It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’ve just dropped off my juvie at school. It’s been quite a week, lemme tell ya!
My sister came to visit and it was the usual routine: She bossed and doled out advice and tried to tell me how I should be living my life, and I ignored her. I did have to step up once or twice and tell her to can it but ... that set her back enough for her to shut her yap.
I do get sick of her trying to tell me how to raise The Kid and what I “need” to be doing with myself.
“Join clubs, take classes, make friends…. You gotta get out there and have a social life!”
“Well ... no ... but ...”
“Yeah. OK. There you go.”
I guess The Kid and his buddy thought my attention was diverted while Sister was here because they saw it as their opportunity to ditch school. They’d been asking me a couple of weeks ago about what happens when you skip, and I said, “You might get suspended, you will get into trouble, and you have to make up the time. It usually goes on your school record, which isn’t good, so it’s not a good idea. Skipping usually leads to nothing but trouble, so I don’t advise it.”
Much to my chagrin, The Kid showed up one afternoon earlier than I expected with a new buddy and I said, “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, we ditched!”
“You did what? Who said you could do that?”
“Well, all my work was turned in...”
“But you have to be in class, you idiot! If everyone left after doing their work, there’d be no point to school!!”
What a pair of brilliant lads. Not what I called them at first, but for newsprint, it’s the gentler version.
So then yesterday, the BFF texts The Kid and tells him he isn’t going to school because he’s “sick.”
The Kid scurries around getting his stuff together and just as the clock is about to strike 8, I happen to ask him what’s happened to the Xbox 360 that was sitting on the floor moments before.
He looked at me and said, “Uh ... I took it back to BFF’s.”
“No you didn’t. You didn’t go back there after I picked you up the other night. Where is it?”
“It’s at his place. I took it over there.”
“No, you didn’t ... don’t lie to me ... Where is it?”
And he pulls it out of his backpack!
I should’ve hit him with a rolled-up newspaper.
“What the heck is that doing in your backpack? Get all of that shiz outta there and tell me what’s the deal!”
He said he’d been planning to take some of the accessories to trade and was gonna show the kids that they worked. I said, “Not on your freakin’ life! None of that is going out of my house! Now get your act together and get to school!”
So off he goes.
He texts me about an hour later and asks if he can go to the buddy’s house after school. I text him back and say, “No. You need to work on your science project!”
Later on, I decide I need to check his grades so I go to the online school info and see that he’s been marked absent.
Several days had “x’s” by them.
I texted him again and said, “You are in deep doo doo.”
He didn’t respond.
I texted him again a bit later and said, “I am picking you up from school today so be ready. And be alone!”
A few minutes later, he calls me up.
“Where are you?” I asked, thinking he was in the hallway at school, or hiding out in the bathroom.
“I’m at BFF’s...”
“What?” and I started cussing.
He said he had gotten “sick” on the way to school and decided to go to his buddy’s house — which is in the opposite direction of school — because he thought I’d be mad if he came home.
I said, “Oh, I’m mad all right! You get your little fanny home right this minute and you tell buddyboy you cannot see him for two weeks!”
Then I got in touch with his teachers and the counselor to tell them what was going on. You’d think someone would have called me after marking him absent six days in a row with no word from me. They said, “Well, a bunch of kids have been out sick....”
Anyway, I nearly strangled that darn kid when he came through the door. He’s lucky the plumber was here!
He cried and apologized, said he didn’t want to skip but that his buddy was making it hard for him (which I don’t believe one word of), but I laid into him just the same, cut off all gaming and computer time. Now he’s paying the piper at school — has to go in an hour early and stay till 5 on a couple of days, had some paperwork to catch up on, which he did … thinks he should be able to not go to “make up the time” since he did the work, but for some reason he isn’t understanding chair time.
His math teacher was the only one who was really hard on him, and I said, “Good! Math is the most important class this year!” She said she thought he ought to be suspended and I told him, “She’s right! You’re dang lucky!”
I still don’t know if he’s really sorry or not. He keeps trying to downplay the whole thing but I won’t let up. I told him I can’t trust him anymore so now I will have to drive him to school and make sure he goes into the building. And if he skips school one more time, I’ll take him down to Juvenile Hall.
He swears he won’t ever do it again, but he lied to me for weeks and now I don’t trust him or his buddy, who I’m especially mad at because he would come here every morning and I’d cook breakfast for him and then they were ditchin’ school! Those little dirtnuggets.
The buddy’s dad is off to work by 6 every morning so there was no one there to keep an eye out, because his mom lives up in another town.
The buddy said, “Tell your mom I’m sorry.” I said, “That doesn’t cut it. Sorry doesn’t cut it. You should both get a good tailwhippin’!”
Clearly my signing him up for JROTC next year is a good idea. He needs it.
So far he has gotten all the work done that he needed to, but he has his science project due that’s a big chunk of his grade. I told him he’d better kiss his teacher’s behinds ’cause they could make life so difficult for him, and they’ve been really generous.
I asked him what he was doing over at his buddy’s house all that time and he said, “Playing video games ... or sleeping.”
So now he’s in bed by 9 every night and lights out by 10. No more staying up till 11 or later ’cause clearly he’s needed the sleep. Too much computer time. Last night he was complaining about having nothing to do, so I made him do more work online and then had him get out the crayons and an old coloring book. Worked like a charm. Now we have dinner together while we watch “Monk,” and then it’s bedtime.
I let him have some slack, but now I’ve had to jerk that chain back. Oh well. Lesson learned the hard way.
The Kid was trembling and crying after he’d been found out, fearing that a trip to Juvenile Hall was going to be part of his sentence.
“Oh! It IS going to be part of your sentence! Right here ... in this house! You are on lockdown, boyo! You might as well resign yourself to carrying around a library card ’cause that’s where you’ll be spending your Christmas break!”
The Kid has seen a side of his Momma that he’s never seen before, and it ain’t been purty. My use of “colorful language” was enough to make him try to hide under the bed!
Well, now that I’ve adopted my dad’s trick of wearing a belt draped around my neck, I don’t think I’ll have much to worry about for the rest of the school year.
Oh. And Santa knows, baby ... Santa knows....