Nobody Wants Advice

It’s cold outside these days. Damn cold. So cold that walking to the bus or waiting for the train – without gloves or a hat – can be problematic.

But there’s my twenty-year-old son, running out the door with barely a coat on, no boots. To him, winter is only a suggestion. The minus-thirty-degree temperatures are NOT real, until he comes back and says that he nearly froze to death getting to school. “What did I tell you? You should’ve dressed warmer.” I say this hoping that next time he’ll remember. He doesn’t.

It makes me think, does giving advice even work? Most people just do what they feel like doing anyway, doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Sometimes, they get frostbite. For my son, it may take his hands turning black for him to remember to wear gloves.Nobody Wants Advice | TheFurFiles

Of course, as a parent, there are times when I’m going to put my foot down. There are times when I’m going to say my peace goddammit, when I’m going to bloody well tell those rambunctious and sometimes space cadet children to stop throwing the exercise ball around in the living room, that they are going to break something (else).

Continue reading “Nobody Wants Advice”

Hey Kids, God Has A Message For You…

Hey Kids, God Has A Message For You... | TheFurFiles

And God said,

“Children, listen to your mother, or I’ll give her permission to…

Post a picture of YOU wearing HER underpants when you were two on YOUR Facebook wall. Guaranteed, all of your 1543 friends will think it’s frickin’ adorable.

Never give you another birthday present for as long as you live, not even a gently-used glass eye.

Take that “me so horny, me love you long time” t-shirt that you love so much and give it to your father to dry his body with AFTER he showers – his WHOLE body, if you know what I mean. Once the t-shirt’s dry again (but probably not washed), she’ll give it back. You won’t even know it was gone.

Play so many cat videos on your laptop at once that it crashes, and it takes the guys at Apple a good two weeks to fix it.

Steal your iPhone, take a picture of you while you are sleeping – hopefully naked… your father says you do that now – and send it in a private message on Facebook to that girl/guy you like so much. Why not get this relationship jump started?

Yes, Facebook really IS a great revenge too. I’m so glad I made someone think of it.”

It’s just been that kind of day already, and it’s only 10:30 a.m. Kids. [frown]

_________________________________________

Related Articles:

What Teenagers Wish They Could Say to Their Parents

14 Excellent Parenting Tips From Louis CK

God Jokes

You Know It’s Time For Your Children To Move Out When…

A little prelude to this post. My children are 21, 20, and 18. The all still live at home. And they ALL sleep naked.

Now, you are probably wondering how I know this. Simple, both of my sons think that the second floor of our shared abode is something like “Bob And Babette’s Bare Bottoms Nature Reserve”. I am constantly telling them to “shut their bedroom doors until their penises are put away”. And my daughter, that was one embarrassing “I went into her room one night to look for a pair of nail clippers, and she was asleep with the blankets askew” moment. Not an experience I hope to recreate any time soon.

Yes, as I move through this journey called parenthood, I know that a change is on the horizon. I’ve witnessed this kind of thing before.

You Know It's Time For Your Children To Move Out When... | TheFurFiles

For example, when my oldest son was almost three, I knew that things needed to be different when he came up to me in the grocery store and said – in a voice deeper than my husband’s – “I need a nurse.” I knew right then and there that it was time to cut him off from breastfeeding. Yeah, I was one of those hippie mothers who nursed her babies almost until they could ride a two-wheel bike without the training wheels. My girlfriend buried her placenta in her backyard. At least, I didn’t do that.

Also, I knew that it was time for my kids to move into their own rooms – are you surprised that we practiced the “family bed” as well, probably not – when my husband could barely walk from having to sleep on the floor for nearly five years. And today my children are totally independent, so what if none of them know how to turn off the lights, do the dishes, or take the G.D. bus.

Just so you know, from the time my children were infants until they were preteens, we lived in a very Bohemian, student-centred community. Think Jesus Christ Superstar and Wanderlust but without the religious overtones, the singing, or the free sex. It was actually a wonderful place to raise kids – very supportive. And it probably completely explains why my offspring are profoundly comfortable with their own bodies, which in this rather uptight world, I believe is quite refreshing.

I still think it’s almost time for them to fly the coop and find their own places to live, though in the imagined words of Stephen Gaskin, (founder of the modern-day American commune The Farm), “I wouldn’t be mad if they decided to move in right next door, or if they wanted to buy one giant family complex where we could all live happily together because love is love and love brings the world together and I love them”. I just want to be able to lock my section of the house at night and keep them out of my kitchen. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Related Articles:

Extended Breastfeeding (Beyond One Year)

Hippie Movies

From Free Love And Sexual Liberation To Vegetable Patches And $3 A Day Living Costs: Inside America’s Oldest Hippie Commune

Parenting Is Hard, Like “Trying To Squeeze Water From A Stone” Hard

Sometimes, I want to wring my eighteen-year-old daughter’s neck. Sorry daughter, but you were there the other night. You probably wanted to wring mine as well. Yes, we were having one of those discussions that went from a simple disagreement, to a full out scream-fest.

I find that one of the most challenging parts of raising teens and young adults is that they don’t always do what you tell them to do, like that’s a surprise.Parenting Is Hard, Like "Trying To Squeeze Water From A Stone" Hard Sometimes | TheFurFiles

As parents, we have our children’s best interest at heart. I’m always saying this, especially to my daughter. “Do you think I”m trying to ruin your life? Why would I want to do that? I only want you to be happy and safe, and if I can pass along some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, then I will.”

But we all know that people have to learn things on their own. You can only say, “Eating an entire bag of grapes will give you uncontrollable gas/if you drink a whole bottle of vodka by yourself, you might end up puking your guts out/you’re probably going to want to wear a coat out there in the minus thirty degree weather…” so many times.

Often, I’m not even trying to teach anyone a lesson. I just expect common courtesy, like that’s such an unreasonable thing for which to ask.

So when my daughter was going out with her friends the other night, I said – like any good mother would – “Call me and let me know what time you’ll be home.” That’s the reason she has a damn cell phone.

Her response – “I’ll try to remember.”

I was hoping for more like, “Sure mom. No problem.” But with my daughter, nothing is ever that simple.

“Make it a point to remember,” I said, snarling slightly. “And how are you actually getting home? Do you need a ride?”

“We’re taking the bus.”

“Whatever you do, stay together as a group. Don’t walk anywhere by yourself.” I remind her of this every single time she goes out. It is paramount in my mind, especially right now as they just found a woman’s body in the bushes very close to our house. As I write this, the police are still investigating the incident. It doesn’t matter. A woman is dead, and you can never be too cautious.

And that’s part of the reason for the scream-fest. A scared parent can be a very animated parent. But you know how young people are. They have no sense of mortality. I get it. I was the same way once. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to handle when you are a mother though.

This whole situation with my daughter brings to mind a few moments in the past when I’ve tried to give her advice, and she hasn’t listened. There have been a few times when things have gotten pretty screwed up too. I don’t ever want her – or any of my kids – to get hurt, but there comes a point when they have to make their own decisions. I can’t be there to hold their hands, and tell them what to do for the rest of their lives, can I? Or can I… [sly smile] An image of her locked in the basement came to my mind just for a split second. Nah, she’d whine and demand things too much.

It’s so hard as a parent to see your kid mess up. There have been a few occasions when I’ve just wanted to smack someone upside the head and say, “I told you so.” But then, what good would that have done? None, except to make me feel better, hence the reason I left out the smack but still said the words.

Anyway, the other night ended with me shouting, “Just call me. Don’t forget.” That’s what I said as I dropped her off at her friend’s house. Well, those might not have been my exact words. My EXACT words were more like, “You’d better fucking call me, or you can start looking for a new place to live. Start right now, in fact. Maybe Angela’s mom will let you live with them.” I was mad. And mad me doesn’t mince words. And I know that if my daughter moved in with Angela (not her friend’s real name, but close) that she’d be home faster than a cat getting caught in the rain. Once and for all, maybe she’d appreciate what a great family she has.

A mother can dream.

____________________________________________

Related Articles:

Parenting Teenagers Booklist

The No. 1 Mistake Parents Of Teens Make

Quotes About Parenting

Are You Or Are You Not An Asshole?

One of my main goals in life is to raise my children NOT to be assholes. I know, that sounds pretty weak, and I should probably set my sights higher. I figure I have to start somewhere though, and on days when I’m feeling really frustrated with everyone – LIKE TODAY – I’d be happy with the bare minimum.

It’s hard to tell sometimes if I am succeeding. They trick me. Sometimes they do things that are really sweet and nice, and then two seconds later, I think I’ve spawned the sons and daughter of Charlie Sheen, like when did we sleep together? As if.

Anyway, I made a test to find out if they are or are not assholes. It is pretty simple. There is only one question. They should be able to handle it. If they answer the right way, then I’ll know that I haven’t completely failed as a parent, and it will make me feel marginally better.

TheFurFiles Personality Test: Are You Or Are You Not An Asshole? | TheFurFiles

If you saw a kitten huddled near an abandoned truck in a very scary industrial part of town where there were NO houses for miles, would you…

  1. Pick it up gently, cradle it in your arms and say, “It’s OK, little one. I’ll take good care of you.” After which, you’d bring it home, and you’d either keep it and raise it like it was your very own child, or you’d find a loving owner for it – someone like David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, or Ian Somerhalder. Of course, it goes without saying that the day after finding it, you’d take it directly to the vet to get it a clean bill of health. Or would you…
  2. Spit on the ground beside it and say, ” Life sucks, don’t it?” And then keep right on walking, probably off to harass a few prostitutes and/or light a few random fires.

If you answered b) (or worse) you are going straight to hell. Plus, you have terrible grammar. You can no longer be my child.

OK, so this is what happened. I sent the test to my kids via Facebook. Two minutes later, I got a message from my almost 20-year-old son that said, “If you are trying to find out if I’ve had sex, I have. Get over it. I wouldn’t be mad if you bought me a pack of condoms either. You don’t want to be a grandma just yet, do you?”

Awesome.

As for the other two, I remembered that my daughter and I aren’t even friends on Facebook. She blocked me. Hence, I must’ve sent the test to someone else. Probably my aunt.

And my oldest son? Well, he has a big show this week. He is busy losing his bloody mind somewhere in the basement.

I still haven’t gotten my answer to that asshole question yet have I? Therefore, I’ll do with this what I do with everything else – I’ll answer it myself. The answer is most definitely a). At least, I know that I am NOT an asshole.

Now, don’t bother me. I’m putting my head down on the table. It’s been one hell of a long day.

_______________________________

For a real personality test, check out the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. Without a doubt I am an ENFJ (otherwise known as “The Giver”) – which means my main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. Wow, my children have me pegged, and no one even had to tell them.

The REAL Survival Guide To Parenting Teenagers (That Doesn’t Involve Killing Anyone)

We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to get through your child’s teenage years:

Set boundaries. Pick your battles. Know when to get close, and when to back off. It will all be over someday, just hope they make it through alive…

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But nobody ever gives you any REAL help, like any ACTUAL hands-on, idiot-proof advice. Well, not until today anyway…

May I present to you twelve concrete, “these really work, try them” tricks/methods that are guaranteed to help you make it through this game. And believe me, raising teenagers can feel a lot like playing strip poker. It’s only fun if you’ve been drinking… 😉

The REAL Survival Guide To Parenting Teenagers (That Doesn't Involve Killing Anyone) | TheFurFiles

1. Keep some extra cash in the bank for those times when you need to get away, read: when you think you just MIGHT kill someone. Go far, and go for as long as possible. Go by plane, that way it’s harder for them to track you down. It’s also nice to have a little money saved up for when you just want to reward yourself for getting through a particularly hard day by buying a new pair of shoes or some very expensive jewelry. Diamonds make me breathe better, I don’t know why.

2. Get a gym membership, or have some other physical way of relieving stress. This also comes in handy for combating those very blunt and unintentionally (but sometimes intentionally) hurtful comments like, “Wow, do you ever look old. You are turning into grandma,” Or, “Since when do you have a tire?”

3. Have a sock full of batteries on hand for the times you really need to come out swinging. Just kidding, it’s only supposed to be used as a threat.

4. Invest in a stand alone freezer. This is particularly important if you have boys, or if you have children who play sports or are part of any sort of large social group like Girl Guides or Cadets. When they bring their friends over, you’ll be glad you’ve stocked up on Pizza Pockets, otherwise say goodbye to your steaks.

5. Buy Advil because you WILL get headaches.

6. Have some kind of disinfectant to be used on stinky shoes and/or socks. I find throwing things into the wash with a bit of ammonia or colour-safe bleach seems to help. For unwashable items, baking soda usually does the trick. It’s better than nothing. Your entryway or mudroom will thank you, and so will your guests.

7. Get Gravol because someone WILL throw up at some point, most likely from drinking WAY too much alcohol. Probably underage. And probably against your best advice.

8. Have an old blanket in your car for the reason stated above, and for when you are transporting those people home from parties.

9. Put away the good china until your kids move out. and purchase some plastic dish ware.  Teenagers are inexplicably rough on everything – at least mine are – and this will keep you from replacing your dishes every few months. We go through glasses in our house like John Mayer goes through women.

And finally, three things you absolutely MUST have…

10. Condoms. You may not need to use them anymore, but there will probably come a time when you want to hand a few of these out, or slip a few into someone’s purse.

11. A hammer. Yes, teenagers are THAT hard to wake up in the morning, especially after they’ve gone to bed at 3 a.m., which they will routinely start doing around the age of fifteen or so. Don’t you know, Facebook can cause a person to burn through the hours like nobody’s business?

12. Patience, but more importantly, luck. You will need as much as you can get. Seriously – no SERIOUSLY seriously – good luck. You’re gonna need it.