Cruisin’ Along

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So we made it through the first day of school! I actually got up right on time! Everyone was dressed- ready without a hiccup. I took 15 pictures. I managed to squeeze in a moment of “omg, this is the last time I will ever get to have all my kids on the first day of school” and I took some more pictures. Amazingly I successfully delivered 7 children to their classrooms on time! Most of them didn’t need Mommy to walk them in. But at the elementary, I walked the little ones to their classrooms and I almost cried when KK entered PreK. Last year she threw fits for weeks because she wanted to go to PreK. I thought she’d love it, but no, she was mad that she couldn’t go to kindergarten! Apparently she wants to be where her brothers are. Luckily the pink Play-doh at her seat took her mind off of kindergarten and off I drove back to the house, completely in awe of myself for a moment. It’s rare to have a morning run that smoothly! You’re wondering why I had to deliver 7 children to school, I can see the look of puzzlement on your face. What happened to Blondie and her cute little Mustang? Why didn’t she head to school in the Black Bullet?

Good questions loyal blog follower! And the answer is: Miss Blondie got herself grounded for the start of her Senior year! It was bound to happen, I mean so far she has been a model teenager. She makes the best grades she can make, she helps out with her umpteen siblings, she feeds and waters zoo creatures and she doesn’t smoke crack behind the building after school, so we were pretty sure eventually she’d make some kind of mistake, but I sure didn’t expect her to miss curfew by 8 hours and end up with no car to drive!

I think it’s more punishment for me than it is for her. I get to add extra pick-ups and drop-offs to my routine. I get to deal with her pouty faces and sulky attitude. The funny thing is, I believe her that she fell asleep, and she isn’t arguing that she absolutely deserves to be grounded, but I guess she figures as long as she’s already grounded, she might as well show all the grumpiness she can towards the rest of us- the whole misery loves company kind of thing. She has also informed me that a midnight curfew is ridiculous for a 17 year-old. I wonder if she would kill me if I posted a poll on Facebook and asked all the parents of all her friends what curfews they have in place? According to her I’m the Lone Ranger on this midnight business.  Am I??

And that has me thinking, exactly when do I stop making the rules? Does 18 make her magically grown-up? How the heck do parents find balance in this last year when they are fighting for independence so hard? I want her to slow down, to enjoy these last few months. I mean I am not going to spoil her forever. She should take full advantage now, while I still look at her and see that cute little piggy that went to the fair. UGH. Why won’t she listen to me????????

Sometimes this kid drives me crazy. I think it’s because she’s the trial and error kid. She’s the first one, so everything we do we learn from raising her. I can tell you there are a lot of things I have learned to stop fretting over in the past 17 years. I no longer have a melt down if someone mixes up the Barbies with Lego’s, and I can cope when a crayon meets the wall. (Thank you Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.) But I also know I wanna do everything I can to keep the rest of them from growing up so fast. The next 5 ARE boys, so I don’t have to worry about the boys tapping on windows again for a while, but I can promise you this, when Princess KK gets to junior high, BOYS are OFF LIMITS! Until she’s about 32… I’m thinking that will be the age I let her start dating.

Maybe somewhere between now and then I will get this curfew thing all figured out….

Holy moly, I just realized that in last year’s picture, Blondie and her little brother were about the same height. Now he towers over her! At least I have one good looking bunch of kiddos! LUCKY ME!!

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13 responses »

  1. First critters are the toughest. My hubbies family stopped having curfews toward the middle of 12th grade. We weren’t able to do that one exactly, and we did have the 12pm curfew with all the kiddos.

    By the third child we realized that you have to start letting them go before they leave you, or will hurt too bad! We let them all come and go as they pleased as long as they called and informed us where they were going and when they would be back. By the third child she could make her own plans–even stay with friends without asking–as long as we were informed. We did this begining senior year so she had time for screw ups. Which she had a few, but she seriously liked the freedom and quickly got in line kept herself in check. which helped our feelings about the choices she would make once she was at college.

    heart goes out to you. My baby is now a senior. my last critter to ever have a first day of school. It is mostly a happy moment. I love the idea of an empty nest. Time with just the hubs–but that is just an illusion — cuz the grandkids are here. Lifes good

  2. Beautiful family! I agree with Roly–kids want and need rules (even if they tell you (often loudly) otherwise. Just try to balance that with the very important piece of Buddhist wisdom I learned way too late for my parenting years: the source of all pain and suffering is expectations. As long as you want something for your children that they don’t want, you are setting yourself (and them) up for troubling times. As a parent, you must exert certain controls, but you can’t control everything. I wish I would have really practiced letting go of my expectations for my son a lot earlier. 😐 I’m not saying to give up on your children’s dreams, just let them have their own dreams. 😉

  3. Blondie is beautiful, but she needs a curfew until she is about 19, after all she is a woman and needs a little freedom, but i understand your worries.

    • I worry a lot because she did turn out so pretty, I am forever scared someone will try to take advantage of her and she’s so naive, I don’t think she’ll see it coming. And then I have to realize I can’t hold her hand forever… but if I could… I’m sure I would!

      • If she would stay with good company thats the best thing, but for a young person its hard to know who’s who. Good luck to her as she grows up and to you.

        Let her read this post and comments on her own, then she will know your worries.

  4. Ummmm….tounge feels a bit tied here since I’m no Mom and I can think of almost nothing more annoying than a childless person handing out parenting advice.
    Here’s what my folks did, when we hit the age of 16, we were told the basic house rules and curfew and were informed that if we didn’t follow them we were welcome to leave. The rules were pretty lax. It worked ok…I guess. My brother got into only a couple spots of trouble and I moved out a few days after I turned 18.
    But my own belief- parents know their children, and what’s best for them, the best. It seems impossible there is any cookie cutter method. It sounds like you are parenting from a place of love. Betcha dollars to donuts, what you decide will be the right thing. Maybe not the perfect thing, but the right one.

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