Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

I love this time of the year. Christmas music, shopping the big sales, and best of all, the Christmas movies. They all make me smile and feel happy. You know what doesn't make me feel happy sometimes? Parenting a teen. I've shared with you the "joys" (and when you read it, say it with deep, heavy sarcasm) of having a teenager. You know that in the last couple of months we have paid his $200 cell phone bill and had to replace his glasses that he lost on a friends driveway and were later run over. The deal was that he would pay us back in weekly installments.

When Nick got his job, we had a financial agreement - terms, so to speak, to help him realize the importance of money management and financial responsibility. Out of his check each MONTH, he would give us $20 a month for gas, $20 a month for his cell phone and $25 a month for us to put in to savings for him. Well, at the time he was working 20-25 hours per week. Then you add in all of the stupidity fees and then the boy was giving us an extra $20 per WEEK to cover all of the money that we had to pay out to bail him out for his poor judgment. So for about 3 months, he was going to have to give us a minimum of $40 a week. Well, like so many in this weak economy, his hours have been cut. He's only working 10-13 hours a week. If he were to give us what he is supposed to on a weekly basis, he would be left with only $20 a week. A number that I am COMPLETELY comfortable with. I'm mean, I'm unreasonable, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. Next chorus people, I've heard it all before! Anyway, last week I let myself just be mom (and not mean, old Mr. Potter) and told him that he didn't have to give us $40, just $20 because, sniff, sniff, no one should have to live on only $20 a week. Even Bob Crachet got a piece of coal with his measley paycheck. But I also stated that this was a one-time deal.

Well, today is payday. And when I reminded the boy of the fact that we were back on his usual payment schedule he was like

Excuse me?

No. N-O. Nuh-uh. Nope. No way. And the funny thing was, he was SERIOUS. How cute is that? As the person who gave birth to him and used to think it was cute to watch him poop, I can safely say that it was not cute at all. So I'm torn between being a hard-ass and taking his money or being walked all over. I tell him that we will talk it over when his father gets home. What does the boy do? He goes to his room and gets out his change jar and with deep sincerity, hands it over to me. "It's only $10, but at least I want you to have something towards my debt." It wasn't said with malice or sarcasm, but with real, honest-to-goodness honesty.


Now I feel like mean old Mr. Potter. There's little George Bailey with his jar of money that is being used to pay off a debt and I feel absolutely... TERRIBLE!!! Why don't I just slap his ear and make it bleed while I'm at it. Again, I state that we will talk about it when his father gets home. He doesn't like that answer, but he doesn't argue. As I am sitting here writing, the phone rings and it is my boy. He's at work and he's calling to tell me that he got a $20 holiday bonus and so now he can pay us what he owes us. Aawww...dude! And now all I can think is that I don't want to take his money! If I do, I should be lumped in with Mr. Potter and Snidely Whiplash! It's like taking money from Tiny Tim!

You're a mean one...Mr. Grinch...

Can you tell that I'm getting in to the holiday spirit?

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