Some people believe that since I am a physician, I must have this parenting thing all figured out. I will admit that there are times when I let that fact go to my head, over estimating my own wisdom and the sway that I hold over my children.
Here’s the secret: Truthfully, kids don’t give a rip that someone calls you doctor.
Case in point…
I remembered enjoying the cartoon series Pinky and the Brain when I was in college. It was edgy, hysterically funny, witty, and best of all it was animated.
Talking to my kids about gene splicing and lab rats, I decided to show them a few clips of this show that I have not watched in almost twenty years (Am I really that damn old?). I have only a vague recollection of the subject matter. They always tried to take over the world, right? Fairly innocuous.
So I strolled through YouTube looking for a nice clip and found one featuring Brain running around a rainbow world with small children chasing after him. I play that one for them.
It is a fake ad touting the virtues of cigarettes.
The past two weeks my kids have at random moments announced that:
“Cigarettes are great!”
At the grocery store. Church. With friends at school. At a restaurant.
“Mommy, I’m going smoke a cigarette, see?” I look over to see they have a bit of rolled up lettuce or paper hanging from their bottom lip.
“STOP SAYING THAT! Cigarettes are terrible for you. They kill people!!!!” I yell.
Two pairs of blue eyes stare back at me, puzzled. *blink*
“Uh, mommy, Pinkie and the Brain like them…”
There it is. The truth. What kind of parent does this to their children, I ask you? This one. I did it. And I should have known better. I am not the mother you are looking for…
I was also wholly unprepared for the other reality, that their own mother, a doctor, holds no credibility in the face of a cartoon character.
Thank you, Looney Tunes. Thank you for that lesson in humility.