By Carol Rood
The other day, on the way to Coffee Heaven (aka Starbucks) with my 16-year-old son (“Joe Cool”), I mentioned that I might use our coffee time to work on a blog post while we waited for his older brother to get off work.
He was all, “That’s cool mom.”
I said, “What should I write about?”
Now while we were driving to Starbucks and I was trying to talk to Joe Cool he was listening to music on his phone. So I would tap his knee so he could remove his headphones and listen to me. So when I asked what I should write about, he said (a little too quickly I might add), “Why don’t you write about what a nuisance you are when you keep trying to talk to me when I am listening to my music?”
I was a little annoyed at first, and then decided this could be an opportunity for me to find out what I do that annoys him, so I could either:
1) Not do it as much
2) Use it to push buttons. (Hey, you would not BELIEVE all the ways this kid pushes mine, it is good for me to teach him how to handle annoyances in a positive way -that is my story and I am sticking to it.)
So according to Joe Cool these are the ways I am a nuisance:
1) Bugging him when he is trying to listen to music by touching him or getting his attention in some other way and stopping him from his listening pleasure.
2) When he is playing Black Ops on the PS3 I will sometimes call him to come talk to me about “unimportant things” (his words). Of course yesterday it was to talk about our vacation Spring Break, and to discuss school work. But to him this is unimportant apparently. He said I should come to him to talk instead of making him come to me. HA HA he is a funny kid.
3) I am a nuisance when I talk to him about girls. Saturday night the kid went to a movie with two girls. One a sophomore and one a senior. The senior drove him. He was annoyed that I wanted to meet the girls. Um Hello??? I need to meet and lay eyes upon the person who is driving him around. Oh, and I need to know her name also. I do not think that is overboard. Inviting myself along is overboard. However, when I asked him if he was “talking” to either of these girls (the new term for liking someone), he became annoyed with me for asking. I had never heard of either of these girls before, of course I am going to ask if he is “talking” to one of them. ESPECIALLY since one is a senior and too old for my almost 16-year-old. (Is that old fashioned???)
4) BIG problem for him: I won’t let him play PS3 during the school week. That is a HUGE annoyance for him. This is from the kid who has a D in Geometry due to low grades on quizzes and tests. This is also coming from the kid who has missing assignments in almost every class. DUH no PS3 during the week. If he can’t manage to get good grades with NO distractions except TV and his guitar, how much worse will it get if he were jumping on the PS3 after school and getting lost in his Black Ops world?
5) Making him clean his room annoys him. Let me remind you what his room usually looks like:
Um, yes I want that cleaned.
That was all he was willing to tell me, because he really wanted to drink his drink and listen to his music.
So you tell me, am I really annoying, or just being a proper mom??
By: Tanya Ward Goodman
My boy is ending 4th grade tomorrow. He has gone to bed in tears every night for two weeks. He’s been using the word “bittersweet” to describe the end of school. He has made approximately a billion origami lotus flowers. They drift off the dining room table and pile up on the kitchen counters. I found one in the dog’s mouth and another in my shoe.
“The secret to origami,” he tells me, “is a sharp crease.”
He folds and folds and folds.
“I’m doing it for Mrs. M. I’m going to make her thousands of origami.”
My boy is in the throes of his first teacher crush. It’s a no-brainer. She’s a little bit kooky, with swingy bobbed hair and a big smile. She’s a voracious reader and is fond of referring to herself as “Ole Mrs. M,” which is funny and a good reminder that she’s not that old at all. She’s noticed that he likes history and has commended him for bringing in his entire Titantic themed library to share with the class. She makes math fun. She is crush worthy.
“How will I ever find another teacher like Mrs. M?” he wonders.
“You will,” I say. “Not the same. Different, but good in other ways. But, you’ll carry Mrs. M. wherever you go.”
I know this is true because I carry with me all my teachers. I tell him about Mrs. N. who wore wonderful pantsuits and talked to me like an adult though I was only in second grade. Mrs. P let me write and direct a play in third grade and Mr. R. saw me cheerfully through the misery that was eighth grade math. There was Mr. U. who was weird and amazing and gave me shivers when he read the part of the “The Misfit” in the Flannery O’Connor story. Ms. F. and her poem about strawberries and, of course, beloved Joyce with her love of Moby Dick and her determination that we behave like citizens of the world. And that’s only a handful and only through high school.
When I’ve finished with my montage sequence, he looks up at me with his soggy little eyes.
“It just went so fast,” he says.
He sobs in my arms and I look down at his big head with the crazy cowlicked hair. I take in his feet, which are almost the size of my own and I feel the weight of him against my chest. He is so much closer to adult than to baby.
I swallow a sob of my own.
“It did,” I say. “All the best things do.”