Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mean Mommy

Last night, as I was driving Gabby home from cheerleading practice, she asked me if she could watch a movie she had tivoed on Saturday while she was at the football game. I tell her that we still have to eat dinner and she needs to take a shower and get ready to take a social studies test in the morning. She agrees and asks to watch it today (Wednesday). She ends up going, "Yeah, I'm the only one of my friends not to have seen it, and I really want to see it." I ask how they had seen it if they were at the game as well and since I know most of the parents haven't discovered the wondrous invention known as tivo just yet (BOONIES, PEOPLE). She ends up telling me that they had all watched the midnight showing on Saturday night.

By the time we get home, I have discovered that Gabby is the only kid in her class to have a bedtime and to not have a cell phone. Surprisingly, she is not upset on either account, and like me, finds this to be disturbing and interesting. We have previously talked the cell phone issue to death and decided as a family that she will get one when she turns 13. It is at that age that she will be doing more activities away from family and will need to contact us more to keep us aprised of her whereabouts and when I think that she will be responsible enough to deal with juggling friends and all of the other issues that having a cell phone can bring. Last year, several girls in her class were caught in a HUGE cell phone conspiracy that yes, involved "sexting." The girls were in 5th grade and were talking to 7th grade boys. This prompted the parents to not take the phones (which is what I would think the logical thing to do would be) but to blame the other party (the girls blamed the boys, the boys blamed the girls). Nice. At that point, we said that she would get a phone when she turned 47 or when Hell froze over, whichever happened first. Since then, we have cooled off a bit, but remain firm on the 13 thing. The 13 thing is contingent on Gabby maintaining good grades and otherwise conducting herself with a modicum of self-respect and maturity.

The bedtime thing just floors me. Bedtime is an essential in our house. If we didn't have bedtime, I would end up maiming someone (probably someone under the age of 18) with a cleaver on a daily basis. I love that time that the kids are in bed and the house is quiet and Matt and I can actually do things, whether it is watch TV or just have a normal conversation that does not involve cheerleading or Boy Scouts or who is so mean to me, do you know what he did today?!!? It is not that I don't love my kids--I adore them--but I just need that break. On a daily basis. And somedays, as bad as it sounds, I just need to look at the clock and go, "Two more hours. Just make it two more hours!" Sam goes to bed at 9, and Gabby goes to her room at 9, but is allowed to watch TV or play Nintendo DS or read for 30 minutes. Alice, at this point, is used to the routine, and starts nighttime nursing at 9. Then it is lights out. How people live without this VOLUNTARILY is inconceivable. Plus, if my kids don't get in bed on time, the next morning they are zombies. In fact, zombies probably have more social skills. Late bedtime equals total and complete meltdown for Sam (you ask the kid to brush his teeth, and he.falls.apart) and the snarky craziness in Gab ("WHERE ARE MY SKINNY JEANS? WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY'RE NOT CLEAN? I TOTALLY GAVE THEM TO YOU LAST NIGHT. WHY CAN'T YOU WASH STUFF, LIKE OFTEN AND STUFF?"). So I choose to not even chance it. Mornings blow enough without pushing the issue.

Now it goes without saying that I am the youngest mom of my kids' friends. Mostly, people are in their late 30's, early 40's. And here we are. And we are the strict ones? How did that happen? If when I was in 6th grade, if one of my friends had parents who were in their late 20's, I would think that that house would be the fun, crazy house. In a way, I think we are the fun, crazy ones. We make That's What She Said jokes a lot and have been known to have silly string battles that involve our ceiling fans. Maturity is not exactly paramount around here. But I also prefer to give my kids a little structure. How am I the only one? Am I just crazy? I am starting to feel like Kyle's Mom from South Park.

But, you know, better to be Kyle's mom than this:

Viva la Mean Mommy.

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