Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Get a job!

Today, when I was picking up my eight year old son after school, he informed me that I wasn't in charge of his life.

This statement came out of the blue.  My son opened the van door, sat his butt in the seat, had an Oprah ah-ha! moment and happily demoted me in my role as parent.

So I laughed.  More ridiculous things have happened in my van.

There my son was sitting, looking like he has some brains in his head because he wears these thick glasses, thinking that he could tell me to not tell him what to do anymore.

I asked him if he was 18 yet.  He said he wasn't.
I asked him if he had graduated high school yet.  He said no.
I asked him if he had a job.  He said he didn't.
I asked him if he had his own house and paid any bills.  He said, "Mom, get to the point already!"

Yeah, that sentence started in his brain and came out of his mouth while he was sitting there wearing those glasses.

The point is, my son, issue of my loins, that for as long as there have been parents, those parents have had the right to tell their offspring what to do until they grow up.  Or until they stop being children.  Whatever comes first.

As an example, I let him know that I no longer tell his oldest brother, my almost 20 year old who is in Navy, what to do.  Do I care if he eats his vegetables?  Yes, but I can't tell him to eat them.  I care if he showers regularly, says please and thank you, doesn't spend all his money on candy, and is a gentleman with girls...but I can't enforce any of this.  He gets to choose to do what he will...the consequences are all his.  Nowadays parenthood with him consists of passing back and forth Cheezburger links and getting used to my boy using the occasional exceptionally crude word.

Then I laid some science on my kid.  Parents get to guide their children with varying degrees of tell-you-what-to-do-ness based on their brain development.  Your brain, like your body, has not grown to it's full capacity.  Parents know this and in order to protect you from your own lack of decision making skills and impulse control, we get to be the boss.

He thought about this a while and then said, "Mom, you shouldn't get into too much science."

Then, ironically, he demanded that we go to the store so I could buy him some granola bars.

I told him no.

Then I made him eat all his mashed potatoes and salad at dinner.

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