I knew this day was coming, eventually. I hoped it would be later than this, and that I would be ready for it. But I don’t think this is the sort of thing one is ever prepared for.
My daughter has decided that I am no longer cool.
Now, if you knew me in real life instead of, you know, Internetically, then you would know I am not, and have never been, in any way cool. In fact, you would have been disabusing me of any thoughts that I might be cool, long and often.
However, there’s something about having a kid that makes you FEEL cool. They think you are funny. They laugh at your jokes and silly faces and attempts at dancing. They play with you and want to spend time with you. They think you are the most beautiful mom on the planet, and they love it when you wear the same colour clothes or the same kind of pants. If you are wearing a hat, they want to wear a hat. If you are wearing sunglasses, they want to wear sunglasses.
You feel cool.
But in the back of your mind, you know it is looming. Out there, on the horizon, edging ever closer. It’s that day when your child decides that you are no longer cool. And all the sunglasses and silly faces can keep it from inching towards you, like an unseen bully coming to pants you.
Today was that day.
Now, you know that music is a big deal around our house. We listen to lots of music and we have dance parties and we sing and it’s great. And, since That Girl is growing by leaps and bounds, she’s starting to pick up on lyrics and singing along to songs. Really quickly, too — just like me. (She said, proudly.)
Lately, Stinkerbelle and I have been singing the new Barenaked Ladies song, “Odds Are”. It’s catchy and fun, and right from the get go, That Girl had kind of picked up the words to the chorus.
The odds are that we
Will probably be
Odds are we’re gonna be alright
Odds are we’re gonna be alright tonight
Mind you, being Stinkerbelle (and her father’s daughter), she gets the words kind of a little bit not so very much right, and sings
Huzzah we gonna be alright
but whatever. It’s still good.
And she likes to sing it in turn, like a call-and-answer style, so I sing the first bit and she sings the “Odds are/Huzzah” bit. And we do this around the house, and in the car, and walking together to school.
So, this morning, we were walking hand in hand to school, a few steps ahead of a little boy named Rowan who lives on our street and that she knows from her preschool, and now they are at the same school, although he is in a different Kindergarten class. Anyway, we were walking a few steps ahead, and Rowan and his mom and sister were walking behind, chatting between themselves.
So at that point, lacking something to talk about with Stinkerbelle, I started quietly singing the song. I sang my bit, and Stinkerbelle sang her “Huzzah” bit.
And then, just as I was about to sing again, she said ALRIGHT MOM, THAT’S ENOUGH, WE’RE ALMOST AT SCHOOL NOW.
My kid HUSHED ME. And, to add insult to injury, SHE DROPPED MY HAND. Like she was trying to pretend that even though we were walking together, she didn’t know who this woman, this crazy singing woman, was.
And that is when I knew. OH MY DOG, I AM NO LONGER COOL.
She took hold of my hand again a few moments later. But the damage was done. I was an Exile from Coolville.
The jig is up, man. She knows. SHE KNOWS I am not cool. And now, I see YEARS AND YEARS of not being cool stretching out before me, a veritable wasteland of cool. A void where my coolness once was.
And you know what is there, still small in the distance, but moving quickly towards me? The day my kid realizes that, not only am I NOT COOL, but that I am also AN IDIOT.
I’m used to this sort of thing from my cats. But I was kind of loving feeling like my kid thought I was cool. And now it is all gone.
And it’s going to be a long, long time before I regain either my cool or my smarts. If I ever do.
I think that settles it: I’m going to have to get a dog. Dogs are all into the slavish devotion thing. Dogs always love you and think you are awesome. Or at least, they pretend they do for your benefit.
I’m okay with that.