Parenting Craps


We all know THOSE moms.

You know the ones. The ones who have masters degrees in child psychology and seem to always know what is best for your kid and look down their noses at you when you have some minor issues with your own kids. And you just know they are thinking “you poor, poor stupid mom” as they look like they have just sucked on a case of lemons.

I know one of them.

JC has been friends with this mom’s daughter since kindergarten. JC and Haley have done Girl Scouts and soccer together, had sleepovers and birthday parties. Since graduation they have drifted apart but they still run into each other occasionally.  So when JC came home this weekend and told me what was happening with Haley I was really surprised.

Haley had some problems in school and needed to have tutoring to get her to read at grade level and always had to push herself to get good grades. And her mom pushed her. Pushed her in school and in sports to excel. So off she went to college. Moved into the dorms, played soccer and seemed to have adjusted fairly well. She moved home when the school year was done. But that didn’t last.

Haley is now living with friends, working two jobs and has no plans to go back to school. She apparently was not doing well and gave up. She moved out because her parents put too many rules in place. The girl is 19. Yes, she is living under your roof and there needs to be respectful, reasonable rules. But not rules that treat them like they are 16 again.

We were talking about it at dinner and MJ then tells me that Haley’s brother has run away and has been a handful of trouble. So what happened to this family that both kids are rebelling?

She always told me that she thought that we were too free with JC and didn’t have enough rules and that was why she was boy crazy. Blah-blah-blah blah-blah. Like all parents, you do what you think is right for your kids. We had rules. Lots of rules. Maybe different rules that she had for her kids but they were still rules.

We had curfews, who she could hang out with, what dances she could go to, when she could date, who she could date. But we also trusted her. And I think that is the one thing that made a difference.

Trust.

It’s hard to trust sometimes but if your children don’t do anything to lose trust, why do you still distrust them? We always tell our kids that we trust them until they do something to lose it. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our circle of trust violated by both kids but then they have more limits until they regain the trust. And it takes A LONG TIME for that to happen.

This family didn’t trust their kids.  They installed that driving camera for the car to monitor their driving habits. Once, Haley turned on the radio which broke the rules and she got her driving privileges taken away. For turning on the radio! The only reason they knew this was because they downloaded the video and watched it. I understand instilling safe driving habits, but really?

Is she a bad mom for being so strict? No, she was doing what she thought was best for her kids and the kids are pushing back finally. Then who is the bad mom here?

It’s me.

My heart goes out to Haley and I hope and pray she finds her way. I hope she goes back to school so she doesn’t have to have 3 jobs to make ends meet.

I am a bad mom because in my heart, I am gloating. Yes, I am gloating because this lemon-faced mom thought that my daughter would end up pregnant at 17. Instead she is graduating with her first degree in December, less than 2 year after graduating from high school. While she doesn’t know what she wants to do, she is enrolling in an undergraduate science program at the local university. And my daughter has done it debt free, paying her way through school.

I am gloating and I feel bad and bitchy for it. I just want to go up to her and tell her neither one of us had the right answers. We did what we thought was best. Parenting is a crap shoot and you hope for the best.

And yes, I will be saying nah-nah-na-boo-boo under my breath. It’s what sassy bitches do.

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Tap, Tap


Sleepovers seem to happen a lot more these days than when I was a kid.

This past Friday, we had MJ and his two buddies here for a sleep over. I kicked them out to the camper to sleep. Why?

  1. They could be loud and not disturb us or the neighbors. We live in the country and the closest neighbors disturb us enough, so who the hell cares about them? Not me.
  2. They could stay up as late as they want.
  3. They have to clean up the mess.
  4. We didn’t have to tiptoe around the house if we woke up at 7 am.
  5. We could lock the door and hear if they came in the house.
  6. We could be as noisy as we wanted. Why would we want to be noisy? See #4. *Arching eyebrows here*
So Saturday comes and this time it’s someone else’s turn to host the sleep over.Whoo-hoo…so I drive MJ and his friend back to the friend’s house. I feel a bit taken advantage of…why does it seem like I am the one to have to do ALL of the driving? Really. I picked his friends up on Friday, now here I am, bringing him home. It does piss me off to some extent. Whatever happened to sharing the burden of the taxi service?
S0 the call comes at 10:30 am. Whoa…did I say 10:30 am? I did…they were up BEFORE lunch. Wonders never cease to amaze me!
“Pick me up at about 1:30.” Yup, just like a taxi service!
I pick my son up because a) he has chores to do and b) nobody will bring him home.
On the way home he tells me about their night.
“We played “Tapping” last night. It’s like ding-dong ditch but more fun.”
As a mom, instinct tells me that I should be appalled by this revelation. I should be yelling at him for doing this to people. But instead, I ask the logical question. “What is Tapping?”
“It’s so cool! You take a band-aid and put fishing line on it, tape the fishing line to the penny, put the band-aid on the window and roll more fishing line out. Then you hide behind a tree and pull the fishing line.”
Tap, tap, tap.
“It make a tapping noise on the window and people come to look out to see what it is and then you stop. They walk away ‘cuz they can’t see anything. Then as soon as they leave, you do it again! They come back and they are all confused, they can’t see anything. You have to do it to a house where the lights are on and you can see the people inside and see how they react.One guy came out and looked and found it, shined a light on us. We ran! The guys started laughing and said we didn’t have to run…yeah right! We weren’t taking any chances!”
Tap, tap, tap.
Then he proceeds to tell me that one house they did this too, the lady gets her phone and a few minutes later, cops are crawling the neighborhood. I hear how they got spooked and was running through the neighborhood, jumping fences, trying not to run into trees. All the while trying to not get caught by the cops.
“I lost my shoe when I hit a stump and did a front flip over it…I had to go back to get it. Jimmy tried to jump the ditch and misjudged it and face-planted on the other side! We got back to Jimmy’s house and we were all like out of breath and junk and we couldn’t believe we didn’t get caught!”
Do I yell? Do I tell him how naughty he is? Nope, and nope.
I am laughing so hard that I am almost peeing my pants and wiping tears from my cheeks. I tell him of all the times we went out ding-dong ditching at 2 am. Although, back in the day we didn’t call it that. We called it something totally different, inappropriate and completely politically incorrect.
Why didn’t I get mad?
  • They were doing this to people who were awake, not the 2 am doorbell ringing.
  • They weren’t out vandalizing homes and yards.
  • They weren’t out lighting bags of shit on doorsteps and ringing the doorbell. (Yes, we did this…)
  • They weren’t out smoking or drinking.
I figure teens will be teens. They didn’t hurt anyone and will have a fun memory to tell their kids about. It certainly is better than a “one time, at band camp” memory!
So what do you think? Am I a totally cool mom or am I an idiot for not getting mad at the boys?

Moving Day ~Finally


After a couple of false alarms, moving day is officially today.

All of the stars have aligned, documents have been signed, and it is a done deal. JC is moving today.

We have yet to see her apartment as she did this all on her own. Oh, we know where it is and approve of the place but we haven’t had to do anything other than work out a budget to make sure she saves enough for Fall tuition and can afford rent and food. The important stuff.

We went shopping last night. Our contribution is all the paper goods and cleaning supplies. It doesn’t seem like much but the other parents are doing the first week’s grocery shopping for them. She stole took a couple of bath towels, wash cloths and is taking the toothpaste from the bathroom she shares with her brother.

Into the cart went gallon size shampoo and conditioner.

“It says it has 125 washes in it. That will last me the entire summer!” Ulterior motives.

What I hear?

“I won’t have to buy my shampoo and conditioner.”

Razors? Into the cart. And not the cheap ones I buy either. They were the expensive 4 blade ones that I only dream about. I say nothing, but plan on stealing taking one when she’s not looking. Shhh….she will never notice.

So, after work tonight, her bed gets moved. I am waiting to hear her hauling the bins out to her car. I will have to shut my office door so I don’t hear it. If I don’t hear it, it’s not real.

But I know it is. I keep reminding myself that she will be back in August. Have I said that before? I know. I have.

Emotions are going crazy. I am happy, sad, proud, worried, scared.

Let’s be honest. I am terrified because DB is still around. We have talked and I have prayed that she sees him for what he is. I have faith. I have to.

I must be more accepting of this whole thing. There are good things to come out of this.

She will learn what it is like to be a partial adult. She will be budgeting more, paying for more things on her own and not having us there for everything. It will be good for her.

And it will be good for us. We can start to let go.

Oh and the best part? Nobody will be downstairs directly under our bedroom *eyebrows raised, giggling*.

If you know what I mean!

And you thought I was too sad to be sassy! NEVER!

P.S I will have a guest blog over at No Longer Quiet on Friday. It is my first and I am honored to be chosen. Head on over there today to take a look-see. He is great!