Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teenage Angst

I’m still somewhat new to this Craig’s List thingy – and I’ve never gotten the hang of eBay – so I have a question for you all:

Can I list a kid out there? And give him away? For free?

Cuz’ I’ve got one 16-year old male child that I am willing to give away free, to a good home. Okay, heck – who am I kidding?

I’m not that picky – I don’t really care about the good home. So forget that part. How about, “Free Kid. Period.”

For the most part, he’s really a pretty good kid. He gets decent grades in school. Nothing to write home about – but he’ll graduate next year. That’s good. He’s fantastic in sports – especially in baseball. He can pitch a hell of a game. And he’s very charming. Oh yes – he’s got “charm” and “flirt” down to a science.

He keeps his body parts clean – for the most part. Only now and then do I have to gently remind him that deodorant and soap and shampoo are NOT poison and can actually be used on a daily basis. He sometimes forgets.

However…I believe in truth in advertising, so I guess if I talk about his good points, I gotta be up front and honest about the not-so-good points.

Son turned 16 last April. His Daddy (my ex – whom I normally have no issues with – but in this case, I think he really screwed up) “sold” my son a car. And told son he could pay it back when he got a job. Too long of a story to get into here, but son actually owes me for the car. Not Daddy. Me. It’s me he should be paying back.

So – many moons ago, I tell Son that he must get a job. For the car. For the gas. For the insurance. For the maintenance. For the responsibility. For my sanity.

April. No job. May. No job. June. No job. July. No job.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

It’s now January – and does son have a job?


I’m to the point where I need to just take the keys away. But dammit – that will end up punishing me as much as it punishes son. As I have become accustomed to another driver in the family who can run errands, get himself home from after-school meetings and practices, can drive himself to his father’s for visitation – all that stuff that drives me crazy but now I don’t have to do it because he has wheels and I’m lazy and I really don’t want to have to start doing it again. Yeah. All that.

I know, I know. Some of you don’t believe in kids having jobs while they go to school. Well, I do. I’m not asking the kid to work 40 hours a week – I’m asking for a few hours a week – on the weekends, if needed – to teach him some responsibility. So, I don’t want lectures on making a kid work. Hey – I started working when I was 15 and I turned out just fine. I didn’t turn into some mass-murdering, drug-sniffing ‘ho because I was a carhop at Sonic when I was 15. So – it can be done.

But not by my son, apparently.

If you hear a wail of despair – in the next couple of days – you will know what it’s all about. Even though it will sound like I’m beating him senseless, it will all be because I took away a set of keys. And grounded a set of wheels.

Oh, the ignominy.



Anonymous said...

I'm all for kids working. I worked a heck of a lot younger than 16. But what I'm finding in this economy is that employers aren't really interested in hiring kids. We had a Krispy Creme open up here and had over 1,000 people in line for 3 jobs. I'm guessing none of those jobs went to kids (interviews... and that huge line... occurred during school hours).

What if, instead of work, he's required to put in volunteer hours? That's something that would teach him responsibility and not be effected by the state of the economy.

lacochran said...

I'm pro-kids working, too. Take the keys, as much as it pains you. Not only that, but start driving his car around.

It won't be long until he finds the inspiration to get off his ass and get a job.

Mental P Mama said...

I totally think kids should have jobs, too. My children bought their own cars with their saved money from their jobs. Good for you. And let his father drive him around some;)

Bradley said...

I'ma just point out that I got a job within 2 months of getting my car, and had the vehicle paid off within the year. : P

You could point out to Taylor that having a job = $, and the sooner he gets one, the more $ he'll ahve 'coz he won't have to pay off so much insurance and whatnot.

Deidra said...

If you have a taker for your son on Craigs list, will the car go with him or stay with you?

Drama Queen said...

Kate - I like the volunteer idea; he's actually supposed to put in 50 hours of service before he graduates next year - and he's only done half...and that's when I took him to Guatemala 2 years in a row. He still needs more hours!

LaC - I love that idea - especially about driving his car - I think his car is nicer than mine!

Mental Mama - I agree; his dad should drive him around some since he "gave" him the stupid car to begin with...

Brad - Oh look - it's my oldest son, weighing in...and you're right, you're the responsible son. :) We're always tougher on the oldest kids - welcome to my world.

Deidra - that's negotiable. If you're willing to take the kid, I'll let you take the car. And all of the headaches that come with both. :)

Aunt Juicebox said...

Er, well, I guess you just have to take the keys. I'd still let him drive himself to his dad's, but NO pleasure activities, and really, no after school activities or practices either. That should make him hop on the job bandwagon pretty quick. It's good for him, make him do it. I had a job at 15, my husband has been working since he was 14. You don't build a solid work ethic if you don't start young.