It was with a great sigh of relief that I learned a judge dismissed the case of Steven Miner II, 23, and his sister Kathryn, 20, who filed a lawsuit against their mother, Kimberly Garrity. They were seeking more than $50,000 for "emotional distress" she caused them by her poor mothering.
And by poor mothering, they weren't talking anything legit, like abuse or neglect, but rather things like sending a birthday card the son didn't like and failing to send care packages when they were in college. The horror! Thank goodness the judge saw their ridiculous, lawsuit-happy ways and threw the frivolous case out, or else we all could be in trouble someday.
It did, however, get me thinking about all the things I have done and do to my kids (or don't do) that they might find lawsuit worthy in the future. Some are more egregious than others, but all frustrate them, or will likely frustrate them in the future, to no end. Here are 20 of them, in no particular order.
1. I haven't completed their baby books and don't have a strong belief that I ever will.
2. I have forgotten when they walked, crawled, spoke, etc. for the first time, and didn't write it down. Sometimes I make it up when people ask.
3. I embarrass them in front of their friends with hugs and kisses, and probably always will.
4. I have forgotten to pick my son up from school on time and once tried to drop him off at the wrong camp.
5. I don't go on every school field trip.
6. Their white clothing is never really white after the first washing.
7. I will never scrapbook.
8. I won't always defend them. If they're wrong, they're wrong.
9. I throw their junky treasures (acquired at birthday parties and the like) away when they're not looking.
10. I ooh and ahh over the artwork they do, then I chuck it. I can't stand clutter.
11. Lazy mistakes on schoolwork are not okay in our house.
12. I just can't bring myself to let them wear clothing with cartoon characters splashed all over it.
13. I expect them to push themselves, even when it's not comfortable at times. "Pain is just weakness leaving your body" is one of my favorite quotes.
14. I sometimes raise my voice.
15. They get one sugared box of cereal per year on their birthday (the poor deprived things).
16. I make them listen to old-school country music. (Merle is good for the soul.)
17. I won't hand out praise for every little thing they do.
18. The tooth fairy has failed at least once.
19. I do not tolerate disrespectful behavior.
20. I will use as much tough love as necessary to make sure they become kind, considerate human beings.
Some things on the list I could certainly improve upon for the better, but even in my errors, I hope I am teaching them that no one is perfect and that they know everything I do is out of love. Hopefully, I won't raise ungrateful brats like the children in the lawsuit, but I guess you never know. If they do end up suing me someday, I'll know that I should have probably racked up more offenses in order to shape them into better people.
What "bad mothering" might your kids sue you for someday?
Image via walknboston/Flickr