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I Will Not Ask Your Permission to Parent You

As you may know, we now have an official teenager in our home. Not the 13-year-old wanna be teen. Not the emerging effort teen. We have the full out hormones are making me weird and mindless teen. And no matter what you say, there are certain things I will not accept as normal for a teen.

This is a kid who was so good I used to say he needed a day where he had permission to just be bad all day. He was polite if not thoughtful. Sure Dad, yes Mom. And then, girlfriend, lockdown, and his demands to make his own decisions about his use of “his” phone (paid for by us) hit our house like a hurricane.

That way he would camp out on the sofa, rubbing his stinky head into my couch pillows and leaving his chaos and trash in his wake, was upsetting. So I came up with the dice jar and the driving carrot. That worked for about two weeks.

My husband lost it when, in one day, he spent 7-8 hours straight on the phone. And routinely would just forget any of the chores that we asked of him. The good student was now going to bed at 2 am and sneaking his phone up to his room when that was literally the only rule I had, no phones upstairs.

Two weeks ago, I had had it. His insolence, his arrogance, and his swearing off of the phone if he couldn’t use it the way he wanted. I said time to get a landline then. Pull it. I was unimpressed with all of it. He asked to write us an essay about what he was thinking. And I wrote a rebuttal.

You are correct in saying that you are very responsible in many many ways. Perhaps I do not always see these actions or I take them as for granted as you take me. The respect and consideration that you think you deserve isn’t the same you exhibit.

Your privilege leaves a small wake of chaos behind you. Waste and messy spaces do not look like honor and respect of yourself, your home, or the people you share it with.

When you regularly forget chores, your disregard for how it affects others could be remedied if you were aware your choices always affect others.

The respect of our house and our rules while you live here is non-negotiable. We all have to follow the rules of the road and the world and this is us ensuring that you understand how we value teaching you this and keeping you safe. We will not ask your permission to parent you. We love you too much.

Your old friend Mom.”

When my husband and I spoke before we had a follow up discussion with our son, we both agreed that we stood strong on the phone rules. Rules is rules. When he begins to drive, there are rules that will save his life. We agreed that we did not need to ask permission to parent and bemused the old quote, “management has the right to make bad decisions”. But the phone and all it’s content and liabilities still were in our name.

But what I really wanted to stress was that I honored my job as Mom and keeper of the house. This was a job I took very seriously and his disregard for how hard I worked to make this house a home was very distressing and very disrespectful.

So to all those people who say, Oh that’s just a teenager, I say that he came to my house and he needs to live by my rules. Sometimes this behavior may be predictable but not necessarily acceptable. I will not be intimidated by glowering and sulking. I think these are just tests again to see if he’s important enough to rein in. And I think I can show him both he and I matter in resolving this situation.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

An October ’20 Update

Let me catch you up dearest readers on what has blown up my life.

If you follow me on social media, you’ll already know that I have been dealing with my mother’s fall and her subsequent hospital visit.

But this story goes much much deeper for me as many mother stories do.

I have been called back many any times in my life to take care of my mother. I’ve cleaned her house. I’ve euthanized her cats. Anything and everything to return to rescue her from herself. And I’ve carried a huge resentment around for it all.

My mother has a disorder disorder. She is a hoarder. The stuff is in her house in all horrible ways. And her house smells. Because she is a cat hoarder too. She allowed many cats into her house and they trashed the place.an Oct 2020 update on Shalavee.com

And I am a kind person who didn’t want my mother to return home from the hospital to the filth … so I cleaned. I also decided that I was not going to hold her shame as my own. That is what codependent people do with addicts. And I promised myself I’d only go and do this if I made sure everyone knew.

So now you know. It will be a long and painful road to get her out of that house, if I even do before she hurts herself again. And I have promised I will keep doing the next right thing.

My own life seems so less complicated comparatively. All those things that I was angsting about are so unimportant right now. I don’t care how big my belly has gotten or how my creative life has stalled. All I care about is washing my daughters beautiful strawberry blond hair and reading her a bedtime story.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Ah Do Do Do, Ah Da Da Da, S’all I Want to Say to You

Am I doing it right?

I dunno.

Am I doing it anyway, Yup!

This week is filled with anticipation of Autumn and all the cleaning and doing projects that seem to accompany the break in hot weather. Home and garden maintenance and cleaning. The windows look horrid. The bought potted perennials need planting. Things need painting.

The littlest child is returning to school on Thursday. Seems no one died from the virus this week in Maryland. She will be masked and I will be driving her to school. But it gives me some hope that this will all be a nightmare sooner than later. I need that space and time back in my days. She needs the connection with her people.

Ah Do Do Do, Ah Da Da Da, S'all I Want to Say to You on Shalavee.com

Mark and my wedding anniversary is today. We’ll hope to celebrate it this weekend. And then his birthday is coming. So much to be grateful for in these weird times.

I’ve been doing better with an anxiety med adjustment and am hoping to have great things come to fruition before the new year. There’s a bump I need to get over.

I am happily redecorating and replacing some pieces with new inexpensive finds and feel that this season will reflect a lot of positive change for all of us.

We just have to plant the seeds of hope.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Plague Parenting

I’ve been with my kids perpetually since March. Which means I have been their sounding board, their punching bag, and their home base. To maintain our family’s equilibrium, and my sanity, I’ve had to get even craftier about my parenting.

Buying them things sometimes brightens the mood. Restricting screen viewing works occasionally. But what I’ve found is very effective is installing a carrot that you can yank whenever they get used to the taste. Bwahahahahah!

My son is just about driving age. So physically learning how to drive is the obvious carrot. Meanwhile, he’s been such a slovenly lay about in the house that I am beginning to twitch every time I see his computer in a new place or his shoes out on the floor. So this is what I decided to do.

I told him to go and get me ten fancy dice, the ones he uses for Dungeons and Dragons stuff. And this is the contract I created for him and me. He needs to pick up his shoes, put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and pick up after himself. Essentially, for every infraction he gets a die taken out of the jar. He can earn them back for thoughtfulness and initiative but so far, he’s not figured out this bonus. This lasts from Monday to Friday night and if there is one die left in the jar, he gets to go driving with Dad.

Eamon’s Ten Dice Jar Rules

There will be 10 dice in the jar at the beginning of the week.

If there are any dice left in the jar by the end of the week, Friday bedtime, Eamon will get some driving practice that weekend.

One Die will be taken out of the jar when one of the following occur:

  • Leaving shoes out of the shoe place

  • Leaving computer, cord, or gaming equipment anywhere but designated spots.

  • Not putting dishes into dishwasher after making them

  • Not making bed on weekdays or when asked

  • Leaving couch a mess

  • Not putting away clothes on the same day as laundry done

  • Not following through with a request within a “timely” fashion especially at dinner time

  • Leaving trash or dishes around sitting spot for longer than a half hour

Dice will be given for initiative taken according to the importance and impressiveness (taking care of your sister, helping in the kitchen without being asked).

Dice will be taken away if super dumb choices are made according to parental discretion.

I agree to these terms…

My son looked at me and said I was so smart.

The first week, he had ten dice in the jar. He ran though them pretty quickly. He had one left. And I warned him, if he runs out, that’s it. He had one left Friday night. The second week I had 8 in the jar. And I post-it-noted his infractions onto the dice in case he wondered what they were for.

Developing good habits, considering the people you live with, and earning a privilege. These are the lessons I am hoping to teach my children. And people tell me they’re good kids. Boundaries for me and for them helps us all not feel resentful while we are trapped in here together. We’ll see if the week to come solidify these habits.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

September Has Arrived

September has arrived. The crickets forewarned me. The temperature dropped a delightful 15 degrees Fahrenheit although the humidity has kept its nasty reign on out region. I look forward to these things.

To the schedule, rhythm, and routine of the school work week so I may advance with my own progress.

To the planning, implementing, and shutting down of the garden workload.

To bringing down the fuzzy rug and turning on the fireplace because it’s cold outside.

To wearing clothing that covers the back of my thighs.September Has Arrived on Shalavee.com

To firepits in the backyard and saying adios to mosquitoes.

To the expansive feeling of Autumn’s cooler weather in my mind and my body.

To finding legitimate footing in my life’s work and moving onward.

My hope for you all is the very same freedoms if you so desire them. Or that you write out what yours are for the coming months. Let’s hope that despite all of this, 2021 blooms with new growth like we never expected.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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