It's a slippery slope…

This is what a 13 year-old looks like at his birthday party when the only other party-goers are his family members, ie. mother, father, sister, brothers, grandparents, uncle.
You get more loot when you’re smiley and cute at these functions.

I wish I could show you a picture of how the same 13 year-old poses when his party is being attended by other 13 year-olds.
I can’t though because the 13 year-old would not allow for pictures to be taken.
Apparently posing with your buddies while smiling is completely unacceptable.
It’s not “cool”.

Why is that not cool?
Or better yet, when did I stop being cool?
I used to be cool.
I’m pretty sure I was very cool.
As a matter of fact, on most days I think of myself as cooler than the average iceberg…
…ok, that…that last statement is probably the reason I am no longer cool. Using the words ‘cooler’ and ‘iceberg’ in the same sentence probably exempt me from the Cool Club.
No. Wait.
Using ’Cool Club’ would do the job.

I think I started off the night as being considered relatively cool.
The boys arrived at the party.
I tell them, “Go into the living room where the XBox 360 is set up on the big screen. The pizza will be here shortly.”
Cool, right?

While I’m waiting for the pizza to arrive, I’m putting out bowls of chips and plates of cookies.
The teenagers lunge into the junk food.
I say, “You guys need to wash your hands. This is how disease is spread. Did you know that Hepatitis A is spread through the fecal/oral route?”

Friends freeze in their tracks, their potentially fecally infected hands looming above the treats.
Son lets out a low groan.

I am no longer cool.

Pizza arrives.
I walk into the living room with eight boxes of meat and cheese pizzas.
I place the boxes on the table before them. And as they rip through the boxes to get at the food inside, I do not make any reference whatsoever to Hepatitis A or human excrement.

Son gives me surreptitious smile.
I’m cool again.

At one point, the boys are all huddled around someone’s iPod, intently watching something.
I walk towards them, loom over their shoulders, and ask, “Are you guys surfing porn?”

The looks on their faces, and the mocking laughter clearly spells out: Not only are you not cool, you’re a big fucken loser.
At this point, realizing my faux-pas, I’m just grateful they aren’t giving my kid a wedgie and leaving the party.

It’s cake time.
I love cake time!
The candles, the singing, the ceremony of cutting and serving the first piece of cake.
Whose gonna want the biggest piece? Whose gonna fight for the buttercream flowers?
I come out of the kitchen, candles burning, set the cake on the dining room table, and yell out, “Come on boys, it’s time for cake.”

Nobody moves. Nobody even turns from the XBox and the iPod (where I’m pretty sure they were surfing porn, thank you very much, I’m not a fucken idiot!)

“Heeeellooo!” I sing in my opera voice.
This time the boys do turn around.
Good. I’ve got their attention at least, so I launch into, “Happy birthday to yoooou! Happy birthday to yoooouuu! Happy birthday dear…come on guys, sing it with me…dear Jaaaaaacksoooon!”

Nope. Nothing.
They’re looking at me like I’ve sprouted another head.
Actually, that’s not even true. I think there would have been more enthusiasm in their eyes if I had indeed sprouted another head.
My son, Jackson, is holding his head  between his hands.

I’ve definitely been bumped from the Cool Train.

The party continues for a couple more hours, at which time I avoid being in the same room as the teens.
I pop in long enough to refill drinks, the chip bowls, and the cookie platter.
So I’m not the coolest in the world, but the “Happy Birthday” fiasco seems to have been forgotten and/or forgiven.

Suddenly, from the living room, I hear their voices (their horrible horrible voices!) singing karaoke.
Who knew XBox 360 has an “American Idol” game.
I fly into the living room, and ask, “Mind if I play?”

Nails on a chalk board.
Record player needle scratching across the vinyl.
Cat screeching.

Not only am I not cool. But my son runs to get my husband, who comes in, takes me by the shoulders, and walks me out of the living room.
He sits me down beside him where he’s watching hockey, and says, “Why don’t you cheer for Toronto instead. That would be really cool.”

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86 Responses to It's a slippery slope…
  1. Mommy's Sippy Cup
    November 1, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    Aww…the joys of motherhood! I am so not looking forward to those days!

  2. The Adorkable Ditz
    November 1, 2010 | 6:04 pm

    Yeah teenagers are so fickle. I still think you're cool though!

  3. Gigi
    November 1, 2010 | 6:07 pm

    You may not be cool in your teens eyes anymore – but you are still cool among your peeps. That's where it matters. Happy birthday to your son!

  4. Jane
    November 1, 2010 | 6:08 pm

    Don't worry, you'll be cool once again! Great post, and happy birthday to your son!


  5. Kristina P.
    November 1, 2010 | 6:12 pm

    The not cool realization hit me when I was at a friend's house with several other women, and we were in another room from her teenagers, talking about, uh amorous things. And they were like "eeeew!", "Gross!", etc. And then I realized I was their mom's gross, old friend.

  6. daniela
    November 1, 2010 | 6:16 pm

    This is where Wayne is slightly wrong. Cheering for the Leafs is not cool.
    *GO HABS GO*


  7. Monkey Man
    November 1, 2010 | 6:19 pm

    Uh, gee, Mom. Get your own friends. As for fecally smeared hands….how do you expect these kids to develop any sort of immune system if they don't eat a bit of bacteria now and again.

  8. Ashley
    November 1, 2010 | 6:28 pm

    Hilarious! I'm so nervous for the teenage years.

  9. becca
    November 1, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    honey i think about the time we are called mom we are officially kicked off the cool train.but at least you tried and i bet you would have totally rocked the American Idol game.

  10. Shell
    November 1, 2010 | 6:40 pm

    I'm not looking forward to the teen years. Though my 5 year old already thinks his mama is NOT COOL. :(

    I like your new design, though I love that you put the cartoon back in your side bar!

  11. Portia
    November 1, 2010 | 7:07 pm

    When my kids were teens I was a cool mom. Umm, right? Maybe? OK I was the mom with two tattoos, that should have counted for something!

    Now I will be vying for the "cool grandma" award!

  12. Mom of the Perpetually Grounded
    November 1, 2010 | 7:18 pm

    Oh, You Are Cool! No doubt about it. You Are Awesome : )

  13. Sparkling
    November 1, 2010 | 7:20 pm

    As a middle school teacher, we are secretly allowed to see teens enjoy themselves. But like parents, if we say the wrong thing, we are totally not cool. But they expect that and seem to accept it. They just can't accept uncool parents, though.

    I do love 6th grade. They think I am the funniest thing since sliced bread. Then they come back in 7th and are like WTF why are you so STUUUUPID. It's the teen years. You've got to love them!

  14. Matty
    November 1, 2010 | 7:32 pm

    As a former 13 year old boy, let me assure you that being "cool" is THE most important thing. And the ONLY thing. Moms of sons just don't understand. They don't get it. Boys want you to love them, dote on them, and wait on them……UNLESS, and I repeat, UNLESS…their friends are around. Period. Next time, and I say this with all due respect mom…..STAY THE F@#$ OUT OF THE WAY!


  15. Mamma has spoken
    November 1, 2010 | 7:56 pm

    As a mom with 4 sons, agree with Matty, he says it best.

  16. bluzdude
    November 1, 2010 | 8:00 pm

    Matty hits the nail on the head. You can't win. The only thing your son wants then is for you to drop off the snacks, then disappear.

    But don't dismay. He's going to have a kid one day, who will look at him the same way.

  17. Diane
    November 1, 2010 | 8:08 pm

    My oldest is 11 and I stopped being cool in his eyes a long time ago. He pretends he doesn't know me if I show up at school. The last time I showed up over there the little shit almost broke into a run down the hall so I wouldn't appoach him in front of his friends. And I was there to check him out early!

  18. -stephanie-
    November 1, 2010 | 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the lesson. Keep mouth shut around your child's friends, except when serving food.

    Your son is cute.

  19. Bouncin' Barb
    November 1, 2010 | 8:24 pm

    Sandra…it could be much worse. He could grow up and hate you like my son. So take uncool for what it is. It's a cool way to say he loves you.

  20. Donna @ The House on the Corner
    November 1, 2010 | 8:24 pm

    I just want you to know that if you lived near me, I would be the one outside standing on your sidewalk holding a lighter above my head in homage to your wit and wisdom. I love your blog!!

  21. Julianna
    November 1, 2010 | 8:37 pm

    We were out trick or treating last night in the PITCH black night, I say to my oldest, "Ok buddy, run to the next house, go bud go!" He turns and says, "Ma, you're embarassing me, knock it off."

    Yup. Even in the pitch black where no one can see me, I'm an embarassment.

    No worries, I'll keep you company on the train ride out of coolsville. :)

  22. ChiTown Girl
    November 1, 2010 | 8:42 pm

    oh, honey, you are still SO cool!!

    It's always pissed my son off that his friends have always thought I was "the coolest mom EVER!" They're all juniors now, and I can't believe I'm still hanging on to my title! But, if it were up to my son, I wouldn't be allowed within 100 feet of him and his friends. :(

  23. DCHY
    November 1, 2010 | 8:43 pm

    Still cool in my eyes for what you did in there. Feeding them junk and junk. :)

  24. Soccer Mom
    November 1, 2010 | 8:59 pm

    HA! I still think I'm the cool mom, but apparently I'm not…sigh. It's so sad, isn't it? Oh well, we'll join a hubby takes us by the shoulders to watch hockey (for us it's The Capitals) club!

  25. Charlene
    November 1, 2010 | 9:09 pm

    I don't know anything about his Mom thing, having not been one. I figure you'll be cool again when he and his wife, booty call, baby momma need child care?

    Teens are insane in a totally different way they were insane before 13. Like the bullying chant: It gets better?

  26. Heather
    November 1, 2010 | 9:18 pm

    I am sure your son's friends think you are cool. IN fact they were probably intimidated by your coolness.

    In other news…In my calendar I just crossed out the birthday party I had planned for my teenage son.

  27. Classy Career Girl
    November 1, 2010 | 9:19 pm

    What a funny kid! He will think you are cool again someday, don't worry:) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  28. blueviolet
    November 1, 2010 | 9:25 pm

    Why, why, why did you keep trying to redeem yourself?

  29. Colleen
    November 1, 2010 | 9:34 pm

    I'm sure you'll be the coolest mom ever when he's 17 and wants to take the car. :)

  30. Mo 'Betta
    November 1, 2010 | 9:44 pm

    Love the new blog look, everyone is getting "makeovers", makes me want to change mine too!!! And my kids, at least my 7 & 9 year old, already think I'm uncool. And old. Apparently, anyone over the age of 27 is old. What do they know? I'm cool. Maybe. And my 2 year old still thinks I'm awesome :)

  31. Theres just life
    November 1, 2010 | 9:47 pm

    The thin line between cool and dork is only visible by kids. And it keeps moving, what was cool a minute ago is now way not cool and embarrassing.
    This is spoken by someone who trips on that line but has a hard time walking it.

  32. Yandie, Goddess of Pickles.
    November 1, 2010 | 9:56 pm

    I'm admittedly a nerd of epic proportions and generally always have been. The upside of this is I don't think I'll have that 'Not-Cool' crisis with my kids, because I've never been cool.

    Just weird.

    Although I know the day is coming when they are no longer amused by my eccentricities.. Then I'll break out the big embarrassing guns.

    My kids are so gonna need therapy.

  33. A girl needs 2 Talk
    November 1, 2010 | 10:04 pm

    Ouch! Sandra, I'm singing with you, "Happy Birthday dear Jaaaaackson!!" Can I get the biggest piece of the birthday cake now??!

    p.s. you ARE so cool!

  34. Pragmatic Spector
    November 1, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    Parents only become cool to their kids when the said kids have their own children. THAT's when we start listening

  35. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal
    November 1, 2010 | 10:19 pm

    I have been uncool for awhile now. I'm not sure when I made that hard left turn. But it's so not cool.

    Today my youngest turned 17. He doesn't even want to have a party anymore so consider yourself lucky. And I just asked him about surfing for porn too! Could that be why?

  36. Anna See
    November 1, 2010 | 10:56 pm

    LOVE THIS! Feel like I was at the party in all its glory. You are cool in my book.

    At my son's party, my husband wouldn't let them take their sodas out of the kitchen. They had to keep coming up 2 flights of stairs for a sip, then back to the basement. Decidedly UNcool.

  37. iloveryu
    November 1, 2010 | 11:09 pm

    oh gosh. what an experience. i can't wait til my son does that to me when he reaches that age. i think you did what any great mother would do. good adult supervision and trying to mingle. i say you're a cool mom regardless! :)

  38. Ameena
    November 1, 2010 | 11:14 pm

    So, in a nutshell, this is what I'll be facing in a few years? I already feel uncool so I can only imagine how much worse it's going to get!

  39. Carlita
    November 1, 2010 | 11:25 pm

    My 3 year old doesn't want me to hold his hand when we are out and about b/c he is a "big boy"…I already feel kicked to the curb:-( waaaaaaaaahhhhh

  40. linlah
    November 1, 2010 | 11:34 pm

    Trust me in about 10 years you'll be cool again. It's along wait but it's worth it.

  41. The Kooky Queen--Rachel
    November 2, 2010 | 12:20 am

    "fecally infected hands"—hahahaha!!!!!!! That is great! Thanks for coming by my blog! You've got a new follower, I'll be back. :)

  42. Christina
    November 2, 2010 | 12:55 am

    That is the same club my 11yo belongs to also. We recently received his school pictures and he looks absolutely miserable. You would think we beat him. Apparently it is a crime to smile in junior high.

  43. Shelley
    November 2, 2010 | 2:16 am

    This was hilarious!! Basically in order to be cool, it's beter to be seen and not heard. Now go make me some cookies, woman! Hahaha!

  44. Woman In The Midst: Raw
    November 2, 2010 | 3:59 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I swear – to – God! We are related!! Well, all except for that fecal spreading illness part.. Hahaha.. Sooo funny. I too am a singing Mom, I too tried to "bust a move" – I'm not cool either. – On the karaoke. I too hovered about the parties until dragged off but hey, at least I got those buttercream flowers! ALL was not lost!
    Great post.
    Happy Birthday Jackson and WHAT a cutie he is!!

  45. Buckeroomama
    November 2, 2010 | 5:23 am

    LOL! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. :) I guess that's what I could look forward to, eh?

  46. Jessica
    November 2, 2010 | 6:03 am

    ::shoulder rub:: It'll be okay. You'll be cook again when he wants money or when he wants you to babysit his kids. That was wonderfully funny btw.

  47. Gigi
    November 2, 2010 | 7:12 am

    I'm sending my kids over to your house when they're teens.I can't handle it.

  48. TheUnSoccerMom
    November 2, 2010 | 8:13 am

    This had me laughing out loud!!!!

    I can just picture the scene in my head. Too funny…. :o )

    Thank you for commenting on my blog!!

  49. MacDougal Street Baby
    November 2, 2010 | 8:45 am

    Hear ye. Hear ye. Let it be known that this is precisely the reason why I will be on vacation while my children are adolescents.

  50. SkippyMom
    November 2, 2010 | 9:07 am

    It makes me sad how many people fear the teenage years [especially when their kids are still preschool age, gack! That is a long time to worry.]

    The teenage years are fun [especially if you stop fretting about them and enjoy them] and are the last ones you have left before they leave for school/job/life.

    Sandra I know a lot of this is tongue in cheek and Jackson was thrilled that you did such a great job on his party. I mean you didn't REALLY say the fecal matter thing, did you? DID YOU? ::head in hands:: Oh, my god, you did.

    Okay sweetheart. You didn't get bumped off the train of cool – the hobo clan of 13 y.o.s threw your behind off.

    Seriously tho' – I really think the porn question redeemed you. Next time you might want to strategically hide a couple of Playboys in the couch cushions. THAT would be cool. [I am kidding people. Kidding!] :)

  51. Steph
    November 2, 2010 | 9:37 am

    Teenagers are weird. Especially when there is more than one. Someday they will be thankful that you are so cool.

  52. Lady Fromage
    November 2, 2010 | 9:40 am

    Ha! Nothing can make you feel as uncool as teenagers :)

  53. Semi-Slacker Mom
    November 2, 2010 | 10:03 am

    Great. I can only imagine how much worse teenage girls can be. I think you're cool, so you can totally be in my Cool Club.

    Love the new look. Sorry I've been MIA.

  54. Jill
    November 2, 2010 | 10:17 am

    How does that happen exactly? By virtue of being an adult, we're not cool anymore. So unfair! I am not looking forward to teens. SCARY! Although I have cousins in their late teens and they totally think I'm the old cousin :( Guess it's good practice HA

  55. ModernMom
    November 2, 2010 | 10:51 am

    Would it be uncool if I hold out hope that girls will be different! Sigh…yeah I know they will be the same:)

  56. MissEmy
    November 2, 2010 | 11:00 am

    LOL!!! Makes me love the stage when kids are 3 and they love you no matter what you do! You can be incredibly silly and stupid and they're happy. :D :D Happy Birthday to your son!

  57. Boobies
    November 2, 2010 | 11:39 am

    It's funny how once they turn 13-we lose our cool status. :( Not fair!

  58. Jules
    November 2, 2010 | 11:51 am

    I don't think any of us parents are very cool when they are in their early teens. Don't worry, my kids are 24 and 26 and I think I am once again cool in their eyes.

    At least I know I am in my grandchildren's eyes.

  59. Booyah's Momma
    November 2, 2010 | 12:27 pm

    I'm pretty sure I lost my cool status with my kids long ago. And my oldest is 4. So I'm thinking I can only get higher on the cool scale… right?

  60. ShannonL
    November 2, 2010 | 12:57 pm

    Hilarious! I am laughing out loud. You are SO cool in my book! But my son is turning 13 in March and he would act the exact same way. Man, I LOVE karaoke! Too bad they wouldn't play with you. :-P

    Go HABS go!

  61. Holly Ruggiero
    November 2, 2010 | 1:02 pm

    That’s hysterical. I can’t image you losing your cool status just for talking about washing up and fecal matter.

  62. KittyCat
    November 2, 2010 | 1:55 pm

    You sound like a cool mom to me, But then again I would have or prob did those same things.

    To my soccerboy who is 16 I am soooo uncool.

    I say WHATEVER!

  63. nitebyrd
    November 2, 2010 | 2:15 pm

    Once they hit the teenage years, you stop being cool until they need money or a ride.

    You'll become very cool again when you start babysitting the grandkids.

    Glad your son enjoyed his parties. I think you're pretty damn cool for having a room full of 13 year old kids!

  64. Ehsan
    November 2, 2010 | 2:16 pm

    that was really cool!!

  65. Kristy
    November 2, 2010 | 2:29 pm

    He'll love you forever. Even if you're not cool right now.

  66. Deborah
    November 2, 2010 | 2:51 pm

    My oldest would BEG me to not sing OR dance whenever her friends were over. I mortified her.

    Aaaaah, good times!

    You know, secretly, they think you're cool.

  67. MommaKiss
    November 2, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    I can't wait to be super cool to my boys. They're gonna LOVE it. Or, well, I will ;)

  68. Lourie
    November 2, 2010 | 3:30 pm

    You are a new kind of cool. You are an embarrassment to your son. Now that my friend is COOL! You have arrived. ;)

  69. Traci
    November 2, 2010 | 3:52 pm

    Well, that pretty much pops my bubble of dreaming that I will be the "cool mom" in a few years. Dang.

  70. Linda Medrano
    November 2, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    Sandra, you are actually too cool for school!

  71. Madame DeFarge
    November 2, 2010 | 5:20 pm

    Sounds like many of my parties as a child. I think you can be anti-cool, which is almost more cool than being cool.

  72. Michaela
    November 2, 2010 | 6:20 pm

    Im just like you. I used to be the Pied Piper of kids. Now my kids are 12 and 14, I am just darn embarrassing. The best I can do is buy pizza, shut up, dont sing, and just drive the car. Fortunately for my ego, Im a music teacher. All my students are tiny, and they ALL think Im the BEST. One of them writes "I love you Michaela" on a Post-it, and sits there with it stuck to her forehead during the lesson. SO cute!

  73. Bridget
    November 2, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    Hehehehe, I can so totally relate! My son is 13 and I now embarrass him…go figure…

  74. The Chicken's Consigliere
    November 2, 2010 | 8:43 pm

    I'm sure you are totally cool. You just need a different group of peers with which to hang. It is all perception. Not washing your hands? Definitely not cool. See how that works? Just keep rocking your (totally hygienic) coolness.

  75. mrs.boring stay at homer
    November 2, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    I remember recently reading something of a birthing story on here? HELLO!! Totally entitles you to a"Happy Birthday" solo any day.

  76. Busy Working Mama
    November 2, 2010 | 10:01 pm

    Oh sweet mother mary. Can Lily stay 3 forever? B/c she tells me daily that I am her best mom.

  77. bananas.
    November 2, 2010 | 10:47 pm


    well if it makes you feel any better, i think you're cool.

    but really can i play that karoake game? please. pretty please!!!

  78. Jen
    November 2, 2010 | 11:18 pm

    You are the mom of a teenager. It is your job to embarrass them. Well done.

  79. Kathleen
    November 2, 2010 | 11:26 pm

    Oh they just don't know what cool is. :) My oldest is at that stage now. Kissing your mom goodnight is okay when your 10 and being tucked into bed, but not so much when the safety patrols are watching you climb out of the van in the morning. Glad he had a great birthday and you were able to capture a rare smile on film!

  80. mama k
    November 3, 2010 | 7:47 am

    I don't want my son to grow up!! Your posts are hilarious! Can't wait to read more :)

  81. Myya
    November 3, 2010 | 10:27 am

    Uggghhhh I so don't want those days to come. Good thing I;ve got a little while.

  82. TheBabyMammaChronicles
    November 3, 2010 | 11:06 am

    You sound pretty cool to me! I'll play Idol with you anytime. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  83. Kelly L
    November 3, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    Great post- I had a visual the whole time – my teen daughters think I'm a very uncool mom too – except when they need

    Love to you
    I've Become My Mother

  84. Wombat Central
    November 3, 2010 | 10:35 pm

    So dreading those teen years… I'm already losing cool points and my son is only eight!

  85. Lyn
    November 4, 2010 | 9:37 am

    At least you have moments of coolness with your kids – I think I'm permanently in the uncool category!

  86. Marla
    November 7, 2010 | 10:45 pm

    This is the coolest post EVER!

    Ignore those teenage mutants. We are still cool no matter what they don't say outloud.

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