparents for five days. I don't have anything to say to ANY of them! Oh my God. Listen to me. I'm full of shit. The kids are going to have a fabulous, ridiculous time. My parents are paying for everything. I'm sure I'll have fun. And I'm sure I'll gain back five pounds.


  1. "...sugar fueled death march through the Magic Kingdom." That's good enough to apprentice.

  2. The good news is you do a lot of walking at Disney, so maybe it will only be 2 pounds. I'm not sure there is any adult alive who could move back in with their parents after living on their own and find it easy. You may not be paying rent, but you're paying. Look at it that way - the cost of staying there is the the biting of your tongue. Could be worse.

  3. Marsha! That's awesome! Please fix the punctuation first. I think there should be some hyphens in there. :)

  4. I'm so putting that on my Cycle 3 study guide... :D