Parents are Recycled Life Forms by Betty Mason Arthurs

Titus, almost 3

Parents are Recycled Life Forms by Betty Mason Arthurs

Yes, my husband and I are now recycled. We’ve been collected, sorted, smashed and painfully reshaped by 47 years of parenthood. And we only raised two children. Now the seven grandkids are determined to help us, and their parents, change our nincompoop status into fine, upstanding old people.

Talk about recycling, our astute city is very happy with us because for years our family has fed used magazines, papers, cans, bottles, and toilet paper tubes to our blue dumpster. Thus my idea came for this post. Parenthood took us from the world of adulthood and recycled us, in my exalted opinion, into a confused daddy and mommy and grandparents.

I can confirm that the label stamped on the bottom of our feet after years of parenting:  “Made from biodegradable fuzz-brains and turbulent offspring.” None of our pre-child, God-given senses are intact, so help me God.


I now wear two hearing aids. Ear drums have been battered by the cries of colicky babies, 90,000 watts of 105.000 decibels of music and marching band. (Our son was a drummer and we lovingly gave him a drum set in his bedroom to further his music career.) Our daughter’s favorite music blasted NON-STOP from her room and her favorite song was “To Hell With the Devil!” by Stryper. Our grandchildren wonder why all we say is, “What?” “Huh?” and “Say again.”

I recommend since nerve damage is permanent, get the best hearing aid money can buy.


Your nostrils may be cauterized by years of smelly diapers, snotty tissues, soggy gym socks, sweaty shin guards, non-effective teen deodorant and science experiments left for months under the bed. Today the invasion of six grandsons, who are non-stop eating machines, cause the stinky garbage to pile up as high as South Mountain in Phoenix. We won’t mention the delicate subject of flatulence. Healthy food is yucky and thus gets thrown out.

I recommend saving money towards nasal transplants which should be available by 2022.


The kids are gone but you still crave cold pizza, combo-cheesy-greasy subs, and the Golden Arches flash neon yellow in your dreams:  “Burgers and fries, burgers and fries!” (Your thickly coated arteries scream back, “High cholesterol!”) The grands also love fast food but they have decided Pappy’s famous pasta (My husband’s claim to fame) is also yummy. And I make terrific yellow Jell-O.

I recommend you never miss renewing your monthly prescription of cholesterol fighting medication.


Your eyes are blood-shot and twitch after years of midnight correction duty for illegible term papers. Playing video games with your sons and daughters may have boosted fun relationships but you have blurry night vision and struggle to drive in the dark. When you peer at your grandson and call him by his sister’s name, you can’t admit you have failing eye sight. You must give him a Tootsie Pop to help him get over his offense.

Buy the best eye glasses insurance you can find.


Every nerve is on high alert in your aged body. Instead of baby viruses with sky-high fevers, rashes, and nasty allergies of a child, you have to focus numerous hideous medical problems that come with age. You can’t hide behind a sweet child’s ear infections anymore. You can offer to take your grandchild to the doctor but are you prepared to climb on top of them and hold them down for their examination and shots? It may get your mind off your medical issues but the adorable grandchild won’t let you touch him or speak to you until they want money for college.

Take care of yourself, go to the doctor and try not to throw a hissy fit when he prescribes a $100 a pill medication for your rash-causing anxiety disorder.

In spite of our impaired senses, John and I try to look on the bright side. Our children turned out peachy-keen, we have a few brain cells left and money for coffee. And we are having fun witnessing our seven grandchildren recycle their parents. The other day at a family birthday celebration, our son yelled to his three rambunctious sons, “Keep the noise down!” Our daughter’s three boys can clean out the food in the pantry and refrigerator in the record time of three hours. She hides food in far away places so she can make dinner. She’s still looking for the frozen chicken tenders she bought a month ago.

Yep, it’s recycled parenthood for our son and daughter and their spouses. Can you hear me laughing and enjoying all with my recycled senses?

What stories can you share about your recycling adventures?



About Betty Mason Arthurs

I have been the CEO of my family for years...translation: I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, owned by two cats, and often drive my husband crazy. I have belonged to Tuesday's Children for over 20 years and without them my writing skill would have been left in rejection piles all across America. I am a non-fiction author who has leaped into novel writing and having fun in my memories of nursing school in the 1960s. We'll see if I can do an e-book with the adventures of my first novel. I am a Christian who isn't perfect but loves the Lord Jesus and I never take much that happens too seriously due to my weird sense of humor. And I'll talk about my seven grandchildren nonstop if you want me to. Blessings on all of you.
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6 Responses to Parents are Recycled Life Forms by Betty Mason Arthurs

  1. Oh! Betty! I’m still giggling! Seems to me you said it all. I love your sense of humor. We are honing our grandparenting skills by keeping our 6-year-old neighbor for a few days. Our youngest grandchild is 16 now, so it’s time for a refresher course. We will survive, we will!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Linda Carlblom says:

    You’ve got me in stitches, Betty! What a fun look at parent and grandparent-hood. And ALL TRUE! LOL. Thanks for such a fun–and insightful– post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Betty… Great column. Add a third(middle child) and you got us down pat. Now about this recycling–I recycle by throwing the biodegradable stuff(our 3 suffering tomato plants) into the woods some 15 feet from our back door. No one has complained yet. The coons haven’t stopped stealing corn, so it’s quiet around out bird feeder right now. However, much to Margie’s dread, they will be back. The squirrels have departed for the nut trees across the way, but left one little guy to keep the birds honest. They will also be back. Sometimes as many as 8. I am expecting the hummingbirds to have one last gathering, probably around the first of October and then they will come your way. Enough animal reports. Always good to get the news from you guys. In a couple of weeks we will be in Kentucky for THE WEDDING, so will have some more family news then.


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