Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Denouement

For us, the madness is over. Or, nearly so.

We will be travelling on Christmas Day, and we wanted to give the boys a few days to enjoy their gifts before we had to leave for Northern climes.

After chasing the boys back to their beds no less than seventeen times Saturday night, a thoroughly exhausted Husband and I dragged in the pitifully small mound of gifts, arranged them under the tree, stuffed stockings and then collapsed into our beds.

Well...there may or may not have been some yuletide gladness before the collapsing but only Santa knows for sure, and he doesn't kiss and tell.

Anyway, they boys had no idea Santa was coming early, but they were high on the excitement of exchanging gifts earlier in the day with Husband's side of the family. They were having a hard time settling down and they bickered incessantly as they readied themselves for bed.

To be quite honest, I wasn't feeling terribly jolly toward either of them as we placed the carefully wrapped packages under the tree, and the backbiting was the least of the reasons.

Diminutive One was the first to rise as usual. He has been admonished eleventy million times not to wake the rest of the household on weekend mornings, and he wasn't entirely sure if that directive applied on this particular morning.

He knows that Christmas morning is the lone exception, but he also knows that it wasn't really Christmas morning. So, surprised and bewildered, he simply sat and stared at the bounty, waiting for someone else to awake.

Finally Husband, who is almost always awake before me, rose and went downstairs, much to Diminutive One's great relief. Husband gave him the go ahead to roust Pre-Pubescent One and me from our beds, which he did, gleefully.

We had a nice time opening presents. The exhaustion and irritation of the evening before was forgotten and the bickering was kept to a minimum. When is it was Pre-Pubescent One's turn to open his "big" gift, Husband and I exchanged meaningful looks.

It was a moment we had been dreading, because it would be a great test of our parenting mettle.

He tore the paper from the package, and then promptly burst into tears. He cried for quite a long time, while Diminutive One looked at him quizzically. I wasn't sure if it was guilt or disappointment or remorse or a combination of all three that was causing the deluge.

When at last he could speak, he said, "I've been so rotten, and you guys still got me all this st-st-stuuuuufffff!!!!!" and then he started sobbing again.

You see, on Thursday, we received word that he had lost his place in the Accelerated Content program for failure to maintain a B average. He missed it by five. Freaking. Points.

He had two very substantial projects due last week that would have probably put him right at the 80 percent mark, and saved him by the hair of his chinny chin chin, but he just did not do them. And he lied to us all week long about it. He assured us that they were going swimmingly and we would be oh so proud!

Suckas.

He has been given every opportunity and then some because he is basically a good kid and the teachers like him and because he is so smart he can do the work with one synapse tied behind his back.

His AC advisor called me personally to give me the news and she was just beside herself. At one point, I was actually consoling her. She was supposed to have grades in on Monday, but held his until Thursday hoping he would turn those assignments in. He didn't deserve her magnanimous gesture.

The gift that he received was Guitar Hero III along with an extra wireless guitar and Guitar Hero I & II. It's all he has talked about for months. It's all his friends are talking about. It's THE gift this year among the 13 year old set.

But here's the rub...He was warned that if he got kicked out the AC program that he would have his video game privileges revoked entirely and indefinitely.

He was already on academic probation when the quarter began because he had gotten a C the previous quarter. He KNEW he really had to put his nose to the grindstone. At the midway point he was pulling a 72 and he knew then that he didn't have any wiggle room. But he still made a conscious decision not to turn in work. To just blow it off. And to lie about it.

It's the lying man...when your kid looks you in the eye and lies to you with pure innocence shining from their eyes...it's a sad, sad day. A little part of you dies when you realize that you can't trust them any more.

So he has it. But he can't play it. And he knew it. So the tears were guilty tears, but also tears of self pity and disappointment.

God how we hated to do that.

It SUCKS having to be a hard ass on Christmas.

S.U.C.K.S.

Are we doing the right thing? I don't know. The thing about the first one is that you just don't fucking know. I think that the reason he is so apathetic and lazy, is because he gets so many damn chances and it's time we put our foot down and make him accountable.

But maybe...maybe not. Maybe being hard assed on Christmas is just going push him over the edge and the next thing you know, he's sitting in a clock tower somewhere with a semi automatic weapon.

Well, at least Diminutive One was content with his booty. His "big" gift was a computer, to replace the relic that is older than he is, but I think he was more excited about the Bob Ross Master Painting Kit that he received from the in laws.

And, on a happier note, Father in Law was overwhelmed by his gift. If you don't remember, we found a 1957 Buddly L Coca Cola truck like the one he had as a child. They are highly collectible and usually, terribly expensive, but we happened upon an incredible deal out of sheer luck. We also found a dealer who carries accessories for Buddly L toys and managed to score five coke cases with teeny tiny little coke bootles in them and a little steel hand cart.

He started to sob before it was even fully unwrapped. He is a big, big man, with a big, big heart, and to see him sob like a baby is truly a sight to behold.

"How did ya'll ever remember??" he bawled. It was years ago that he mentioned it. I don't suppose he thought anybody took his offhand comment about wishing he could find one seriously.

So it was a very gratifying and touching moment.

As for myself? I have to take a moment to brag about having the most thoughtful husband on the face of the planet. I got lots of goodies that I have mentioned over the past year. Husband takes notes. Literally.

But the best gift from him by far was the BedLounge.

I LOVE to read in bed. In fact, it's really only place I do read. It's quiet, it's warm, the light is just right, it's quiet, the door locks, it's quiet.

But it can be difficult to get comfortable, especially for someone with ample hips and a bountiful backend, such as myself.

This lounge is DA BOMB, baby. It has amazing lumbar support. The head rest cradles your neck comfortably and the sturdy armrests allow you to hold your book at just the right height without fatiguing. No more slumping sagging shoulders, no more aching back, no more cricking neck.

So today while everyone is busy with last minute preparations, we will be preparing to head North, by cramming absolutely everything we own into our van.

I will be unplugged until Jaunuary the 8th, so I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have read and commented this year. I apologize to those who are new to Blogs Are Stupid of late, for not reciprocating with comments or adding you to my blogroll. I will remedy that when I return in the new year, I promise.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Good Tidings, Kind Thoughts and love to my fellows in blogging and humanity.

32 Comments:

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    wow. that would be a hard thing to do, but i think you did it right. you are clearly a thoughtful gift giver - which is so lovely.

    Merry Christmas!

     
  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    I think you're doing the right thing, BA. This parenting gig can be so discombobulating, huh?

    I'll miss you these next couple of weeks...travel safely!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, friend!

     
  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    FWIW~~ I think you and hubby are doing the right thing. Hard, but right. And I am so happy that FIL loved his gift. It was very, very thoughtful of you and it's obvious he understood your sentiments.

     
  • At 1:16 PM, Blogger Rositta said…

    You are doing the right thing. I did as you are doing and my 41 yr old has turned out brilliantly. His kids on the other hand have been spoiled and thus far one shows signs of problems. Stick with it, his crying proves he knows he was in the wrong and maybe things will change. Merry Christmas to you and your family...ciao

     
  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Your hubby picked a great gift! I might have to try for one next year... :) I usually read in bed, too, but I'm laying down and fall asleep before getting through the end of a chapter. :(

    I think you did the right thing with PPO. It's tough but it sounds like he might need a lil tough love... while you still have some control. Unlike when he's 16, 17 and doesn't do anything you say.

    Merry Christmas :)

     
  • At 2:23 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    Abso-frickin'-lootley the right thing. I was the kid who kept trying to slide by in gifted classes because I was smart and the teachers liked me. And, one day? I couldn't anymore. I wish I had parents who had cared enough about me to set me straight when I was younger.

     
  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    Ah, Merry Christmas. You made me cry a little, twice.

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    It is great giving gifts that you know they will love.
    Merry Christmas

     
  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    It is great giving gifts that you know they will love.
    Merry Christmas

     
  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    You absolutely did the right thing, even though it totally sucks.

     
  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Maddy said…

    Being a parent is the toughest job on the planet.

    Compliments of the season from me and mine to you and yours.
    Cheers

    This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"which takes you straight to my new blog.

     
  • At 5:00 PM, Blogger Tismee2 said…

    Thanks for posting that. We are going through exactly the same with our 14 year old and like you have bought him Guitar Hero,plus a couple of things for his XBox. He has to catch up his coursework over the holidays and if he doesn't do at least 2 pages a day he doesn't get to play.

    It's difficult but we are determined not to let it go. He made us so proud when he achieved the Head Teachers 'Services to the School' award last year, we don't want him to lose what he has alreday achieved.

    Hope you and the boys had a great time. Your blog is great reading.

    Happy New Year to you and your fellow bloggers!
    Gail

     
  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    yes, being a hardass on xmas sucks big balls--but think of it this way. 20 years from now, when he blows off a major project, his boss won't shed a tear about firing his ass on xmas day. not one tear.

    they have to learn. and the shitty part is WE have to teach them.

     
  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    You know in your heart that you're doing the right thing. It hurts, but the only way kids learn is to get serious consequences. When the consequences are painful, they eventually clue in to the fact that only THEY can fix things. It's hard, I know it.

    My son, the delinquent, is grounded over the entire school vacation. No computer, no phone, no friend contact. Period. It's so hard for him, but the point is, he GETS that he screwed up big time, and his behavior HAS improved. He still hasn't done a lick of schoolwork, and it appears, at least to me, that he's going to be repeating his junior year, but that's HIS problem, not mine.

    That bed lounger is da bomb. I'd love one of those. I spend a lot of time in bed (illness, you know) and that would be the ticket. Lucky you!

    Have a great trip.

     
  • At 2:36 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    from what i've read of that child, i think he'll take away a good lesson from having to face up to his choices. he's not the kind to grow up resenting good parenting, and he *does* know it's good parenting, even if it makes him sad.

    happy chistmas &tc. to you and the family. :)

     
  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger fiwa said…

    How hard for you to have to go through this lesson with him over the holidays. I too think you did the right thing though. I agree with what Mitzi said above. You are teaching him accountability and personal responsibility for his actions. And hey, he had the grace to cry over his actions, I think that says a lot about him.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday & I'm very jealous of your bed lounge!

    fiwa

     
  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger jen said…

    that whole "the mother's job is never done" is a concrete truth, isn't it.

    merry christmas, sister.

     
  • At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Kelley said…

    I am weeping with you. It sucks being the 'good' parent that follows through.

    My kids got the same thing from my brother. They love it and it is awesome. I can only imagine how he feels not to be able to play with it and that it is of his own doing.

    But by the sounds of it, he knows it is his own doing. He knows that it is breaking your heart.

    That proves that you are a good parent.

    Oh and the lounge is AWESOME! I want one!

    Hope you have a lovely holiday break.

     
  • At 1:57 AM, Blogger Jozet at Halushki said…

    Merry Christmas!

    And yes, being the tough love parent stinks...but yes, I also think it is the right thing to do. It's the best gift you will give him.

    Here's to a happy and healthy new year!

     
  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    Like SueBoB, you got me crying 2x - life lesson for you son and your FIL's gift. It is so hard to be a parent these days in trying to do the right thing by your kids. It makes you appreciate what your parents went through raising you. I like to believe that he will thank you one of these days. Your FIL's reaction to the gift makes going through the Christmas shopping season so worth it in the end, doesn't it. I'm newish to your blog and let me just say that I will miss not seeing anything from you for a couple of weeks but I understand. I hope you have a lovely time up North with your family.

     
  • At 8:52 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Oh my, so many things to comment on---first I love that D.O. sat quietly by the tree waiting for someone else to wake up. Also, I think you did the right thing with P.P.O. It's a hard lesson for him, but hopefully he got it.

    I had to laugh at this: "It's THE gift this year among the 13 year old set." I bought my husband Guitar Hero III and a wireless guitar for Christmas! He is thrilled b/c we can now play together (we already had the original guitar). Yes, I'm married to a 13 year old.

    I got tears in my eyes reading about the gift for your FIL.

    And, the BedLounge looks AWESOME. You should see what I do with pillows to try to get comfortable reading in bed.

    Merry Christmas and enjoy your break from blogging! See you in '08!

     
  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger Lisa said…

    I hope you had a wonderful trip and sounds like Christmas was good for all even with the "extra" drama. You are totally right about the kids, and it is so hard to be the adult sometimes. My daughter just pulled the same lie trick a couple weeks ago. Being a good parent is definitely not a job any sane person would ever choose, but can give some great payoffs over the years too. Hang in there, you aren't alone.
    Thanks for always sharing with us your trials and successes, makes me feel not quite so alone in this often messed up world.
    Happy Holidays, I will miss you!

     
  • At 8:57 PM, OpenID swtlyevilx said…

    I think you did do the right thing for your son. Hopefully he'll realize that in the future as he may not realize it at this time.

     
  • At 9:45 PM, Blogger anne said…

    I am with you on the Guitar Hero. We had to take driving privileges away from our dauther at the start of the holiday vacation. It stinks but that's how it goes.

    I hope your family has a wonderful holday season.

     
  • At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Manda said…

    I think you did the right thing even though it may be hard. Sounds like over all you had a wonderful Christmas!

     
  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Leigh said…

    For what it's worth, I think you totally did the right thing. Very hard to do on Christmas, I know...I can only hope that I would be able to follow through with it. (I'm the wimpy mom.) Anyway...I hope you have a wonderful, safe trip!

     
  • At 12:56 PM, Blogger JMC said…

    Your 13-year-old son and my 13-year-old daughter sound like identical personalities. For what it's worth from a complete stranger, I think you're doing the right thing. I've learned with my daughter that it is only when her actions (or more often inactions) directly affect something she TRULY cares about does her behavior change. Unfortunately, the lesson doesn't seem to stick, and it must be re-taught from time to time. As for him losing his spot in the accelerated class, I don't know if it's the same there as here, but I was able to (with the agreement of the class teachers and the gifted teacher) state that I wanted my daughter to stay in the classes. That way he won't get bored in the regular classes. Because if it's the same with him as my daughter, it's not lack of knowledge or understanding, it's pure laziness.

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    For what it's worth, I think you're doing the right thing with PPO. I know it's hard, but stick to your guns -- he'll thank you later.

    The gift you got for your FIL made me teary...that is so sweet of you, and so touching.

    Have a good New Year's, BA.

     
  • At 9:11 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    You did good. They have to know that there are consequences for their actions. Parenting is a tough job and sometimes "one can't like it".

     
  • At 11:54 PM, Blogger Jaelithe said…

    I think you are doing the right thing, too.

    Now, can you come over to my house and threaten to punish ME for procrastinating on my writing? Please?

     
  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    If only there were some manual to tell us if we're completely f-ing it all up (a constant thought) or if we're doing it right.

    And for what it's worth, I think you're doing swimmingly well.

     
  • At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Sandra said…

    Hey there. I think you are an awesome mom ... god I hope so ... I take much inspiration from your example. I hope all has settled down in the land of no Guitar Hero.

    WIshing you a very Happy New Year my friend!

     

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