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06 January 2011 @ 07:33 am
Parenting: The stories just keep on getting better.  
I have two stories for you. The first informs the second.

Story One:

(Carrie and Nolan are in the kitchen and Aaron comes in and joins them after his shower. He's wearing boxers, has damp hair and is shivering.)

Carrie. Why aren't you wearing clothes?

Aaron. Because I'm about to go to bed.

Carrie. I mean pajamas. (Aaron shrugs. Carrie decides to choose her battles.) Did you brush your teeth?

Aaron. Yes. (breathes in Carrie's face.) See?

Carrie. (blinks several times) Yes, thank you. (As he turns to go, she stops him) Aaron? Are those the same boxer shorts you were wearing yesterday?

Aaron. (snaps the waistband, is matter-of-fact) Yep.

Carrie. (looks at Nolan for a little solidarity) Do you have clean boxer shorts upstairs?

Aaron. Yes, ma'am.

Carrie. You don't put dirty underwear on a clean body. You have to wear clean underwear every day.

Aaron. (is floored by this news and very skeptical) Really?

Nolan. Yes. Your mother speaks the truth.

Aaron. (sighs heavily, is thwarted) Okay.


Story Two:

The second story is an exchange of emails between Carrie and Nolan yesterday morning. BEFORE NINE A.M...



From: Carrie Leigh
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 8:15 AM
To: Nolan
Subject: SPAM-LOW: So... Here's the dealio... Read this when you have time.





I'M SO PISSED I CAN'T SEE STRAIGHT. Can't even call you. Can't talk. Grrrrr.

Ethan comes to me this morning and says, "I need money for lunch."

I go, "Whahuh? I put a crapload of money in your account at the beginning of the year." Three hundred dollars, if memory serves.

I asked him if he'd been eating off the snack bar, and he said, "I'm not going to lie. Yes."

I asked, "Even though I SPECIFICALLY told you not to?"

"Yes."

So. What's a parent to do? I made him make his lunch, which isn't a punishment, by the way, they LIKE taking their lunch. Basically, instead of the school lunch, which costs $2, he's been eating from the "snack bar" which is $3-$3.50 DAILY. He's been eating stuff like cheese curly fries and Gatorades for lunch.

The thing is, I did the same thing. Except my mother gave me $1.10 for my lunch two or three times a week for lunch, and I took mine the rest of the time, and if I wanted curly fries, I paid the difference out of my own pocket.

If you're interested in the link to see all the crap he's been buying - including ice cream at LEAST once a week, go HERE. My username is carrie*****, and the password is *******.

Notice that AJ has $120.50, and Ethan has -$2.35. I made Ethan pay the negative difference out of his own pocket. And Aaron's lunch is $1.75. I'll leave the math of the actual difference up to you.

He didn't lie. But he DID disobey. I don't know what to do.

I LOATHE when they disobey. I hate it. I'm so angry. I didn't spank him because I was SO angry. But I'm literally in tears now because he's blown over a hundred dollars on CRAP. I DON'T WANT HIM EATING THAT EVERY DAY. I WANT HIM TO HAVE THE LUNCH THE SCHOOL PROVIDES. Once a week? I'd be okay with the snack bar. I'm not so rigid that I can't bend. BUT IT CANNOT BE THREE AND FOUR TIMES A WEEK!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Am I overreacting? And will you weigh in on this?

I love you.

Carrie



from: Nolan
to: Carrie Leigh
date: Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 8:45 AM
subject RE: SPAM-LOW: So... Here's the dealio... Read this when you have time.




NO, you are not overreacting and I am totally on board and we can punish him when I get home. Ironically, this is exactly how I feel every time I see the credit card bill or a transfer of money from our accounts…EVERY TIME. It’s money being spent on garbage that he doesn’t (we don’t) need. I’m just saying. You can’t say one thing and do another. They watch us like hawks. Cute little hawks who wear the same underwear as many days in a row as they can, but hawks none the less.

I also think HE should have to make his own lunch every evening after supper so we can monitor that it gets done and you also know what he’s eating. He’ll carry his lunch each day until the end of school. I’ll even go buy him a Strawberry Shortcake lunch box so he has to be seen with it if you want? Next year we can start it all over and see if he does better. Like you said, if he asks once in a while for an ice cream or curly fries it’s not a big deal. It’s a treat. But when you specifically tell him and he disobeys, TOUGH. This will show him that there are consequences to his actions.

“I’m not going to lie. Yes.” Pfft. As if that makes it alright and clears the slate? Good try, though. I won’t encourage him, but he sure is independent. Hee, hee. You’ll like that later on in him.

I love you.

Nolan




So. It turns out, AJ was doing the same thing, buying ice cream and slushes as often as he could. They're both grounded. Ethan's taking his lunch for the rest of the year. Is that a punishment for me, too? Yes, it is. No, I didn't actually say 'crapload' to the kid. And no, we aren't making him take a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. It was a close call, though.

That's all the news that's fit to report. Be back soon, though, I'm sure.

And for the cherry on the cake of my day, I've been up since four thirty, and Ethan, Aaron and I are off to the dentist.
 
 
I feel:: tiredtired
 
 
 
Sylviaticklethepear on January 6th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
You're a good mom.
Carrie Leigh: Angry bearcarrie_leigh on January 6th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
I'm adequate.

And I'm monitoring what the kids eat online, now.
tracyj23: Snarky - mom got me tested for crazytracyj23 on January 6th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Consequences are important. Even if he was honest.

I'm kind of surprised you'd actually give your kids that much money and expect them to behave with it. I'm glad we don't have a cafeteria or any food at all at my kids school so they HAVE to take lunch but even if we did, I would make sure they never had money and always brought their lunches because really, who can resist that kind of crap? We're all human and I know I indulge far more than I should (I hate driving past a Starbucks and I swear they're on nearly every corner). I think making them take lunch and not buying anything is a very GOOD thing. They need to eat right.
Carrie Leighcarrie_leigh on January 6th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I put money in his lunch account and told him the expectations. It's worked every year up to now, when he got into 5th grade. They evidently have a rockin' snack bar.
(no subject) - tracyj23 on January 6th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carrie_leigh on January 6th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tracyj23 on January 6th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brendanm720 on January 6th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mugglechump on January 6th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brendanm720 on January 6th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Mellifluous Leaper 182: Hamster - Yum.leaper182 on January 6th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I'm not really sure how to punish Ethan, but I find it interesting that while Ethan splurged like hell and got junk food every time he could, and now he's left with $2.35 in his account (these two have their own bank accounts? Seriously?), Aaron still has over $100. Granted, Aaron is doing the same thing, but he seems to have exercised some restraint?

(I could do the thing where I talk about how I was on free lunch, and then I was on reduced lunch, and then pay-for-lunch because family circumstances changed, but it was usually that Mom gave me the money to eat that day. More of a pain in the ass for her, but at the same time, she was able to monitor just how much I was spending day-to-day. The smaller me was more willing to spend money than the me now, so that was a good thing.)
Carrie Leigh: the queen is not amusedcarrie_leigh on January 6th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
That's -$2.35.

And Aaron's school doesn't have a snack bar. I'm fairly sure that's the only reason. They on;y have slushes once a week there.
(no subject) - leaper182 on January 6th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carrie_leigh on January 6th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - heyurs on January 6th, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - carrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - heyurs on January 7th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jazsekuh: Sniffjazsekuh on January 6th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Your kids got off pretty easy. I'm fairly sure if I would have done the same thing when I was their age my mom would have handed me a sharpened stick and told me to learn how to hunt for my lunch.
Carrie Leigh: Ginny's not impressedcarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
That made me laugh. Mine might not have carried through on the threat, but she wouldn't have been pleased.
Brendanbrendanm720 on January 6th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
I totally would have gotten my butt kicked had I done that.

And I still would have ended up with the Strawberry Shortcake lunch box. It would have been berry embarrassing.
Carrie Leigh: Evil will triumphcarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
You CRACK. ME. UP.

I never would have done it in the first place. I was hyper aware on money as a child.
Kate: Screw-Up Fairymugglechump on January 6th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Ugh. I'm sorry. Those kinds of discoveries are painful. Meredith would do the same sort of thing except I didn't pay for a full year up front, but she wouldn't tell me when she'd run out of money. She just didn't eat those days.

The big one for us though, came with the cell phone. "We don't have a text plan, so DON'T TEXT ANYONE" somehow turned into "Text all all day every day and then act really surprised when we're furious at the $500 bill we receive at the end of the month."
Carrie Leigh: One drink awaycarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
I've always prayed for both boys to get caught when they do something wrong. God is really faithful - I'm thinking of asking about retracting that particular prayer. Maybe they only get caught 88 percent of the time? Discipline is exhausting!
Jessica K Malfoy: marie eatsjessicakmalfoy on January 6th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
ROFL! We have lots of old girlie lunch boxes if you want me to send you one! & I'm dreading the day Aislynn goes off to middle school where they have a snack bar. Luckily her school just has a cafeteria that she hates now so I pack for her.
Carrie Leigh: I read heavilycarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC)
LOL. I'll keep you in mind if we change out mind about the Strawberry Shortcake thing!
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: <3jandjsalmon on January 6th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
You are a good mom - and I must say - Nolan is an amazing husband and father (and his email reply was exactly what Jay would say - with fewer profanities and references to my internet addiction). I love united fronts - that is what it takes to raise a pair of good boys.
Carrie Leigh: pot kettlecarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
Gosh, I hope so. We sure are trying to make Godly little men out of them!
tadpole_bac on January 7th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
Not only are y'all one of the prettiest couples ever (I mean that as a compliment for Nolan, too!), that's some of the best parenting teamwork EVER!

Now, having said that, can I just say that I'm CRACKING up?? Not that Ethan disobeyed you and that you were so angry, but that your kids are GENIUSES!!!! They must get that from the Wagster side! :)

I love you sweet cousin!
Carrie Leigh: Latin overeducatedcarrie_leigh on January 7th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks, Bethy. That's a sweet thing to say.

I don't think he's a genius - I think he thought he'd never get caught! I told him, "It's not the seventies, anymore, kid. We have the internet! The MAN is always watching."

His response? To squint at me and ask, "What man?"

Lord have mercy. I swear.

Love you, too! Lots and lots!

Mala13oct on January 11th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)
You two rock as parents. That's all.
Carrie Leigh: lady of the lakecarrie_leigh on January 11th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks.

They're going to have to have something to talk about in therapy when they're older, right?
shoopmcfnord on January 24th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
he disobeyed, and he also did something incompatible with a healthy diet and learning.

the first matter is maddening but the second is a teachable moment.

i'd try to make the critical point about wellness rather than strictly about budget compliance.