Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That boy has a beard.....

My daughter is dating age. Not really. But she's at that age where boys and girls are really starting to take notice of each other. Somehow screaming "You're 12!" while blasting my car horn during the daily carpool drop off for junior high does nothing to damper their desires.
I've moved in to the realm as a parent where I am forced to acknowledge that many of my child's choices will have a huge and lasting impact on her future! Every step is a slippery slope towards total destruction! She's going to slip and fall and get pregnant because THAT BOY HAS A BEARD!
This is what they look like. When did they start looking like this?
I acknowledge that I may have a tendency to over react. Maybe I am overreacting about this too. Perhaps my daughter will not be affected by her environment.  That environment being 1500+ other students saturated with raging hormones.
There is adult supervision in that environment, at a ratio of 30:1. That's pretty good right? NO! No it is not! At home there is a ratio of 5:1 and I have no idea what the $%#@ is going on!! No idea at all. If I can't keep track of 5 that I dearly love how are teachers looking out for a minimum of 30? Seriously? Those teachers are far less invested than I am. That's not an insult to teachers, that's just a truth. I'm in this for life not just 5 days a week for 9 or so months. I work around the clock to keep these guys in line. I have a slipping grip on my sanity and no end in sight, and I can't give up. Quitting is not an option. Teachers have an entirely different perspective. They only have to survive 35 minutes and a bell signals relief. "Tomorrow is a new day" is their mantra. Teachers float by because they can dream of June and sunshine and never again seeing these %$$#@&#. For a teacher, a few students flirting in class is insignificant, they turned in their assignments that's all that matters to a teacher. I disagree with that. If that bearded man child is sweet talking my baby girl during class you can bet your sweet ass that that assignment, that entire basket of assignments is not getting turned in for grades. It is going to be booked as evidence in a very heinous, yet very creative, assault case. I'll give him a %$#@&% paper cut.
Let's face it folks. I'm not over reacting. A slip and fall and pregnant scenario is sadly and horribly a very real threat at this age. I thought of some preventative measures that while amusing and likely effective are also just mean. Do you remember junior high? Wasn't there always a kid that smelled like urine and cheese? Was that kid really just super hygienically impaired or were we witnessing the madness of a parental genius? Think about it. That kid got teased, but that kid also got great grades, and most importantly that kid did not get ANY ACTION. The teasing thing probably sucked a little for him but I bet the academic scholarship was tits! right? I can not be the only mother that is tempted to pee on her children before they leave for school. It's a reasonable strategy once explained. (just to be clear I ran that idea by a few people and it's not a reasonable strategy, the word unacceptable was tossed around. As well as phrases like "obligated to report....")
I tried testing the water with some professionals. The orthodontist informed me that he would absolutely not be willing to use his knowledge and skills to "wire them up to make it worse" I was kidding but he seemed serious. The lady at the salon will not "go at it blindfolded after consuming her body weight in beer" That was at a great clips and I was volunteering to buy the beer! Good old crazy eyebrows at the tanning salon was all for giving the kids a once over until I said it was because nothing is more unattractive then a spray tan. That might have offended the Oompa Loompa. The lady at the health food store was not aware of any vitamins that would cause a horribly disfiguring rash that had no serious side effects and no accompanying itchiness. She didn't seem bothered by the strangeness of the inquiry. Which I find disturbing. The reality is I can't do any of these things because therapy is so expensive and my daughter doesn't have a job.
If my daughter is going to remain attractive despite my best efforts, and she is going to spend her days in a cesspool of puberty with little adult interference, how do I keep her a child for a few more years? I can't. It's all on her. That is frightening in a debilitating kind of way. I don't think for one moment that she has any desire or plan to...... "grow up too soon" but THAT BOY HAS A BEARD!
The other day a friend of mine posted a question on her Facebook asking other parents if they read their child's texts, Facebook messages, emails, etc. I was the only parent that said no. I don't do that and I don't want to. I'm probably wrong. I'm probably disillusioned about how much trust you can place in your child and how much you have to guard them from "what's out there". But it seems wrong. It seems like exactly the right thing to do to keep your child safe but it also seems so wrong.  When I think about logging in to their accounts in their absence and reading through their private exchanges between friends vs peeing on them on their way out the door. I'd have an easier time peeing on them. Peeing on them actually seems more noble. I would rather pee on them, have an orthodontist distort their teeth, let a drunken barber shave half hazardous, and let a crazy person paint them orange, I would rather do all of that than invade their privacy. 
To all the parents currently using social media to keep an eye on their kids. I don't judge you. I don't disagree with your logic. One of these days you are going to stumble on to a conversation or interaction and you are going to have the opportunity to interfere before poor choices are made. Your rules and restrictions and overseeing is going to pay off. I don't doubt that. I agree, and yet I just can't do it.

BUT DAMN IT THAT BOY HAS A BEARD!! When did junior high students start looking like metro sexual predators? Why can't I walk by one with out gawking at them as if they are carnies. I swear to all that is holy there is a kid at that school that could play Santa. WTF?! Evidence of increasing testosterone is not good for my blood pressure.
My girl is a good kid. A really good kid. And we talk about everything. I really really want to believe that I'm doing it right. That building a relationship based on trust and respect, that encourages open and honest dialogue is enough. All she has to do is keep me informed and follow my advice when its serious, and all I have to do is hold tight to the reins on the insanity horse and trust she'll make good choices.
Plus I Googled chlamydia and I'm going to use those pictures during our next "birds and the bees" talk. I won't mention they are photos of diseased anatomy. She'll be scarred for life. I'm a genius.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What day is it?

It's been awhile since my last blog and I'm not feeling overly creative because I feel like trash. So I thought I would just mention a couple of Gwensday moments. (To answer the obvious question/concern yes I am horribly ill. To some it may just sound like a mild cough, bronchial irritation, maybe seasonal allergy related. But I'm pretty sure it's tuberculosis and all my friends at hypochondriacs anonymous agree. The end is at hand.)

It's Gwensday again. It's always Gwensday at my house. My youngest daughter is Gwen and she has been turning every day in to Gwensday since the Gwensday she was born.

If you have just one child don't read this blog. You won't understand. You'll say sweet silly things like "why don't you spend more one on one time with her?" "keep her busy with educational activities" "try a schedule" or "I would never let my child -" let me stop you right there. not because I have a response. I just want you to stop making suggestions. I'm not trying to be rude. I just think you are an idiot and despite all of your imaginary parenting know how.... Gwen would eat you alive.

Gwensday - CLUE....
Gwen plays clue. The board game. But not like the rules suggest. She places a weapon in every room. You roll the dice and enter a room. Once you are in that room you now possess that weapon and the next person who rolls and enters that room you kill with aforementioned weapon. If you make the obvious choice of just not entering rooms that are occupied by a pawn with weapons, Gwen will roll the dice and come after you. The roll of the dice has nothing to do with how many spaces Gwen can move when hunting you down and everything to do with how many times she can hit your pawn with her pawn during your murder. If you think this game sounds abhorrent just wait until you are playing to win and you find yourself arguing with a five year old the logic that your pawn has a gun and therefor beats her pawn who only has a rope. It is a moment indeed. It sounds as if the last man standing wins. No. Gwen wins. When you play Clue with Gwen she beats you. In the library. With a candlestick. No matter how many times you shoot her.

Gwensday - Robitussin...
Gwen once drank a bottle of Robitussin. Don't judge me! All precautions were taken to keep any and all medicine out of reach. But Gwen is fast and determined and she also apparently really likes the taste of cherry/ass syrup. I rushed her to the ER. It is the one and only enjoyable visit to the ER that has ever existed. Everyone involved enjoyed the experience. The waiting room, the triage nurse, the old man who thought he was having a heart attack. And mostly the doctor. It was an interesting exam. Gwen refused to sit up or lay down. She just stood on the hospital bed with a Popsicle in her mouth while a colorful puddle of drool pooled at her feet. The doctor after repeatedly reassuring me she was in no real danger, listened to her heart. As he did so, Gwen reached out with her finger, pressed on the doctors nose and said "boop". Really loud. Over and over and over. The fun didn't stop that night either. A year later we were at my mothers house. She has a picture of Christ hanging in her hallway. Gwen stood staring at it. And then had the following conversation with my little brother Kevin.
Gwen: "I miss that guy"
Kevin: "Jesus?"
Gwen: "Yep"
Kevin: "When did you meet him?"
Gwen: "The night I drank that cough syrup"
(I told you not to judge me. You are judging me right now.)

Gwensday - This little piggy went to market....
One rainy afternoon the desire for donuts and a popsicle far outweighed the logistics of going to the grocery store. The logistics being a) she didn't know where the store was. b) the closest store was a mile away. c) she had no money. d) it was raining. e) she wasn't wearing any pants.
See what happened was, I ran an errand. I was gone for maybe twenty minutes. Both of the twins were at home with Gwen along with my brother, Kevin. And my father. I returned from my errand and noticed Gwen was not with my father. She was not with my brother. She was not with either of the twins.... Okay, so she walked to the park behind the house again because I had yet to find a threat or punishment that had deterred her from doing that. Nope. Not there. I drove around the block. No sign of her. Searched the house again. Nothing. Started to panic. We all drove around the neighborhood. We ran through the house yelling her name, looking under beds and behind couches. Nothing. It was raining and I had no idea where she was or when she left and I had been searching for at least ten minutes. I called the police. My voice shaking I tried to calmly give the details to the dispatcher. She interrupted me. She had just received a call from a grocery store near my address. There was a little girl there. She was wearing a scarf over her head, large brown monkey boots, shorts and a tank top. A child with a description you cannot give without laughing...could only be Gwen.
I rushed to the store thinking Gwen must be so scared. NOPE. She was shoplifting. Her defense, and I quote "Well, I don't have any money, I'm 4!" Apparently she had walked to the store, a mile, gotten a grocery cart and placed several items in it. Ice cream, soda, cookies.... and then she had gone to the donut case. There she found a nice man to help her reach the donuts on the higher shelf and put them in a box. After he assisted her it occurred to him that a small scantily clothed child wearing giant boots and a scarf tied over her head might be cause for alarm. Before Gwen made it out the door the man had alerted an employee. This is the best part. When the store manager asked for her name, she said "Olivia" The girl gave an alias at four!! A smart one too. Olivia is her middle name, easy to remember, hard to get tripped up when questioned.

Gwensday - Facetime
Gwen loves facetime. Her favorite thing to do is take the ipad and facetime you. The call lasts about ten seconds. She hides. When the call connects all you can see is darkness and a little tiny face. She stares in to the screen and then suddenly yells "Guess where I'm calling you from?!" then disconnects. I don't know why this particular game rattles me so much because I know she's in the house somewhere. The Ipad only works on our WiFi so she is definitely in the house. That knowledge is not comforting. She scares the crap out of me every time. It is just SO CREEPY.

Gwen is my youngest. I learned with the older three that all children have a unique personality. No matter how hard you try to mold them in to your idea of who they should be, it won't stick. Right from the beginning they start choosing their own path and their own mode of travel. Keep them safe, be an example of where that path should lead, and enjoy them. Gwen is a unique little girl. She's sweet, and funny. Some would say she misbehaves or some would even say she is bad. She's not. She's wonderful and she's good where it matters. She would never steal (except for that shoplifting thing) or lie (except for that alias thing) or hurt anyone (unless you're a character in her version of clue). She's perfectly normal and just like any other little girl who happens to also be a fiercely independent genius criminal mind.

I wish you all luck. She started Kindergarten this year which means I've unleashed her. We did give her a little advice...

Be Kind
Be Brave
Be You