I had barely pulled my dress over my head when my daughter walked into my room without knocking. She was in need of a rubberband for her hair despite the fact that I had already given her one the night before. She slipped into my drawer and pulled out a new one.
“I could have been getting dressed, you know,” I told her as she walked back out.
“I saw your dress was on through the crack in the door,” she shot back, referring to the fact that I had left the door slightly ajar. “By the way, can you get me a tube of that clear lip gloss I like? You know, the one I always borrow?” she asked. I nodded absentmindedly and finished getting ready. When I came downstairs, she brushed past me and picked up my purse. Rummaging through it, she found my lip gloss and proceeded to put it on.
“Excuse me,” I said. And she grinned at me through shiny lips. And just as we were gathering up all our things to head out the door, I noticed my water bottle on the table. I only used it for water to prevent it from getting sticky or dirty from sugary liquids getting stuck in the crevices of the straw and bottle opening. And yet it was filled to the brim with icy water flavored with Crystal Light.
These weren’t isolated instances of DQ helping herself to my belongings. As of lately, she has been using my room as her own to hang out in. All sense of privacy has been lost as she decides that my room is way more comfortable for her to hang out in, even going so far as to discover personal items in my room I’d rather she never come across – ever. And she does so because my laptop is in there, which she uses quite liberally. My sock drawer has been dwindling, since she helps herself to a pair whenever she can’t find any of her own. And just the other day I realized she was wearing my jeans even though I had just washed every single pair of hers.
And while the water bottle was hardly a huge thing (after all, I rarely use it), it became the last straw in a bale of my things being used without asking because the assumption was what was mine, was hers.
As a kid, I borrowed without asking quite frequently – mainly from my mother. After all, she had a whole jewelry box full of necklaces and earrings that went perfect with my outfit. Out of socks? Mom had drawers and drawers full. Same for old t-shirts when I needed to get dirty. I even went so far as to steal butterscotch chips out of the pantry, until she labeled it “Rat Poison” to keep me and my sisters out. By the way, didn’t work mom. We were on to you. And when I got older and it was time for me to move out, I gathered up everything I wanted to bring with me and was greeted to a rude awakening of being shot down one item after another for things that belonged to her, and not to me.
It had been a constant fight between us as I was growing up.
“But you don’t even wear these!” I cried, holding up the same pair of earrings I had been borrowing for weeks without her permission. I still remember them, a silver half hoop with embellishments designed into the metal. I didn’t own anything nearly as nice, and had grown quite accustomed to using these ones instead of the cheap jewelry I owned.
“I haven’t been wearing them because you’ve had them!” she pointed out.
And so the fight would go, round and round, over miscellaneous items I was borrowing that my mother wanted back. And I swore my daughter would never have to go through this with me. What was mine would be hers. And I wouldn’t put silly rules on them. After all, they were just things.
And I nearly choked on that memory even as I reprimanded my daughter for treating my things like her own, insisting I needed some separation of space and belongings, and permission was required before anything of mine was touched. My own mother came out of my mouth as I lectured her, and I watched this little version of me look off in the distance, no doubt thinking rude thoughts about how unfair I was being – probably making promises to herself about how differently she would treat her own daughter.
It’s funny how our wicked ways as children comes back to bite us in the ass when we become parents, doesn’t it? Right now my mother is reading this and chuckling, once again, at the payback I’m receiving for being a rotten child.
And it’s also another piece of proof that my daughter is not as original as she thinks. So HA!
Have you found yourself saying the same things your parents said to you, even when you swore you’d never say them? Are you discovering that your kids are making you suffer through the same things you made your parents suffer through?
Are you realizing more and more that maybe your parents weren’t so dumb after all? I should probably end every column with “Sorry Mom”….