My children have decided they are now raising me instead of the other way around. I don’t know how this happened, but it could be due to a dangerous amount of self-esteem.
For example, they are extremely attentive to my health. Just the other day, the Son Who Apparently Is Now My Father suggested that perhaps I should have my ears checked since I can’t hear him whisper from across the couch. I may have been wrong about it being a whisper because his sister asked him to please stop yelling.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” my son said soothingly. “I’ll take you to the ear doctor as soon as we can get an appointment.”
He also worries that I have not met my developmental milestone related to mastering the TV remote control independently.
Wanting me to have the best education possible, my children have taken it upon themselves to regularly advise me on things I haven’t learned yet, like how to text using all of the appropriate abbreviations. It also seems that I need to cut down on my gif-sending habit. “Just use your words,” they say.
“I’m not a toddler,” I remind them.
Another phone tip: leave shorter phone messages. “No one wants to hear all that,” my daughter tells me with a stern look. Also, I’m supposed to text people and ask if calling them at that given moment is OK. “Good manners are important.”
“Let it out – it’s healthy to talk about it,” my son croons knowingly when he sees I am feeling down. He puts his arm around me and it’s déjà vu, only the other way around.
If I’ve lost my cell phone in the house again and a kid hears me curse and possibly throw a pillow across the room, they’re concerned. “There are exercises to do to improve memory,” the boy says. When I roll my eyes, he adds, “You seem really tense lately. You should see a therapist about that. Also, your pillow landed on top of the stove and now you’ll have to clean it.”
He must have secretly taken a parenting class that addressed giving logical consequences.
“Remember to flush,” my daughter says, because she noticed that I forgot one time. Later, she suggests that I not put my lettuce seedlings on the floor of the car because the dirt may spill out. “You might want to be careful with those.”
Also, I should invest in the stock market, go outside and get some fresh air, stop worrying and watch this or that TV show because “it’s educational.”
With reverse parenting on the rise, I often forget who the parents are in the family. I think one of them is me, but with all the care and advice I receive, who can tell?
Pam J. Hecht is a writer, instructor and mother of two (but not necessarily in that order). Reach her at [email protected] or pamjhecht.com.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Pam J Hecht jokes about reverse parenting in latest “Funny Business”