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.
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.............