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Getting Good Things By Being Bad
I think the hardest part about being a parent is that your cute little babies grow up. They start out as helpless, adorable, curious tykes, unable to speak and who mainly think about food. Then they slowly begin to morph into capable school age people who, while still adorable, are able put words to their curiosity. Unfortunately that curiosity has nothing to do with food, other than the times you try a new recipe and they whine disdainfully, "Mooo-oooooom, what IS that?" Rather they begin to question the world around them, the people, the places, the events. And you are suddenly in the position of having to find explanations for things that stump even the most enlightened of grown-up.
The biggest, most insightful questions come from my biggest, most insightful daughter, Culley. She is going on 11, but was born going on 100. Always a thinker, always an observer, she popped out with her eyes wide open and an obvious look of "Who? What? Where? Why?" on her tiny face. My husband and I have both immensely enjoyed and been immensely challenged by this part of her personality. We can remember having grown up conversations with her at age 2 and having her use words like "unfortunately", "prefer" and "assume" by age 3. (They once appeared in the same sentence . . ."Mommy, unfortunately I prefer to eat my cereal dry today and you assumed I wanted milk." I kid you not, this is written verbatim in her "baby book".)
As she grew, we quickly realized we could not infer things without her picking up on the meaning, could not even spell around her anymore and could not watch the evening news without a barrage of questions. It was actually during the whole Bill Clinton - Monica Lewinsky mess that she began to take note of what the anchors were talking about each evening. As it coincided with her class learning about the office of the President and its importance, I’d like to take a moment to thank Bill and Monica for some of the most "interesting" with that child.
There she was being taught about the power, prestige and import of being the President and then there he was in living color, getting "majorly dissed, Mom". My husband and I explained in simple terms about the lying, the cheating, etc. and that even in grown up life, those things don’t "fly".
So here we are, almost four years after the fact and lo and behold, who has made another reappearance on television? Monica Lewinsky, hosting the new Fox reality show, Mr. Personality. Oh joy! Oh rapture! Oh no, guess who remembers her from Cigargate? That’s right, my little observer. She saw the promo for the show and flat out stated, "She’s the one who was in trouble with the President, right? Big girl? Blue dress?"
It was bad enough when Monica popped up as a short lived spokeperson for Weight Watchers. I can tell you that many women thought that was a poor choice. If Weight Watchers ever really wants to grab our attention, impress us with a Mom who has had six babies, a Dad who has dropped his beer gut, heck we’d even take the vacant Anna Nicole, but do not expect us to be impressed with a young lady whose only claim to fame is canoodling with the President. What is the message in that? Develop a new use for a hand rolled Cuban stogie and you too can roll in the endorsement/talk show/books bucks?
Well, several days after seeing the Mr. Personality promo, I was embroiled in yet another conflict with our middle child and shouted our household motto, "You don’t get good things by being bad!" From around the corner came the wise old voice of the 10(0) year old saying, "Well, Monica seems to be doing pretty good for being pretty bad!".
What could I say? Point taken Culley. Hmmmm, maybe I should check MY closet for skeletons and start cashing some major endorsement checks too? I can just see me on Larry King, "Yes Larry, when I was 4 I did run down the street buck naked . . .and I am so regretful of that decision. Sob."
Calvin Klein and Donna Karan would be knocking down my door, I just know it!