Archive for the ‘Mommy Blogging’ Category

Summer is for Reruns – Rules For Parenting A Teen Edition

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)

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I now also want to own a hamburger phone

I finally watched Juno last night with my daughters. Yes, I’m probably one of the last people on Earth who hadn’t seen it, but I’ve been trying for months to get Richard to take me to the movies and he’s been avoiding seeing this “chick flick” by working many extra hours, pretending there are important tasks in the garage and faking illnesses. He also took a shine to claiming that we were suddenly, desperately poor and chastising me for buying too much Pirate’s Booty at Costco. As a lover of this white cheddar, popcorn delight, I submit that you can never buy enough Pirate’s Booty.

The Cheap Bastard finally did download get us the movie. We laughed so, so much and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It now sits on my list of favourites. It was fun seeing all the locations where they shot the scenes from all over Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. The scene where she’s laying on the van and then writes the note to Vanessa was shot outside the Honey & Milk store located in our community. We all squealed.

Also, from this day forward I do declare that:

I will no longer be referring to penises as such. They will hereby be called Pork Swords.

As a former pregnant teen myself, I found it interesting to see how the issue was handled in Juno. I think people naturally gravitate to situations in which their lives have similarities, if just to find common ground with others. Kind of a me too thing — characteristics that they can relate to. I didn’t see myself very much in Juno, of course because my situation was quite different from hers: I was almost nineteen when I got pregnant, I kept my baby, I eventually married her father, etc.

The similiarity I found was in the part where she tells her parents that she’s pregnant. They were so calm and accepting and her step-mother quickly jumped into planning for doctor’s appointments and other care. When I sat my parents down to give them the news, it was with great fear and a heavy lump in my heart. My parents had always indicated that should I ever do anything stupid, like get pregnant or addicted to drugs, they would be greatly disappointed and probably distance themselves from me by at least kicking me out of the house. I remember it like it was yesterday and not at all like over seventeen years ago. After a tearful, “I’m pregnant” spilled from my lips, there was an audible silence that seemed to stretch on for ages. Finally, my Dad looked me square in the eyes, smiled and said, “well, that’s something to look forward to!”

It most certainly was.

Hothead

Both of my younger children went to school today with murder in their eyes. They were thinking specifically of my murder, preferrably one where some mom-like-monster appears and makes me clean my room until I keel over from exhaustion and lack of trampoline time. Then, when I’m almost but not quite dead, she’ll make me dig out all the things that I hid under the bed and put them away in their proper place! With the final twist of the knife, that monster will make me take a shower even though I just had one on Thursday.

My 10 year-old son had covered his class picture in Pokemon stickers. The same class picture that he had, weeks before, begged me (with tears!) to pay ten dollars for. Like a sucker I reluctantly wrote the cheque, even though I knew he’d be getting a free yearbook in June and all of his classmates would be pictured in there for him to keep forever. When he brought the class photo home on Friday, he declared it the suckiest picture ever taken of him. His transition lenses had darkened because they took the picture outside on a sunny day and he decided he looked like a blind kid. I stuck it on his windowsill and told him to cut the dramatics. This morning when I found it covered with Pikachu and Grombleguts and Moomoolicks (I don’t know! It’s Pokemon! Does it make any sense to YOU?) it was me who busted out the dramatics. My blood started to heat up in my veins and I began speaking in tongues. He was grounded! He didn’t deserve anything we got for him! Did he think money grew on trees! Did he think we were rich!

(oh the cliches…oh, how I sound just like my mother sometimes)

Then at 8:28 I picked my lunch up off the counter and told Andie to get her shoes on for school. We have to leave promptly at 8:30 every day to get her to school and me to work on time. Just a minute she said, as she turned off the TV and headed into the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. Oh, and she needed to pack her lunch and could I just sign this permission slip for her to play rugby while I was standing there waiting anyways? This is when my blood pressure got so high that steam came squirting out of my ears and a high-pitched, loud scream came shooting out of my lungs. She was grounded! The TV was never to be on in the mornings ever again! Did she think we had time to spare! Didn’t she think of anyone but herself! We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date!

(and the TV thing? Yeah, right!)

The boy flashed me a look that could kill as he slammed out the front door and then stomped across the grass, his shoulders hunched and his fists tight with anger. The van was silent and the air was thick on the way to school. Instead of the typical I love yous and have a good days, there was only a slam of the car door and the back of a very angry blonde head as she stamped across the road.

As I drove to work my body temperature slowly simmered down and the only heat I felt was the eventual embarrasment that spread across my cheeks as I realized that I hadn’t handled things well. I’d let the time get away from me once again this morning and we’d all been pushed into a frenzied rush…one where it was easy for me to get angry over the stupid little things. I hadn’t told the kids I loved them before school. I hadn’t even said goodbye, have a great day. As I sat in traffic this morning I realized that even though I have over sixteen years experience at this job of Parenting, I’m still not very good at it. No wonder they’ve never given me a raise.

You can call me Carrie-Anne for short

On Sunday, Adam gave me a big hug, looked lovingly up into my face with his beautiful hazel eyes, pulled my hair back with his hands and declared that I looked “just like the girl from the Matrix.”

Now, I look NOTHING like her.  She’s a brunette, I’m a redhead.  She’s thin, I’m fat.  She’s an expert in all forms of martial arts, running up the sides of buildings and accurately firing machine guns whilst wearing a tight black rubber suit.  I’m more of a kitchen dancer /slash/ marshal arts novice, I’ve never even held a gun and I prefer cotton.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to have your ego boosted a few points by your youngest ANGEL child.

Guess who’s my favourite this week?

Ouch?

Yesterday, I commented on a friend’s picture on Facebook that she still looked fabulous.  Seriously, she’s just as gorgeous as she was in high school and doesn’t look like she’s aged a DAY since we graduated in 1990.  The only thing that’s better about today’s look is that she’s recovered from the foot high bangs and stepped away from the teasing comb, just as most of us lost souls from the eighties have (I still have my pick in my back pocket though.  Just in case the “perm with the feathered bangs” ever comes back into vogue).

She was, however, always a little blunt with what she’d say.  Not nasty, but direct.  Kind of with an undertone of toughness if you know what I mean.  You always knew, but just in that little tiny corner in the back of your mind, that she was one of those people that you didn’t ever want to piss off.  We weren’t best friends by any stretch of the imagination either.  We actually hung out because we were both friends of other friends and our group ended up together frequently in different social situations.  We were more than casual acquaintances and less than BFF.

So, having commented the way I did and sincerely meaning every word I typed, and also knowing what I know about her personality, I was still kind of stunned to receive this message back from her:

It’s because I have no children to ruin me! 🙂

Uhmm, what?  Cough.  Splutter.  Choke, choke.  Huh?

How am I supposed to take that?  How much should I read into it?  Children ruined me? Does the smiley face make it all good?  Would a winky face have made it sound more tongue in cheek?

You know I actually giggled when I first read this.  Then my mind sort of screeched to a halt and squeaked out, “WTF?”

I mean really.  WTF???

TGIM (thank gawd it’s monday)

Ugh, this whole post SUCKED right from the time I started writing it to now, as I continue to type drivel into my post thingy (too tired to think about the actual name).  Was trying to convey in an interesting way how gawd-awful busy we were this weekend and how I actually can’t wait to get to work tomorrow to enjoy some downtime.  Mostly for the simple reason that I will only have to get behind the wheel of my van twice.  Once to drive to work and once to get home.  Three soccer games, three separate times for soccer pictures, two dentist appointments, one trip each to Safeway, Costco, the bakery and the meat shop added up to a ton of driving this weekend.  I’m expecting a nice letter from the oil companies later this week, thanking us for keeping them in business.  And about that Global Warming thing…all us.  Completely our fault.

I’ve just finished 5 hours of *studying, I have a major cold and I’m heading to bed for a few hours of shut-eye before I’m required to leap up and be a Mom/Payroll Administrator/Taxi Driver/Student all over again.

gak! splutter! f&*k! dammit! gklsklslkjlj !!!

(wait, did any of that make sense?)

(*I really think I should have just bucked up the cash and purchased a degree from Sally Struthers.  The course withdrawal deadline is tomorrow at midnight.  My finger is hovering over the plug and I’m precariously close to pulling it…I’m only two weeks in…the doubts are haunting.)

Post of the Century?

I love this.  It’s the most honest view of motherhood that I’ve ever read.  Real.  Perfect.