I've always been one to listen to advice. When I was a teenager, I actually believed that my parents did know more than me. Just the fact that they had lived twice as long as I had seemed to argue in favor of them having more wisdom and experience than I did.
I still assume most people know more than I do. I guess I kind of figure that, if I've heard about it, then everyone else on the planet must already know it. Except in one area: I still think I know more than my kids do. Too bad they don't always agree with me! Yesterday I didn't know noodles. Seriously. My son and I had a discussion involving Ramen noodles. And no matter what I said, he had an answer. It wasn't always the right answer, but it was delivered with such conviction and just a hint of superiority.
It all started because a couple in the church wanted to take me and my husband out for dinner. I went to the store and bought frozen pizzas for the boys, so I could fix them a quick supper before we left. I knew Matt was working that night, so I bought three pizzas, which I thought would feed four boys. (Just barely, but that's another post!) After I got home, I realized that Matt would still be there for supper because he didn't go into work until later. He was disappointed because I only bought three pizzas, and insisted that wouldn't be enough for all of them. I suggested that he go to the store and pick up another one (or two), but he said he would eat ramen noodles instead. I stopped him as he headed down the stairs.
"The box of ramen noodles I bought today is for your sister at college."
"You should just send her a Walmart gift card and save the postage." The wisdom of one year at college and nineteen years of life.
"I have other things I need to send her as well, so I'm sending the noodles to her."
"It's silly to waste the postage when there's a Walmart just down the street from the school." Did I mention the other things I needed to send? Oh. He just wasn't listening.
"Stephanie doesn't have a car, Matt. And the girls have to be in at least groups of three if they're going off campus. And they have to get off-campus passes signed too."
Matt had a car at school. Actually, he had my car at school. And he worked off-campus. Stopping to pick something up or running errands was no big deal to him.
"Stephanie doesn't need a car, Mom." Now his tone was patronizing. Someday he will learn that doesn't help his argument. "The Walmart is in walking distance."
The part about the off-campus passes and having to go in groups of three apparently had no merit. Not to mention it's still winter up in Indiana. Or the fact that, whatever she buys, she has to carry back with her while she walks back to the dorm. There was no sense in arguing with someone that knows so much anyway.
"Look, if you want ramen noodles, open the box and take a packet. I was going to take the packets out of the box anyway, to save space in shipping."
"That's okay," he said as he walked away. "There's a whole other box of noodles in the pantry."
Wait. He wasn't even arguing for something to eat? That whole conversation was simply to impart his vast wisdom to my stupid little head?
I know that someday he will realize how much more his parents know than he does. But by that time, he'll be trying to convince his teenager of his own wisdom.
I'll be tempted to side with the teenager!