We, as parents, are fighting a never-ending battle with our kids. It only gets worse with age. Ours and theirs.
Last weekend, I took our oldest, No. 2, to his spring football combine. It was held on the football field at Lakeside High School. It was in the high 30s that day with wind kicking up like crazy. Frigid. The mass email sent out to football parents said to dress cold-weather appropriate. However, some parents chose to let their kids come to the combine in shorts and a T-shirt. I had a friend on Facebook tell me that sometimes you just don’t feel like going through the battle so you let them wear what they want. I tend to disagree. I’m the one with the car keys: You don’t want to dress right? I don’t want to drive. Victory is mine!
Now, anyone who has read my column for these past four weeks may know that No. 2 doesn’t like to dress weather-appropriate. His hatred for long sleeves rivals that of Hulk Hogan. So it’s a battle every day during this massive winter we’ve been having these past few weeks to get the kid to wear anything other than athletic shorts and an Underarmour dri-fit T-shirt. Especially when the events of the day are those of a football combine. However, he’s got athletic pants, aka “swishy pants,” so I win this one.
But when we get to the football field, there are the aforementioned kids with the shorts and T-shirts. My son doesn’t seem to notice the fact that they are shivering. He just pipes up with “See, Dad! Those kids are wearing shorts!”
This is a common occurrence with my kids: “Those kids bring smartphones to school,” “Those kids are car-riders every day,” “My friend gets to stay up ’til 10!” That last one may be exaggerated, mainly because the kid tries to stay up way past 10. It usually comes in the guise of intense interest of some televised event. Thank goodness for DVR!
But that doesn’t stop the argument: “But my friends get to stay up to watch (whatever game or televised event is running late into the night).” This week it was the Grammys. We got into the argument, won it, then sent him to bed. The next morning he fell sleep while waiting for the bus. He had to wake me up to take him to school. Remember last week, when I told you that I need at least 30 minutes to wake up before anyone can talk to me? Well, this week I woke up to our bedroom door opening (I’m a light sleeper) then I cracked my eyes to see my son just standing in the doorway… lurking, kinda. I say “WHATgrrrrrrrr?!?” He says “Dad, I missed the bus!” I say “@#$%^&*!” Then I get up and take that long, silent drive to school. Therefore, he’s officially lost the argument to stay up late. So I guess it’s not a total loss.
Now, I’m not knocking anyone’s parenting skills. If you want to let your kid stay up til midnight, trade pics on Snapchat, roam the streets of the neighborhood, that’s your choice. But, just know that you’re ruining it for the rest of us. The least you could do is tell your kids to pretend that they have a curfew or have to answer to adults in general. Otherwise, I’ll have to hear why No. 2 should get to stay up for the whole Superbowl this weekend because his buddy gets to stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon whenever he wants.