Archive for the ‘Ashley’ 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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My Messy House

If any of you were thinking of letting your perfectly precious little pre-schoolers grow up to become teenagers one day, maybe this will give you pause. It may also explain why I walk around grumbling to myself and swearing under (and over) my breath an awful lot:
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As the illustrious Bossy would say, “YES WAY!”

Oh and this was taken last weekend and was only tidied last night when she learned that we’d be taking a special trip south of border tomorrow to stock up on necessities (flour, mascara, bacon, shoes, cheese, handbags, liquor) and we’re not going if this damned house isn’t perfect!!!

I’m just glad his name wasn’t Charles

Ashley went on a date last night to the mall with a boy from school. She said they were only “hanging out”, but I figured because they had also had lunch together that day, that this was the term all the kids were using these days. In my day it was going out as in when Richard asked me, after the fall dance on September 16, 1988, if I would go out with him. And I replied, “yeah sure, I guess so”, all non-chalant like. You know, as if the hamster in my stomach wasn’t running a marathon on his wheel and my mind wasn’t screaming OH MY GOD, HE ASKED ME! YES, YES, DOUBLE YES!!! I think I bruised his ego a little bit that night. He still won’t look me straight in the eye almost twenty years later and is frequently worried that his butt looks too large in his blue jeans.

Anyways, Ash asked one of us to drive them to the mall and Richard agreed to the task. Because he’s such a menacing looking guy and his little girl was “hanging out with a boy”, I patted him down to check for weapons before they left and made him promise to behave. Don’t say anything stupid! Don’t glare at the boy! For god’s sake put on different pants! Your ass looks enourmous!

Her going out reminded me of my favourite dating joke which is probably TOLD much better than it is read. Just remember that a lot of it rhymes:

A Farmer had three daughters, all of dating age. When young men would come around to the farmhouse to date his girls, The Farmer would meet them at the door with a loaded shotgun and question the suitors as to their plans for the evening. Potential suitors of The Farmer’s daughters soon came to know of this routine, so they would usually have a speech ready when they got to the door.

On this particular night all three of The Farmer’s daughters had a date and as each of the young men arrived they were met with the end of The Farmer’s shotgun and were expected to spit out their lines fast, so the girl’s father could give his approval for the couple to leave.

The first suitor arrived and said:

Hello sir, my name is Freddy
I’m here to pick-up Betty
We’re going to go get some spaghetti
Is she ready?

The Farmer nodded his approval and Betty and Freddy left for their date. A few minutes later the second young man arrived:

Hi there sir, my name is Bo
I’m here to get Flo
We’re going to a show
Is she ready to go?

Again, a nod from The Farmer and the couple left. Lastly, suitor number three came up the front steps and said:

Hello sir, my name is Chuck…

And The Farmer shot him.


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Aaaaand, that is why Richard doesn’t own a gun.

Thankfully also, Ashley’s date’s name didn’t rhyme with anything rude. Like Buck, or Kit, or Grondum.

The Wait and the Wonder

Sixteen years ago today, I was practically frantic in my desire for tomorrow morning to arrive because that was the day my baby was coming! I had an appointment to be induced on October 10, 1991 at Grace Womens’ Hospital in Calgary and I’d just spent the last 15 days feeling cheated. How could anyone be so callous as to promise me I would have a baby by September 24th and then not deliver on that promise? How could they make me wait it out for 15 long days? Why couldn’t they just take it out on the 24th and relieve me of the anticipation? Wasn’t it baked enough after 9 months?

I had no idea.

I had no idea about whether I was having a girl or a boy (I had a hunch it was a boy though. I’m intuitive like that.).

I had no idea that the next day I would fall so deeply, madly in love that I would never recover…nor would I want to. I mean, I was already “in love” with this little mystery within my body, how could that love become bigger? It did.

I had no idea what that little baby girl was about to do to my life.  How she would upend it.  Mix it up.  Rearrange it.  Make it all worth it.

I had no idea about feeding schedules and diaper blowouts and sleeplessness. First steps and jumping in puddles and picking up rocks to take home as treasures. Daycare and Barney and kindergarten and Disney Princesses and training wheels. Swimming lessons and soccer games and birthday parties. High school and make-up and crushes and dances.

I had no idea, on this day 16 years ago, how fast it would all fly by. How I would be required to learn it all in a fleeting moment.

Just how did we get from the day before your birthday in 1991 to today?

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Zeenee Zeeta, Seniorita, tomorrow is your Sweet 16. Happy Birthday to my beautiful, smart, incredibly wonderful girl. I am so proud of you.

P.S. I have no idea about driving lessons and college applications and grad dresses…

Stuff, things and thoughts. Also muffins.

Ugh! My last post was piffle! Absolute garbage! Just goes to show what can happen when you’re drunk on lack of sleep, stuffed up to the gills with a cold and wondering how you will ever escape the chokehold that Chapter 3 – Intermediate Accounting: Third Edition has on you. Is it at all possible that you will ever understand the single-step Income Statement? Why oh why don’t you remember how to do adjusting entries? Does this course get easier soon? Like, will this textbook eventually ask you how to pair socks or make a really good lasagna? Because. I can do that! I could totally pass if they put that on the final exam.

Luckily, an adequate amount of rest and some killer cold medicine (yay Tylenol Cold for nightime!), combined with a really productive day at work led me to last night where I passed the bi-weekly quiz with 2.5 out of 3.0. I kicked myself for missing that last half mark because these quizzes are open book and I can take as much time doing them as I want, but I was just so glad to be done with it for another two weeks I was practically euphoric. Now I can take my time over the next two evenings to do the practice questions and past exam questions so I can really understand Income Statements and Balance Sheets. Oh, and the midterm assignment isn’t due until Nov. 7th so I totally won’t stress about that until….uhm…November 6th?

Most nights Ashley and I do our homework together at the dining room table (aka Homework Central as the entire tabletop is covered in papers, books, office supplies, a laptop, a graphing calculator for Ash and a plain old printing calculator for me). She has a HEAVY workload this semester (grade 11) with three honours courses – English, Math & Social Studies – and Chemistry. My poor girl is up until at least 11:00 every night pounding away at the books. She’s so dedicated to her studies, but I really worry about the load she’s carrying this term. She’s really a perfectionist and no mark is a good mark if it’s not an A. I just don’t know how she’s going to react if she ends up with B’s and C’s in these much more difficult honours courses.

Also, her Chemistry teacher (who I sort of know from an outside association) is being a real witch. What do you think of the fact that she gave the class a quiz in the first week and then she split them into two groups based on how they scored on that test. Unfortunately, Ashley scored in the lower group and this teacher makes a point of helping the kids in the “smarter” group first. Apparently she will outright ignore people with their hands up in the lower group until she’s finished with everyone in the smarter group, even if they have their hands up first. Yesterday, Ashley said someone from her group had to call out “Hello!” to finally get her attention (I guess she would have looked stupid not responding to that). She acts like her teaching skills are far too good for the “dumb” kids and she doesn’t have time to waste with them. I told Ash that I would be saying something to this woman about this at the next parent teacher interviews, but she balked at that guessing that the teacher would treat her even worse if I called her out on her actions. So now I’m wondering if I should say something or just let it go?

I was planning to do Comment Box Tuesday today, but I have commented on exactly one blog this week that I can remember. So here’s a mini Comment Box Tuesday for you from Bumblebee Sweet Potato which is a blog that I absolutely adore. I have been a fan of landismom since May of 2005, when I first started this blog and she’s always been a frequent commenter. Basically, I pink puffy heart her. And you should too.

Bumblebee Sweet Potato

Ashley had hers done at four. Richard took her to the mall one day without me and she asked to have it done, so he let her. Andie was about nine and she spent her own birthday money to have it done.

Like you, my Mom had her ears pierced for the first time when I did at seven years old (wait, does that make sense? I was seven, she was [takes off shoes and socks and borrows fingers from colleague also…28 plus 7, carry the zero]= 35). She didn’t take well to it and let them close up after a year or two. I still have the holes in my ears, but I rarely wear earrings as I usually don’t remember to.

One more thing. One of our foremen brings in donuts and muffins every time he comes into the office. I mean every single time. He ususally works out of town, but if he’s in the office doing an estimate for a week then we get treats from Monday to Friday. So, can you believe that some people are rude enough to exclaim in front of him how they wish he wouldn’t bring food into the office because he’s making them fat? He’s making you fat?!! Sorry, but don’t you choose to pick up the donut and put it in your own mouth? You could seriously just walk by the table and not grab something while you’re in the kitchen getting your coffee. He doesn’t stand there and force feed you at your desk! Also, he buys these treats with his own money, so I wonder how they don’t think they’re being rude by basically refusing a GIFT. Besides, I’m sitting here enjoying an apple and blueberry Tim Horton’s muffin from this morning’s haul and when I bite into the middle what should come rolling out? That’s right, blueberry sauce. And that my friends is a pretty nice gift!

From a dimly lit living room, on a faded denim couch. Midnight.

“I just wish I’d get invited to one party.  I don’t even know if I’d actually go, especially if there was drinking, but Christ is it too much to ask to be invited?  They all sit around bragging about where they’re going on Friday or Saturday night and they have the nerve to ask me my opinion on what they should wear or do I think they should go with so-and-so, but do they ever ask me to go with them?  I’m just so tired of being left out.”

It’s hard being a teenager.  It’s tough dealing with friend issues and boy issues and a heavy workload in school.  It’s hard when your best friend gets all the attention from every boy she crosses paths with and they don’t give you a scrap of attention, except maybe to enquire if Best Friend is interested in hooking up with them.  It’s hard being the third wheel to Best Friend and her boyfriend, being asked to go spend the night and instead sitting for hours (reading a book!) while she talks on the phone to him.  It’s hard being a size 4 in a crowd of size zeroes and even though the adults in your life constantly assure you that you’re perfect in every way, you still feel like you’re fat and less worthy.  It’s hard worrying about the fact that you probably won’t be asked to the Winter Ball and you’ll end up missing one of the big milestones of high school, because there’s no way you’re willing to go alone.  It’s hard dealing with the personalities that are fifteen and sixteen year-old girls, the vindictiveness, the backstabbing, the cruelty.

It’s even harder being her Mom and seeing the tears glistening in her beautiful brown eyes as she tries so hard to keep herself composed, even as all the hurt spills out of her sweet mouth.

Three Things for Thursday

  1. I spent an inordinate amount of time this morning helping Adam look for the tuner remote, so he could play on the X-box and still have sound.  We only have thirteen-thousand remotes, but I guess none of the others would operate the tuner so we ripped the couch apart and searched bedrooms and bathrooms (you never know in my house!), upstairs and downstairs.  We finally found it tucked under the couch, 20 seconds before I was due to leave for work.  Damn, things were never this difficult when we were playing Pong in the eighties.  We just flipped the TV to channel three and turned the little black device on.  Poof!  Instant 3-pixel gaming.  Also, twelve miles of walking to school…uphill both ways.  Am old.
  2. Because I was so late leaving for work this morning, I didn’t get to make my bed.  I hate leaving the bed unmade.  Looks sloppy for the various strangers, friends, robbers/serial killers who will be coming into my home throughout the day (note to robbers/serial killers…we’re all out of the house between 10 & 12:30, please call then).  My bed is not made!  Am itchy.
  3. How does one tell a grandparent no?  Grandpa wants to buy this souped up little old truck his neighbour is selling for Ashley’s 16th birthday.  He’s kind of like one of those people who takes home every stray animal they see in that when he finds a great deal on something, especially a vehicle, he feels he has to buy it even if he doesn’t have a need for it.  He has to “save” the great deal.  He’ll look for a purpose for it later.  So he figures that Ashley’s birthday is coming up in October and great news!  He can save the truck!  She’ll be learning to drive, so why wouldn’t she love a set of wheels of her own?  Well, I’m sure she would love it, but we are dead set against him giving her a gift of this magnitude.  He has 3 other grandchildren to consider and I wonder if he can afford to be this generous for all of their sweet 16’s?  Also, we are trying to teach her that she needs to work and save for these big purchases so it kind of goes against our value system to gift her with something like this.  Not to say that WE wouldn’t like the truck.  We would actually like to buy it ourselves as it would see us through for a couple of months while we are shopping for a second family vehicle.  It’s a great price and Richard is practically drooling over the fact that it is all done up and has been babied by the previous owners.  It’s just a dilemna for us in trying to come up with a nice way to say no thanks for the present.  Am stumped.