I'm epic. My seventeen year old says so.
After years of struggling with the correct approach to discipline for the teenage boy, whose brain sometimes lags behind when good judgment is called for, I think I'm onto something.
The 17 year old left this morning for his school Latin convention (about an hour and a half away). Apparently, without telling anyone, he left with the family Wii, a discovery made by first his brother and then his sister. The Judge called to confirm that he had it with him. The Judge is not nearly as diabolical as I am.
I only learned about it a few hours later. I called him. I got his friend Sam on his phone. My observation has been that Sam has a good sense of humor. I decided to take a chance on him. He immediately engaged in damage control, telling me that Robert had forgotten the controllers so they couldn’t play. That was good. But it got better. I arranged for Sam to find Robert and tell him to call us immediately — that we were on the way down to Montgomery to pick him up.
A few minutes later there was a call back. An obviously nervous but determined to see how far he could bluff Robert. I summoned up my best gruff voice (my years in the courtroom as a prosecutor are an invaluable parenting skill at times) and told him we were about 10 minutes away and he needed to be packed and outside. He tried — told me the Wii was packed and he would be there with it. Oh no, I told him. YOU be packed and out there and ready to come home. “I have to come home?” He tried for incredulous but his voice cracked at that point. I launched into a charming speech about “did he know how mad his Dad was — mad that he was having to drive through rush hour on a Friday night?” He was getting pretty bummed. I managed to keep it up for a bit longer, with his three siblings all laughing around me, and finally I couldn’t do it any longer and just started laughing. At about the same time, I heard a bunch of kids on Robert’s end of the conversation start laughing and then Robert saying, “No! No! You all were in on it all along.”
He’s called back twice to tell me it was “Epic.” At least for one night, I’m a little bit more than a middle-aged, behind the times mom.
I’ve also offered to cook Sam anything he wants for dinner tommorrow night.
And, because I know you all want to see how Robert looks, I’ll share this picture of him, which was taken several years ago when he was auctioned for a charity event.
And here he is, displaying his excellent table manners.
So endeth the lesson. Enjoy the Latin convention, dear.