How did this happen?
I truly thought that one of the reasons people decide to have kids is to right all of the wrongs their own parents did to them. I'm not saying my folks were terrible at raising me; nothing could be further from the truth. But there are so many things that I do with L.E. that come straight from that house in suburban Pittsburgh where I lived the first 19 years of my life.
I pick at her. I'm constantly pushing her hair out of her face and wiping her nose. After almost two weeks with my mom constantly saying, "Wipe her nose. Push her hair out of her face."I now know exactly where that comes from.
I try to have entire conversations with T from the opposite end of the house. While yelling. He hates it. But my dad, on the other hand, will encourage the yell-a-thons.
When L.E. cries, my immediate instinct is to get her to stop crying. This usually means bribery like a story or Yo Gabba Gabba episode. Boy did L.E. learn that her Mee-Maw and Pap-Pap were even more easily manipulated. They got her to stop crying by putting on a Disney movie or giving her M&Ms. I'm trying desperately to get her off the candy right now but she has turned into a chocolate junkie who is obsessed with Toy Story 3.
I grew up in a loving household where a show of affection meant putting each other down in a light-hearted way. Dad calls Mom "Flea-Brain." I've been called an air-head more than once.
My husband and I call each other "Dumbass" on occasion.
We didn't discuss our feelings. Unless we were angry. Then we yelled.
I yell a lot when my parents are around.
Dad has an uncanny ability to pretend he can't hear so he can tune us all out. Even with all the yelling.
I do this, too.
They still bring up my most embarrassing moments of my childhood like when I sat down while playing goalie during soccer because the game was at the other end. (Nobody bothered showing me how to play soccer before then. I was six.)
I use a photo of L.E. with underwear on her head as my Facebook profile pic. I exploited her to try to win free sandwiches for life. I'm sure if the internet was around when I was a kid, my dad would have tried to win free sandwiches by filming us dancing.
Of course, there are really great things about my parents. My love of cooking comes from them. So does my inability to cook for just two people; every meal my mom made could have fed an army.
My mom's sense of style is amazing. The outfits she buys L.E. are unreal. I remember how well she dressed me when I was little and I know my innate sense of fashion comes from her.
My dad is hilarious. He can crack a joke without even batting an eye. I'd like to think I'm just has funny as he is. If I'm even close, I'm doing great.
We're way into sports. Watching a Pittsburgh sporting event with all of us is intimidating if you're new to the family. Have I mentioned how much we yell?
The funniest part about my parents being here is how different they are as grandparents compared to parent. L.E. does not know what the word "no" means if it's being uttered by Mee-Maw or Pap-Pap. I heard it plenty growing up.
They let her eat popcorn for dinner. I never could have even remotely suggested it.
But that's not to say I haven't made it for myself for dinner every now and then.