We have a thirteen year old in the house who has, for some unknown reason, created an enemy in the neighborhood- a set of fourteen year old girls, who's parents evidently think that's well above the age of responsible parenting because their teens are running around unsupervised at one o'clock in the morning. As my husband and I were just discussing yesterday regarding curfews and teens, nothing good happens after midnight.
This morning Rick woke me up with, "Tell Adri to clean the yard when she gets home."
I groaned in utter disgust.
This TPing has happened to us 5 times in the past several months, and each and every time the offenders become more brave and the TPing gets worse. This time is was accompanied by vomit and rotten eggs (fortunately the ingredients were mutually exclusive as the eggs were raw, but still a lovely vision for me before breakfast.) I'm sure that even by 6 AM when I went out to clean it up, the eggs would have successfully cooked into my paint if they had made it to my car. Luckily they must have been interrupted, perhaps when the alcohol poisoned teen let loose under one of my trees.
I know I should have left it for Adri to clean, however, I went ahead and took care of it. For one, I have questioned her about it in the past, and she is very upset. I - ninja Zen- can tell easily when she's telling me a tall tale, and when she's hiding something. Can't always tell what that something is, but just that it is amiss. Plus the TP-ers always seem to manage to do the task when she's not home anyway so I would have to look at it, blood pressure boiling, all morning. I worked too hard on my front yard, wind chimes, flowering plants, shrubs trimmed and flower bed mulched, to let these ignorant, arrogant, self-entitled, disrespectful children ruin all my hard work.
I also didn't want to give them the opportunity for pictures/bragging rights of their work.
I was pretty sure they wouldn't be awake at 6am like I was, since the crime must have been committed after midnight (when I went to bed) and I'm sure they were hung over nicely as well, per their evidence of drinking in the form of vomit in my front yard.
So there I was, at 6am, in the already 90 degree/ 80 percent humidity weather, climbing up a ladder a couple dozen times, pulling down all but one roll and a few straggles of toilet paper that I could not safely reach from atop my precarious perch.
God help me if I ever fall cleaning this up.
On second thought, God help them.
Beacause I am so very angry.
I know this isn't a typical post for me, but I just am so tired of this.
This as in the entitled, materialistic "Generation Me" that my generation of parents seem so bent on rearing.
Now when we hear "But all the COOL parents let their kids-"
Have a cell phone and Xbox, with an uncensored side order of IPOD.
Every other kid at their school seems to also have but are not limited to -
Any and all use of the computers, internet and TVs in their bedrooms allowing for complete privacy, and absent of any hint of parental controls.
These "friends" have complete purchase power of their clothes, no budget, wear whatever they want including short shorts, push-up bras, low riding/underwear showing pants.
They always go to the mall/movies/sporting events alone, and are never questioned as to whether or not parental supervision is taking place wherever they are headed off to.
The sad part is...I have talked to some of these parents and .....
You know I never really felt the pangs of peer pressure as a teen, because I had my own ideas about what was right and wrong, about what was appropriate behavior, what were "wants" and what were "needs," so I didn't feel pressured to keep up or do what everyone else was doing. I grew up believing in being accountable for my actions. Much as my now 11 year old son Noah does (who, speaking of trees has not fallen far from mine. :)
Whenever his teenage siblings make fun of him for listening and doing the right thing, he proudly tells me "I think for myself Mom. There's nothing wrong with being a good kid and listening to your parents. Why would I want to be grounded all summer?"
God love him. It's nice to know I'm doing something right.
So I didn't deal with or feel pressured by my peers growing up. But now? My parental peers are pressuring ME to keep up with them through their teenagers.
"All the COOL parents are doing it!" has been a battle cry for teens for decades. The difference is, now it somewhat true. Well...the part about all the parents giving in, living vicariously through and purchasing "happiness" for and being buddies to their teenagers, is true. I don't agree on the use of the term "COOL" however. Maybe that's because the term "cool" and "parents" are or should be considered an oxymoron (with emphasis on the second half of that term.)
On a positive note, in my search today to see how to go about catching teen vandals and pressing charges, I found out a lot! And though it's unfair that our kids will have to do without a few more of their current lists of "wants vs needs", we will be purchasing some video surveillance equipment, getting the trees trimmed and thinned out (making it harder for the TP to get caught in them) and motion sensor lights.
In short we are declaring war.
And if their parents don't like it when we grab their "precious children" and drag them by force into our own holding cell (ie my husband's office complete with military swords on the walls) til the cops get here? Then perhaps they will start acting like parents, impose some age appropriate restrictions and consequences, and grow up already themselves.
On a side note I was pleased to also come across a story about a mall in New Orleans, that teens were boycotting in protest (along with some ridiculous "parents") because the mall created a "curfew" for teens under the age of 16. They cannot be in the mall, unless accompanied by an adult over 21, on Fridays and Saturdays after 4 pm until closing. I found several articles about this online, and despite the "teen and tween" protests to boycott sales, the adults were all commenting that they would be returning to shop at the mall to show their support. There's even a my space support group for the mall, including many teens who agree it's out of control.
And these self righteous teens and tweens (some 10 or younger) who chose to boycott to exercise their financial power in protest? Were the same ones not spending money there anyway, who's parents drop them off and go to work or out themselves, using the mall as a babysitter.
The sites were flooded with support for the curfew.
Now if I could figure out how to get one imposed in my neighborhood.