Make ‘Em Like You

Last week, Sunflower invited Gary to a dance at her elementary school and made it crystal-clear  she really wanted him to come.  She was angry when she found out we knew nothing about it.  The information sent home from the school was, as is typical, never passed along to us.

That night, Gary coincidentally received an email from Crow, claiming the information was just sent home that day.  Ah, of course.

The dance was yesterday, and I didn’t have to ask if they had a good time.  Before Gary was even home from Hickville, the school posted pictures online.  Guess who was the reigning star of the school’s photo album?  Gary was in nearly every shot like a celebrity, holding one end of the limbo stick, dancing with Sunflower, having a great time.  Everyone around him in the pictures was smiling and laughing.

Later, as Gary was telling me about the dance, he said that Sunflower talked to him about a boy she likes and wanted to ask to the dance.  She bowed out of asking him, saying she knew he didn’t want to.

Gary told her she didn’t  know that for sure until she asked him.  Sunflower said, “I already know he doesn’t like me.”

Then she added, “But Mama said sometimes you have to make them like you.”

Crow’s abysmal parenting is best understood in its dysfunctional context.  When Crow’s father decided it was time to pass along the burden of his leech-like daughter to some unsuspecting fellow, he hand-picked Uncle Fester, a rotund dolt who had as much chance of dating again as Charles Manson.  Deeming him desperate enough, pliable enough, and hard-up enough to tolerate Crow, her father commanded them to date each other and directs them through their grotesque facade of a relationship like puppets.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Crow is passing along matronly relationship advice to Sunflower, advising her that forcing someone to like you, and making yourself like them, is the way to go.  To embrace that as normal and to shove that onto the kids is nowhere near acceptable.

Instead of dissolving into a furious and incredulous meltdown, Gary asked Sunflower, “Do you think you are pretty?”

She said yes.

“Do you think you are smart?”

An emphatic, “I know I’m smart.”

Gary told her she is smart, beautiful inside and out, so if the little boy didn’t like her, he was missing out.  Why make him like her if she was already a good person?  Sunflower thought about it for a moment, seemed to realize what he was saying, and nodded her head in agreement.

It is hard enough to parent without having to scrape out the muck and garbage dumped into the children’s heads by someone else, then replace it with something sane and reasonable and well thought-out.  

Sunflower was right: she is very smart.  She doesn’t need to sink to underhanded and manipulative tactics to make people to like her, and she is wonderful just as she is.  I hope she never forgets that and never sells herself short.

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in bad mother, better than her, crazy bitch, kids, love, mother fail, pathetic, school. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Make ‘Em Like You

  1. And I didn’t even have to MAKE you like me! Ha ha. Thanks!

  2. I’ve been following your blog off and on for about 6 months now. I’m beginning to think that your significant other and mine were married to the same woman. I’m glad that yours at least had the sense to dump out when the children are on the ‘younger’ side and can maybe learn the good stuff. Mine stuck it out with his ex for 15 years and the damage is, I fear, permanent, even though we’ve done everything we can for the last 6 to undo the craptastic parenting she dished out. I just wanted to know I completely empathize with your situation.

  3. Amy says:

    Love it! It’s a shame that Crow had the idiots from hell as parents and instead of breaking the cycle chooses to continue it.

    So glad that the kids have you and Gary to lead them down a different path. To teach them things like not only hygiene but self esteem and common sense thought process.

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