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The Relentless Cheerleader

I'm running out of complimentary responses to my kids' (drink) "accomplishments." And by accomplishments I mean:

"Mom, look what I can do!" followed by a really bad somersault.

"Mom, (drink) I made this for you." It's a piece of paper with literally one line across the middle. In pencil. "Wow. Did you really do that?"

"Mom, I have a new trick!" An attempt to make a crayon vanish fails. "No wait. That wasn't it." This time, the crayon finds its way into the kid's other hand. I wait for a redo, but apparently that was "it." "Fascinating! How on earth did you do that?"

And just now Kaleb invited me on a ten minute tour of the mansion he just bought on his Roadblocks app. Watching (drink) kids navigate on devices is nauseating. I had to close my eyes and almost fell asleep standing up.

I've had countless invitations to the twins' shows. I know one day, I'll look back and (drink) long for the days of impromptu performances. If given the chance, I would probably pay top dollar (drink) for a ticket. But now? Well, there's only so many renditions of Liar Liar Fish on Fire (at least I think that's what (drink) she's saying) that I can handle. "I really love the emotion you brought to the song today. Stellar job. Stellar."

I read an article once which said that (drink) you shouldn't compliment your kids too much. If you do, they will think everything they do is amazing and when confronted with criticism in the real world, they won't be able to handle it. Valid point. But what am I supposed to say? 'Your drawing of a line is going to find its way to the recycle bin by day's end. Next time add some color and have some kind of theme'? (Drink) I guess the point is that every response to kids' triumphic feats does not need a standing ovation. Which bodes well for me because I can no longer muster much enthusiasm to mask the fact that I am unimpressed by the vanishing crayon trick.

Right now, though, I think kids' spirits need a little more bolstering than usual. We, as parents, are usually the only adult contact they have these days so they are looking to us not just for ego boosts (drink), but for social interaction. The point of the lopsided somersault is not to impress us. It's a ploy for much needed attention. So for now, I'll try not to roll my eyes every time I am presented with a dead flower or the new stunt of the day. I'll feign interest in their showmanship and applaud their "magic" tricks and "drawings." (Drink)

Years down the road, when they can't handle criticism, people will understand. They'll say, "oh, they were children during the 2020 pandemic," much like we understand that our grandparents reuse aluminum foil because they were children of the great depression. Their behavior (drink) will be excused. The constant hand washing will be understood. A bottle of hand sanitizer and a box of rubber gloves on their desk will be considered normal. And when they're thirty years old and look at me expectantly and tell me they've decided to pursue a career in Port-a-Potty sanitation, I'll applaud and say, "you'll make those Port-a-Potties sparkle so bright and I for one, can't wait to try out the very first one you clean!" Because that's what parents do.

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