Why is it wrong to call you a dinosaur?


cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by williamcho

“Mom, Bryan’s on the phone and he says his mom wants to know if you’ve already turned 50!”

This is how I was greeted this morning as I came down the stairs.

“Mom! I told Bryan I think you’re older than 50 and his mom says that if that’s the case, they want you to join their support group!”

Support group?

I paused midway in my descent and asked, “Support for what?”

“Bryan, my mom’s asking what your mom’s supporting.”

I couldn’t believe the young man expressing himself like a five-year old was going to be a college junior in the fall.

“Mom, Bryan says his mom’s organizing a support group for women with menopause and wants to know if you want to join.”

Menopause? Dear Lord, had I already reached that stage in my life?

“Honey, I’m nowhere near fifty so tell Bryan to call back in fifteen years. Better yet, tell Bryan he shouldn’t be making this type of phone call. His mom should be the one calling me!”

“Bryan, my mom’s in denial again. Tell your mom to save her a spot in case she accepts reality and wants to attend.”

And so went my morning.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sick and tired of my children thinking I’m some prehistoric animal.

Yes, a couple of dreadful gray hairs have made an appearance, but this hardly qualifies me as a nursing home candidate.

Yet the truth is that the closer you are to middle age, the more your children are convinced you roamed with the dinosaurs.

“Mom, why don’t you want to join the menopause group? I thought you said you were having a hot flash the other day.”

The son’s voice interrupts my reverie.

“Honey, I was kidding when I said that. Not that there’s anything wrong with aging, but you don’t really think I’m 50, do you?”

“Hmm…I don’t know. You always tell me I don’t have enough security clearance to be privy to that information.”

Yes, everyone wants to be a comedian.

But really ladies, what exactly makes our grown children think we’re one day away from getting our first social security check?

Are we somehow aging before their eyes and are oblivious to the fact?

Have we developed a back hump like Quasimodo that is only visible to our offspring?

Has our hair thinned in the back, leaving our scalp to play “peak-a-boo”?

Are we really sporting wrinkles deep enough to double as rain gutters?

Are we days away from having to bleach a newly sprouted mustache?

Perhaps our kids see something we don’t.
Perhaps I am in a state of denial.
Perhaps I did have a pet Brontosaurus and am suffering from selective amnesia.

I only have admiration and respect for the elderly, and know that my time will come, but I wonder what makes my children think I’m decades older than I really am.

Suddenly, the Son emerges from the kitchen with the last of the peanut brittle and says, “Mom, I’m eating what’s left of this, but no worries, right? Cause your teeth can’t handle it anyway.”

To which I reply, “I read the other day that menopausal women often attempt to retain what’s left of their youth by dressing like teeny boppers only to then follow their grown sons to parties, clubs, and other places they troll.”

(I didn’t really read this.)

The horrified look on the Son’s face instantly made me feel better.

“Yeah, but I don’t have to worry about that for another twenty years or so. Right, mom?”

That’s my boy.

Do your children make you feel like a dinosaur at times?

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46 thoughts on “Why is it wrong to call you a dinosaur?

  1. Well, well…so my daughter isn’t the only one thinking along these lines. her current mission is to marry me off before she goes to college so she won’t have to put me in a nursing home. She’s a rising high school sophomore and I’m closer to 40 than 50. She’s terrified that I’ll “be in this big house with no one to talk to.” Well, all I can say at this point for her age, at least she’s thinking about me :-D

    http://www.totsymae.com
    SheWriter neighbor

    1. Totsymae, welcome! Because misery loves company, I’m happy to hear that I’m not alone in the “nursing home” biz. :) I agree, at least she is thinking about you! For the record, I’m closer to 40 too which is what makes it hilarious, and frustrating, that my kids act like I was born in a bygone era!

  2. Bella I could not help but laugh. Reading your post I just hear my two boys making fun of me the same way your son is makIng fun of you, but to be completely honest with you I was ok turnIng 40, 41, 42 , because you are only as old as you feel and I feel not a day older than 25, but what I wasn’t ok with is when my son turned 21 years old. I knew there is no way I could be 25 wIth 21 year old chIld :(

    1. Oh girl, I think you should quote yourself as having the age you most loved in your life. I’ve told my readers before that my magic number is 34. I think I will tell people I’m that age even when I’m using a walker in the nursing home!

  3. I am in the unfortunate category of actually being in menopause in my 30s, so if my kids think I’m some dinosaur, they might have something to base it on…

    Sometimes it makes me happy that they think I’m so old. It means that I have more excuses not to go bungee jumping with them on vacation.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    1. Kario, you’re blessed to have an excuse to not engage in these daredevil pursuits kids try to force on us! I know that whenever I decline participation in anything that looks remotely adrenalin based, I’m labeled “uncool.” :)

  4. They seemed so much cuddlier when they were 1, 3, 5 rather than the now 15 ,17, 19. I never let an opportunity pass to remind them that children cause hormone imblance. :)

    1. Kate, you have no idea how much I agree with you! There was a commercial back in the 70’s from Carters babywear that had the slogan, “If they could just stay little till their Carters wear out.” It’s been thirty years since I first saw it and now I finally get it! :)

  5. They did once but I threatened to feed them dog food for the rest of their days. To answer your question, I suspect it’s because we are no longer in their demographic – we’ve evolved to that stage in life that is a mystery to them, and rather than try to understand who we are, they assume we have brain damage need to wear diapers, and require false teeth. I love who I have become, and damn it, I earned this place. I know underneath the teasing my kids are proud of me, as I suspect yours are of you. You are a creative woman, passionate, with a unique voice and POV, your son would need to look long and far to find anything better. Menopause group? Really? I am not going to sit around and complain with a group of volatile women, no thank you. I am going to walk, work out, die my hair, moisturize and buy good bras. I am going to age with grace, and enjoy my vintage hippy self for as long as I can. Big hugs, Bella.

    1. Brenda girl, you are an inspiration to us all! I like you and I like how you think! I agree with you–we have indeed paid our dues and now it’s time to kick back and relax! Not in a vegetative sort of way, but instead by doing what we want, when we want and how we want! Big hugs to you too! :)

  6. Bella, my girls had the same ridiculously over the top reaction upon finding out both my age and their grandfather’s age: bulging eyes, wide open mouth, hands on cheeks like the Home Alone kid. 38 or 63, it doesn’t matter, we’re all ancient if we’re not 6. :)

    1. hahaha! Heidi, thanks for the visual! OMG, I can see your precious princesses doing exactly what you describe! What a hoot! And you’re right, anything over six is over the hill! :)

  7. Ok, I don’t have kids, but I have never tried to ever make my mom feel like she’s old. Probably because it’s only now that I’m an adult that I realize that my parents are actually human too, and not the eternal deities I may have thought they were growing up. To me, they never aged… because they were ageless! Does that make sense? hahaha. plus, my parents will never EVER admit to feeling old, so that helps! hahaha.

    1. Laura, that makes perfect sense! PS I’m sending the Son your way so you can school him in your train of thought! :)

  8. The last time a conversation went WRONG between my son and I was the time he suggested that I drink more water. He goes, “Mom, you need to drink more water.” [Why is that?] “Because your face is showing some wrinkles and that’s because you aren’t hydrated enough.” [Wonders whether I should call him on the junk food that is obviously partially responsible for his pimples. I decide that drawing attention to his zits would only cause more harm. I could just see him taking a magnifying glass to my wrinkles.]

    Nuff said.

  9. I remember once when my mom fell on a ski slope. She was 40, and I moaned, “Mom, you’re much too old to ski!” She never let me forget this remark, and now that I’m well beyond that age–and still happily skiing–I’m horrified that I could have thought that.

    1. Jann, it happens to all of us. I remember thinking anyone over 30 was ancient. Now I think that I was indeed a dumbass for thinking that way! :) Gosh how I wish I was thirty again! hee hee!

  10. Um I am not a mother. I am a son. But I think seeing my parents as an “old person” for the first time meant a lot to me. It meant that they were no longer the immortals on whom I could rely to solve all my problems for me. They became instead these tender and frail people whom I must take care of and protect, as they have me for two and a bit decades.

    1. Purple Chimp, I love you. Please, won’t you move in? hee hee! I love your way of thinking! However, I think the Son knows better than to think I’m frail! Tender? Totally! :)

  11. Love this! I don’t *think* my kids see me as old-yet. But they think I need to go on a diet. I picked up a shirt yesterday and my 10 YO said, “Um, Mom. Do you really think that size is going to fit you?”

    Of course the bugger was right.

    I didn’t buy the shirt.

    1. Oh girl, if I had a nickel for all the times I’ve taken clothes off the rack thinking it’s my size! But really, how do kids know? They must have excellent spatial skills! :)

  12. Bella,
    If this makes you feel any better….

    I was grocery shopping with my youngest Little Miss S, and she said….

    “Mom, do you know when you walk your butt wiggles back and forth? and kinda up and down? My butt doesn’t do that.”

    “Someday, it will” I said

    “Nope, it won’t.” she said

    She then proceeded to strut her stuff down the aisle.

    *sigh*

    I just love kids.

    G

    1. Georgia, let her bask in her naiveté that her butt isn’t going to wiggle back and forth and up and down. She’ll find out soon enough, at which point I’m sure we’ll be wishing our butts were wiggling instead of heading south! hee hee! :)

  13. whahahha, you make laugh every time with so fun anecdotes!!,
    I always thought my mom was a young woman, and I still think it (even when I realize she’s sixty two!). Now I’m also a young woman, so I think we’re going to get older together: actually we talk a lot about how to manage it!
    besos & middleaged

    1. Mrs. Allnut, so happy to provide you with a chuckle! It must be a wonderful thing to talk with your mum about how to manage old age! I love it! I’m going to have to call my own mother and get some tips! :)

  14. Thanks for the hillarious post!

    I don’t have kids to remind me of my age, so sometimes I forget. Maybe that’s a good anti-aging strategy. I do hope that I’ll be like my Mom. In her retirement, she’s more active than ever and she looks and feels fabulous.

    1. Shary, aren’t you the lucky one! :) Methinks it is indeed a good anti-aging strategy! Here’s to you being like your mom in retirement! :)

  15. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” – George Bernard Shaw

    I actually did it to myself! When I was younger I calculated how old I would be when celebrating the turn of the century and the new millenium. Upon calculating a decrepitly old 37, I recall telling myself I would be too old to care! Ouch.

  16. Hhhahhaha! Love your threat of party shadowing. Hilarious! Don’t have kids, but I recently had to apologize to my mom for how I handled her 40th birthday when I was a tender, insightful 17-year-old. We decorated in black, with Over-the-Hill plastered everywhere. Ahem, at 41, I now realize my mom handled that afternoon with grace that only Queen Elizabeth can aspire too. =)

    1. Your mom is a saint, lady! I don’t know how I would have reacted to that party scene! Although, what am I saying? I probably would have reacted like I do now–flipping off left and right! :)

  17. Your son networking for you in a menopausal support group? That’s great stuff. I was already chortling, then I scrolled back up to the top. Locking eyes with that creature put me over the edge. I laughed, and a good bit later, I smiled to think of it again.

  18. As someone, who’s made it to the other side of menopause, so far I’ve been lucky. My kids insist I don’t look old. I dread the day though, when my son tells me I’ve “hit the wall.” Which is why, for now, I plan to continue making those appointments to get my hair colored. But you’ll see no botox on these lips, no sir!

    1. Monica, I plan on staying “natural” forever. I am very weary of injecting anything into my face or lips. I’m blessed with oily skin, or so my dermatologist says, and hopefully the vat of fat I’m constantly sporting on my face will help fight off premature wrinkles! As for hair coloring? All the way, sister! :)

    1. Bwhahaha! You’ve just made me spurt coffee on my screen! When you were going to die! Kids. What’s a parent to do? :)

  19. Hahaha Bella – you always make me laugh and I’ve missed that …
    I don’t have kids to tell me how old I am but yes as far as my mom goes – I’m guilty as charged :D and boy does she take it sportingly ;) ..

  20. I was grocery shopping and there was a group of good looking college guys online in front of me. And i remember drifting off thinking oh i probably would of had the biggest crush on one of you in college and then one of them smiled at me and said “Excuse me ma’am would you like to go ahead of us. I thought oh god i’ve become a ma’am. Ahhh good looking and polite…but dumb, they’ll know better when they get a little older.

    1. Una, isn’t the title “Ma’am” the worse thing a woman can hear? It’s like the kiss of death. Every time I hear it, I cringe!

  21. You, my friend, are a RIP. Once again, i am laughing fit to disturb the peace and have been told in no uncertain terms to get off the Net. I dont have kids but I can only say that I can imagine the joyful aggravation of such conversations. Ah, to be young and dumb. My mom is 19 years my junior and will kick anybodys azz that has the gall to refer to her age. Usually the threat is enough as she has mastered the art of the dinosaur glare! Must be all those years of practice bwah ha ha.

    Seriously though, i take heart at all the freakin fabulous women over 50. Except for Sussan Lucci who needs to buy more scarves….

    1. bwhahaha! Susan Lucci has to buy more scarves! She ain’t no Tina Turner, that’s for sure! hee hee! Oh girl, these kids think they know everything. I tell the Son he’s still playing the role of the Grasshopper. “The art of the dinosaur glare,”–how I wish I could see that! Gosh, your mom sounds like fun!

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