Damara Hutchins

Just like their mother

I am smarter than my children. For some reason they refuse to acknowledge this fundamental fact. I can’t see into the future, but I do believe there will be a day that they will surpass me in the area of intelligence, but that day is not today and I’m fairly certain it will not be tomorrow.

My son and I had a discussion about the importance of locking his bicycle properly. He has a bike that cost us a fair amount of money. His dad, Chris, researched BMX bicycles online for months and drove to Tampa to purchase this gift for our boy because he wanted it to be a quality product that would stand the test of time and teen abuse.

The kid actually almost smiled when he saw it. Smiling is something he usually reserves for the girls. He almost never smiles for pictures because that would make us happy.

He wanted to take his bike to school one day and I casually asked if he knew how to lock it up on the bike rack. His response was incorrect, which was fine because this was a “teachable moment.” What followed was one hour of the most infuriating head-butting session I hope to never relive in my life.

He was dead-set on locking his bike through the front wheel only. I told him that was great. He’d have a nice wheel and the frame would be stolen.

I showed him a video of how to lock a bike. The guy in the video stated that 4 percent of all theft in the United States involves stealing of bicycles. That is a lot of bikes! He was unimpressed.

It ended with him agreeing to lock his bike my way, but I could tell he didn’t want to do it. I checked the next day because I’m a control freak. It was locked correctly.

My daughter, on the other hand, will never bend to anyone’s will. She will fight tooth and nail to the bitter end and go emotionally overboard to pound the point home in case you missed it.

A couple weeks ago, she decided to tell me she was going to stop eating meat. “Mom, can we eat pizza for Thanksgiving this year? I don’t want to eat anything made of animals.” She likes to plan ahead. This was still in March. I asked, “What do you think goes on top of pizza?”

“Pepperoni. Why? What is it made of?” She wasn’t looking overly concerned. “Pigs,” I said.

“Oh. Well, it is like eggs before they have babies inside.” I knew she wasn’t listening.

“I said pigs, not eggs!”

She considered this for a second, “Then we can have cheese pizza.” I thought about pizza on a day that I look forward to turkey and mashed potatoes and my mind recoiled. “No thanks. I’ll stick to turkey on Thanksgiving.”

She was getting mad. “I don’t want to eat animals anymore. It is creepy. You eat their bones and blood and stuff.” I laughed and told her, “You didn’t have a problem eating those chicken nuggets earlier.”

She sighed. “Ugh! What can I eat that isn’t animals?” That was easy. I said, “Fruits and vegetables aren’t animals.”

Never one to back down, she stared at me and said in her sternest voice, “You don’t know that for sure! Everything is animals!”

I don’t know everything, but I know how to lock a bike and I know being a vegetarian would be difficult for that kid. For now, Mom knows best.