Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vexation and Toil

I have had one of those mornings that I hope to forget when I look back on my experience as a parent. One morning, in about 16 years, I'll open my eyes to peek at the alarm clock, see that it's 6:30, roll over, and go back to sleep. I'll have a smile on my face, because I won't have to deal with the (insert expletive here) my kids dished out to me this morning.

This morning I was subject to much abuse from Dainon*, my oldest. I'd confiscated their cell phone during mutual, and now he couldn't find it. He has to alternate days with his brother, and he keeps forgetting it on his day. Now he couldn't find it, and it was all my fault. He wandered around dishing out sarcastic musings about what was the point of even having a cell phone if he could never use it. (duh) After frantic searching, I located my purse to return his phone to him only to find- it wasn't there. More complaining. I suggested we call his phone. I did, and what do you know? The ringing came from his own jacket pocket. Somehow, after mutual last night, I managed to sneak his phone back into his pocket without him catching me at it. That's his story anyway.

Then Dallin, my third son, couldn't find his homework packet that was due last week. It's nowhere to be found, so I gingerly picked through the garbage. In doing so, I found a bank statement that my oldest threw away while cleaning up the kitchen last night. Great. My garbage excavation was nearing the icky stuff at the bottom, so I gave up on the packet. Tough luck, buddy.

Then my fourth son Kelton showed up wearing the same clothes as the day before, telling me he had no clean clothes. "Where is the stack of clean clothes I folded and gave to you yesterday?" I asked.

"Gone" he said.

"I don't think so." I replied, none too patiently at this point. We searched his room, and after much vexation and toil on my part, I discovered the errant pile in his brother's drawer. Clean pants were flung in his general direction, and I headed back upstairs to find that Dainon's lunch was still sitting on the table. He'd been gone for almost an hour. When we couldn't find Dallin's old homework packet, I suggested he start working on this weeks, which ironically enough, is due tomorrow. It never made it home. Blast!

I was about to head for the beaches of Mexico when Dallin piped up with, "Hey mom, you know that scout book I need..."

"You mean the one to replace the one you lost?! This isn't a good time to bring that up."

My one bright spot of comfort is the thought that all their valentines are done and at school already. That's something.
*You'll notice that I used my son's real names in this post. I'm tired of thinking of tricky ways of not writing them. I figure, if you really want to stalk them after what you're read today, you know what you're up against. Kidnap them, and they'll throw your bank statements in the trash, knock holes in your walls, and lose all your stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hypertextualization of Society

You know what I'm talking about. The teens and tweens, eyes glued to their phones, thumbs twittering about. Everywhere you go, you see it. Now, the affliction has spread to my very own house!

My older boys have long been suffering under the impression that they have a case of neglect for CPS. "Jake has an Iphone touch!" "Hunter has a Blackberry!" "You're only cool if you have the coolest phone, and I don't even have one at all!" Boo hoo.

I have been unmoved by all this whining. If my boys can't remember their lunches on a regular basis, how in the world are they going to be responsible for a small, expensive piece of telecomunications equipment? My son's mp3 player just went through the laundry. I rest my case.

If they did, indeed, ever get a cell phone, my plan was that it would be a disposable-type of jobbie with a total of 5 monthly minutes. There was a bit of a wrinkle in my plan.

I went out of town for the weekend.

Upon coming down from the mountain, like Moses, I got bad news.

In my absense, my husband had gotten my boys a cell phone. To add insult to injury, it was cooler than mine!

He had a really good reason, that didn't even involve the kids. It was a business decision, a calculated move. That didn't avert my nuclear reaction.

And it didn't phase the boys who were blissed out, dreaming and planning their future coolness.

My life has not been the same since.


I'm sitting with my kids in a booth of a restaurant. My phone beeps, I check my messages, because I get a lot of business ones these days. There is a photo of myself, taken a scant minute earlier. "You look tired."

A few minutes later, my phone beeps again. I check my phone. There is a big smiley emoticon bouncing with the message "Hi."

This goes on and on.

They have a limit of 400 messages.

Any bets on how soon they blow through these?