She was going to spend the night at a friend's house tonight, go to the opening football game in a nearby town, and go to the mall with her friend tomorrow. We had it all planned, I'd had a lovely chat with her friend's mom about it, and things were set.
Until I caught her texting on her phone.
I know, I know... texting isn't the worst thing a kid can do. While I don't get the texting phenomenon, it's not illegal, dangerous (unless some dumbass teenage girl is texting while driving - something I've witnessed on numerous occasions), or bad on any level really, by itself. It is, however, expensive - an additional charge per text received and sent - on the cell phone plan that I have. And, because of that, I very clearly explained to Hollywood when she got her phone, that she wasn't to use it as a portable IM device. That's what our computer is for, and God knows she IMs on it plenty.
So her phone's gone, and she can't go to her friend's house tonight. When Hollywood clearly understood that I was sticking to her punishment, she calmly called her friend and told her she couldn't go, and then sulked off to her bedroom. I was amazed - normally she'd have exploded like a ripe zit on a teenager's forehead (the kind that splatters the bathroom mirror with white goo?) and we'd have a good thirty minute argument. Because she handled it like a mature young lady, I will likely give her the phone back sooner than if she'd have gone nutso on me.
Later on in the evening, Hollywood wrote me a letter and asked me if she could read it out loud to me. She was emotional and upset when she read it. It started with "I'm sorry I didn't follow the rules on texting..." Ok, good start. "I know you do this because you love me, but..." she started. Uh-oh, this won't be good, I thought. Then, it veered into a bitch session on how unfair I am. "You never let me do the things my friends do. I have the most protective social life of all my friends. You always want to know where I'm at and what I'm doing, and I know you do that because you love me, but..." I was mentally eye-rolling at this point, but I kept my mouth shut and my eyes did not roll. "My friends all get to do so much more than I can. Their parents don't set strict rules like you do. You go in my room and go through my stuff, and you read my files on the computer - "
That's where I interrupted her.
"Wait a minute. I don't go through your files on the computer, and I don't go through your things in your room." I said. "I've only made it clear to you that I reserve the right to do those things if I feel that there's a need for it."
She huffed off, infuriated that I interrupted her, and stormed downstairs to her room for the night.
So, folks. Here's why I'm a bad mom:
- I set rules for my daughter and expect them to be followed.
- I don't let her go anywhere without knowing who she's with and what she's doing. (Horror of horrors! I mean - wow. Could I be any more unreasonable? I want to know what my 13 year old is doing. That's cruelty!)
- Her friends' parents let them do whatever they want. (I love this one. I'm sure that I'm the only parent with rules like this. This one gets a big, fat Whatever from me.)