A few weeks ago, Bella finally figured out how to use the jump rope. She was so excited about it and called out to me, "Mommy, come see what I can do....". I squealed with delight as I watched her practice her newfound skill.
I said, "I used to love to jump rope too when I was your age. I'd play jump rope games for hours with my friends in the middle of our street". Her eyes got huge and she said, "You used to play jump rope too? Mommy, I'm just like you....I'm gonna do the same things you did when you were little".
Now, I suppose that should've been a proud moment for me and it was...don't get me wrong. But I quickly had flashbacks to all the STUPID things I did when I was younger that I pray to God she never repeats.
At the time, of course, I thought I was pretty darn cool....until I got busted by my parents. And I ALWAYS got busted, due to my stupidity.
Stupid Childhood Stunt #1: "Borrowing" my dad's car with my best friend when we were 14. My parents were out with friends and it seemed like a great opportunity. My BFF even traced the car keys exactly how they were laying on the counter so we could put them back the same way.
We went to a party, had a great time and then drove back to my house. Parked the car exactly where it was supposed to be and even put the keys back in the same place, same position.
Too bad we forgot to turn off the headlights and make sure that the wipers weren't laying smack across the windshield. Seriously....we were THAT stupid.
I acted all innocent in the morning when my dad asked me if I knew why his car was dead. Then he said, "I'd almost believe you, except you left the windshield wipers up".
Needless to say, I was grounded.
Stupid Childhood Stunt #2: The time I changed one of the grades on my report card from an F to a B. I erased the F very lightly and then typed over it, replacing it with a B.
I thought it looked pretty authentic but apparently my mom didn't. Instead of confronting me right away, she waited until she could get a hold of my teacher by phone. Of course, he told her I had gotten an F and they were both appalled that I had changed my grade.
At home, I was grounded and at school, I received detention. Not to mention, the teacher moved my seat to the front of the room, where he announced to the entire class what I had done and that I obviously needed closer supervision. So not cool.
Stupid Childhood Stunt #3: My mom worked full time at a hair salon and usually didn't get home until the evening. She expected my sister and I to go straight home after school. Once we were home, we were to call and let her know we had arrived there safely.
One day, I went home with my best friend, who lived a few houses away, without permission. I called my mom and told her I was home (that was before caller ID had been invented....WTF, I sound like I'm ancient).
She said, "Make sure you take the dog outside to go to the bathroom". I answered, "Okay, I'll do it as soon as I get home". STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!!
She asked, "I thought you said you WERE home already". I stumbled as I said, "Uh.... I am home. I don't know why I said that. It's been a really long day". But my mom's not as stupid as I am. She slowly said, "You're going to hang up this phone. And I'm going to call you back AT HOME and you better damn well answer the phone".
I busted out the door and ran home as fast as I could, thinking I could beat the clock. When I got home, I sat and waited for her to call (this was before most people had answering machines...WTF, I guess I am ancient).
When she didn't call, I called her at work and asked, "Why didn't you call back? I've been sitting here waiting". She said, "I DID call. You didn't answer. That's all the proof I need to know you were lying about where you were."
I said, "Oh, well, you must have called when I took the dog out...." and she interrupted me with, "Helene, you're only making it worse....I suggest you stop while you're ahead".
Needless to say, I was grounded.
Stupid Childhood Stunt #4: My parents didn't allow us to have boys in the house, under any circumstance, unless they were home. You think that was gonna deter me? Yeah, right.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had a HUGE crush on this guy, who was a senior and played on the football team. I didn't think he even knew I existed until one day when we were in the library together, he walked over to where I was standing and kissed me. He said, "I've been wanting to do that for awhile now". Such a Cassenova, right?
Then he asked me if he could give me a ride home from school that day. Like I'm really gonna say, "Oh, I'm not allowed to have boys in the house when my parents aren't home"? That would've been SO uncool. He told me where to meet him in the parking lot later that day.
After school,he drove me home. Fortunately, FOR ME, I had somehow forgotten my house key that day. I say "fortunately for me" because obviously this guy had other reasons why he wanted to go to my house.... and it wasn't to do homework. Yeah, I was THAT naive.
I invited him onto the back porch, which, in case you didn't know, isn't technically "IN the house", according to me. However, according to my parents, the back porch IS considered IN the house. Who knew?
So my dream guy and I hung out on the back porch, where we proceeded to have a heavy make-out session. I thought I was the luckiest girl on earth...he thought he was just plain gonna get lucky.
When my mom hadn't heard from me, upon returning home from school, she got worried and came home....just in time to see us both sit up suddenly from the lounge chair we were sharing, with me scrambling to button my shirt up.
I said, "Uh, Mom....this is Darryl", hoping she hadn't noticed my buttons weren't lined up properly. She said, "Hi Darryl...Helene isn't supposed to have boys in the house without adult supervision. I suggest you leave now". OMG, I wanted the earth to split open and swallow me whole.
Needless to say, I was grounded. And Darryl never spoke to me again...
I wish I could say that there were no more stupid childhood stunts after that but there were, of course. I won't continue to bore you with the time my friend and I got into my parent's liquor cabinet one night while they were out....
So you can kinda see why I hope my daughter doesn't do exactly the same things I did when I was younger.
But then again, there was a reason my parents always seemed to know I was up to no good. Once I became an adult, I learned my dad once stole his parent's car and drove to the airport, where he and his friends hung out drinking. I also learned that my mom had snuck around plenty with a boy that my grandparents didn't like.
I suppose if Bella tries to repeat the same stunts as I did, I'll be one step ahead of her just like my parents were with me. Hopefully, she'll just stick to innocent games, such as jump rope and hopscotch, until she turns 18.
A mom can dream, right?
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