Monday Dare: Embracing (t)hug life: Part hood. Part good.

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Less hood. More good.

It’s a little disconcerting to me that I still haven’t gotten a handle on this whole parenting business. I’m not even talking about the really hard dilemmas like “teaching your kid that violence isn’t the answer” or “getting them to school on time every goddamn day.” I’ve got those covered. Mostly. Well, maybe “mostly” is overshooting, so I’m just going to downgrade it to “sometimes.”

Only “sometimes,” because if I’m being honest, violence feels awfully rich and satisfying when used at the right moments. I don’t know about you, but the High Road is a lonely barren place filled with potholes and those sticky burrs that cling to your socks and won’t come the fuck off. The Low Road is lush and green and heavily populated by lots of interesting characters. I like people watching. Sue me.

I’ve gotten pretty good about making sure Cal gets to school on time. I still don’t understand why children have to go to school five days a week though. What is there to learn? Once you get all the important lessons out of the way like “Don’t smoke crack,” “Always have an extra $20 in your sock in case shit goes down and your backpack gets stolen,” and “Don’t put mentos in a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke,” the rest seems a little superfluous. Nice to know, but not essential for day-to-day living.

Also, I tell Cal to read a lot of thick books because when someone asks me a question I don’t understand, and I can’t be bothered to say “Come again?” I just quote a famous dead person. Then, the other person is confused, and I’m off the hook from answering. You can use this tip too if you want. I try not to be selfish with the valuable gems I’ve uncovered.

I think Cal has harbored suspicions for a while that her mother may not be, uh, what’s the nicest way to say this… sane  responsible  normal perfect. I can’t be sure, but it may have something to do with those times I made her eat oatmeal for breakfast while I ate a generous handful of Funyuns. Or that one time I interrupted Harv in the middle of a conference call to ask, “Do you think Tupac and Dre had real beef, or is it just cuz Dre didn’t go to Snoop’s trial?” (By the way, Harv didn’t know the answer, so I’ve pretty much dismissed him as useless, and he won’t be privy to my hip-hop questions anymore.)

Perhaps it happened over the weekend, when I tried to convince Cal that (t)hug life was an excellent choice for my 7th tattoo. She said, “Stop.” Now that I’m replaying it in my head, I don’t even think “stop” is a valid answer choice.

I wrote it out for her in case she didn’t get the significance of the parentheses. “I’m not all thug, Cal. I’m part hood, part good.”

But she still said it wasn’t a good idea, something I would regret when I’m older and wiser. I don’t want to accuse my own kid or anything, but maybe she just steered me away so she could use my idea herself. I ended up getting a different phrase tattooed on my arm (posted on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page).

I’m going to be less hood and more good this week, more of a traditional, normal mom. Whatever the fuck that means.

Are you an out-of-the-box parent? Did you have traditional or non-traditional parents?

P.S. Big ups to y’all for the wonderful interview suggestions as I embark on yet another yearlong project. Everyone who commented was entered into the giveaway for the mass of goodies BlueQ sent my way. Janette Romero and Leanne Koh, please email me your mailing address at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com.

P.P.S. If you’d like to feel smarter than at least one person every single day, then let’s get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. I can make that happen for you.

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