23 of 30: Aftershock

As I mentioned yesterday, I was a little (lot) miffed at Sparring Partner’s friends for having the T&A discussions in front of not only my soon-to-be nine-year old, but there are other kids at the track as well. Later, after Doodicus had gone to bed I asked Sparring Partner what he thought of that. He said,

That’s not something I’d thought I have to talk about this soon.

And I nearly kicked him in the shin. He never “talked” to him about it. I did the talking.

So then I asked him if he let his friends know what had happened and he showed me the text message he’d sent. It basically said that we had caught Dood looking up inappropriate stuff on the computer and told us that it was because of their conversations and that they would have to be way more careful in the future.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly (might be too generous of a word) surprised by their quick and apologetic replies, including, “Holy shit! Def be more aware!” from one friend. Another guy replied with how one of the classmates of his son (Kaarsin) got busted for googling “boobs” and narked on Kaarsin. Kaarsin happens to be a year younger than Dood, attends the races, AND his dad is probably the WORST offender of the group.

Sidebar? Kaarsin’s dad is the same prick who offered to be the “sperm donor” when he found out that male factor was contributing to our problems conceiving. Need I really say more?

As for looking at this as a conversation had too soon? Quite frankly, I didn’t want to have the conversation with him in four, six or even ten years. And I told him that: I don’t know what to say to him about this. I guess I should have asked questions; like what was he hoping to find? Images? Discussions? What exactly IS sexy? Sure, you and I both know it’s totally inappropriate for a 3rd grader to be looking that stuff up, but could you be specific in your explanation if you were asked why? Thankfully, he didn’t ask.

As several of you pointed out, children DO grow up too fast in today’s technology-based world, which I think is ironic (I think I’m going to use that word correctly). 100 years ago, parents often urged their children to get married in their early teens. Single women in their 20s were spinsters. But now? I can’t even imagine promoting the idea of settling down to either of my kids before turning 30. I feel so old. When exactly does wisdom set in? Does it ever?

22 of 30: My Old Boy

Today I aged 10 years in 10 minutes. I have a man-child in my house. One minute he is looking up new Beyblades on the computer and the next…? I mean, even right now, he is literally curled up, lying on his side, playing Pokemon on his Nintendo DS and my heart is bruised watching him.

After school started, we set up an old laptop in his room and saved several school-recommended websites under his profile. I knew he was googling and watching youtube videos because he would tell me about what he had found. It was always about some new toy or his favorite football team. However, today something was…off.

Doodicus headed to his room and shut the door.

He shut. the. door.

He never shuts his door.

I was helping Aitch with something and I couldn’t get away from her fast enough and when I did, I just knew I had to be quiet and quick. I didn’t knock, but just barged into his room. Doodicus slammed the lid of his computer down and jumped up from his chair and rushed to me. I tried to move him out of my way and he started yelling for me to get out. I pulled his hands away from me and quietly told him to sit on the bed. He continued to yell, “What?! What do you want?!”

Two more times I told him to sit on the bed. I was deliberately calm; quiet. This was a major turning point and I knew how I reacted was going to make every difference in our future relationship as mother and son. He finally stopped yelling and pulling at my arms and sat down on the edge of the bed. I lifted the lid of the computer barely taking in the list of links I recognized as a google search results page. Instead I looked at the two words in the search box: sexy women.

My heart stopped it’s thundering beat for a second and then took off again even faster. I shut the lid again and turned to look at my eight year old son sitting on the bed who was now crying.

The first thing I did was to tell him he wasn’t in trouble. I mean how could he be when we hadn’t set any specific rules about this? I asked why he was looking something like that up; were his friends at school talking about it? No, he said. Dad’s friends are always talking about it at the races.

A small flicker of fury started up in my guts. I’ve never had a reason to dislike both my husband’s and son’s hobby until this very moment. This radio-control racing isn’t a child’s sport. Instead it’s for middle-aged men with pauches and forgiving wives who get together and geek out with talks of springs, brushless motors, battery packs and each armed with soldering irons and battery chargers. I actually enjoy the company but only in brief spurts. It’s probably comparable to your husband enjoying your girlfriends and accompanying you to the mall, but quickly splitting off to go check out the sports store or hitting the theater to see the recent action-thriller starring a really aged and poorly botoxed movie star (I’m looking at you, Sylvester Stallone).

But as much as I like the guys and the way they take kids like Doodicus under their wings, I knew the conversations sometimes get a little bawdy as they forget he’s there; or maybe don’t think he’s listening while he plays his video games between heats.

And I should have known that sooner or later this would happen.

As for what I said to him after that? First I found Sparring Partner who was really in just as much hot water as Doodicus. I briefly explained what had happened (to explain the yelling that could be heard across the house) and then had to explain what the rules will be from here on out and how we were going to enforce them, including major restrictions on his laptop.

Yes, I know we should have done that first. Trust me, I’ve already mentally flogged myself a dozen times this afternoon. I don’t know how I’m going to reconcile these two different parts that make up my son: the boy he has been for the past eight years with the young man emerging in these odd fits and starts that make me feel as if I’ve entered the Twilight Zone. Wasn’t he just a toddler obsessed with how many Hot Wheels cars he had of each color?

19 of 30: One Crazy Mutha (and it’s not me)

A Chuck E. Cheese costume character
Image via Wikipedia

Wow. Everyone got so serious. Sheesh. A total stranger hit upon something in her comment left on the NaBloPoMo, which was this: sometimes parents can get – I don’t want to use the word desperate, but yes – desperate for something our kids can do. Where we live, we don’t have a Chuck E. Cheese’s or a Bounce U or a children’s museum  or whatever populated urban areas have. We have cornhusk dolls and rocks, people! So when my kid gets an opportunity to do something outside of playing on the swingless playground at school or watching his little sister climb the rubberized lion on the 20×20 play area in the mall, we’re going to go for it. And so will his friends.

Wow. I sound a little defensive and indignant, don’t I?

Here’s something to lighten the mood (and change the subject). My congratulations if you can get through the entire clip.

18 of 30: The Poop on the Pool-Party (with hyphenated emphasis)

I intentionally misled you with the last post. Doodicus wasn’t invited to a pool party. We are the ones (possibly) hosting it. I believe if I asked, “Dood wants to have an indoor water/pool party but the closest amenities are two hours away. Would you let your child attend?” you may not have answered as honestly if you had answered at all.

This idea came about because Dood didn’t get a birthday party last year. All the snow put people off, rightfully so. So this year I told Dood that if he wanted to do something extra special, including this pool party, we would make arrangements. At first he wasn’t too into the idea. He was leaning towards a pool/laser-tag party at the local Y, common birthday party faire for around here during the cold weather seasons.

Last week I asked one last time what he wanted to do and he had changed his mind. He’d rather invite two or three friends for a day at the water park than invite a dozen friends for laser-tag. I told him that I would have to talk to the parents first to see if it was something they would allow, just so he wouldn’t get his hopes up only to be dashed when the parents ended up feeling the same as most of you, per your comments.

However, I was pleasantly surprised and especially relieved when both boys’ mothers responded positively to the prospect. While I like the idea of an even number of kids in a group, I think three in this kind of situation is going to be enough to make it fun for Doodicus and not overwhelming for us.

Sorry to be deliberately vague on the last post. Do you think you would have answered EXACTLY the same knowing we were the ones doing the inviting?

17 of 30: Pool Party

Here’s the situation:

Your child has been invited, along with just a couple of other kids, to a pool party at an indoor water park in a hotel. The birthday child’s parents are driving the children there, but it is two hours away. They are also covering all expenses as far as access fees, lunch, etc. While the park is in a hotel, they will not be staying overnight.

Would you let your child go? What concerns would you have?