Like Confucius, but in English
I thought I’d start writing down real-life bits of wisdom for your benefits. I am totally qualified to impart wisdom to strangers on the Interweb because I am naturally wise and Zen just from being Chinese. It is in my blood, damn it! Just look at this picture to the right: My shadow turns into a dragon, OMG! (Ok, technically that’s not me, and the picture is rooted in a racist history of Hollywood films. But GODDAMNIT, it’s a fucking dragon. Look!) This will be a growing list because
I love you. I am wise. I am facetious. And Zen. Srly don’t forget about Zen. p.s. Actually, I do love you. I love this. Right here. I carry your heart with me.
Things I said to my kids…
Don’t do a half-ass job
House Rules: Rule Number 1: Do NOT die. Rule Number 2: The Golden Rule. Rule Number 3: Do NOT embarrass your parents. I am not your best friend. I will love you. Respect you. Listen to you. Worry about you. Be there for you. But I don’t want to be your best friend. Because when you do something wrong, I need to discipline and punish you. I am your parent.
Don’t tell me how difficult your brother is. Don’t you think I know that?
Don’t tell me I can’t be on the Internet because I told you to get off the Internet. I am not in school any more. You are!
*Exasperation* For god’s sake! … Ok. You are not supposed to do that. You know the Ten Commandments right? I didn’t mean your god. I meant mine. So it is ok!
“Mom, you look silly in that hat!” “Well, then I have done my job as a parent.” Books? You are not allowed to read books today! It’s too nice a day to be wasting on books!
“Mom, what’s your password?” “I can’t tell you.” “Come on, mom.” “I said I can’t tell you!” “I need to use your phone!” “FINE! It’s ‘Curse Word Curse Word Curse Word’…” “No. Way.” “Way. Why do you think that your mother does not curse?” “Hmmm. Because you are a… mom?”
(On IM with my oldest) “Mom, I just changed your name on GTalk from XXX to MOM.” “Ok. Because I am not me, I don’t have a name. I am just your mom.” “…” “I changed your name to Number 1 Son.” “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“Well, maybe you should have thought about THAT before you did so well in the Spelling Bee!” Response to my 6th grader when he complained about having to compete in the School District Spelling Bee.
When in doubt, evoke the Golden Rule.
Your opinion though interesting is irrelevant.
Don’t say dumb things on purpose to provide content for my blog, I have enough material already. Thanks!
Seriously. What do you expect me to say to that? ‘Atta boy!’?! *Response to my 6th grader when he proudly announced how cool it was to ride his bike downhill with no hands.* He actually said, “Mom! I’m telling you. NO HANDS!”
“We are not equals. I also gave birth to two children. Would you like to do that too?” Response to my 6th grader’s protest when I asked him to leave the computer, “How come you get to be on your computer?”
If testicles are so important, how come evolution hasn’t done something to protect them, like grow a rib-cage-like thing around them?
I was telling my 14 yo that I don’t require him to date Asian girls. (I just thought I should make it clear seeing all the brouhaha about Asian Dads and Tiger Moms…) He threw his hands up in the air and said, “Mom, I know! The only dating advice I’ve got from you is ‘It’s ok to be gay. I will love you just the same’!!!”
My job is to set boundaries. Your job is to push the boundaries and see how far you could get. Our job is to find a sweet spot together. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don’t. When we don’t, the boundary I set stays. You won’t like it and I am ok with it.
My one hope for you wrt. your career path when you grow up is that you have a job that makes you wake up every morning and you can’t wait to go to work.
“Being bone-tired isn’t a bad thing when there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing.” – Chef Daniel Boulud, as quoted in Wired.
Things that make sense if you don’t think about it…
Husb: “Do you think you are a MILF?” Me: “I believe I am disqualified when my own husband does not nominate me.”
Lowered expectations make a more optimistic person. Or rather, the pessimists are in fact the most optimistic amongst us.
I expect the world sucks, and when it does not, I am always pleasantly surprised. Same as people.
Midlife crisis: Others bought cars. I started a blog.
Do we really need 3D movies and TVs? Isn’t real life 3D enough?
Turns out my youngest child is sometimes most of the time wiser than I am… I shall dub him Mr. Monk:
Ah, Friday. The day we compare all the other days to and find them not as good. 0913
Older brother, [talking about digital drawing] “… so I just filled the character with skin color…” My youngest, “Did you really just say ‘skin color’? What are you? A racist?!” 0813
I yelled, “Just stop doing everything!” out of frustration. “Mom, it’s a paradox. If I stop doing everything, I will die. Dying IS doing something.” 1212
After I complained about his mad science experiment by suggesting, “Why don’t you set ants on fire like normal kids?” he said, “Do you want me to grow up to be a scientist or a serial killer?” 1112
Argh. I know too much about politics! (He’s not even 10) 1012 For a while I did not put my head on the pillow when I went to bed. One day I used the pillow, and I was like, “Oh my god. What have I been missing all these years?” 1211
I think Kazoos are like cigarettes: You hold them the same way [Never mind how he knows that!] and they are both addicting. The only way to stop the addiction is to not have one in your hand. 1211
You don’t have to be aggressive to be progressive. (Out of nowhere over a bowl of ice cream) 0811
“Mom! Come watch this so you can learn to be a good mother! You know, so you know how to talk like a good mother!” For the record, they were watching Everybody Hates Chris. 0311
“I know how to take pictures with my mind! You just open your eyes, look at the stuff, then you quickly close your eyes and keep them shut.” 0311
As he frantically shoved boxes of “movie theatre candy” into my purse before we left for the movie, Mr. Monk said to no one in particular, “You know why a man marries a woman? Just so he has someone else to carry his stuff.” 0311
Humans are so spoiled! 0710
If television wants to show Japanese cartoons, why don’t they show something good like Doraemon? 0510
When I turn 21, would you buy me a beer? Like, my first beer, ok?… Wait. Ok. I’d better remind you again 12 years from now. 0310
“You know what’s ironic about the Karate Kid movie?” He was referring to the 2010 edition with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. “He is learning Karate in CHINA?!” 0210
As an update to the lovely Valentine’s Day card he made us, Mr. Monk elaborated, “I could also say ‘No matter how unattractive you are, I still love you.'” I have a truth seeker on my hand. 0210
After my veiled-snide response “Well, I wish I were Queen of the Universe but I can’t” to his “I really wish I could…” passive-aggressive attempt (atta boy! Take after your mother!), Mr Monk said, “Queen of the Universe? I don’t want you to be Queen of the Universe. Then you’d be too busy taking care of the universe!” 0110
This is my revolution: doing the dishes will be my job from now on! … (While doing the dishes) Ah. It is nice to have a revolution! 0110
“Pray for what you want. Work for what you need.” That’s what my fortune cookie said. 1209
The worst part about being an adult is having to deal with us children, Mr. Monk said matter-of-fact-ly. 1109
Coffee makes grown-ups better.