[This is a parenting blog, rather than my more typical writing one.]
Last night I was sitting in the bathtub writing and as often happens, my husband came in to
So I emailed the Red Cross this week to find out their class times. One of them is the week BEFORE high school students are out. Are you freaking serious? Why would you DO THAT? I suppose it is most compatible with pools needing life guards from day one, but it still annoys the poo outa me. The OTHER is two weeks of evenings for FOUR HOURS A NIGHT. Six to ten for two weeks. Well, I wasn't surprised she didn't find that appealing—Hell, I didn't find it appealing. ODDLY, the
So I'm in the tub... and the hubby says, “ I think if she isn't willing to take that class, we should make her do some volunteering. I jump on it. She is 15. She can't have a REAL job, but she is certainly old enough to learn part of her time should be geared at productive activity. I jump on board. “Something productive, anyway—the class, volunteer, or put some effort into finding and then doing some babysitting. I agree. (Hubby and I are rarely on the same page, but we were EXACTLY there on this matter—15 is old enough to be productive.)
So the boyfriend lives out of town a little ways and my daughter was worried about him driving in the mess... she got first a curfew extension (you can wait until after the sirens stop: 11:15) but then I agreed to pick her up instead of making him go out in his compact car.
So on the way home, after the 'Did you have fun? How was it? What did you do?' conversation, I broached the subject.
I could not BELIEVE how indignant she could be over what seemed to ME a very reasonable requirement. “Something productive, your choice—class, work, volunteer.'
“Mom it's my last summer to spend with my friends.” (Did you SEE my eyes roll--what, are you DYING?)
“Mom, I'm just a kid!” (okay, you may want to remember THAT when you are asking for greater privileges)
“Well I'll do that class, but only if you keep up my school year allowance.” (she gets $20 a week because her school doesn't have 'lunch' so part of it is to eat lunch downtown--might have considered this one though, presented as a REQUEST rather than a demand)
“You can't make me!” (HOLY CRAP, are KIDDING ME? “It's a good thing DAD didn't hear that answer or you'd be in your ROOM all summer!”)
I guess I'm a little baffled. When I was her age, I was at my third summer (maybe fourth) of understanding I needed to earn some spending money on my OWN--babysitting 40 hours weeks--yeas EVERY DAY for MONTHS—the handouts would ONLY be for specific events, NOT 'just fun'. I got a small allowance ($5 a week in high school, but that ALSO covered my lunch). I liked the independence of earning my own money.
But my daughter has never been independent like I was, and she has always seemed significantly more entitled. I don't know where that comes from--we are relatively poor, and DON'T just hand her money. My son has done work for neighbors--most recently hauling wood for 3 hours to earn $25. Daughter thought he got a raw deal--that her time was worth more than that. Hello, he has $25 he didn't have three hours ago, and that means NOTHING?
So I've been lecturing her to marry a millionaire, because clearly she doesn't have the work ethic to make it on her own. But seriously--am I insane? Isn't this a completely reasonable requirement? Ah well... Maybe the YMCA will have the class at a reasonable time and the problem will be solve, but I think we definitely need to work out some way for her to understand life isn't a free ride.