Continuing with the theme of being too lazy to write new stuff of showcasing my favourite posts from way, way, too long to mention ago, I thought we’d review some of the rules pertaining to parenting a teen. I have updated this post from November 2005 to reflect real names where necessary*, as it was originally written on my first blog, Desperate to be a Housewife, and back then I was hiding my family behind nicknames I no longer use in my writing.
Whether you’re in possession of a teen right now or are blissfully ignorant of their, well, sometimes ignorant ways (because you still have sweet, lucious, innocent and perfect little babies and toddlers) — I hope you’ll take note of these rules that never made it into the Original Parenting Handbook. You know, the one delivered to all of our houses by the stork? Along with the baby? Yeah, that handbook.
Something weird happened Monday morning…
While dropping Ashley off at school the other day, an odd thing happened. Perhaps I should say a REALLY odd thing happened. An event of epic proportions never before seen by a parent with a teenager on this green earth.
Ashley and Nita got out of the van with their usual, “thanks for the ride Mrs. P” and “thanks Mom!” Then they joined their friends that were just getting out of the truck in front of me. Because there was too much traffic in the parking lot for me to pull out immediately, I kind of just sat and watched the girls for a moment. Not to say I dared to look directly at them for more than about 2 seconds each…didn’t want to break parent/teen code [EEW6.4(a)]…but as I was glancing at Ashley’s friend Maggie who had just joined them…MAGGIE TURNED AROUND AND WAVED AT ME!!!
Now, Maggie is a great kid…a brilliant soccer player, a very talented singer (I’ll be there in line after her parents to buy her first single) and a beautiful girl. What I didn’t know about Maggie was her propensity to be lured by “the Dark Side”. I mean waving at a friend’s parent…an old person…in broad daylight? Was she not aware of this completely unacceptable social faux pas?
I’m only telling you this because I was made aware of the “waving” rule [NOT89.1(d)] very early in Ashley’s teen years…Grade 6 to be exact. I picked her up from school one day and the following conversation ensued:
Ashley getting into the van: “Don’t EVER wave at me again!”
Procrastamom: “What? I waved because I thought you didn’t see me.”
I saw you!
But you looked like you were looking all over the place for me. You walked by the van three times!
I saw you just fine. I was trying to ignore you…especially after you waved! You shouldn’t do that to me Mom, it’s embarrassing!
Does this mean the matching sweaters I just bought for you and me are out of the question?
Eew Mom, NO!
What about me picking you up from school in my housecoat and curlers? Is that out? Could we hold hands and skip maybe sometime? Or, next time you can’t find me, I could roll down the window and yell, “Over here Little Lamb!!!”
Oh my god…you are so weird…
So, you see, I’m totally schooled on the “waving” rule. There’s nothing like having a teenager to encourage you to bring yourself up to code.
Anyways, back to Maggie…after the initial shock of being waved at, then turning around a full 180 degrees in my seat to check that she wasn’t, in fact, waving at someone else (let’s see…cabdriver? nope, not him…geeky science teacher? nope…must be me then), I turned and waved back. Just one of those little, limp-wristed, dead fish waves. Just so I actually acknowledged I’d seen her…but not so enthusiastic that I embarrassed her…I mean, she’d just outed herself…Maggie the Pariah…who was I to make it worse?
My question is this. Do I call her parents and report this odd behaviour? Suggest intervention? Therapy? Because if it were Ashley I’d want to know…
(*Ashley’s friends names were changed to protect their privacy and to protect me from ending up as an example on one of those Hate Club Communitys on Facebook)