Talladega Nights Parenting

Momservation: Out of the mouths of babes is a short trip from out of the mouth of a parent.

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I live in a community (by choice) where people don’t ask if it’s a boy or a girl, but rather if their baby looks like it’ll go to Stanford or Harvard.

It’s a community where people put their babies on preschool waiting lists in utero (you think I’m kidding – I’m not).

It’s a community where if you ask if anyone’s ever eaten at the Golden Corral they will want to know if you have to be a member first of what they assume to be a premier equestrian complex.

For the most part I like it here. Good schools, good people with good intentions, good community support and involvement.

But then you have those few parents who ruin it for the rest of us – those of us trying to raise grounded kids in a privileged environment.

You know the ones:

–       Where the Tooth Fairy leaves $20 and your kid has to ask why their teeth are only worth a dollar.

–       Their kids are decked out in so many name brands you think they were Nascar racers and your kids want to know why they’re not sponsored by Abercrombie, American Eagle, and Nike.

–       Their kindergarteners have iTouches and their 3rd graders have iPhones and your kid wants to know how come they don’t have a screen name.

–       Allow their middle schoolers to have Facebook and Twitter accounts and your kid wants to know why they aren’t allowed to have any “friends” and “followers.”

–       Who demand their child be moved to a higher achieving class causing a mass exodus of followers only to have all the same kids in essentially the same class.

–       Who buy their kid a new car before they even have their Learner’s Permit and your kid wants to know if Back to School shopping always includes picking out the color of your new Lexus.

These are the parents you want to pull aside and whisper, “You do know that this isn’t Talladega Nights, you aren’t Ricky Bobby, and the saying, ‘If you ain’t first you’re last’ is supposed to be a joke.”

Life isn’t a sprint cup race. It’s not about what you can do for your children to put them ahead, but what they can do for themselves with their own ambition, at their own pace.

As much as I love my neighbors and friends who live in my community, it can be exhausting living here, doing damage control all the time, trying to reassure your children that living a life of running at your own pace doesn’t mean you’re falling behind at being successful in life.

As long as they believe in themselves, try their best, and can feel good about how they achieve their goals, they’ll get there when they get there.

Then they can slap their friends Walker and Texas Ranger on the back and say, “So, what did you end up doing with all that Tooth Fairy money you saved up?”


  1. Nicole says:

    I’m still giggling over the Talladega Nights reference – Awesome Baby Jesus.
    Work ethic, self responsibility…where are you? Earn it and love it more!

    • kellimwheeler says:

      See – you’re feelin’ me Nicole! Forget the Nike Free Runs, throw on some hand-me-down Puma’s and be in charge of your own destiny! Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment that comes from working and earning it yourself!
      BTW, “Sweet Baby Jesus!” is a favorite exclamation in the Wheeler house. So is, “You better knock it off or I’m gonna come at ya like a spider monkey all hopped up on Mt. Dew.”

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