Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The mom, getting madder and madder

I am now the mom, sitting at home, getting madder and madder. I'm not quite pacing the floor, but I've definitely wandered around a little more than usual, and I'm having to fight the urge to grit my teeth.

R is an hour late getting home from school. He is not answering his phone and he has my car. He does NOT have my permission to be keeping my car.

He called from a friend's house and wanted to discuss dropping economics. Um, no. No. That's not a discussion to have over the phone. That's not a decision to make because you don't feel like working for one afternoon. He's going away for the weekend, and he's behind in economics, so the simplest solution to him is to quit. Yeah, no.

We're busy making all sorts of interesting plans: he's going away this weekend to visit a friend, we're going away together in March, he's making summer plans, and next year if I can get all the stupid paperwork arranged, he's going to have a hugely fun and exciting year, so I think he's suffering from an acute case of senior-itis. Unfortunately for him, he's a junior.

I don't want to be the authoritarian dictator saying 'if you're not getting As, you're not going out,' (for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that I believe the right time to screw up is now, not later) but at the same time, I'm frustrated when I see him making decisions that seem short-sighted. I suppose that every parent goes through this.

Hmm, I just realized that part of my frustration is because I'm getting over-invested due to dealing with all this complicated paperwork. Maybe I should be making him do that. It's his year, after all. But I don't think he even can: it all calls for my signatures.

If we were birds, he'd be the baby bird sitting on the side of the nest and I'd be the momma bird screeching, "flap harder, flap harder, you're not flapping hard enough" while simultaneously trying to decide whether to give him the big kick out or grab on because he's just not flapping hard enough. Metaphorical birds, of course. I'm pretty sure real momma birds just fly away and leave the babies to figure it out on their own when they're ready.


  1. Sigh, joys of being a parent. As a person who doesn't have children - I feel unqualified to comment. As someone who has managed staff, I might talk to him about what he wants to accomplish and revisit his reasons for taking economics in the first place hoping to get him enthusiastic again. Is he in high school or university? You couldn't drop courses in high school when I went.

  2. He came home about ten minutes later, cruised through two weeks worth of economics, and we went out for Vietnamese food for dinner. Mad over.

    He's in high school, but his electives have month-long grace periods where you can drop if you want to. He's not loving economics (understandably, it's not the most exciting class ever) and the window was closing. But the "what are you going to do instead?" argument worked, I think. He's a month late to start anything else and he's got to get the credit somewhere. I do sympathize with his senior-itis; high school requires a bunch of not very interesting work.