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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not Cool Is The New Cool

Let me preface this with the fact that I am not a cool person. I wasn't cool in Kindergarten. I wasn't cool in 8th grade, I wasn't cool in High School and I am ever less cool now.

I use the word cool in the sense of calm, laid-back, relaxed, spontaneous, rule breaking, go with the flow sense -- you know cool.

This lack of coolness frequently gets me in trouble with the kids I nanny. I don't realize that pokemon cards are no longer popular. I didn't know that not having an Ambercrombie sweatshirt meant your "life was OVER". I didn't know you had to forget the word NO was in the vocabulary to be in the good graces of a 5 year old. I have an odd O.C.Desque need to be in control of every situation and I enforce rules I was always breaking. I either drive the kids crazy by getting on their case about dawdling in the morning, by making them come home when the street lights come on or drive myself crazy be letting go of "the plan" and keeping quiet to roll with the flow.

Picking up the 12 year old from middle school I rolled down my window and frantically waved my arm while yelling to Ty, "Hey! Hey! HEY TY! I'm over here! Hop in!" He ducked in the car, face turning red and scolded me for embarrassing him. Me? Embarrassing?! No way! I'm the cool Nanny. Well at least I always thought i would be the cool nanny. But as I spend more time with a 5, 10 and 12 year old I realize this is far from the truth. I get more un-cool with each passing year. Being a nanny I guess I age a little quicker, mature a little faster and am forced to act like a responsbile adult a little more often.

I catch myself using phrases I PROMISED myself i would never use. You'll poke someones eye out. No you can't have ice-cream for breakfast. Because I said so. Can someone please tell me when I turned into my mother?! I guess it was inevitable.

Although I do let them listen to music way too loud in the car, I don't let them stick their heads out the window, seat belts are always put on first and there is no way I will ever let them drink chocolate milk in the car again (I learned my lesson the first time around). As I continue to play substitute mom and make rules I begin to realize parents don't enforce rules becuase they aren't cool. They don't enforce rules because they want to ruin your life. They don't enforce rules because they want to control everything. They enforce rules because they are trying to maintain a semblance of order in the organized chaos of life.

I have to enforce rules not only in their life, but also in mine. Without the rules created by un-cool people, life would only be chaotic. The kids are just going to have to accept that they have to make their bed everyday, even though they are just going to get in it again. They'll have to accept that math homework comes before playing on the play ground. They'll have to accept the response "because I said so". And i'll have to accept that cool is never going to be an adjective I can use to describe myself. Being uncool is a difficult job, but someones got to do it.

-Alex M. Mead


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll know you're really not cool when it doesn't seem like a such a bad thing to sound like your mother! (insert evil laughter here)

April 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

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