Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Batten Down the Hatches ... Parenting 103
Having been a mom for nearly 24 years, I've seen just about every type of behavior a child can dish out. The latest adventures involve the (mis)use of my cell phone ... and an adult child tweaking her curfew to suit her social life. Let's start with the phone ... I have a plan that has 400 peak time minutes that are shared with my dh, unlimited night time use, and 500 on the weekends. This has always been more than enough time for the two of us. Enter my sixteen year old daughter that has been sneaking my phone or abusing the times I have allowed her to use it. My normally $39 bill was $172 when it arrived in the mail this week. I have always had a policy that my children could only have their own cell phones when they held down a paying job and paid their own bill. Occassionally, I would let them use mine when they went out. Daughter #2 has made friends in our soon to be new town via the internet (with my permission) and even gone to a high school basketball game in February when we visited. They communicate via the computer ... and more recently my cell phone. After checking on line with Verizon, I found over 1700 minutes of outgoing/incoming calls up to Idaho for a one month period. Mind you, once my 400 peak minutes are used up, it's $0.45 per minute unless it's an after hours call. To her surprise, I made her fork over $130 from her savings account to cover the extra expense. ...Boy, did she argue with me and point fingers ... as this chaos was transpiring, I got a call from daughter #1 asking to stay out to 1:00 AM ... then go spend the night at a friends. She too argued with me and I fianlly hung up the phone. She called several more times to try to convince me that she should be allowed to stay out late. Her curfew is midnight ... she's 21 (employed) and as long as she lives at home rent free, she's obligated (in my opinion) to live by my rules. Otherwise, why leave the nest and good home cooked meals? I have on occassion, said she could stay out late ... and she will spend the night with one of her girl friends once in a while ... but with the upcoming move, we need her to be home and not in some zomby state of mind from staying up so late. We've got lots to get packed and moved in the next few days. I held my ground and did not give in to either girls poor behavior. After raising three "normal" children, my youngest with Down syndrome has become the model child of the family.