Monday, October 6, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Sometimes I feel like my kids see me as more of a friend than an authority figure. Yeah I know, it's like the cardinal rule of parenting. Be their parent not their friend. I try to excuse it by saying that they are so young, they won't even remember half of what transpires between us in these years. Which, really makes me sad. But that is for another blog post altogether.

I guess it stems from the fact that growing up, my mom was my best friend. She was a very young mom, and I had very little discipline. Discipline has never been my strong suit. I hate confrontation. I hate yelling. I hate people not liking me, or being mad at me. Yeah, I know. I am a big pansy. Sometimes I get really frustrated with the lack of respect my kids show me, when I know it's my own fault. I wind up resorting to yelling and ranting in a ridiculous tirade that my kids don't even really understand. It certainly isn't effective discipline on any level.

My husband does a better job with discipline than I do. Hubster is stricter in general than I. He is less likely to let them get away with their shenanigans. He's the one who would first say no to an inappropriate request (no you can not have a DVD player in your room, you're 3). But there are certain things that we both agree are just good, normal parenting ideas. For example, we don't think that kids really need cell phones. I might concede to getting Andrew one of those prepaid or you- can-only-call-so-and-so models, because he's a tween who is out of the house a lot. But really, that is about it. Unless you are old enough to have a job and buy it and pay the bill yourself.

So, Saturday night, I'm at Drew's basketball game when the following conversation happens between Randall and I :

Rand: Mom, Annoying friend #1 has a cell phone.

Me: No honey, he doesn't.

Rand: Mom, he does. He let me see it.

Me: I am sure it was just an old phone that doesn't work anymore.

Rand: Mom, he let me call and talk to annoying friend # 2 on it.

Me: Wait- you really called someone on his phone? It wasn't his mom's phone?

Rand: It was his. He really has one.

Long Pause.

Me: Well, that's just ridiculous.

Rand: Mom, can I get a cell phone?

Me: Hell No!

So, I come to find out that the child actually does have a cell phone. He is seven. Seven. Did I mention he is seven? Seven. Seeeeevvvvvveeeeennnnn. What the hell? I mean, I've admitted the whole we're stricter-than-the-average-2008 parent and all but come on. Seven? Really? Please tell me it's not me. Some of our friends have kids who are in the ballpark age range of ours. Some of them have TV's and DVD players in their room, Wii's, PlaySations, their own phone lines, really expensive clothes, toys, etc. but I have yet to encounter a seven year old with a cell phone. What on earth could he need a cell phone for?

Um, hi Joey, it's me Timmy. Meet me at the playground in 5 minutes okay?

Um, hi Mikey, it's me Timmy. Can you come over and play trucks?

Um, hi Jake, it's me Timmy. I'm going to grow up to be a little spoiled brat that no one can please because my standards are set impossibly high.

Tell me this, and then I'll lay my head down on my pillow and try not to dream of little Timmy and how he will probably grow up to torture my poor, underprivileged kids all through high school. Where do you go from there? You get the kid a cell phone at seven? What's next?

Mommy's to do list:

Petition DMV to lower driving age to 8. Little Timmy wants Ferrari.

Call France. Little Timmy wants to visit, but doesn't like planes. Can you move closer?

Can anyone add to Mommy's to do list? Grrrrr.............


Karen said...

I am so with you on this one. Our kids won't have TV's, DVD players, or gaming contraptions in their room. And they won't have cell phones either, until they graduate maybe!!

chantal said...

This is too funny. This is my life. "can I have a cell phone?" NO. "can I have a cell phone?" NO. Over and over. My kids friends seriously all have cell phones. Even in church a couple of sundays ago in primary,the girl doing sharing time asked the older kids how many have cell phones. I nearly fell on the floor. Its ridiculous. I did give Nephi one of my old cell phones for him to use,but only because he spends the school year with his dad and it made me feel better,him being so far away. And he's 13. And he does things like cut grass and shovel sidewalks to pay his bill. I am lucky I know because i am sure not all kids are this repsonsible.But no way if he lived here. My 8 year old has friends with cell phones. My kids will not have one until they are working and can pay the bill. And they dont have dvd players in their room. They have an old tv in one room to play outdated video games. The wii is a family toy. Everyone shares. My kids have friends who have their own wii,or ps3,or xbox which I think is silly. And spoiled. I used to clean for a family who's 5 year old has a brand new tv and dvd player in her room. And at christmas she had her own pink christmas tree. Not to mention her custom bedding which costed 1200 dollars.

Maren said...

Aw, man. Timmy is not leaving that house...ever. Why leave when Mommy can do it all? I guess Mommy could buy him a house when he's 35 to get him out of her basement....and then she'll visit him down the street and fill the freezer with meals, clean the house, and make sure the bills are paid.
When I was teaching middle school, I had an incident with a 13 year old boy texting in class. Like always, I took the phone away and turned it into the office. It was his MOM who was texting him during class. The SAME mom who petitioned me to go easier on his grade (ie not fail him for doing absolutely nothing except insult other kids and text in my class) because his football schedule was so taxing. His "hard work" was rewarded with a laptop for his birthday. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?
I obviously agree with you on this one, and can personally go off the deep end.

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...