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Wile E. Coyote, The Roadrunner & Parenting...

I feel like I am in a Roadrunner cartoon. My children are Wile E., and I am the Roadrunner...except sometimes it feels like the roles reverse...

So I woke up this morning at 3 am. Literally my head was like,


And then my next thought, my very next thought was...

“They are up to something, let’s review the evening...”

And so I did.

And I am right, they are up to something. I am not sure yet exactly what it is but I am absolutely sure it is something I will not approve of...

They are Wile E. They plot and plan and scheme against me. All the time. Like every day. Most of the time it is over relatively benign things like eating candy and drinking soda that I do not approve of or want them really doing, most especially to the degree they do.

But often it is about more serious concerns: vaping, smoking, drinking, pot. And now with the advent of Fentanyl, I can be worried that everything that was once a right of passage, carries with a lethality that causes parents everywhere to lose sleep, their natural hair color and likely years off of our lives.

But like Wile E., they are out there running game in the desert all the damn time. Up late, plotting, ordering shit off of Acme, which is really Amazon in today’s world.

Right now, both kids have been up, doing God knows what! I am laying in bed thinking that I am going to lose my mind. Every time they are awake when I am at 3 am I am even more suspect...

Are they just getting home?

Are they sneaking someone in or out of the house?

Are they really just using the bathroom or getting a drink?

It is hard to know which way is up or down.

So far, at least for the most part, I foil their schemes and plots. I am wiley too, because I was a teen once and some would argue (pretty correctly) that I am still am. So my thinking reverts back to getting away with shit, plotting against the parental units and all that kind of crap, easily and often.

It is disconcerting to live with teens. It is like living on high alert all the time. Things are never what they seem and when everything seems good, you know you are likely the most fucked.

Although the cartoon never shows it, the roadrunner has to get tired. Right? I mean he is always having to outsmart and outrun Wile E. That is how I feel right now at 3:51 am having now been up for almost an hour, trying to figure out exactly what they were up to last night. And the thought of me having to do this for another whole year, then another two before they are adults makes me despondent.

I know that I am going to have to trust the things that I know to be true, instead of what I want to believe:

1. They are always up to something.

2. They are plotting against me daily.

3. Most of what they want to do, I will not approve of and will cause me to fear for their lives.

4. No matter how chill I am, or how easy I am to talk to, they will still lie to me.

5. They will plot, plan and scheme, and I will have no other choice but to attempt to foil said plots, or out run them.


Like completely totally draining.

I am not sure about others, but I never wanted to live in a Roadrunner cartoon. I always felt sorry for Wile E. and kind of thought that the Roadrunner was an ass. So now, I give the two Wile E.'s I live with too much grace and I have become the Roadrunner.

I am not sure how all my efforts at living have brought me life is mimicking a cartoon! What the actual fuck?

Where I am this morning is just surrender. Surrendering to the idea that this is our lot, at least for the foreseeable future. So I might as well embrace it. I mean the Roadrunner always seems up to the challenge and really not at all concerned about Wile E.’s plots and plans ever being successful in capturing him or eating him. And as far as analogies go, I am not concerned about either of those things either.

I guess I am going to adopt, or at least try to adopt, the Roadrunners sense of adventure. He is never all pissed off and upset. He just keeps thwarting every attempt Wylie makes with his missiles, stupid setups and traps, with a sense of ease and bemusement. I am telling you, this is a hard act to reproduce in real life. Because unlike a cartoon character, I am tired. I am older. I am not a figure drawn on paper and brought to life through animation. I am just a single mom who is doing her best and is often pissed that the children she provides everything for seem hell bent on running game on her all the damn time.

It is a good thing that kids start off as cute little helpless babies. Because if they started off as surly teens, the human race would have long ago perished. I mean we wouldn’t still be here and perhaps dinosaurs would return and run the earth. Because no parent with any kind of sanity would show up for adolescence. I mean like ever.

So my life resembles the Roadrunner cartoon, me failing to play the part of the bemused, yet unaffected, Roadrunner. The kids doing their very best to prove that Amazon is the new Acme. And they are completely content to spend seemingly all of their time and effort coming up with ways to annoy, pester, and thwart all my efforts to keep them alive and functioning.

I have two choices, I can resist this dynamic with all that I am, losing my sanity, sense of humor and my mind or I can just embrace that these next three years are just going to be like a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon...and to this I say,


Which is Roadrunner for BRING. IT. ON!

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1 Comment

Jun 06, 2022

Loved this. I am 20 years older than you and went through much the same thing in raising 2 girls and 2 boys… thank God they turned out ok. I had many of the same feelings as you do today. Maybe even heightened because I was a police officer and dealt directly with kids who took the very wrong road… and I hoped and prayed my kids would never take the wrong path, and they didnt. I do believe that for the most part, if you raise you kids with good values and you emulate those values yourself, you will have instilled in them a “line” they will not cross. I trust you have done that and will continue t…

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