The fued between The Mother Hen and her former best friend started as soon as they got back to school. It started as any other girl fight… “You are a jerk because you stole my boyfriend!” “Well, I wouldn’t have stole him if you weren’t so ugly!” And so on…
Then, it started to evolve. The former best friend started threatening her and then hiding behind her friends that were no long friends with The Mother Hen. So, The Mother Hen, taking advice from her mother, decided to turn the “whole school” against this girl. When she told Bear and I about this, she was so proud of herself. But, honestly, I have never been more disappointed in her. Not only did she not try to fix the problem but she escalated it so that it was getting well out of control. I had to tell her what I thought. (Because I am an opiniated big mouth.) She was furious with me because I told her that she was wrong. I suggested talking to this girl one-on-one. If she hid behind her friends, I suggested that she talk to her anyway. I also told her at this point, if you won’t confront her about it all, just ignore her.
The Mother Hen’s pride got the best of her when her former friend started sending threating text messages and myspace messages. Since her profile is set to private (only friends can see it and leave comments) I told her to delete her from her friends list and ignore the messages. She didn’t and it got worse. Then her mother got involved. She called the school and threatened to call the police on the school and this girl. The Mother Hen was called into the principal’s office as soon as she arrived at school and was told a couple of things. 1) Since you sent threatening messages too, if the police get involved you will be charged and expelled from school and 2) if anything like this happens again that she would be suspended.
Personally, I feel pretty damn lucky that she wasn’t suspended. With as many stories in the news lately of teen girl violence, I thought for sure that she was going to be sent home for a few days. Here is what I don’t really understand why the social war? Why turn the school against anyone and why respond to the threats on your cell phone? Maybe I was raised around too many boys, but if it were me, I wouldn’t have responded to the threats over my cell phone or the internet (chat rooms were the big thing when I was a teen and pagers too… yikes, I am old). I would have confronted the girl at school. I would have said “Why don’t you say that to my face? Are you too scared?” Girls just don’t fight that way.
That is the one thing I learned from watching Mean Girls. (Besides that it is 90 minutes of my life that I will never get back). Girls are taught that violence is not an option and they must be prim and proper at all times. So, they fight these crazy passive aggressive wars that end up with ruined reputations and tears. That is starting to change but the idea of escalation hasn’t. I mean, can you seriously believe some of this shit? Now mom’s are getting involved in teen girl battles so that the escalation continues.
It is no longer enough to beat up a girl that wronged you. You now have to post it on MySpace, YouTube and Facebook. I am personally disgusted by this whole business. It is past time that we as mothers to daughters start setting the example. We need to show girls to fight together rather than fight each other. Maybe I am the only one that feels this way, and I am an opinionated loud mouth so I say/write what I feel.
This weekend, a friend of The Mother Hen’s came over and spent the day and night with us. It went really well but I can’t help but wonder what that kid is thinking now that she is home. She and her parents do not get along very well and are rarely home.
We had a normal weekend for us… Saturday night we all sat down on the porch on a blanket and had dinner. We made quesadillas and passed around salsa and jokes. Every night that we are together we all have dinner together. Most of the time there is a lot of laughing involved. And dinner is not over until someone says, “Hey, I was trying to take a drink. Are you trying to make it come out of my nose?” My understanding is that this kid almost never has dinner with her parents and if she does, it is for a holiday.
Later that evening, we rented movies from the video store and prepared snacks for movie night. Normally, we all watch a few movies together, but Bear and I skipped this time (much to everyone’s disappointment) and watched game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Mother Hen’s friend had to ask why everyone was upset. And the answer she received was “We love Movie night when we are all together. It is just not as fun without our parents.”
Sunday started with breakfast and insults from room to room and more laughter. Most families probably don’t insult each other and laugh as much as we do. Our parenting theory is, there are two kinds of bullies, physical ones and emotional ones. Our kids have thick skin and a sharp wit because we foster it. We call our home “The Shark Tank.” The friend spent most of Sunday morning with her eyes really big. She had never seen anything like it.
In the afternoon, we went to the park. Both Bear and I got involved in chasing the kids around the park. She would just stare at us. She didn’t even know how to react. I honestly felt really bad for her and her parents. Our kids talk to us about everything. They aren’t afraid to ask questions and truly talk to us.
I know that sounds really naive because anyone out there with teenagers will think I am crazy. But, we have earned their trust and their respect because we had to fight for them and still do. Most teenagers think that their parents don’t care or don’t get it. We have had the luxury (or challenge, depending on how you look at it) of being tested. We still have to fight for them because their mother just doesn’t care about them.
I wish that more families were like ours. I know that there are some out there but I think the world would be a better place if every child knew for a fact that their parents truly cared and truly had their best interests in mind.
When I was a kid, my brother and I never got along. We were always bickering and fighting about one thing or another. I know that Bear and I are lucky, because the kids honestly just don’t fight that much. When The Tyrant is a bad mood, she fights with everyone. Most of the time though, they get along very well.
We were driving in the car this weekend, with all three kids crammed in the back of a Ford Focus. The kids were all kind of having a bad day. There was a lot of pushing and shoving going on. “Stop touching me!” “You squishing me!” “Stop hitting me!” Just as Bear and I were about to say something about it, The Mother Hen looks at The Tyrant, “Stop being obnoxious!” The Tyrant gasped and then shrieks, “I am not an oxsious!” The entire car starts laughing. And the fight has finally been forgotten.
Actual conversation between Bear and I yesterday morning:
Me: You know, Bear, I love that you comment on my blog but I really would like it if you commented as Bear instead of pkinsella. After all, HotWife comments as HotWife on DadGoneMad. It is proper etiquette.
Bear: You mean to tell me there are rules?!?! This whole blog thing has gone to your head!
I was looking at pictures today from the last 2 years. And I realized how far we have come as a family. We really are a family now, we weren’t in the begining.
The Mother Hen did not like me one bit. She use to tell her dad that I gave her dirty looks all the time. Now, I am the first person she looks for when she has a boy that needs to be talked about. She trusts me and that means so much to me.
The Show really didn’t care one way or another about me. She did what she always does and tried to make everyone laugh and smile. Now, that we know eachother she shows me her true self. She has more depth than anyone would believe and she is wise beyond her years. When everyone is looking at her performance, she always looks back and sees right through them.
The Tyrant and I have always gotten along in our own way. She is really rather shy with most people so she always kept me at arms length. Now, when she is tired, she will crawl up into my lap and rest her head on my shoulder.
Of course, Bear and I have grown too. The kids calls us an old married couple and always laugh when we act that way. We still hold hands and laugh a lot, but we are so much closer now.
In the begining, the idea that he had three kids scared the hell out of me. Now, I don’t know what I would do without them. The four of them make me feel whole. I just hope that I do the same for them.
This past Friday The Mother Hen had her eight-grade farewell dance. She was so looking forward to it because she had been talking to a boy on the phone for the past two weeks and they were suppose to meet there and hang out.
When we dropped her off, she perked right up and started looking for the boy. He was no where in site, but she wasn’t discouraged. “He’s probably not here yet. Love you guys! Thanks! See you later!” was the last thing she said before she got out of the car. As it turns out the begining of the dance was great. Things were going well and she and the boy were really having fun. But later, she lost track of him. When she found him again, he was dancing, holding hands and flirting with her best friend. When she got home, I had no idea what to say to her.
When I was in 8th grade, my best friend was a boy. And he didn’t dance or flirt with other boys. So, I had no real danger of the situation ever happening to me. But I held her close for a while and tried to come up with something to say. The best I had was, “You will feel better in the morning and besides, boys are stupid.” She did laugh but it didn’t stop the tears. Bear’s only plan was to get the shotgun and hunt the boy down. While the plan sounds good on paper, it wasn’t very practical.
By Sunday, she was feeling better. But, I still wish that I could have done more. I wanted to hunt that kid down and make him cry for him mommy. All I could do was tell her that I love her.
I got the phone call yesterday at work. The Show got into her very first fight, at school. A million things go through my head at once. Is she okay? Did she get hurt? What happened? Who started it? Was she helping someone or stand up for herself? Deep down I knew that she didn’t start it but I just couldn’t handle the not knowing.
I remember when I was about her age, I got into my first fight. In gym class, we were playing floor hockey for about a week. Monday through Thursday these two girls were picking on me and would hit me accross the shins with thier sticks whenever possible. I talked to the Gym teacher about it on Tuesday after class. He just shrugged and said he would pay more attention. Wednesday, they had gotten worse and I could have sworn that he saw them do it. Thursday one of them hit my leg so hard, it bleed. So, by Friday, I had had enough. The first time that one of them took at swing at my legs, I pulled the classic hockey move.. Stick-Gloves-Shirt and started punching her. The other girl jumped in and I got my ass handed to me. I got suspended for a few days but I was left alone after that.
The Show finally told us what happened, after icing her fat lip. Apparently, the girl she fought was a new girl and she had been picking on her all week. The Show asked her a few times to stop but it wasn’t helping. Finally, she asked a friend to tag along to make sure it wouldn’t turn into a fight and went and confronted her directly. The Show asked her again to stop messing with her. The new girl said, “I bet you want me to back down now?” The Show says, “Yeah, please.” But the girl heard, “Yeah, pussy.” And attacked her. The Show fought back and ended up sitting on top of her attacker. When the girl wouldn’t give up, she bounced her head off the floor and ask “Are you done, yet?”
I can’t help the feeling of pride that has surged through me. She stood up for herself and even tried to stop the problem for getting bigger. But when push came ot shove, she shoved back.
The Tyrant is a very picky eater. She won’t eat potatoes, “crunchy” chicken or just about anything healthy. The new thing is to call someone like her a “choosey-eater” but lets be honest, she is just plain picky.
I decided to try something new this past Saturday. All the parent books and web sites say “Get a choosey-eater to help pick out dinner and they will eat.” So, I said to her, “What kind of chicken would you like to eat? And what sides?” She chose BBQ chicken, Mexican Rice and Corn. (I know wierd combo but it was an experiment.)
The entire time that I am cooking she asks “Is it done yet? I am starving.” Each time I smile and say “Just a few more minutes, baby.” When we finally sit down to eat, she looks at her dish and declares “I am not very hungry.” Bear and I just look at each other. KK aka The Mother Hen says, “You were just straving, why don’t you give it a try?” The Tyrants takes one bit of the chicken and says “Its too spicy!” The Show, blinks and shouts “You wanted BBQ! We always have this BBQ and you have loved it every time! Geez!” I suddenly get visions in my head of the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.. Of course you realize, this means war!
The Tyrant stands up, “NO, I DIDN’T! WE NEVER HAD THIS! YOU ARE LYING! I HATE YOU!” We all stare at her for a moment, which is a fatal mistake. “YOU GUYS ALWAYS PICK DINNER! YOU NEVER LET ME PICK! THAT IS WHY I HATE IT!” The Mother Hen sighed deeply. She very calmly stood up, took the Tyrant’s plate to the sink and rinsed off the chicken. She walks back and sets the plate back down. The Tyrant looks at her plate and decides to nibble at a piece of chicken.
This is where it got crazy. She spit out the chicken and screamed “THANKS A LOT!! NOW ITS ALL WATERY!” Bear couldn’t stand it any more and tapped his fork off the side of her plate to get her attention. That is when the tears started… She started crying “She ruined my dinner! Why am I in trouble!!?” Bear looked at her and said “You need to eat your dinner. You said it was too spicy and she cleaned it off. You are lucky because I wouldn’t have done that. You are going to sit here until you eat or you are just going ot go hungry.” So, for the rest of the dinner we listen to the Tyrant cry.
Forty-five minutes later, her plate has gone cold and Bear has lost all patience with her. “Fine, if you aren’t going to eat, you need to clean your plate and put it in the sink.” She gets up and does just that. As soon as she sets the plate down, she declares “I was going to eat it and now I can’t! Now, I am going to have to be hungry!” Bear, in his best Dad voice, says “THAT IS IT! I have had enough, go to your room!” Sniffling as she goes, “I just wanted to eat my dinner!”
So, to all those lovely parent books and websites, I say CRAM IT!