Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parenting Fail

Why does it come out of left field? Why do I have the feeling somehow my EASY kid will be the death of me? Oi! Guess maybe all the battles teach some lessons? Or something... Maybe the lack of trust is necessary?

Thing 1 was an easy baby and toddler, but she has been bossy, sassy, fast and loose with the truth, and obstinate since age 4. You heard me—her teen years are on their 11th year.

Thing 2 (right) is agreeable, likes me, tells the cook dinner was good EVERY NIGHT, has $700 of his OWN MONEY in the bank, and has never gotten below an A for a semester grade on a report card.

If you were the parent, which one would YOU worry about?


Thing 2 seems to suffer FOMS just like his mama. He is going to do every single thing he needs to succeed (and we will NEVER have trouble getting him into colleges—he will probably have scholarships. He will have a good job. He will be reliable. But I am coming to see, it may be a challenge to keep him from BEING ARRESTED. (never mind that he is 11)

So earlier this week I came home and my husband said, as I entered, set down the backpack and got the dog a carrot (aka: diet 'treat') ?“What do you know about the things on the table”

Having missed them, because my attention span is relatively limited, I returned to look. Realistic looking GUN and dangerous looking KNIFE. I picked up the gun. “It's a beebee gun,” the hubby supplies (holy freaking somethingorother, thank GOODNESS) I looked at him for explanation. I am a woman of few words and he darned well better know it by now.

“XYZ's dad came over with that. XYZ said it was Sam's. XYZ was aiming it at his sister's.” (note: XYZ had 3 sisters, one of whom I know pretty well, as when I co-led girl scouts, she was in the troop)

“That's not good.” (see how adept I am at grabbing right on the main point?)

“I'm not thrilled about it.” (note hubby's skill with understatement)

“Where did it come from?”

“I wondered if you knew.”

“erm... you know how I am about guns.”

“That's what I thought. After that, I looked in his room and found the knife. You didn't buy it for him?”

“Um... NO. No clue where it came from.” Then I thought. “I don't think anyway, but I think my stepdad might have bought him a pocket knife, but not one like that... but... if that's it, I might be wrong.” (see how I dance around not knowing anything? Hubby has a habit of setting everything one says in stone, so it is always best to only have said QUALIFIED statements so later you can say 'well I did say I wasn't sure.')

So son comes home. “Where did those come from?”



“I bought them at Meijer.”

"By yourself?"

"Yeah." (tone says, 'well of course')

Okay, so the beebee gun paint pellets say they CANNOT be sold to a minor. Our son is 11. You can't convince me the PELLETS have a warning and the gun does not (though the packaging is long-gone).

How is it I (a 44 year old woman) have to produce my ID every time I buy a box of wine (which happens more often than it should) and my 11 year old son is buying WEAPONS. Gun AND knife purchased when he rode his BIKE to MEIJER.

When asked why he was so secretive... catch this... this is part of the parental fail part...

“Well I knew mom didn't like guns...”

HOLY FREAKING COW. Isn't 'mom doesn't like guns a message to NOT BUY GUNS?! How does this become a 'KEEP YOUR GUNS SECRET message? I admit to being poky to even allow squirt guns... I grew up around guns and frankly, I just don't like the idea that something DEADLY in one domain is taken so lightly in others. I'm not a major hunting fan, but don't actively object to people who do it safely and ecologically (as in using everything from what they kill)--it is more humane than beef, when I put it in that light. My OBJECTION is that guns kill. We should not be playing games with them. But enough lecture on my firearms opinion.

My REAL problem (aside from raising a rascally rabbit who seems to have his mother's take on rules (DAMMIT) is that Meijer is selling these things indisciminately. If the age were 16 or 14, I can sort of see, but NO MINORS? My son does NOT look 18. He is 5'8” yes, but his face is clearly YEARS (like 10) from shaving—hubby STILL has a bare chest—the hair will be late).

So while hubby and I get a parenting fail... MEIJER needs a huge gobsmack upside the head.


Not Hannah said...

Honestly, I'd march my happy ass down to Meijer, slap the weapons down on the counter, and ask why the hell they broke the law. (Pardon my potty mouth, but things like this make me insane!) Gawd.

Old Kitty said...

I'm sorry Naked Tart for this - it's unbelievable that your soon was able to buy these and that they seem to be sold like groceries even for 18 year olds.

Big hugs to you. I hope whatever this shop is - is brought to task.

Good luck.

Take care

Old Kitty said...

p.s. I meant "son" of course!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I'm with Hannah. I'd be hitting the corporate ladder on this one.
How you punish Take 2 is up to you but I'm sure that store wants to know about their clerks.
Hang in there. Parenting is always an eye-opening experience.

lisahgolden said...

Oh dear. I agree with the other commenters. Meijer should be notified.

Tina-Sue Chamberlain said...

Oh wow! Agreed with the other comment-leavers about telling the store.
Even though it is all very serious, there were parts in the telling of this story that made me laugh and I hope you managed to interject just a little humour while dealing with it all, like you did here. :o)


New follower and I love your blog :D

Hart Johnson said...

Hubby has plans to go to Meijer--he's much scarier than I am--I think he was waiting to cool off a little, too, though. I think it's POSSIBLE that Sam went through the self-serve (he does when he buys snacks) which means it is the sensors set wrong (to not raise the alarm) and so a store issue, as opposed to a clerk one.

Thanks everyone! and CS--WELCOME! Always love new readers!

Jemi Fraser said...

I never thought about that trouble with the self-serve checkouts! there should be some kind of signal attached to items not supposed to be sold to minors.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, I'd schedule a trip to the store today and demand to see the manager!

Not Hannah said...

Fight the power! Woohoo!


Maybe I need a nap. Glad you've got this in hand. Parenting is so frickin' hard sometimes.

callie forester said...

Wow. that's crazy that he could buy that. So...does he get to keep them? Or do you take them away? that would be one of my hard points. I've always tried to give my kids a lot of freedom and let them make their own choices--but eleven, is--after all--eleven.

Did you ask why he wanted the gun and knife? I suppose it's probably just a boy thing. Still though, I'd want to know what his reasons were for buying them. My son has swords in his room that he loves. I have no idea why he wanted swords, but he just likes to admire them. Every now and then he'll pull them down and pretend to be a ninja (although we're not supposed to know about that).

You're son sounds very self-sufficient and smart though, so that's a good thing, right?

LTM said...

I wouldn't give you a fail. I think his not telling you was more a miscommunication, which you've cleared up. But didn't Kmart get nailed a while back for selling bb guns to minors? Or was it Wallyworld? I would def. notify the store--at least to let them know of the impending lawsuit... ;p My brother always had guns and knives when we were kids, but my parents bought them for him, so whatcha gonna do? No qualms on their part. Alternatively, I asked hubs to give his inherited g'mom's handgun back, please. LOL! :D

Hart Johnson said...

Jemi-for things like alcohol, the self serve says 'approval needed' so you'd think it would be as simple as programming.

Callie--oh no--confiscated. And the gun wasn't cheap--the pellets were $9 and the gun itself $45 or something. I think the knife was $18--so son is out his money that was intended, I believe, for school shopping (his nana gave he and his sister $100 each or something)--he will be dressed ratty. and it is TOTALLY a boy thing--they shoot at trees and such.

Leigh, I hadn't heard that! Maybe this is my answer to my money problems! We sue them! (wish I wasn't so against that kind of thing)

Kal said...

It is a boy thing to be fascinated by guns. I have shot most everything that fires bullets but at the range. I hate guns though. I grew up with a military father who hated guns but took the mystique about them from me by taking me to a range and showing me the power they had before I had one in my hand and it just went off and killed something or someone I loved. They get bored with just shooting at trees.

You are lucky your thingie there is smart enough to understand why you are upset and if I were you I would send him back into that store to buy another gun while you record the whole transaction on your cell phone and then go to the media and make a stink. Or tell the store that is what you are going to do before some other 11 year old who is shaving already gets something and hurts someone badly because he doesn't have a parent who gives a shit like you do. Really put the exclamation point on the life lesson here. There is nothing worse than regret and you don't seem like the person who can't transform into 'that crazy lady' when it's the right thing to do. Who knows. You might also leave the store with a cartfull or groceries depending on how you play it. But have hubby take him to the range and have someone there show him what guns can do. It will be cool for him and a good lesson all at the same time. He doesn't need to learn about guns from one of his dumbass friends...and at that age they are all dumbasses.

Hart Johnson said...

Kal, that is a great idea to get him to a range to learn what's what. Hubby has never had any training at all--he's a city boy, but I great up in Idaho, and rifle safety was part of PE.

And I feel reassured you have confidence in my internal crazy lady *teehee* I will have to figure out how to work this.

Unknown said...

I still say the teenage girls are scarier...and I KNOW you KNOW what I'm talkin' about Tart....Love, Wench (fellow parental failure this weekend)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Being the mom of a bunch of boys, all who were in Boy Scouts, loved knives, learned to shoot, I totally agree with Kal. That's what I was thinking too, shooting range, quality time with Dad, learn to use the weapons properly. And take that store to task for sure. Idiots.

SY said...

oh my kids grow up so fast.. He has already picked on that "keep-mom-from-the-truth-so-that she-won't-be-mad-gene"

the question is an acquired
This is a funny post.

Natasha said...

Hang on there, Tami. He knows Mommy doesn't approve, and that is enough for now. At 11, he doesn't know how far to push the envelope, and he's testing limits.
BUT, like everyone says, you have to haul the store over coals. How can they be so careless?