The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

November 3, 2006


(Grim-faced disciplinarian)

(Testosterone-tipsy Teen)


Said teen spends every second weekend with me but shows up unannounced last Saturday for sleepover. Always welcome here. On Sunday, the usual grilling before I take him home...

Father: Did you remember everything?

Son: Yep.

Father: Did you do your homework?

Son: Yep.

Father: Did you pack all your clothes?

Son: Yep.

Father: Do you have your key?

Son: Yep.

Father: Did you clean up your room?

Son: Yep. I was only here one night, Dad. Hardly touched a thing.

Father: OK, let's go.


He has a new girlfriend, I've found out. I'm trying to cut him some slack.


  1. Why is reading this post a little too much like deja vu?

  2. I love reading about your relationship with your children. You sound like a wonderful dad - and the unaanounced sleepover is precious.

  3. Andrea:

    40 lashes, I say, tossed by his ear into the Brig and no gruel for 5 days.

    Actually, I think I was about 10 times the raucous, hell-bent scoundrel he is.

    I use that as leverage in a twisted sort of way.

    Andrea, meet Ces. Ces, meet Andrea. You're both artists. Go talk.


    Thanks, they're a hoot.

    Daughter got home at 2:30 last night after studying with friends and then boyfriend (??) for today's mid-term at university...she's figurin' on being a nurse, wouldntchaknow.


  4. Ces:

    One more thing, if you happen to come back here.

    Just so you know, I've been trying to comment on ur blog -- on those series of posts with all your paintings -- and can't.

    Blogger error screen comes up and says they're working on the problem.

  5. You are a complete wuss!
    When was the last time that you stayed up STUDYING until 2:30 am....HELLO!

  6. HE:

    Never, but I was never an honours student either. She studies all hours, BF had exam today too.

    She's a legal adult. You saw the question marks to indicate my smiling doubts.

    That's her story, and I'm sticking to it.

  7. Of course you realise that my prerequisite glib and callous remarks in your comment section are thinly disguised agents of fortune which act as a catalyst to inter sympathetic responses from your legion of female fans.

    Your blogger persona as the token 'sensitive male' and all of the accompanying empathy that such labelling entails greatly enhance your efforts to present yourself as 'that nice guy from Winnipeg'.

    I promise not to tell anyone about our little secret.

  8. Is that a semi-automatic on his bed???

    And how does that boy sleep without a sheet on the mattress? That would drive me crazy!!!!!

  9. HE:

    Good then. Shhhhhhhh.

    Ms. Val:

    It's a sawed off semi-automatic, yes.

    Or make that a broken off plastic version that makes very annoying sounds when he pulls the trigger, which he still does from time to time after five or six years, just to annoy me.

    The sheets and all are wrapped up underneath the comforter, believe it or not.

    Child support has made me poor, but not THAT poor.


  10. I have a suggestion for the next time he comes over. Take a picture of the room BEFORE he arrives - when it's all nice and tidy. Pin the photo to the wall or the back of the door. That's his inspiration and that's how you would like the room to look after he leaves. Of course, I don't have any children so what do I know about parenting?

    I agree with ces. Everytime I read about something about your kids, I smile. It really does sound like you're a wonderful father.

    I'd like to correct something that HE wrote. You aren't just 'that nice guy from Winnipeg'; you're that nice, hot guy from Winnipeg.

  11. Oh, and one other thing. Does it bother you to know that my face flushed a little at the thought of you administering 40 lashes? ;)

  12. Anna...

    As you have just proven, you don't have to BE a parent to know HOW to parent.

    It's about common sense and emotional intelligence and understanding your responsibility.

    And, of course, it's about love that makes all those above things work and gives you the incentive to follow through.

    Your idea is brilliant, if not a bit young for him. At age 10 or 11, I think it would be perfect.

    I'm giving him a lot more responsibility and freedom now, so in my book he shouldn't need such props.

    He knows. He needs to do...on his own, not because I tell him to. I'll get him to look at my post to see for himself.

    I'm glad that you and some others like when I post about my kids. I find a lot of humour in them and being a dad, although I take it very seriously.

    Hey, they're a huge part of who I am. I'm glad that for some, it's not just more of the same.

    As far as HE goes, we tease each other incessantly. He can be made out to be the bad guy, and we always try to get under each other's skin, but I get it.

    I'll kick him in the balls next time. Actually, you kinda did that for me. Thx ;-)

    Oh, and the 40 lashes...of course I had no such thoughts when I wrote it, but I'm smiling now that you say it...

  13. That probably IS considered tidy by teenage standards. Hell, with one of my sisters you could't even see the floor :).

  14. Lee:

    I know about girls and cleanliness...have three sisters and was caretaker for a while at a high are right...

    (*Goes to hide*)

  15. I'd kill for my son to have his room that clean!

    HE is right, you have a legion of adoring female fans. Good job! :grin:

  16. that would also be considered relatively ok when I look at my teenage daughter's room, where indeed you cannot see the carpet. However I hit on a new method to encouraging tidying - I told her I would tidy it but only after reading everything I found in there - working reasonably

  17. Well then if this was a clean teenage room, I really consider myself very lucky then. I thought I was the lousiest housekeeper. I moan constantly about it. In fact every week in my blog. BUT my children's rooms are the cleanest and most organized. My 13 y.o. son's room is clean then. You can actually walk in to his closet. He does not make his bed all the time but that is the only thing messy, except of course the laptop on the bed, the iPod and other electronic gadgets. I should give him some slack and give him compliments. My daughter's room is very organized BUT her closet is physically bulging with clothes. Her closet is the extension of Limited II, Aeropostle and Abercombie and Fitch. I think that is a girl thing.

  18. Pam:

    Go ahead on your murderous rampage, but don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.

    Legions: I'm told it's the space between my teeth. So why aren't all the female dental hygienists swarming me for dates?


    Good strategy. Might work on my daughter's room, if she'd ever actually open the door and come out of there.

    Wouldn't work on my son. He doesn't read or write, so don't know how he passes in school.


    I think it's a girl thing too. But on your son, is he doing it with smoke and mirrors?

  19. LOL! No he has always been a neat kid. But his Dad tells him to clean his room. That does not mean however, that he won't leave his dirty socks in the living room or skateboard gear in the foyer.

  20. Ces:

    OK, if we're getting down and stinky...

    My guy will only wear black socks, and he peels em off and leaves em wherever he goes. They smell like the dickens.

    I bought mandarin oranges for them this weekend. He consumes at least two per hour, leaving the peels in a pile, another sign of where he's been...almost like a dog marking his territory.

    Being the dominant male in the pack, however, I get him to clean up every hour. His only safe haven is his room, which I let him wallow in until I take them home...

    Only this time he won't be leaving it the disaster it was last weekend...

  21. ****ing Blogger ate my comment

    Boys are meannt to be messy, when i was his age my idea of cleaning was to clear a track from my bed to the door.

    Blame it on the 2 nd law of thermodynamics, entropy of a system will always increase in a spontaneous change. ie: an isolated system (bedroom) will increase in entropy (disorder).. the only way the system will favour order is if you put energy into it... (cleaning)

    when i got out of the military i became analy neat folding undies, polishing toilets, my parents having not seen me for a while freaked out, it took months to de program.. i still fold my towels the same way:)

    Seeing your relationship with your young fellow make me want to have kids... the inlaws and my folks want to be grand kids... just not yet.. not mature enough:)

  22. Aidan:

    I'm wich you on the boys are meant to be messy, mate. But if I just let him be and not grabbed him by the ear or nose and got on his case, it would be far too late to get him to change at age 18.

    I love your law of thermodynamics, it makes perfect sense to the male brain. But we have to help it along to avoid a weekly axe murder.

    I'm sure Stace must love the way you fold towels and undies...or is she jealous?

    Take your time with the kids bit. Your approach is smart, but I'm not so sure good parenting is as much about maturity as it is about common sense.

    And that seems to be something you have a lot of. It just kind of kicks in, like instinct.

    When you're both ready, you'll know...

  23. ww, this is an hysterical post. everytime i look at the photos i start laughing again.

    nothing like having and loving kids.

    btw, you asked about joey. first of all, thanks for reading his story. it is an honor that you took the time.

    joe is doing incredibly well. he lives in a supervised/independent apt with two other roomates. the agency that runs it checks in with him daily and helps him with independent living skills like cooking, groceries etc. he has forged a wonderful friendship with one of his roommates, who is also mentally challenged but also very independent, and that has been a joy for joe. all in all, he is happier than he ever thought possible. he's spent the last two thanksgivings with me and my family but this year he's hanging out with aunt theresa. that's the story so far. :)

  24. KJ:

    It was an honour to read the Joey story...thanks for allowing us in.

    And great to hear he's doing so well, in no small part due to all the hard work you put in on his behalf at the worst possible time of all when he needed you the most and when all the "help" wasn't being helpful at all.

    You did see my email address, right, that you had asked me for?

  25. And great to hear he's doing so well, in no small part due to all the hard work you put in on his behalf at the worst possible time of all when he needed you the most and when all the "help" wasn't being helpful at all.

    this is a hell of a sentence, ww!


  26. 2 words: Molly Maid.

  27. I would be interested to know how aidan folds the undies-haha- I do it this way - lay them flat, fold each side into the middle,then take the bottom piece and bring up and tuck over the back -and yay -a little bundle. Should try it - it's fun ;). The underwear folding is a delayed rebellion against my mother who used to just shove them in the draw and you could never find the ones you wanted...issues... :).

  28. Well, my first time here. I thought this post was pretty funny. Being the mother of two, now adults, I can really relate to this. Our sons room had a strange musky smell and socks that actually stood up on there own in a corner. Our daughters room had a clean and dirty pile of clothes, never knew which one was which and there were small patches of nail polish drops on the new carpet.

    I don't know why the surprise overnight visit, but isn't it wonderful he came to you. I bet that room has a door and there are wonderful products out to make the fabrics and air smell great (wish we had it when our son was younger)if the room has a hint of "son" to it. Just close the door and kiss him goodbye and know he loves being around you. They usually get over the "messy" stage, its a part of growing up.

  29. KJ:

    They don't call me Blowhard King of Run-on Sentences for nothing. The words are true though.


    Two words: Too expensive.


    You, Stace and Aidan should get together for an undie-folding party, and show each other your doilies at the same time.

    I'm with your mom on this one, Lee.


    Welcome, first.

    He and my daughter live with their mom, I have them every second weekend. He phones me up and asks if he can come over on the "other" weekends.

    He very maturely cleaned up his room to my satisfaction Sunday night, so all's cool.


  30. Boys are boys! Messy! But then what will we do without them?

    BTW, I never stayed up late even when I was studying for my masters in Chemistry. Never after 10.30 pm.

  31. Gautami:

    Yes, what WOULD we do?

    Staying up late...good on you.

  32. you mean i can blame the last 8 girlfriends for the state of his bedroom!?!?!

  33. Angel:

    Sure, it's all part of his growing up, it's all one big bundle of numb confusion/elation for him at the same time, with an overflow of testosterone thrown in for good measure.

    Glad to see you visit.

    I wondered if my comments about D might have had you wanting to kick me in the gonads instead of him in the butt (figuratively, not literally, of course).

  34. LOL ... you sound just like my brother and his son (who's 21). They're great buds but I know my bro tears his hair out at times ;-)

  35. Bibi:

    WHAT? I have to endure this until he's THAT old????


  36. Anonymous11:56 p.m.

    interesting as to how you dealt with this kinda situation!

  37. White Forest:

    Thanks! (I think...)

  38. nevah evah dahlink!
    i appreciate all the input, it makes me feel evah so special to know so many people care enough to think about li'l ol' mois and my kettle of bananas!

  39. WW, if it's any consolation, and it probably isn't, my younger son, age 19 still plays with a sawed-off orange plastic automatic rifle that makes that annoying sound. AND he has a sheet on his bed but you can hardly see it under clothes, books, etc. I gave up years ago. Unless you cut them some slack you will go insane or bust an artery trying to get them to clean up their rooms.

  40. Angel:

    Good to hear, Dahlink.


    You're right, of course. But mine is a measured response with him.

    I get on his case but he also knows I let it slide and don't sweat it all the time.



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