Saturday, May 20, 2006

The drunken post (#1)

I keep writing this post, revising, erasing, starting over ...

I'm moved to post about the nature of mothers and daughters and what we owe, what we are obliged to, nay, entrusted with teaching our girls. Perhaps I'm touched by Moxie's ruminations on being the mom of two boys who will only ever be the dreaded MIL. Perhaps it's MacBoudica's thoughtful musings on the sad state of women the world over. Or the dozens of posts all over the blogosphere, some prompted by Mother's Day, some just random.

Honestly, though, It began with my uncensored response to one of the items in a meme passed on by Michele over at Mommycakes (I'll do the meme in a later post). One of the items was: "I HATE"

And now, aided by Jack Daniels, and in my own peculiar style, let me tell you what my answer is: (I swear I'm getting to the mother/daughter tie-in)

I hate helpless people.

Unfortunately this trait is oftimes exhibited by females. You know the one. She who simpers in the corner pleading ignorance: "I just don't know what to do ..." when anything short of changing channels on the telly or shopping for purses come up.

I can't stand this woman.

And should an emergency arise? Forget it. They live their lives in a permanent state of potential victim-hood: "I didn't know I had to put oil in it!" "I just had to wait until the plumber showed up!" "I had no idea I could get pregnant if he pulled out!"

Give me a f*&^$in' break.

Perhaps It's because I'm the flip side of the coin. Like my own Mum, I can make something from nothing. I can fix almost anything from a dead phone line to a broken heart. I'm the one they always called at work; "Get Blue, she can fix it" "Ring Blue, she'll come in and cover" "Blue will know what to do."

I'm sick of my status as The Fixer (my son, Boy, actually calls me that: The Fixer) but I am cool with it and I guarenDAMNtee you I want this for my baby girls. I want them to be Fixers. I want them to be Anti-victims.

It's a damned shame that women perpetuate this needy, helpless stereotype with their daughters. They pass on the status of I'll-just-wait-here-for-someone-to-rescue-me. *giggle*


Every female over the age of, oh say, 16 needs to:

-know how to open the hood on her car and check the oil and fluids! She needs to know how to sheck her tyre pressure. It's not that effin hard!

-know that if her toilet overflows how to reach behind and shut the water off!

-know the basic workings of her own unique female body (you would be stunned at the grotesque ignorance of some grown women I've read on various TTC/pregnancy boards - that's a whole post unto itself)

-know how to cook a meal for herself and another person - even if it's boxed mac and cheese with hotdogs cut up in (MacWeenies!)

-know how to balance her chequebook and understand how much debt she has on her credit cards and how BAD that is.

And so on and so forth ....

Are we hamstringing our litle girls? Making them delicate, dependent blossoms whilst preaching feminism? Instilling the message that you can be a doctor or a lawyer but isn't-this-outfit-cute? Teaching our girls that daddy and brother hunt and fix cars and mow the lawn ...

What are YOU teaching your baby girls, readers?*

For that matter, what are you teaching your baby boys?

I want ALL of my offspring to be able to cook, clean, mow a lawn, weed a garden, fix a lawnmower, change an alternator in an F-150 Ford truck ... Ok ... maybe I'm odd, but you get my drift.

*I realize that I'm preaching to the choir with many of my readers. I know that many of you are of the beat-'em-to-death-with-a-tyre-iron-and-serve-his-carcass-up-for-supper bunch and I love you and hope that my sons marry your daughters. Seriously. Arranged marriages work still, right?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:40 pm   11 comments


At 5:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad was a mechanic--when i got my first flat tire in high school, I called daddy. He came to my rescue (or so i thought) and actually watched me as i attempted to change my tire, offering no help. He told me to get the owners manual out and read. It took me 2 hours to do, BUT i did it!!! Looking back, i now know why he chose to do that; he was teaching me how to do it myself. How to get out of a "crisis."

I will definately teach my kids the same thing. I want them to not be afraid to learn how to do things whether it be to change a flat or cook a 4 course meal. And not to fold when things go the wrong way.

I have a sister-in-law who is this helpless person you describe. She does nothing. . .NOTHING--her husband even bathes her kids. She doesn't know how to put the car seat in the car, nor can she crank a lawn mower. Hell, she probably cannot even push one. She can push buttons on a telephone and that is it. She was a SPOILED ROTTEN little girl who married a man who continues to spoil her, and she has a spoiled rotten daughter herself. Could it be a vicious cycle? I hate it for them...

At 7:25 pm, Blogger Oak Spring farm said...

You hit a nerve here lady.

I hate them too, they seem to be rescued so easily. I am from a long line of can-do women, women who put roofs on barns, built sheds, ran tractors, drove trucks, all the hard stuff.

Who do the guys go for the whimpy pissy little can't do anything missy.
Crappers, I can do most jobs as well as some men and better than a few. Get out of the way I'll do it and guess what I get to do it. But when Friday night comes around guess who gets the call to go on a date?

Soooo, my point is & I have one, are we doing our girls a favor by turning them into can-doers? Or would they be better off being missy save-me?

I don't know I still like to do stuff just wish I got rescued more.
Of course at my age the poor guy might have a stroke or sum'thin :)

At 9:22 am, Blogger macboudica said...

Blue, my mom is a licensed plumber and steamfitter, so I still call her when the plumbing gets more than I can handle. But I do know how to turn off the water! Even the main wter valve to the house, change an alternator belt and a tire, check and add fluids as necessary to the car, etc. But you could probably guess that, right? Anyway, Mom is way better at welding than I am. You should have seen the screwdriver they made me make in high school--pitiful!

But that is not the point I wanted to make. It is not only our girls that are helpless!I have a teen aged daughter and step-son here. My step son just came to live with us the beginning of this school year, and he is USELSSS. He even asked me how to make instant pudding! There is nothing easier than that. He has no initiative, no motivation and no real life problem solving skills whatsoever. He will be sixteen this fall and it is scary to think that he is almost "grown up" (much scarier to think he will be driving soon--if he can ever get his grades up to B's, but so far he has been too lazy). I swear his mom ruined him, probably by either doing everything for him but more likely because she is a control freak who programmed him not to be able to do anything, because he can't do ANYTHING.

My point is that it happens to boys, too. I really think it is due to spoiling, giving the kids all sorts of junk and not teaching life skills or encouraging them to think for themselves. Since my daughter was able to talk, every time she comes to me with a problem, or when she was younger and was having a tantrum, I would tell her to calm down and I would coach her to think it through (I even make her look up words in the dictionary--I know! please contain your shock). I would never (OK rarely anyway) solve it for her, but I would act more like a sounding board. Granted, it takes more time that way. The problem isn't solved instantly as it would be if I just did it myself. But I tell you what. My daughter, this prissy phase she is going through aside, is one clever, tough girl and way more capable in an emergency than my step-son. Yet, like an earlier commenter mentioned, the boys stay away from her (thank God!!!), while all her friends are already dating. And my step-son, useless as he is, is apparently a chick magnet. Go figure. I guess all a girl wants, all a girl needs is someone they can take care of (sickening).

I apologize for hijacking your comments, but my point is that maybe girls/women are more capable than they let on? Maybe they hide their capable side because it is not cool? And maybe boys/men are not as capable as one would think? Maybe men really need women to make them look good? Who knows.

At 9:30 am, Anonymous Contrary said...

Actually, I'm sending my daughter to college to get her MRS.

(please don't beat me up Blue, I was joking!)

At 9:35 am, Blogger macboudica said...

Hi, it's me again!

I forgot to mention that my nephew, my sister's son, who is six now is growing up just like my step-son. Totally incapable, winey, and basically useless. It could have something to do with my sister and brother-in-law-to-be-someday do not believe in discipline (any discipline at all makes my sister feel guilty, even taking toys away). I don't know. All I know is that That Kid Is Spoiled Rotten(except when auntie Mac is watching him).

At 10:06 am, Blogger Sharpie said...

I say AMEN sister!! Teach them to be independent and DO stuff for themselves. Imagine that!!! LOVE the post!!

At 10:46 am, Blogger Michele said...

JUST got off of the phone with my sister before I read this and I am loudly cheering "GO BLUE!".

I have no patience with helpless. NONE. Even if we only have boys, they will be raised to know how to take care of themselves and to avoid prima-donna-do-nothings.

My sister and her husband are raising four gorgeous, responsible kids in a very chi-chi community. Her kids have chores, daily and weekly jobs that they are responsible for, with no excuses or back-talk. In her chic community, it is such a novelty that kids have chores that their friends affectionately (I think) refer to their home as "boot camp". I think parents who dont raise their kids with responsibilities are doing a disservice to their children.

At 11:12 am, Blogger Zach & Brie's Mom said...

My hubby and I often fight over who gets to fix stuff, since we both like the sense of accomplishment so much (except for changing oil and car stuff- he's the mechanic so I let him). I will totally teach my daughter and son how to take care of themselves and a house and a car.

I will regale them with the story of how I saved a bachelorette party by swapping out the toilet tank innards when one of the party-goers broke the handle off the toilet.

At 1:19 pm, Blogger amyesq said...

Oh yes! *clapping* I couldn't agree with you MORE! I want to puke when I hear about helpless women. Just the other day, my mom was telling me that when my grandfather died, she and her sisters had to teach my grandma how to WRITE CHECKS! Can you believe? Granted it was a different generation and all but I swear some women deliberately remain helpless. And it makes me so frustrated that they don't control their own lives. My girls will know how do everything for themselves.

At 2:28 pm, Blogger Johannah said...

Oh Yeah!

I have a secret war going with my MIL, who is trying hard to turn DD5 into a girly-girl who bats her lashes at boys if anything is remotely technical/mechanical/dirty. The last time she pulled that crap in front of me I told her, "suck it up and deal sister" and MIL almost keeled over dead on the spot. Felt Good.

When my gandfather dropped dead of a heart attack at age 60 we had to teach my grandmother to write checks, drive, and put the chain back on in the toilet tank. My girl ain't gonna be like that.

MIL hates it that we take her in the wrecker, especially when I drive, and really had a cow when I said we were teaching her to weld as soon as the helmet fits her. Hee hee.

Oh, and my two best friends have 16 y.o. daughters who got the first deer of the season the last two years in a row, so that's what her role models are like so far.

And just to be fair, my boys know how to clean a house, shop for groceries, do laundry, cook a meal, and soothe or entertain a child.

At 3:31 pm, Anonymous Erin said...

I only have the one son, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be like my husband's mom. J's mom was a SAHM who is OCD (literally) about cleaning. She still does our laundry and makes the bed while we visit them. J somehow managed to figure out how to do his own laundry in college, but if we hadn't gotten married, he would have either a) starved, or b) subsisted on nothing but ramen and vienna sausages.

I've spent the 7 years of our marriage convincing him that a good marriage involves both partners cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the child. To be fair, he was more than willing to learn these things--but I should not have had to be the one to teach them to him!

On the flip side, he's taught me to change a tire, change light bulbs in the van, and has been more than supportive of my DIY tendencies. I can wield a circular saw with the best of them ;-)

My son will grow up knowing how to cook, clean, do laundry, maintain his car, balance his checkbook, and know when and who to call if things really are too big for him to manage. I refuse to raise him to be dependent on me forever. One of my biggest goals when we had him was to raise an independent, thoughtful, and loving man. So far, he's thoughtful and loving--and at 2 1/2, he's surprisingly independent already. I feel like we're doing OK so far!


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