You do everything you can for your kids. God knows I've tried. But it seems like God enjoys a good joke, now and then.
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I was raised in a strict household. My parents bore offspring from the early-50's to the mid-60's. I was around the middle of this brood. With nine mouths to feed, we did not have a lot of extras. We worked for simple things, like bicycles.
Nothing wrong with that. It's what we knew. And we were given a great foundation, on which we could create a life for ourselves. As I said, my parents were strict - which made me not wish to be such with my kids.
Ah, my kids... I'm in my forties, and the wife is a bit younger. I make a fine income, and try not to sweat anything. I get up... have coffee... look out at the ocean... read the paper... move onto my business.
I appreciate not having a house full of screaming kids in the morning (something that was impossible when I grew up). All I ask of my kids is to; a) be respectful of everyone, b) be honest c) get good grades, d) clean their rooms.
I do not ask for much, nor do I demand much. However... that is going to change tonight. Events that occurred this morning will bring about change like these kids have never known. The wife has kept me in the dark about some things as well.
It's my fault. I accept it. But I can reverse this downward trend - now. My generation (baby-boomers) has found that it is easier to go around a wall, than climb over over it - or knock it down. I'm as guilty as anyone.
My guilt turned into rage this morning. My son (and my wife) convinced me that he NEEDED a car (he's seventeen). I was not keen on a kid driving, that has trouble standing a surfboard, or walking down the stairs without tripping.
But I relented (again, why fight it). With some stipulations, we aquired a car for this child. The rules were put in place, and he proclaimed we were the greatest parents in the worls. Uh huh... It's 12:00pm, and he has yet to get out of bed. His mother has been instructed to tell my prodigy that he is GROUNDED. We have never done this, but we are today. And I mean GROUNDED in his room!
Not out by the pool. Not in the gameroom. His cluttered abode is where he better be when I get home tonight. And I'm going to be stopping for a drink, first. I deserve a drink after this morning. Let me tell you about my day.
I go out to my car in the driveway (I have a three-car garage - and "hers" is the only one that fits inside). My insanely over-priced piece of shit refuses to start today (3rd time in 2 months - the car is 6-monthss old). Okay... I call 'AAA'; it will 45-60 minutes. No time to wait. Okay... I'm going to take my kids' car.
I go in and retrieve the keys (everyone is till asleep @ 8am). I leave a note telling him to call me. His car is down the street at a friends house. Why? He claimed that our driveway was too crowded (and the other kids might scratch it).
Okay... I find his car... set off the alarm... Shit! People, one word; LOJACK. Goddamn, I hate those alarms.
Anyways I get in the car, after noticing the REALLY nice rims & tires on it. Hmmm, how did he pay for those? WHEN, did he get those? I get in, and notice a new STEERING WHEEL... without the AIRBAG - that I demanded he have. Oh, this car is totally bitchin' dude! It gets better...
I start it up... A huge racket comes from the exhaust (not stock anymore!)... And the stereo starts screaming out profanities! The backseat is now occupied by a huge box with speakers in it... and fast-food trash... and 'ziz-zag' papers... and empty 'trojan' wrappers (a chip off the 'ole block).
To say the least I am pissed. I proceed to drive this rattling, screaming (I tear the faceplate off - finally), piece of doo-doo down the road. I swear, I think I awakened everyone in the neighborhood. I head out onto PCH, and drive less than a mile... when MB's finest pulls me over...
WTF? I know I wasn't speeding. The officer comes up to the car, and asks for my license and insurance card... I hand over the license, and tell him I'm not sure where the insurance card is - 'it's my son's car'... "look in the glovebox" (he is - actually - smiling now)...
I open the glovebox... and a small BONG falls out... I look at him... he looks at me... This is not happening! Oh, but it is. The first thing I say is 'it's not mine!'... "um, sir, could you step out of the car, please"...
I get out, and we step onto the sidewalk. He tells me he stopped me for having an illegal exhaust (no shit - it sounds like two-dozen weedwhackers coming down the street). He also informs me that there are plenty more violations on this car... And I start laughing... He asks why am I laughing... And I tell him how my day is going.
"What about the water-pipe?" Indeed! I inform him that this is all a surprise to me, but I would like him to write up everything that is illegal about the vehicle. He looks at me like I'm crazy. But I want my kid to learn a lesson.
And the officer obliges me. He, even, finds some weed in the trunk... 17 tickets later, we are finished... almost... I ask him if I can keep all of the drug paraphenalia? "Why?" I want my kid to destroy it. I want this kid to know his "fuck-off" days are over.
The officer agrees. I could see he was wishing he could be there tonight, for the "lesson". He was pretty decent about the whole thing. This guy took, almost, a half-hour to go through all of this paperwork - and search. I thank him, and head out... He tells me if I get stopped again today, that I should show all the citations to the other officer - and I should not have any problems...
Problems?!! We have problems. I have lost control of my family. My wife is a co-conspirator. She has just been told that I want a listing of all of our household bills & accounts. 'Yes, dear - we are going to perform an audit'. She is protesting, but I do not care. This is war.
I know my family loves me, but they have played me for a fool. I may be a fool, but I am not dumb. She does not know that I just found out my son is in Summer school, because of bad grades. She doesn't know that DMV has provided me with her, and his, records; apparently they have a problem with obeying traffic laws.
It's not going to be easy, but something must be done. I swear, I feel like I have become my father... I want the best for my family, and feel something radical must happen. I can only hope they - truly - understand it is for our own good.
Some things that will be addressed tonight;
1) Son's vehicle is gone; oil up that chain on your bicycle.
2) All three kids will empty out the garage; sell it/ donate it/ whatever.
3) Mom will have a household budget.
4) Chores - that's right; everyone will have assigned chores.
5) Chores will be done, before anything else.
6) Homework will be done daily, before dinner. * Or, immediately after sports events, but always prior to 10pm.
7) Son's tickets will be paid with his allowance.
8) Son is grounded for the rest of the summer.
9) Son will study from 8am until 4pm - daily, durint the rest of summer vacation.
10) Videogames are banned from 10pm until 6pm - daily.
11) Everyone will be up by 8am - daily.
12) The youngest child is on a diet - now.
13) Mother will inform father of ALL infractions.
14) Dad will be home by 6pm - daily.
15) Everyone will eat dinner, together.
16) Mom will cook dinner - and it better not come out of the microwave.
17) The maid is being given four weeks notice. * That is going to be fun - I may not see a sexual interlude for awhile.
18) Dad is getting a new car, and parking it in his garage.
19) Son may get a USED car, when his grades are A's & B's, for two - consecutive - semesters.
20) Mom and son are to attend driving school.
21) Son will explain drug usage - completely, or face rehab & boarding school.
22) Mom will be weaned off of her "medications"; NOW.
23) Children will make their own lunches, for school; no more money for shitty school food.
24) NO soda. Maybe, when we dine out. Maybe, on the weekends.
25) NO MySpace accounts, or any other assinine accounts - a computer geek will check all of their computers - monthly (they need fear put into their lives).
26) Dad will attend all school functions.
27) Everyone will be present for all birthdays.
28) Children will wear clothes that Dad approves of.
29) Mom will dress daughter like a little girl; not a 'hoochie-mama'. * and - definitely - no "juicy" pants on her bottom!
30) Daughter will not have any underwear, except for briefs.
31) Sons will not be told to pull up their pants, or face having said pants donated.
32) NO 'Rap' music, within Dad's hearing range.
33) NO tattoos, until you are out of my house.
34) NO piercings (except for daughter's ears), until you are out of my house.
35) NO dyeing of hair, until you are out of my house.
Did I miss something?
I'm continuing to add to the list...
Tell me if I missed something...
Tell me if I'm wrong...
I've seen those "wife-swap" & "nanny" shows...
I hate to think that is my life...
Wish me luck...
I may be sleeping on the patio tonight...
- this is in or around Long Letter From Manhattan Beach
- no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests