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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Teen survives bad haircut
From Staff Reports

ATLANTA — Though he could not see through the fringe of hair, Dominic C., 15, resisted the idea of a haircut. Clearly, his trepidation was warranted, as the resulting cut nearly ruined his social and academic life, according to him. What masqueraded as barely any cut at all to those around him, was, in the teen’s opinion, the worst thing that could have happened to him. In his life. Ever.

“He asked me if he could stay home from school,” said Eddie C., the teen’s father. “I hope you told him ‘no’ in a hot second,” the teen’s mother replied when she heard.

Beth C. exhibited no sympathy for the teen’s plight. The heartless woman even was reported as telling Dominic C., “I don’t understand how you can want a haircut, but want no hair to be cut at the same time.”

The shattered teen tried everything to hide the effects of what he called, “the worst cut of my life.” First, he tried a ski mask. Then added a hoodie. Then enlisted both parents in a campaign to use various hair products to regain some sense of style — exactly what style was unclear, however.

“Listen,” Beth C. finally said to the aggrieved teen, “I don’t know what the problem is. It looks exactly the same to me as it did before.”

His mother had the audacity to show him a photo of that time in third grade when she cut her own bangs. She then claimed her situation was worse. “I had an inch of hair on my forehead!” she said. “Yours still hits your eyebrows.”

The teen recovered in time to be able to make it to school the next day. The family is accepting notes of sympathy from other parents of teens.

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Dear Readers:

My playful ribbing of my friends has paid off. Nick has come through with a guest post about dealing with teenagers — a frequent topic of mine. His oldest is older than mine, so he’s been through it.

And for the rest of you (Julia, Royce, Kerstin, TJ), don’t worry about it being perfect. That’s what editors are for. Send it!

Love,
Beth

Advice for harassed parents (or how I learned to stop worrying and love my kid)
Guest post by Nick (aka He Who Has Been There)

My eldest son just turned 18. Here in the U.K., that’s it: All milestones hit. He’s now a grown man, even though if he buys beer he’ll still get challenged for appearing to be under 21, despite the drinking age being 18. Go figure. He can have a house, car, family — all that. First, he needs to get a job. But we’ll leave that particular bone of contention for another time.

Getting this far wasn’t easy. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve said something along the lines of “YOU’LL PICK UP THAT SOCK/PLATE/INDETERMINATE MATTER IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY,” which was normally met with an exasperated sigh or the dreaded eye-roll. See, the thing is, and this is important for anyone with a kid who’s in the middle of those teenage years to know:

You’ll always LOVE your kid. It’s okay to not LIKE them sometimes.

It’s easy when they’re small. For example, it’s cute when they get so excited at Christmas that they literally piss themselves. Or, when potty training is happening, they get their junk caught in a CD case and run into the kitchen shouting “ME NO LIKE!” (Both real, both SURE to mortify the boy if he ever reads this.)

Here’s Nick. Innocent. He has no idea what this creature will become in just 10 or so years.

But as they grow in size, they also get this disastrous condition called “their own personality.” Shocking, I know. And when they get to about 12, 13? That personality generally stinks. As do they, because puberty takes no prisoners where body odour is concerned (Note from Beth: “Odor” as we Americans shun unnecessary letters).

The smallest things become battlegrounds.

Concerned Parent: “Have you done your homework?”
Insolent Child: *AUDIBLE EYE ROLL*
CP: “May as well get it done now, kid Then it’s finished so you’ve got the weekend to yourself.”
IC: “GOD.” (Stomps away)

A hill that we both picked to die on was a matter of hygiene. As in, brush your goddamn teeth. He’d wake up, have breakfast, and sit in the living room in his trademark sullen silence. When I would ask if he’d brushed his teeth, the look of horror and disgust was as if I’d offered him a lightly grilled stoat (Note from Beth: This is British-speak for weasel) as an aperitif. He’d eventually stomp away to the bathroom, but only after I’d shown him the Big Book of British Smiles. (Our teeth aren’t really that bad, but it made a point, and “The Simpsons” is gold.)

Then.

One magical day a few months before his 18th birthday, he all of a sudden stopped being this terrible-smelling, silent protagonist in his own Greek tragedy, and became a larger version of the kid I used to know. Hairier, with a deeper voice (no seriously: He’s like a skinny white version of Barry White, fer chrissake), but actually nice to be around. I look forward to our movie nights. Sharing a beer with the kid. Actually having a human conversation.

Here’s Nick with his son, who has regained human form. Neither has the capacity to smile for a selfie, apparently.

So, parents of teenagers: Hang in there. It gets worse before it gets better. But when it gets better, it’s great!

If only he’d get off his arse, and get a job …

 

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Dear Dominic and Gideon,

I’ve enjoyed spending time with you this winter break.

Gideon and I have developed a call and response that makes me giggle every single time.

Person 1: Good news!
Person 2: I saw a dog today.

(Side note to readers: If you are confused, watch this.)

At one point, I walked into the room where Gideon was playing “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in time to hear him yell:

My bullets are made in Arabia, so they never work!

I started laughing and couldn’t stop.

The next day, Gideon called Ryder for PS4 tech support. These kids either FaceTime or talk to each other on speaker.

Gideon started to leave the room with Ryder still on speaker.

Me: Hey! Don’t leave Ryder on the bed with me!
Ryder: Ew!
Me: (starts laughing)
Gideon: Mama!

Later that day, Dominic and I had an interesting conversation:

Him: Of Gideon and me, which of us is the funniest?
Me: A few months ago, I would have said you. But now, Gideon is giving you a run for your money.

But Dominic and I do have one thing in common: We are not party people.

Yes, we are both extroverts. But parties filled with people we don’t know can be overwhelming.

We were at my five-year-old great niece’s birthday party. It became too much. Dominic and I hid in the living room and laughed together.

The birthday girl’s older sister kept trying to lure Dominic out of hiding.

Very cute, but it was no use.

Anyway, our winter break bonding came to an end today. Back to the mutual grind.

But I am looking forward to spring break!

Love,
Mama

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Dear McKinnons,

Every time we stay with you, we have something to laugh about. From Petra trying to fatten us up like Thanksgiving turkeys to Patrick disappearing in the middle of the conversation to go to Home Depot, it’s always an adventure.

On Thursday, I walked into your house with the family. Patrick took one look at me.

Him: What’s on your pants?
Me: Serial killers.
Him: Is that a band?
Me: No. Real serial killers. You know. Like Charles Manson.

(The leggings I mentioned in this post.)

This time, even Ryder and Mia gave us a laugh.

After I tagged along on the guys’ outing to see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Friday (the bros and a bra), we discussed the finer points of some key deaths. (No spoilers.)

Ryder went back into the vault to describe Obi Wan’s death like this:

His towel dropped.

I laughed so hard, I was wheezing.

(Ryder then asked if he was going to make it into my blog finally. Yes, my young padawan.)

Mia, who has a competitive streak like her father, did not want said father to win the Uno game Friday.

She turned to me, sitting next to Pat as I always do.

Her: You got something for him?
Me: I do.

She plays a color she knows I have. I throw down a reverse. She wins the game. We high five, because she won and not Pat.

Evil. I love it.

Saturday, Petra and I were having a serious conversation about the deaths of our fathers and subsequent guilt.

Here comes Pat to vacuum right behind her.

Petra and I looked at each other. Shocked. Then started laughing because OF COURSE HE HAD TO DO THAT RIGHT THEN.

Then last night, we all played a Pictionary-like game called “Buzz Draw.”

Naturally, someone yells out “penis” if anything is remotely phallic. (Like there is ever going to be a penis prompt on a family game card.)

Gideon drew “winter.” He thought at first that no one got it.

Mia: I said ‘winter’ a long time ago!
Pat: But I yelled ‘penis’ at the same time.

Speaking of penis, your dog Angus took an unusual interest in me.

I feel like I need a restraining order. Counseling at the very least.

Here he is rubbing his slobbery toy all over me under the table.

It’s better than what he usually rubs on me. (Hint: See theme of the game above.)

Perv.

Anyway, thanks for letting us stay with you this weekend. And thanks especially for the laughs.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

Though you didn’t come through with anything on my previous list (in fact, my eye is worse), you worked through my family to ensure I had a great Christmas.

Just look:

I coveted this shirt. Eddie has one from his pals at CrossFit Steadfast in Savannah. I donate to Goat Yoga Lisa‘s fundraising campaign every year. Now I have a shirt of my own!

This is the gift that will keep on giving. Not only am I excited about learning how to do this art at the February class, but I can write about it. I’m going with Revell, the guy who cuts my hair. So that should be a hoot.

Behold a perfect gift for any Murderino.

That gift is from the kids. They know I listen to “My Favorite Murder” as I walk to work. Eddie reports the following conversation.

Him: Those are really expensive.
Dominic: They are for someone who deserves it. She deserves it. Plus, I’ve been a jerk.

And suddenly both my eyes had issues.

So thank you, Santa. Like Bono’s girl, you move in mysterious ways.

Love and kisses to you and the missus,
Beth

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Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you in person this year. I tried. The line was just too long at Santaland. I had other places to go, and people to see.

(It occurs to me that I’m actually lamenting the fact that I didn’t get to sit on some some old dude’s lap. Holiday traditions are weird.)

As I’ve been (mostly) good, I’m hoping that you can still help me out with my wish list. Items are a little tricky this year, I’m afraid. Not sure the elves can handle these things.

Anyway, here goes:

    1. Some kind of cream that will make the itchy spot on my right eye go away. The dermatologist is stumped. I use the same products on BOTH EYES, but my left eye is fine. Please help. I look like Hitch.
    2. Guests in our Airbnb condo who will actually read and abide by the house rules. It’s not like we are asking for much. Just take the trash out of the place, and send it down the rubbish chute right outside the door. We aren’t asking for gold doubloons as tips or anything. Although …
    3. A money tree would be nice. Have you seen how much Dominic eats? Or how leggy Gideon is getting? At least they can’t wear my shoes anymore, so that means mine stay clean. I promise I will share the harvest with friends and family. Well, most of them.
    4. Expansion of Marta. Or at the very least, a change of heart for the car-focused people of Atlanta who keep voting against it.
    5. People who are driving at or below the speed limit to STAY THE F out of the passing lane. You have a reindeer-powered sleigh. You do not know the horror of I-16.
    6. Another season of “Schitt’s Creek.” Season 6 is supposed to be the last one. But you can make Daniel Levy change his mind, right? RIGHT?!
    7. The ability to speak Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese fluently. I dream big, but you’re Santa. It’s not like you are starting from scratch. I’m at toddler levels for the first two. And I know key phrases for the others. Look, you never know when you need to tell a Japanese person that he’s taken the last Band-Aid.
    8. A stop to the entire country of India requesting to add me as a contact on Linked In. I really don’t know anyone in India.
    9. More followers for this blog. It’s not an ego thing (although an audience is great). It’s an expanding-my-circle thing.  I’ve met some of the most interesting people via this blog — folks I never would have met otherwise.
    10. Guest posts. I’m still waiting for posts from Julia, Royce, Kerstin, Nick, TJ, etc. I’m not holding my breath, though.
    11. Patience. Lord knows Dominic regularly uses up my limited supply.
    12. Someone to make these for me. I’m a great cook, but kind of a crappy baker.
    13. The cute blue cheetah-print jeans I gave away when I thought I’d be fat forever.
    14. More early-morning water boot camp classes at the Y so that I won’t ever be fat again.
    15. For Origins to bring back the Spring Fever scent. Please! I can’t be the only one who has asked you for this.

I know it’s a tall order. Just do what you can. Thanks, Santa! I appreciate you.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Greg, Publix Manager:

Thank you for hiring Dominic this week.

You have no idea how thankful I am to get him off the Xbox, his phone and the couch.

He’ll be gainfully employed. Occupied and out of trouble. Able to buy his own snacks.

(His lunch today? Oreos, Goldfish and popcorn.)

He made me laugh as I was taking him to the interview with you. WAY overconfident:

Me: Are you nervous?

Him: No. Who wouldn’t like me?

Oh LORD.

But you did like him, so he wasn’t wrong.

I could not be happier for him to get a taste of real life.

So, thank you from the bottom of my mom heart.

Your loyal customer,
Beth

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