Things got tense in Empresspatti land recently. Number only Son managed the loser’s trifecta of bad behavior. He smarted off, didn’t listen and stomped on the brakes as a joke while driving his Mother around on his learners permit.
As infractions go, it basically boiled down to showing off because John was in the car. I’d picked up the boys up at school, letting my son drive home. John was razzing from the back seat and my son threatened to stamp on the brakes. I told my Son to stop talking and settle down.
Then my Son chose to pull into our driveway and stomp on the brakes. He and John cracked up.
I had thermonuclear meltdown. This did not involve yelling btw – real meltdowns are done in a reasonable tone of voice because it is so much scarier.
Writing about it makes my blood pressure spike. I don’t think I have EVER been so furious. Besides murdering him on the spot, I confiscated his learners and grounded him - no cell phone, computer, television or people.
“Go to school and come home, “ I told him. “This is your life till I calm down.” It took me about three weeks. Both of us were surprised by how angry I was.
Oh the fun we had with conversations about driving, responsibility, living at home, consideration, respect, surviving your Mother till your 17th birthday…..
Now is the time for a brief primer on John. He’s been around since elementary school, I care about him, but his parent’s philosophy apparently is “give the kid money and don’t ask questions.”
This has led to uncomfortable conversations between us such as the one right after John turned 14:
Me; “I saw you smoking cigarettes. Stop it”
John: “That wasn’t me”
Me; “Lying to me only make me madder. Stop smoking or I talk to you parents. Where did you buy your cigarettes?”
Then I got to march into our local 7/11 and have a conversation with the manager about selling cigarettes to minors. I had fun and manager guy still flinches when he sees me. Bonus.
About a year ago, I saw John smoking pot. I went home and told my Son. It took him about ten seconds to pelt out of the house and tell John. He hid from me for months, but eventually we had this conversation:
Me: “I saw you smoking pot in the woods”
John: “It wasn’t me”
Me: “Lying only makes me madder. I can’t stop you, even if I tattle to your parents, but you are being stoopid, we both know it and you are jeopardizing your welcome in my home. I don’t want to tell you that you can’t come here any more, but if I ever catch you smoking pot, or if you come here high, I will have to deal with you. Do you want that?”
Me: “This also applies to alcohol.”
Since I have lifted the fatwa, my Son has started filming his Vampire movie. This makes me happy, since I loves me the vampires.
In keeping with manly family tradition, my Son can never remember everything he might need to take for any given shoot, so my contribution has been to fetcherstep back and forth to school. The last phone call was for “the gym bag on the floor of my room, because I need the baseball bat and tire iron.”
I picked one of the several gym bags littering the floor and check – tire iron, baseball and package of condoms. Off to school I went.
I handed over the bag and said, “Since I found a package of condoms, we now get to have the sex talk.”
All the other boys fell down laughing. My Son was flummoxed. Cue sputtering and digging around in the gym bag.
“Mom!” he shouted over the hoots of his friends, “this is John’s gym bag.” We looked at each other for a moment – he had relief written all over him.
“I know it,” I said, “but we still get to have the talk.”