Parenting is Fucking Hard

So……I am in this ongoing battle to rid the 13 year old boy of video games and his addiction to glowing boxes.  His dad and I kept him away from game boys and home video systems (except wii – that will probably put him in counseling later) for a long time…..5th Grade…, I thought we wouldn’t have any of these issues…after all….the girl likes her phone..but, she is not addicted.  I am going to skip to the good stuff……really.

The boy is supposed to park his phone on the kitchen counter when he goes to bed. When I notice it is not there….I go in search of it…..for a while it was easy to catch my son on his phone in his room.  He usually closed the door. Then he got good at listening for me to come down the hall and better at predicting when I would “surprise” him with an open door.  I let him win very, very occasionally…cuz, the game is a little fun.  Plus…confidence makes kids stupid.  Last night….I was going to win. And I did. Boy, did I “win!” I took the phone away last night and went downstairs. I didn’t actually “win” until the next morning.

Irritated, I decided to not charge it and to take it away for a week or so. But, a few minutes later boy comes down stairs and reminds me how difficult it is to locate him when he doesn’t have a phone. Whatevs. I went to bed.

Next morning, I am racing out to work and realize the girl didn’t have school. I decide to set the alarm on my sons phone and put it in his room so he wasn’t late for school and also so I could locate him at his game later in the day.  As I used his password (it might seem like I hardly parent my children….not so…I have passwords and full access to their electronics.) to unlock the phone….something catches my eyes. They got really big and I immediately turned the phone to dark.

Then I thought….”Wait a minute….I’m an adult….I can look at porn.” —– I know…believe me, the behavior and the irony are not at all lost on me.  So….I open it back up and sure enough….my innocent 13 year old boy is looking at porn on his phone.

Newsbreak:  OF COURSE HE IS!!!!!! So….I decide to investigate a little….15 minute video? WOW!!!!!!  I skipped around through it….and discovered….just normal upper middle class white vanilla stuff… tatts.  No fake tits.  Just Girl on top, Girl giving blow job. Normal. Normal Stuff.  

So….While I was not devastated or immediately concerned or freaked out…..It was still a surprise. This is normal stuff. Normal behavior for anyone….especially for a 13 year old boy. I could blog about this morning for hours…but, I’m getting to the next part.  I called a friend…who has boys….for support and advice.  I wanted to ask her about a friend she had recently mentioned whose son was addicted to the internet and what they were doing to help him.  And, she dropped this…….her friend….her son is 13.  He is not just addicted to his phone and the internet…he is addicted to porn. He is depressed, on medication, in counseling and it has really effed his young life up.

And, just like that….sirens go off in my head.  How many of my friends have sons who are/were “addicted to video games.” Okay…before I call all of my friends lying bitches…..I am sure that most of my friends whose sons “were addicted to video games” were.  But, among all the people I know….someone just had to have a kid who was addicted to video porn…not video games.  You know. I get it.  Who wants to admit this stuff about their kid? Who wants to admit that they have failed as a parent?

Well… flash scaredy cats……share your stories…we could learn.  Maybe the world would be a more forgiving place. And…maybe you could help another parent avoid some of the pitfalls of parenthood.  Or…maybe, just maybe….you might find out you are not the only one. You might make a friend. Learn a new coping skill.  Hear a new idea. And…by the way……you have not failed. Parenting is a marathon event. Make a mistake. Fix it. Move on.  Love your kid.

I do not think my kid is addicted to porn…..but, I am definitely going to have to put the kibbosh on this.  I cannot wait to hear the “truth” as I share my story with my friends.  I am sure you will be reading about it.  

2 final random thoughts…..I am going to stop bitching about my friends not supporting my passion…..because if they don’t read my blog, they can’t get angry when I write about them. And….it occurs to me….I never have had a problem sharing my story (okay…took me awhile to get comfortable telling people I write erotica….) and that may stem from my habit of seeking people out and finding out what we have in common so we can interact.  Maybe others are more aware of their differences…than the things they have in common.

The Crashing Universe

The Universe (or God…..whatever…blog for another day) is an amazing place sometimes. All the time, really.  I am struck with awe occasionally when things collide providing symmetry to set me straight.

As you may know, I have a short term writing goal… public platform, build website and blog, publish the rest of the Hard Compliance series.  I have given myself a year off of job hunting for a new job to pursue this “writing thing.”  I want to see if this fun that I am having will ever buy me a beach house, allow me to quit my job to write f/t, pay for the beautiful Mac I write on….or…..even just a dinner out.  The only way to find out….do it. So that is what I am doing.

In this pursuit….my life has changed. A lot. (see…I don’t always swear….I could have said “a shit-ton” there) it has improved in every single way.  I don’t even hate the job I have as much as I did before I set this goal. I am happier than I have ever been. I am letting go of baggage and weight like I am living in reverse… it never even happened.  I feel so free I almost want to get one of those cheesy butterfly tattoos I have always mocked. I have never been so joyous……I totally understand the butterfly tattoo now. Anyway……I had one big WORRY left…..retirement and how to fund it. Or in  my case… until the day I die drinking cheap wine.

But, a funny thing happened…..I got so good at getting out of my box that I came up with a new retirement plan. I still want to live on the beach. But, if I can’t afford the beach house…I can afford a trailer and truck. I can sell my house, maybe buy a smaller investment property and live on the road. I could expound….but, another blog I think.

I have gotten pretty serious about completing my writing goal especially now that I may have a viable option for retirement.  Soon.  5 years. Well…you never get anywhere if you don’t set a goal.  Funny thing, as I tell people about my plan…..they don’t listen or ask questions (which is really my whole problem in life anyway) they just immediately start to tell me why this is a bad idea…and they always inevitably ask…what will I do when I’m 80?…Dunno….rest home? Live with a kid? Friend? Drive the car and trailer off a cliff like Thelma and Louise?…For someone who is still excited that she got to stand on a corner in Winslow, Az….might be perfect end.

So….(I’m getting there…promise)……last night a close friend came over. Looking back, I see she was not in a great mood. We had wine. A lot of wine. After she shit all over my retirement plan…..and it is so good and so well thought out…..she said, “your writing is never going to get you anywhere….” at the top of her lungs. While she was flinging wine across the room with her wildly gesturing arms…..okay…I made the last 2 up….but, it is how I still see it in my head.   I was stunned.

When I woke up this morning….I talked myself down….I know my dream may seem weird and unattainable to some. Their futures look different than mine. They have husbands. 2 incomes. Retirement plans. I don’t want to work until I die…..  I know also that most people are so entrenched in their boxes….that they think things have to be done a certain way. (WHY?  WHY? I say.  Another blog.)

I started to read “Happier Than a Billionaire”… me hope for my plan. I was feeling pretty good about my self-talk but, there was some lingering doubt about whether or not I had any chance……(she was so loud and seemed so sure….or, that is what I heard.)

So…..thanks for waiting…..I am almost to my point……

I am cleaning the “desktop” of my laptop….I’m old… is where I used to put stuff so I could “find” it again. I’m no longer that technologically impaired…but, the habit dies hard, I guess.  I see a doc that I do not recall.  I start reading it.  It is hazy in my head. I’m thinking….wow…..this is pretty good. I discover that I wrote a fantastic hook in it. Title of next book probably. It is really good.

I checked to see the date I wrote it…  Hmmm….I immediately went to “how late did you stay up drinking and writing last night that you don’t remember? Maybe you do have a drinking problem”……I check the year…….2016.  Today’s date. A year ago.  I checked the time….just for fun…..0123456…..each used once. Book 6 is the only book published.

That was a huge crash in my universe….A huge grin erupted on my face…..I am on the write/right path. Who knows where I will end up….but, I am going the write/right way. And, I am thankful for my friend.  She kicked my butt in gear and accelerated my plan.  I will get to my goal sooner.  And, it will be sweeter……she isn’t the only one not impressed by my new career or retirement plan. Now……what to do if she wants to stay at the beach house?

Chip This…..

Almost every day I read or see something that makes me think…RUFKM?  But, this…this takes it….

A company is “chipping” their employees instead of providing badges for entry and for payment.  I will admit when I was pregnant with #1 and on bedrest….I considered it…for the baby……we do it so we can find our dogs, right?  If our kids were chipped, we could find them immediately if something went wrong…I am still not convinced this is a bad idea….at least until they are 18. Well…..…..there were lots of kidnappings then….plus….pregnancy hormones.

But, to put a chip in my body for my employer so they can keep track of me? RUFKM?  That chip will allow them to see where I am and probably what I am doing every second of every day.  I am no longer living in my parents home…..nobody has a right to that information.  Ever.  I’m not saying that I don’t tell my kids, sig other where I will be when I am out…but, that is courteous and informational.  And, on a generalized level.  My courtesy does not extend to a detailed list of where I went and what I did. I would never allow this to happen to me.  Chip this.…..

I know it is already happening….FB, photos, cell phones, computers and everything else.  But, you know what…..I can leave my phone and take a drive and nobody gets to know where I am or what I am doing.  If enough people have these chips….they will even know who I am with.

I understand that these are “voluntary” according to the company…..but, what does that mean?  When I worked for company A… donating to the United Way was “optional”…but, they sure reminded everyone at every chance they got. Dressing nice is “optional” where I work……but, it is doubtful you will get promoted if you were jeans and Birkenstocks every day.  I think you can see where I am going with this.

Why? Oh, why? Would anyone ever consent to having a chip put in their body for “tracking purposes?”  I almost don’t have words.

Is this because I am old and have become like my dad?…..he used to say all the time how everything was basically a communist or governmental  plot to separate him from his money.  I used to just roll my eyes and vow to be different when I got old.  But, now, maybe because of the wisdom that supposedly comes with wrinkles…..I see things differently than before. I mean…really?  A chip? In an adult? Implanted by their employer?  And, I panicked when I received a laptop and cell phone when i started this job…I didn’t want to be “tethered” or “leashed”…….

Oh, God…now I feel like Andy Rooney…….