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Charlie's Soap

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Friday, July 10
The Teenager Zone

Good grief, once again, where did the week go?

Cliche, I know but, seriously, wasn't it just Tuesday?

We got back from vacation and Busy Boy and Busy Dad turned around, packed up again and went backpacking.

Busy Girl has volleyball stuff all week, and I have that pesky job thing, so Busy D. was odd man out.

Even though he can reach the microwave and write a check for pizza and all, I figured it best not to leave him home alone, so we had to get a babysitter.

We haven't had to do that in a long time as we never go anywhere have a resident teenager, and I kinda don't know what to pay him.

Actually, I wonder if he'll even come back (kidding), he looked a little frazzled yesterday afternoon. Busy D. talks incessantly can be a bit intense.

Why yes, I did say "he". The babysitter is a guy if you're wondering.

See other blogs all over the Internet for that debate.

To me, if there's a babysitter problem, you've got the wrong person, not the wrong gender.

Busy Dad got a little phone reception and called to let us know they saw a mother bear and a baby. Then the call dropped.

That was fun.

Unless they were eaten, they're on the way back today and tomorrow we pick up New Orleans Boy at the airport, celebrate Busy Boy' 13th birthday and then the boys are off to camp on Sunday.

I will have two teenagers. I used to joke about that when they were little because it seemed so far-fetched, and now it's here.

Anyway, ask me if I've packed him for 3 weeks of camp yet, go on...

Busy Girl is well, "busy" with the school volleyball season, so you're not spared even more volleyball talk. But, you might catch a bit of a break from me until club season because these practices are closed, so I don't have to sit there being bored and bugging the Internet.

But, what you will hear me obsessing about is this whole driving thing.

She's at volleyball for hours and hours, so they have meal breaks and they have to (wait for it) go get meals.

She is the only one on the team without a permit or a driver's license (September birthday), so we've officially entered the Zone of Riding With Friends

I tell her I've never had a teenager before, and that since she's the experimental model, the rules are subject to change as much as I want to change them.

Right now, she is only allowed to ride with other kids at organized events like this, I get to veto drivers (though that may be easier said than done in reality) and she must text me to tell me who she is riding with and where they are going.

When school starts, the rules won't be this easy and I have no idea how I'm going to handle it, that's why she plays volleyball all the time, so I don't have to deal with this stuff.

Those of you with older teens, I can hear you laughing.

By the time Busy D. is in high school, we'll be wondering why he didn't drive in 7th grade, it would have been so much easier.

9:11 AM | Comments (16) |


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May you not be saddled with a "Reluctant Driver" That is a child of driving age but lacking the confidence or competence to obtain the mighty plastic card. This means that the parent is still driving them around all the damn time......

"if there's a babysitter problem, you've got the wrong person, not the wrong gender" -YES to that!

"Busy Dad ... called to let us know they saw a mother bear and a baby. Then the call dropped.

That was fun.

Unless they were eaten..."

Thanks for the laugh! That is hilarious.

(Unless of course, they were eaten.)

You lost me at the backpacking - I cannot fathom being outside by CHOICE with something strapped to my backside. Not in this heat here.

We have a boy babysitter for our boys - best thing EVER. I want to hire him to come over and wiffle-pitch in the backyard so I don't have to (see: previous paragraph as to why).

My kids had a teen boy babysitter for several years and he was the most dependable one we ever had. And my kids (a boy and a girl) LOVED him.

As for the teen driver thing, I feel your pain. My daughter is the only one of her friends that doesn't drive and it is an ongoing issue. And don't even get me started about riding with a BOY IN A CAR..... Just wait til you get to that discussion.

Posted by: carolyn | July 10, 2009 11:23 AM

ya, we haven't packed yet either! yikes!

I'll put my teenage boys with a scad of younger sibs up against ANY teenage girl.

Amazing how much they learn sitting their own sibs.

Wow. Watching the kids get older must be fascinating and somewhat of a bummer, eh?

I have a 14-DAY-old boy, and I'm trying to savor every second. Someday he'll be shaving and drinking a beer :)

My little boy is six, and I am already getting white hair from worrying about driving school. I keep thinking he'll be Sponge Bob and Miss Puff will keep failing him (and I'll secretly be pleased).

My teenager is 19. Just finished her freshman year in College. While the teen years are very trying --- savor them. They are gone before you know it.

Posted by: Cheryl | July 12, 2009 6:56 AM

Hello,
I am a student at the U of Minnesota and currently an intern at Macys. I have to conduct a survey of moms about their shopping habits and would be very grateful if you could post this link on your blog page to my survey. (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=P7MbL5JQcWT9PEgSqpBUrQ_3d_3d )
Its extremely short and I would like to get a sense of how mom’s shop for back to school time. Thank you in advance.
Rochelle

Posted by: Rochelle | July 12, 2009 7:22 PM

This is why you're too busy! Let busy boy pack his own trunk!

Posted by: mechelle | July 13, 2009 8:32 PM

In Illinois, you have to have had your license for a year before you can drive with more than one unrelated teenager in the car. And, yes, my son was being driven by a kid with too many teens in the car when they had their accident. And, you bet, he was the only one injured. Sigh. I wish he played volleyball all the time.

Posted by: Ginnie | July 13, 2009 10:48 PM

As for driving in the 7th grade. I have to admit that I have let mine at 13 (going into 8th) drive the car in the empty school parking lot. He is 5'10 and looks 15. Yesterday I let him drive a few circles around the neighborhood next to it. (we did not see any children only suicidal dogs ha). We did this with the older one and it seemed to give him some insight into the driver's education booklet that he had to study for his permit. Plus it is only a treat to him now, but once they get their permit they get pissed off if you actually want to drive instead of them. Poor Busy D, the odd man out.

Posted by: Lil | July 14, 2009 7:08 AM

Yes cherish those times when you get to do things and talk with your teenager, and even when they goto 18 insist on doing things and talking to them. It makes you smarter in the ways they operate. It's easier to discipline them when they are adults living within your house -- more respect because they know you too.

As far as driving we only allowed her in cars with whom we saw the driver driving around town and less than 3 occupants in a vehicle including her and the driver. Then when she started driving she had to wait 4 months before having friends in the car only siblings. When she had a fender bender we went back to that rule since she blamed the occupants for being too noisy. We constantly showed up to check on the teens since we are always out and about anyway its easier to be in the area. We never stop checking on our kids so they never know if we will be around or not. Networking with other parents help to.

Texting and phones is a whole other issue.

Sounds like fun! My 10 yr. old daughter is just getting into sports and already we have to form an alliances of moms and car pulls. I'm seriously considering getting her a cell phone so she can check-in with me with ease. I'm looking into Tracfone - you know, the prepaid thing kinda appeals to me. i don't want to have to worry about overages. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Michelle | July 22, 2009 4:44 PM

Sounds like fun! My 10 (going on 13) daughter is just getting into sports. Already, we have to assemble an alliance of moms for car pulls. I'm seriously considering getting her a cell phone so she can check-in with me at ease. Thinking of TracFone - you know, the prepaid thing kinda appeals to me. I dont' want to have to worry about phone bills and overages? Any thougths?

Posted by: Michelle | July 22, 2009 4:48 PM