It seems like every parenting blog I’ve read in the last few months is either folks crying about how little sleep they get, and poking fun at mothering, or throwing shade at the people who can’t sleep and have stuff to poke fun at. Guys, the trick to this parenting thing, is solidarity. It’s us against the small people, and while the specifics may vary the fundamental thing is that we are the parents and them to kids.
It was just this thought, or at least one of the thoughts, that occurred to me while I tried to pee in peace, while someone shouted at me through the bathroom door.
It’s actually a victory that they now stay on the other side of the door. Took a lot of threatening and a few hours of punishment, but it’s worth it to be the only on in the room when the event occurs.
But the peeing, at least, was not the prompt for my revelation. It was the topic of the ongoing debate that began just before nature called: the issue of Logan’s cell phone privileges. A cell phone, I feel obligated to add, which goes against one of these rules things I mentioned.
You see we the council of the tribe feel that children of a certain age, given the societal depravity, should have only a certain amount, if any access to things like the internet and communication devices. Further that theses devices be under strict parental controls.
The elders, i.e. grandparents, specifically one grandparent who shall remain nameless, did not agree, and of their own volition gifted an 11 year old with all access to everything. Thanks for that. Said child, knowing the stance of the aforementioned parents.i.e. arbiters of his upbringing, chose to not bother with the fact that having the thing in the first place was a breach of law, but that his privacy as it applies to that thing is something I as his mother should respect.
The first thing that occurred to me is that when I was 14, my mother would not let me be alone with a landline. Insisting that “if the conversation is one I’m not supposed to hear then it’s one you should not be having”. In the 90’s! In the Caribbean!! Let alone now in the age of sexting, meme porn and pay to play gaming.
My kid had used said device to:
- Get a girlfriend, apparently worthy of discarding rules like bedtimes and study time for. Who apparently, despite being only a few months older has parental approval in requesting a more ‘physical relationship’. Like really? I mean physical at 12? Aren’t you supposed to be still obsessed with Frozen?
- Acquiring music that is way over his age range, complete with profanity and lyrics that would have Susan B. Anthony rolling in her grave.
- And setting up excursions which have had him go missing for hours at a time while in said grandparents care.
Again elder/financier this is doesn’t seem like a plan that was well thought out.
It also occurred in those moments, as he asserted how it’s his business and I really ought not to be bothered, that I as a child would not have dared to defy my parents by accepting such a gift or even to request my privacy from them for fear of decapitation by both words and the force of a slap. Come to think of it, they had bathroom time, bedroom time, kitchen time, hell even riding in the car time all to themselves, as it was made clear that they were not to be bothered.
Does it mean that maybe I should revise this new constructivist/democratic approach to conflict resolution?
As he told me the girl was a good person somewhere on the inside, I remembered that: My parents would simply have taken the thing, and punished me to death and given their parents a good chuck of their minds.
The epiphany hit me, really hit me, like the feeling that comes after you’ve been holding it a really long time and get to the throne in a nick of time. That I was listening to the argument of someone who had discarded the right to any kind of privacy at all due to his wrongdoing, as I was deprived of mine. I think that I should be entitled, with kids at that age and a husband somewhere in the vicinity, the right to pee alone.
Indeed it occurs to me that I’ve instilled a sense of entitlement in my kid. The evidence being that he is even willing to make this argument at all, the fact that his is arguing for that matter. More than that, I was alone in the realization, and would be relatively alone in the solution.
It is truly depressing to come to these conclusions while trying to pee. I know I’m not the only one for whom potty time is time to contemplate, or read, or just not think.
So for a resolution, the infractions must be paid. In a way that is both memorable, a deterrent to further transgression and not necessarily cruel and unusual. What do you suggest? The device will be cleaned and since the Chief and I are at a stalemate when it comes to exile, is currently in closet limbo, and the kid, well the kid is getting used to the idea of a Momtatorship for the near future anyhow, with the first decree being that me and the commode are to be left alone. Period. Unless someone needs CPR or something. Punishment pending review, and possible addition to the conditions of punishment. Would you add anything?
What, fellow Moms and Dads, do you think of this situation? Am I too free with the autonomy stuff? What would you have done? Does anyone else have these problems with their kids? Or should I just retire and leave the Chief to run the show? Is peeing alone a privilege we give up when we have kids, or is it a right? Is peeing alone part of the Mom-na carta? Is there a Mom-na carta? Should there be?
I wanna hear from you, Please and Thank you.