Parenting humor for moms who were children in the 80s. You’ll recognize many of the references and laugh right alongside me about parenting teens in the 21st century.
Parenting Humor that spans the centuries
As I’ve worked to wrestle the information about blogging, platform development, and social media into a package I could process, I told my kids I was going to write this post about being a two-space-girl in a one-space-world.
They thought I was confessing to weight gain, thinking I meant I needed two airline seats for my derrière.
No. It’s a throwback to typing class.
Typing class. You remember — when you sat in front of an electric machine (if you were lucky — my husband had to peck away on a manual) and practiced asdfjkl;
And then when it was time to end a sentence, you spaced twice after the period. Modern day kids have absolutely NO concept of this ancient practice, despite the fact they hit the space bar twice in their texts to get ending punctuation.
Two spaces is now archaic and a definite technology faux pas. No one has time for two when you can just use one.
#TBT ~ It’s deja vu all over again
But I’m not ancient nor archaic. In fact, I’ve always been ahead of the curve. My family was one of the first in our church to have a personal Commodore 64 computer in the home. We could string green DOT prompts all day long. And then we hooked a cassette tape player up to the machine and could even SAVE our programs!
My friends were jealous that I was able to type my senior research paper on an actual word processor. Being the daughter of a preacher had its perks. That nifty machine would hold 256 characters before spitting them out on the paper. So I could type them in batches, review, and then output.
While I was safely sending ink to the paper without errors, my friends were starting over from scratch when they made a mistake. Whiteout was outlawed by the time you were about to graduate, after all.
Speaking of being a preacher’s daughter, I practiced the art of twitter before anyone knew what it was. It was called condensing church sign slogans into less than 100 characters — or, er plastic letters.
And texting? We did that with calculators turned upside down. The girls were skilled at “hello” and “sillies” while the boys always opted for the word “boobies.” Please tell me someone reading this knows what I’m talking about. This goes beyond parenting humor.
I was always up with the latest. It’s probably hereditary as my mom (an antique dealer) was so ahead of the curve that when she began using eBay, she looked at every.single.item. there was. In one night.
Fast forward many years and I was the designated stalker for the Christian school where I was the development director. This new thing called My Space had come out and our students were using it to be, well… teenagers. But they were doing it on the great online frontier and we needed to understand what was going on at home that was infiltrating the culture at school. So they tapped the most technology-savvy administrator. Yours truly.
So clearly. Technology does not send me into a corner to suck my thumb while I shiver at the thought of bits and bytes. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, er I mean blog post. I found a cartoon that speaks in terms I can understand: coffee.
But this stuff moves at lightning speed. And after six months of trying to master it, I only feel more warped. I am coming to terms with the idea that I will never catch up.
Thankfully, I have my kids to guide me. Sometimes.
My oldest listens to my reasoning for why I do what I do and replies, “interesting.” One word. So many meanings.
But on other days, he works hard to explain it all using my brain language: stories.
He alerted us when the password keeper
he had lauded was unbreakable was hacked:
And when my new phone wouldn’t cooperate,
and I initially told him I would figure it out myself,
he sent this text:
My daughter, on the other hand,
keeps my head spinning
in a different direction:
There are things she says
that just scream for this response:
And then there’s the youngest. After months of me asking, “How was school” and her replying with two words or less, I found an article for parents on alternative ways to draw information out of your children.
I read it to her and the one she liked the most was this:
Ask your teen to pick an emoji to describe her day.
She was all over that. Score. I learned one of her love languages is emojis. Who knew.
Maybe I go a little overboard at times,
but hey ~ if a little is good ~
a lot must be great, right?
The good news is I’m not as bad as the typical #MomTexts. (Talk about parenting humor.)
So if that’s the norm, clearly, I am still way beyond the curve. Except for that last one on the video.
My son fusses at me for responding with “K.”
“How hard is it to add the ‘O’ Mom,” he says.
So I started doing that.
Just for him.
Because that’s the kind of mom I am.
So where it makes sense, I’ll conform, pivot, and adjust.
And I won’t hold to the past just for nostalgia’s sake.
I’ll let myself become the student in my children’s classroom and cherish the moments when they spend time to teach me.
I will use social media to further ministry and master what I can, but I won’t try to do it all and be everywhere.
I’ll enjoy parenting humor, even if I’m the source of the laughter.
Where there’s a case for efficiency, I’ll drop the space.
But I’ll never get on board with the idea that one is better than two.
Now if I could just get MY dad to stop trying to send texts using the voice-to-text feature …
that’d be groovy,
totally far out,
or maybe just like on fleek.
Launching teenagers into young adulthood is not for the faint of heart.
Parenting teens is hard.
You’ll be reminded you’re not alone in this stage.