Friday, January 21, 2011

I’m Single-Handedly Responsible for the Demise of My Son’s Social Life

In other words, it's just another day of my Bad-Assery in the realm of parenthood.
Before I made their "shitlist."

I would like to start by saying that I am fundamentally opposed to the idea of a 10 year old having a cell phone. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 21 and had two kids. It exposes them to the demons of “sexting” and all the disgusting forwards that I know damn well these kids are sending each other. It also makes it harder for me to spy on him, now that I know he knows that I check his texts periodically and I’m sure he deletes them. It allows him to receive phone calls that I am not screening because I don’t know if he’s getting them, like he would on a home phone.

All this being said, I am generally lazy. This means that I don’t want to have to call 8 parents to find my son when he is outside playing during the day, and then get stuck in long, boring conversations with people who I have no interest in befriending.

Thank god my son’s best friend here has a cool mom. We had the chance to bond when the boys were arrested last spring for stealing a skateboard, and charged WITH A FELONY!!! We literally met at the police station when they hauled them in. Sometimes violations of the law bring families closer together! Turns out, there was a 3rd kid who actually made off with the skateboard and our two sons went to the house from which the skateboard was stolen and told them what happened, but the mother believed that since our ten year olds didn’t tackle the kids and stop it, they were also involved, so all three boys were charged with larceny and burglary. Which kills me, because it was broad daylight and it was taken out of an open garage. Gavin has had his skateboard and two bikes stolen out of our garage, but we are the morons who left it open, so that’s our bad. I am not one of those mothers who think their kids do no wrong. Believe me, I was ready to hang him upside down by his toenails when the cop came to my door. But you know when your kid is lying, and I knew he was telling the truth. The other mother and I cross-examined each other's kids and their stories matched up. They had also gone back to her house and told her what happened right away, so we felt confident that they did the right thing. They ended up having to write an apology letter to the kid, which I wrote since I was not going to make Gavin apologize for something he didn’t do…it’s the principle of the thing. Had the mother come to me, I probably would’ve grounded him just for being in the vicinity, but she was a bitchface and utterly RIDICULOUS, so screw her.

Anyway…back to cell phones…

So I got a new Droid Incredible this week. It IS pretty incredible, other than the fact it doesn’t hold a charge longer than 9 hours, whether I’m using it or not. So Gavin was super pissed because he doesn’t have a texting phone, and threw a giant fit that EVERYONE else he knows has them and he’s the only one without one. He actually said it hurts his fingers to text on a normal keypad. WHAT???!!! Never mind the fact he was already grounded from it for some other infraction. But then I have my sister, who works for Verizon, get my account checked out to make sure I’m not paying too much a month…and she discovers that the little shit texted back to a commercial and now it’s charging me $20 a month!! Instead of taking it like a man, he immediately lied about it when I confronted him. So I grounded him for another two weeks. Which is more of a punishment for me, normally, but tomorrow morning I get my wisdom teeth out, so I figure I will sleep most of the weekend anyway from all the fun drugs. So it’s more of a punishment for Andy. (Callous Snicker.)

Now it’s my fault that we are moving, and that he isn’t going to have any friends, so I should be letting him spend what time he has left with the ones he has here. He gives a compelling argument, and when he gets really creative, I just want to give in because it’s impressive. Sometimes I do. I take pride in their ability to talk their way out of a situation. That’s not something that comes naturally to most people, unless you’re a politician. But I didn’t give in this time because I was pretty mad. So I have become the WORST mother, and he is about to become a social outcast because he is without his cell phone for three weeks (even though it’s not a texting phone).

I will sleep well tonight with that thought.

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  1. God bless you. My wife & I (been there, done that) with my wife's daughter. She had to have one at the same age for the same reasons being able to get her when we needed to. "WRONG" One time we dropped her off at a movie, went back at the appropriate time to pick her up and she didn't come out with the other people. We tried to call & just got voice mail, so we waited (2 hrs) when she finally called & was at some boys house across town and her reason for not calling was that she knew she would have to go home and stop having fun. The street he lived on was so dark with no street lights that if she had not been standing by the road we never would have found her. I could write a book about that girl so I feel your pain big time. Good luck with the wisdom teeth and hope you recover quickly.
    Odie :)

  2. Keri we won't even let our 14 year old get a Cell- so you are by no means- Worst Mother of the Year yet-LOL I simply REFUSE to let him have one- I mean my reasoning is pretty much what you stated in the opening lines. I want to know who is talking with, No sexting- I figure they are getting enough of that crud at school, why add more??
    Don't give in !! Take your AWESOME pain meds, & hand the situation over to the husband. It's moments like these when I remind my soldier/husband- "It's your turn, you get to have all the fun now! Because I did it for along time & am sure you will owe me for future times ." Then I give him a big Kiss, smack his butt- & off I go-LOL

    Good luck!!

  3. My husband and I were watching an ad for the iPad and he said, "You know, that's the kind of thing we'll be getting our kids." I know he was making a point about how technology has moved on rather than about what we specifically as parents would be doing but I was just like, "WHAT?! Not a chance." For your reasons.

  4. Thanks for your comment about still being a sister. That means a lot to me. And you're doing a good job by not giving in. ::hugs::

  5. Stick to your guns (so to speak)! And remember, you're still the parent. Our society does a great job of making us feel guilty for real parenting. Tough love is so taboo today. And, btw, I love your admission as to "why" you gave him the cell in the first place (honesty is a good thing, right), but its sad that you feel you had to justify yourself.

  6. I totally won't give in. After all, I will be passed out. (fingers crossed!)
    But as far as giving a justification on the cell phones, I just like to give the how, when and why. Believe me, I know I don't have to do anything! Ask my husband.

  7. "I will sleep well tonight with that thought. "

    As well you should, you horrible human being, you. All the best mothers are.

    Maybe your son has a future in politics...?

  8. I love it when children really think hard to come up with a good argument and I too reward them for it by letting them have it. Good for you for not giving in and are by far not the worst mom in the world LOL

  9. I just wanted to say that we went through the same thing with my 11 yrs old about the extra charges. Tmobile told me that the kids didn't even have to respond to get charged. By just the text being sent, it signed up the number unless they texted STOP back to it! That is a bunch of BS in my opinion but whatever, the CS rep reveresed the charges and stopped them from occurring again. As for the letter, I don't blame you one bit!

  10. Oh man, is this what I have to look forward to when mine is that age? I had to laugh about his fingers hurting on a non-texting phone! I wonder if a video game controller would make them hurt too?! Cheers to being "bad moms" :)

  11. Hi, Thank you for the follow on BlogFrog.

    You hold your ground! I am not a parent yet but I completely agree that kids should not have cell phones while they are in grammar school. High school maybe. I had mine when I was 18 and bought it with my own money. When I have kids that's how they will be. My parents raised us with curfews and consequence. We'd have to be home at a certain time or not TV, video games, phone (or whatever) for a week or weeks. So we learned fast to be on time.

    I was always the one to push the night curfew when I was in college. He said, 12 midnight which was ridiculous but I'd ignore it and come home at 2AM to a lot of yelling but with rational explanations I was able to talk myself to a 2 or 230A-ish curfew until I was 21. After that (until I lived at home) they didn't impose a curfew just asked my sister and I to answer the phone if they were worried and wanted to know where we were. Usually we told them what time we'd be in and we all lived in peace.

    Good Luck!