I morphed into my grandmother yesterday, right before my children’s eyes. I could hear the words coming out of my mouth as if they were coming from another person. There was section of my brain thinking: “Well, this is an interesting turn of events. Didn’t you very loudly declare you weren’t going to be just like that when you had children of your own? Heh. Told ya.” This is how the scene played out…
I pulled into the driveway after work to see that the front door was open and the screen door was closed. Judging from the loud whir, the attic fan was on, pulling the air through the house and out the attic. So far, so good. Except that it was 92 degrees outside in Atlanta yesterday and the attic fan was sucking all of that heat straight into the house and right past our thermostat. The air conditioner was on, running full blast, and I was afraid to even ask how long THAT had been going on.
My brain exploded and I asked (in the creepy calm voice that parents ask after their eye starts to twitch but before the screaming starts) “uh, WHY are the door open and the attic fan running, while the air conditioner is blowing full blast? Have you lost your mind?” My wonderful 13 year old daughter replied by staring at me blankly and shrugging.“It was hot”, she said.
More eye twitching.
After turning off the attic fan then closing the door… (Did you know that if you close off the airflow before you turn off the attic fan, it sucks the air from holes in the house, like say the water heater closet, and blows out the pilot light? Just sayin.)… I dropped the temperature 2 degrees on the thermostat and the house was comfortable in a matter of minutes. I gently… and with great restraint… explained to the 13 year old honor roll student that if you don’t pull all of the hot air in the house, it’s easier for the air conditioner to, ya know, cool the house down.
The entire exchange lasted a grand total of a few seconds. But it made me wonder how often I really do turn into my grandmother. Here are some of the things I remember saying recently… and I’m a little miffed that I didn’t get to make good on my promise not to be That Parent. Damned kids these days…..
- Does EVERY light in the house really need to be on?
- Is that pair of shorts (jacket, t-shirt, skirt) really dirty? You only wore it 30 minutes. Think you could maybe, call me crazy, hang it up and wear it again?
- Yes, you DO have to eat your salad. I’m not paying to throw away perfectly good food.
- No, you don’t need new shorts. Cut off the pants that you just grew too tall for and wear those ‘til time to buy school clothes!
- Is it necessary to stay in the shower until all of the hot water is gone?
Huh… turns out, my granny was a pretty frugal (and smart) chick. I guess I shouldn’t be too put out with the fact that I picked up some of her values over the years. I have to confess though, I’m really looking forward to hearing these things come out of my kids’ mouths when dealing with their own little ones. Let’s see how long granny keeps talking.