May 15, 2010

Jekyll and Hyde Mom

This morning at 6:15 my telephone rang. "Did I wake you?" my high-schooled aged son asked. "Why yes, yes you did" was my reply. "Yeah, so I need you to bring my AP test T-shirt to school for me so that I can be allowed to go to the AP tester's carnival today? Could you have it here by 12:00?" I mumbled that I would try. I got up, started my Pilates on the ball workout that is killing me! Half way through the torture my middle school aged son came down with my cell phone. A text had been sent requesting the T-shirt deadline be moved up to 10:15. This meant that I would need to cut my work out in half in order to leave enough time to shower and be presentable to walk into the high school after dropping off my kids at the elementary school. Because, who wants to be caught in front of teens without your make up on? Not me! Also I had another place to be from 9:30-11:30.

As I showered I thought to myself, 'am I one of those Moms?' You know the kind who are always running to the rescue if their kid drops the ball. Am I enabling my son? Teaching him to be irresponsible by saving his bacon all the time? Does it happen that often? Will he ever hold down a job? If not it will certainly be because I just had to bring him the AP T-shirt. Is it crucial that he attend the party? Would not being able to attend teach him a more valuable lesson? He'd thank me someday for being such a hard nose and refusing to give in to his every request right? He'd remember stuff and be more organized. He'd be thanking me in that college graduation speech of the future. Except, I thought about that Mom who just says "too bad for you kiddo!" and I didn't really want to go to lunch with her.

However the mom who just gives and gives and never complains... what's she like? Is she a pushover, or is she just really sweet? I kinda want to hang out with that mom, cause I think she's less judgy. I think her kids will be right there at her bedside when she's dying thanking her for all the forgotten lunches she rushed to the school before it was too late. Being remembered for too much kindness can't be all bad. Can it?

So I headed down to his room to find the T-shirt, still undecided. As I looked through his drawers I was horrified to see all the unfolded laundry that he had just shoved inside without folding. No wonder he folded so fast yesterday. He just didn't do it. I also found a drawer full of single socks. That would explain the mis-matching socks he wears all the time. I started feeling like a failure. I started to fume a bit. I found the wadded up T and headed upstairs. On our way out the door to school I still hadn't decided what I would do. Then I checked for my cell phone and it wasn't where it usually is. Not in my purse either. I seem to remember seeing it sometime this morning. I called myself... No answer. I checked downstairs where Middle Boy had been answering my text from before. No luck. I called again and this time I heard it coming from Big Boy's room. It was buried under clean unfolded laundry on top of his dresser. I suddenly made my decision. If I can lose my cell phone, then he can forget his shirt. We'd call it even, I thought as I drove to the high school. And later I treated myself to lunch.

10 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I think the key is does he do it often?

I work with enabling parents and it's infuriating. If it's happening all the time, it's enabling. But any kid can forget something.

Melody said...

Wow, totally went through this today with a kid who realized, two blocks from school, that no, I did not bring her backpack out to the car. (What the huh? Why would I do that?) But I didn't have the time or inclination to run it over, so I didn't -- though it took much waffling to decide on that course. She had to buy school lunch and brought her papers home in a Target sack. Oh well.

Carrie Stuart said...

Kelly, I am SO with you! As I was reading your post I was thinking, "I don't think she's enabling him...we all forget stuff from time to time." So I loved your ending!

I think about all the times when I was a kid that I could call my mom and say, "I forgot this" or "I think I want to try out for the talent show after all...can you bring my music?" and she would...because she was home and she could...and how GREAT that felt because I knew she was in my corner. SO many kids at my school (even in the 70's and 80's) didn't have that because they could only say, "my mom's at work" and they just had to do without. Then my parents divorced and all that changed. When I contrast the two experiences I had...I want to be the mom who can run to the school to support her family when they need it...not the one who says (either because she has to or she just doesn't want to do it) "You're on your own."

Kelly said...

The thing that bugged me is that he wasn't too grateful when he got home. When I complained to JoAnn she said probably the wisest thing ever... "He's a teenager, they are never grateful!"

Melinda said...

That bedroom? Totally normal.

I spend my days retrieving things my father-in-law has forgotten: his teeth, his meds, his oxygen, his shoes. So, don't worry too much about your boy.

Cheeseboy said...

Nah, I don't think you are enabling. Just being a loving mom.

CSIowa said...

I say to myself, "When he's 25 he'll thank me." He'd better do it more than once.

Jess, Andrew and Family said...

I think that was a good call- plus I like that you treated yourself to lunch! I think you will know if you are crossing the line and enabling your children- you are a great mom!

Paige said...

Hello, I came here from Melinda's blog, and just had to say how much I understand. Good for you for taking yourself to lunch!

Connie said...

You didn't stop and iron his wadded up T-shirt so I think you did just fine!

Teenagers- gotta love 'em! Yours sounds like a good kid if he's wearing an AP T-shirt.