Google+ Followers

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mother May I or The Eye of the Chinese Tiger Mother

So here's three words I'd never thought to put together - Chinese Tiger Mother. But it seems that Yale professor Amy Chua's memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has really touched a nerve! Once more, motherhood is being dissected and the battle lines have formed hard and quickly. Everyone from the hosts of The View, to the hosts of The Talk (CBS' The View-lite) to NBC Nightly News are debating the finer points of Chua's book. While Chua herself has even said that this book wasn't intended as a hardass' guide to good parenting, message boards are chock-o-block with angry comments directed at the author. The more salacious highlights of the book are a list of things Chua didn't allow her two daughters to do:

  1. Attend sleepovers
  2. Have a playdate
  3. Be in a school play
  4. Watch TV or play video games
  5. Get any grade lower than an A
I didn't grow up with a Chinese mother, but, looking at that list, I'm beginning to have my suspicions! I'll call my mom Dr. Hell No. Here is a short version of her "Hell No" how to:

  1. Girl Scouts: Selling cookies door-to-door to strangers and camping outside where I can catch cold or be attacked? HELL NO.
  2. Summer camp: Sleeping away from home for multiple nights with unsupervised boys trying to take advantage of her baby girl's virtue? HELL NO.
  3. Car dates with boys:  Her baby girl with some pimple-faced teen aged Lothario? HELL NO.
  4. Eating dinner at my friends' homes: You can never tell how dirty someone's kitchen is, and what about that leering teenage brother just waiting to take advantage of her baby girl's virtue?? HELL NO.
  5. No telephone calls on school nights: As far as my mom was concerned, if I wanted to reach out and touch someone, as the old ad campaign went, then I could do it on the weekend. No exceptions! Since the only telephones in the house were located in her bedroom, in the kitchen, and in the family room, good luck sneaking in a few moments on Ma Bell. HELL NO.
Needless to say, I lived a sheltered life at home. I made excellent grades and never gave my mom any cause for concern. I also had a pretty awful social life, but I'm sure there's a texting teen in 2011 who thinks their dreadful social life is the fault of their parents. It's all relative, isn't it? And besides, for all that I was deprived of, I received a great gift in return - the gift of spin, the ability to locate that silver lining:

  • No Girl Scouts meant that I didn't have to hawk boxes of cookies once a year and I had my after-school and weekends free!
  • No summer camp meant a summer of kicking back, sans mosquito bites and un-air conditioned bunk-bed style living with a bunch of other girls and no private bathroom. Thanks Mom!!
  • No car dates with boys?? Awesome, that saves me having to eat like a bird in front of some guy, and no dealing with the awkward kiss goodnight.
  • No eating dinner at my friends' homes? Perfect! I really didn't want to miss "The Love Boat."
  • No telephone calls on school nights?? Really?? Seriously, who am I talking to??
Hmm, it would seem that my attempts to spin this situation have failed. Gosh, my childhood kinda sucked. Maybe that's the whole moral of the story, that moms will always do the best that they can to raise healthy, happy, good children. Sometimes they'll fail, sometimes they'll soar, but the best moms will always keep trying, and the best children will love them for that.

I'm just saying:)

No comments:

Post a Comment