Not long ago, I wrote a post about the choices kids make.
The good, and bad.
At the time, one of my kids had made a good choice.
Last night, the other one made one that wasn't so good.
Boys were downstairs with a friend.
I was upstairs in the bathroom.
Suddenly, the phone started making this strange ring.
I thought it was the boys, messing around with the phone, so I yelled down from the top of the stairs for them to stop.
They said they weren't the cause of it.
I found the phone, answered and heard something along the lines of;
'This is 911, someone from this number just called the emergency line.'
My jaw dropped.
He'd done it!
He'd actually done it!
Through gritted teeth, I answered, 'Oh REALLY!?!', as I immediately headed for the basement.
I told the 911 operator that I assumed it had been my 9 yr old son who had made the call, as I looked at Adam and asked, 'WHY did you call 911?!'
'I didn't MEAN to!', came the wail from my boy, who KNEW at that moment he had done wrong ... BIG TIME!
Lines were crossed. Boundaries demolished.
I was pissed.
The 911 operator heard it in my voice too. I know she did.
You can't hide that kind of pissed.
I just couldn't believe, that after all the times he'd 'threatened' to call 911, because although it wasn't an emergency, for whatever reason, he felt he was being treated unjustly, because I'd said no, or stop, or wouldn't do or give or ... whatever it was he wanted at that moment.
Or if he was arguing with his brother.
We had talked about it. Many times.
Exactly what the emergency service is for, and what it's not.
And yet, after all our talks, here he'd gone and done it.
Arrraaaggghhhh! Wrong choice!
So I ask her if she'd like me to put Adam on the phone, to explain WHY he called, and she said no, that wasn't necessary, but that all 911 calls have to be followed up with a police visit, and they would be there shortly.
She also confirmed that there wasn't an actual emergency.
I clarified that it had been nothing more than a child choosing to do something he shouldn't have.
Then, I got off the phone, told Adam the police were on their way, and suggested it was time for the friend to leave.
Then, we waited.
During that time, the seriousness of what he'd done, sank in for Adam.
Regardless WHAT the police said, he already knew he was in trouble as far as I was concerned.
He was extremely upset, nervous, and despite reassurances from Alec and I, was convinced the police were going to take him with them.
About 20min later, the headlights turned up the driveway.
Alec, not about to miss out on THIS, shouts from his window perch, 'There's TWO of them!'
So, I open the door, and there's the police ...
I invited them in, asked Alec to leave the room with the dog, and asked Adam to come down off the stairs, and into the room, and speak to the officers.
He reluctantly explained what had happened.
He had dialed, and hung up immediately, thinking that someone would have to answer before the call would go through.
He was wrong.
The police were very understanding.
They asked him a few questions, we chatted a bit, and they shared that the call they had before ours, was for the exact same reason.
I think that was an attempt to make BOTH of us feel better lol.
They also had a serious discussion with Adam about the importance of understanding the rules and use of the 911 system. And that what he did was wrong, but he wasn't in trouble.
I also shared how, 'I'm going to call 911' has sometimes been used as a threat.
They had a serious discussion with him about that as well.
I thanked them for that, and said I hoped hearing it from someone OTHER than his mother would now make it real.
I also thanked them for coming, and having the talk that they did.
Adam thanked them for not taking him away.
After they left, I told Adam I hoped he'd learned his lesson.
And that if he EVER thought of doing that again, when there wasn't an emergency, that he'd better think twice, because now, HE was in their SYSTEM, and maybe next time, he wouldn't be so lucky, and he WOULD end up leaving with them.
Tough Love. I'm all over it.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Not long ago, I wrote a post about the choices kids make.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So I went to a family member's wedding this weekend.
Great day. Beautiful bride & groom. Wonderful time had by all.
The event was scheduled for Saturday morning.
I left Friday night. It was a 2.5hr drive away.
It was raining. Not a torrential downpour, but raining nonetheless.
I HATE driving in the rain.
See this highway?
Looks innocent enough huh?
Now, imagine this same highway drenched in rain. DARK. Glare from the oncoming lights bouncing off the puddled road and into your eyes.
Did I mention I HATE driving in the rain?
Get caught in a build up anywhere in your lane, and that's it, you're hydroplaning and hanging on!
So we all get the idea it was a nasty night.
I had been driving for about an hour, when I saw the signs for the upcoming toll booth.
Just ahead of me were a few cars, and a transport, 18 wheeler, a big rig, Optimus Prime, whatever you want to call it, it was one of these ...
Not the actual truck. Pic taken from HERE
If there's one thing I hate more than driving in the rain, it's coming up on one of THESE. Or having one of them come up fast behind me.
I don't like passing cars on rainy nights.
I always have a fear that I'm going to catch a puddle right when I'm next to someone, and then lose control and slam into whatever's beside me.
Irrational fear? Probably.
But when rain builds up on those highways, and visibility is ... well, there is no visibility, and all the stars and planets align, and decide they're pissed off and want to wreak some havoc, there ya go.
Fluke accident on a rainy highway.
Did you know ...
"There are about 160,000 road accidents in Canada every year. According to the Transportation Safety Board approximately 2800 to 2900 people are killed on Canadian roads each year."
According to Canada Road Traffic Crash Car Accidents website
Anyway, around this time, the rain started to let up a bit and it seemed like the road had more of an even coverage of water, as opposed to the dodge the puddles maze I had been driving through most of the past hour.
I decided to pass the herd.
I pulled out into the passing lane, and kept to the far left.
I came alongside the first car, and went by comfortably. Aside from the back spray of mist as I came up on it, the move was uneventful.
Same with the next car.
Then, I came up on the truck.
Did I mention I hate driving behind those things?
Talk about back spray!
Just as I passed it's ass end, the rain picked up.
Where the hell's that white line?
Is he getting closer to me?
It seemed like it took forever to get by him. Felt like the more I attempted to give it a bit more gas, he did too.
Then again, maybe it was just my imagination, and my OWN vehicle was having a hard time getting enough punch to get past it.
With the visibility getting crappier by the second, I wanted to make sure I had enough room getting by him, so I pulled even farther over to the side, and ended up on the 'wake the f*ck up bumps'.
These things ...
Finally, I made it past, and managed to keep a fair distance between us for a couple of minutes, until we got to the toll.
Because there was a car already in front of me when I got there, by the time I paid, he and I were rolling through at the same time.
I happened to be in the passing lane, so I blew by him as soon as I got up the speed, along with a few other cars who had just passed through the toll.
I'm not sure what exactly I did to piss off Mr Optimus Prime, but he decided to come after me.
I mean literally, come after me. Tease me. A little highway tag on a rainy Friday night.
Let's scare the shit out of the chick driving all by herself.
In order to get by the traffic, I had been doing about 120-130km. I kept up that speed for awhile, to get a bit of a cushion between myself, the other cars, and the big rig.
Not only do I not like passing them, I also don't like having their lights shining in my rear view mirror.
All the headlights quickly fell away in the distance.
All except the big rig.
He had pulled out into the passing lane, and was slowly but surely gaining speed.
In no time, he was right behind me.
RIGHT behind me.
Where he stayed for about 30 seconds.
DAMN, I thought, as he pulled out to pass me. That meant I was going to be stuck behind the never ending spray unless he decided to pull faaaaarrrr ahead.
There was nothing but blackness ahead of us, I hoped he would just give 'er and go once he was past me.
He slowly made his way up to my drivers door.
I maintained my speed.
Then I thought, 'Should I maintain speed? Should I slow down?'
I don't usually slow down ... but ...
I decided that HE was the one in a hurry. If he wanted to catch up and get by me so bad, he could fly at 'er.
However, once the front of his hood reached mine, he slowed.
I waited for him to continue. To get ahead of me, but he stayed where he was.
The bastard was keeping pace with me!
I slowed down, giving him the opportunity to pull ahead and take the lead.
He slowed down too.
I slowed down even more. Surely he wouldn't do it again.
I was wrong. He kept pace. Neck and neck.
That was it, I hit the gas.
If he wasn't going to pass me, I wasn't going to play stupid games on a rain slicked highway, that's full of bumps and crappy potholes every hundred feet.
As soon as I started to pull ahead, you got it ... so did he.
Enough of this shit...
There was nobody behind me, I could no longer see the headlights of the cars we'd passed.
I hit the brakes.
He sailed by, and as soon as he had clearance, pulled in front of me.
And slowed down.
That's where he kept me for the next 60 minutes.
Until just before I had to take my exit.
The rain had stopped. The road was relatively dry. There was slow moving traffic up ahead that he wasn't passing.
I made my move.
Once he got close to the car in front of him, I pulled out past him, not giving him enough time to get out by the other car first.
Since the road was now dry, and we were no longer the only two on the road, my balls were back :-)
No sooner had I gotten by 3-4 cars than I saw him coming again.
This time, after he blew by the row of them, he pulled in behind me.
There was nobody ahead of me, he could have easily taken the lead again, but instead decided to follow.
And play with his lights.
Brights on, brights off. Brights on, brights off.
AAARRRRAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! Did I mention BASTARD!!!!!
That. Was. IT!
I punched it.
125 ... 130 ... 135 ...
Could it be? Was I actually putting a bit of distance between us?
I came up to another row of cars and blew by them, and there ... THERE was the exit!
I took the exit ramp and spent more time watching the rear view than I did the road in front of me.
Was he coming?
Was he going straight?
Was he finally GONE?
Yes. He was.
I was able to finish the last 15 min of my trip in peace.
No more road games, no more head games.
Now that I'm home, safe and sound, I'd like to take this opportunity to say, Thanks.
Thanks to the freakin' Buttwipe behind the wheel of that 18 wheeler from hell.
Thanks for making that a HORRIBLE trip!
Just remember Teddy Bear, Karma's a Bitch, and one day, you may just find her riding 'long side you in your cab.
10-4 Buttwipe? Good! Now, GET OFF THE FREAKIN' ROAD!
Monday, October 12, 2009
'Hey MOM! Do you see any hair growing under there? I think there is!'
'There', was an armpit. And I wouldn't necessarily call it 'hair', just yet.
Having a 13 yr old boy, I've discovered that being asked to confirm the existence of pit hair, or to affirm there's been a slight change of voice, and that discussing such things as girls, booze, drugs, sex, life choices and the morning boner, are not uncommon.
It's called Puberty.
And he's there.
Actually, they're both experiencing various changes, on different levels.
So I'm experiencing it by proxy, times two.
I've always been very open with the boys. About pretty much anything and everything.
I want them to know that whatever the issue, they can ALWAYS come to me.
Any topic is open for discussion.
I don't always have the answers, but it doesn't mean we can't still talk about it.
However, I realize not everyone is like me.
Not every parent is comfortable having their 11 yr old ask the question 'can a girl still have sex while on her period?'
Not every parent is comfortable explaining to their 9 yr old that they can't have a half nude WWE Diva as his background pic. Even if she DOES look cute with her lollipop!
That's why, when I was asked if I'd be interested in receiving and reviewing a book by Mary H. Halter, called:
I said SURE!
Maybe there are parents out there would could benefit from a book like this.
Maybe the kids and I could get something from it, too.
The night it arrived, I skimmed through it quickly, and got a feel for what it was all about.
As I had suspected, we had already covered many of the topics, but there were still areas we hadn't touched on, and it offered further explanation on some of those we had.
It is produced by the company, Healthy Edudynamics, as part of their educational package, A Time To Talk.
The book is comprised of actual questions, asked by adolescences who attended the A Time To Talk program.
From the website "101 Questions Kids Book was designed to be a companion work to assist parents and teachers who are using A Time To Talk DVD, Questions and Answers about Puberty and Adolescence."
So I finished the book, and left it in a spot where I thought it may grab the boys attention, and bring about any discussions they may want to have.
Either they didn't notice it, or they did and didn't bother to pick it up.
Or, they're reading it, and going back to their friends saying 'Dude! Did you know that a wet dream is called a nocturnal emission!?'
Or 'MAN! Did you know a girl can be born with up to 300,000 eggs on their ovaries!? 300,000 MAN!'
Or, they're reading it, and just not saying anything.
So the other morning, I thought I'd point out it's existence by bringing up an issue both boys have suffered from since they were little.
Night time leg cramps.
For years, both boys would wake up with pains in their legs. Always asking why it happened.
'Growing pains' has always been the answer.
Wouldn't you know it?
THAT topic is covered on page 39!
Then, I read them another Q&A. One which had already been asked in our house.
'How do you know you're in puberty?'
The answer included a list, which then meant, of course, they wanted to hear the list.
One item on it was, 'Hair starts to grow under arms, in the pubic area around the base of the penis and on the face and sometimes the chest.'
Little did I know that innocently bringing up the topic of night time leg cramps, would lead to a full fledged competition of 'who has more pubic hair on their ballsack!'
Boy 1: I do!
Boy 2: No Way! I do!
I refused to be referee on that one.
And ya know, even' I'VE learned a few things!
I had no idea that, 'Inside the testicles are something called somniferous tubules. They are little tiny coils that if stretched out would be the length of a football field.'
OK ... I must have missed that part of sex ed class.
And then there was this ...
The high statistic surprised me. And it surprised me the boys weren't that far behind.
Although I didn't know the actual number before reading this, I had assumed correctly that it was higher for girls.
I'm sure that says something, on my perception of women, and life.
I didn't know it was actually *illegal* to 'kick someone in the balls'.
Unless you were defending yourself of course.
Let's say two men were having a fistfight, and were pounding each other, could one all of a sudden be arrested because they kicked the other in the testicles? I did not know that!
And then, THEN, there was the question that threatened to dispel the George Costanza myth of 'I was in the pool!'
A question was asked (in the book) that involved erections.
And an answer given, that changes my understanding of the male penis, according to George.
Within the lengthily answer, one sentence said 'Sometimes erections occur from being scared, or cold or from having sexual thoughts or feelings. Erections also can happen for no reason at all, and those are called spontaneous erections.'
The one word that jumped out at me was COLD.
I always thought cold had the opposite effect.
At least, that's what George Costanza has led us all to believe!
Could it be, George was wrong about the whole 'pool thing'?
Or maybe, it's just reacts that way in cold water ... ?
You may like this book. You may not.
As I said, the boys and I DID get something from it. And I'm sure I'll use it again as a reference in the future.
Bottom line, here's what impressed me:
There were some TOUGH questions in there.
On abortion, homosexuality, race, sexual harassment/assault and more. The author does not push HER opinion on these kids with her answers. I specifically like one response she repeats throughout the book, specifically to educators using the program ...
"... it is important to tell the child this is a great question, but one that should be discussed with a parent or adult in their home."
In terms of sexual harassment/assault, among other advice, she advises a child to tell, tell and tell some more. IF the first trusting adult doesn't believe you, tell another.
That's some advice I can get behind.
That on the first page of the book, it states, "a portion of the book proceeds will benefit our partner organization KIDS AT HOPE, (An innovative concept which states and demonstrates that all children are capable of success, NO EXCEPTIONS!) and help support the fight against childhood leukemia."
I respect that.
And most importantly, she believes that it's up to US as PARENTS to discuss all these issues with our kids.
Because if WE don't, someone else WILL.
And I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather they not learn it from some 'dude' on the net, thanks.
Or Seinfeld for that matter.
So thank you, Healthy Edudynamics, for the opportunity to review this book.
And thank you, once again, to author Mary H. Halter, for the quick personal reply and turn around, during my excellent customer service experience with her organization.
If you get the opportunity, give it a read.
You don't have to agree with EVERYTHING in it. But it offers the opportunity to open the doors of conversation.
And if you have a copy, go ahead, leave it around your bathroom.
You may just end up having to inspect your adolescence's pits, pecs and ... well ... yeah.
I'm stopping there.
Ahhhh Puberty. It's going to be an interesting ride.
Is it over yet?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Every night after dinner, weather permitting, I kick my kids outside.
Well, OK, I don’t necessarily KICK them outside, they usually simply jump up from the table, grab the phone, call a bunch of friends over, and head out the door.
A couple of nights ago, when it was time to come in for the night, Alec flew through the front door and said all in one breath, ‘MOM! I made a new friend tonight! His name is Bob*, he’s 12 and his Mom died this morning.’
I had been doing dishes at the time, and turned around at his words. I was so shocked, I didn’t even notice the suds and water dripping from my hands onto the dog’s head at my feet.
I figured I hadn’t heard him correctly, so I asked, ’Pardon me?’
He repeated his sentence, and added, ‘She died at 8am, and he’s going to be staying with his grandparents, just down the street!’
So the rest of the conversation went something like this …
Me: OMIGOD! WHAT? Where’s his dad?
Alec: He’s overseas in the military.
Me: So he’s not here. He wasn’t here, with his son, when his wife died?
Me: Well … what happened to his Mom? Was she sick? Was it an accident?
Alec: I don’t know, he didn’t say, just that she died at 8am this morning.
So this kid was at his grandparents house, just walking the streets in the dark, all by himself, on the day his mom died L
I can’t imagine what this poor kid is going through.
I know he’s with his grandparents, but with his dad away, he must be feeling just so … alone.
Just BREAK MY HEART whydontcha!
Today, after school, Alec is going to see if he can find him.
He knows where he’s staying, so he’s going to go get him after school to see if he wants to ‘hang out’ with him and the boys.
I don’t know this kid. Have never seen him before in my life.
But I’m thinking, he might be able to use some friends right about now.