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Monday, March 28, 2011

Broken Trust

This morning I woke up in a sea of jumbled emotions. I am upset beyond words with my brother's girlfriend, and am amazed at how she can possibly consider herself a good mother when all of the evidence says otherwise. She's a WRECK, and I now have no reason to trust her word ever again.

Yesterday we went to my dad's house to celebrate Ben and Margaret's birthday. The weather was spectacular and the pool was warm enough (to my kids' standards), so they spent the day splashing and playing in the water. Around mid afternoon someone dropped Mindy's kids off at my dad's so that they could spend some time with Mindy, and they all had a great time together - playing in the pool, consuming mass quantities of food, and just being kids.

Conner, Mindy, and [daughter] also spent a good amount of time looking through funny YouTube videos, listening to ringtones, music. There was a particular ringtone that Conner let me listen to on Mindy's phone (it was silly), and mentioned another one that he wanted her to send him, but felt that I would consider it inappropriate. They laughed about it saying, "It's not really that bad though, Mom". But when I asked her if she considered it appropriate for her own children, she said, "Weelllllll, [daughter] has heard it, but they aren't allowed to have it on their phones". REALLY!?! And you want to send it to MY SON?! Some people are just stupid to the core.

A bit later, after we had gone inside and were all congregated in the living room, the topic of what types of messages Conner can receive on his cell phone came up again. (I had seen them trading cell phone numbers outside.)

Mindy: What kinds of messaging can Conner get on his phone? I tried to send him something and it wouldn't go through? (Let me guess, it's a ringtone...huh, dumbass?)

Me: We have Conner's cellphone on "lock down", so he can't get picture texts, video texts, new ringtones. There's no internet - just straight alpha text and calling.

Mindy: rolled her eyes

Me: Do your kids have internet on their phones?

Mindy: Yeah, [daughter] has it. Her dad has set limits on the about of internet usage that she gets every month because she had a $700 bill one month. *laughing* But she doesn't do anything she's not supposed to.

Me: We don't allow our kids to get on the computer whenever they want to, everything is password protect in our house.

Mindy: REALLY? Wow!

There was more conversation to the tune of, her knowing that kids can chat with total strangers when they're on XBox, but her son "would never do that. He's already had one 'scare' from chatting, but he's good now and won't be doing that ever again". My dad walked by and said, "Mindy, EVERYONE always thinks that their kids would never do anything like that". This didn't sit well with her, but she was smart and shut her mouth - my dad doesn't take shit from anyone, least of all her.

After we got home and sent the kids to bed, Richard and sat on the couch talking about the scenario in it's entirety, and how Mindy had mocked the way that we limit our kids' access to different things. It bothered me enough that we called Conner back downstairs so that we could talk about it. I explained, once again, why we set such limits on his access to certain types of media - which he totally understands. After which, we talked about the events of the afternoon and I asked Conner if she had tried to text him after we left.

Me: Did Mindy send you any texts after we left your PawPaw's house tonight?

Conner: Yeah.

Me: Do you mind telling me what she wanted?

Conner: *sheepishly* She was trying to send me that ringtone again.

Me: Did it go through? *about to freaking EXPLODE!!*

Conner: No, it didn't.

All I can say, with 100% certainty, is that it is a damn good thing that there's a two hour drive time between my house and where Mindy lives. We told Conner that we do not want him to have ANY contact with her outside of the times that our family unit is together. There were also graphic explanations about why we felt this way, and Conner finally "got it". Mindy doesn't even have custody of her own children because of the decisions that she's made (and continues to make). As such, any criticism that she may have of my parenting approach makes me feel like I'm one step closer to being a saint! HA!

Conner deleted her from his list of contacts, along with all of the texts that they had exchanged - he even stood there and let me watch him do it. I feel confident that he understands where his dad and I are coming from, and why we are so protective of them.

I will never trust Mindy again.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Never Judge a Nerd

Today, Richard and I went to a local sandwich shop for lunch. It's a place that we discovered about a year or so ago, and we love to stop in and try something new on their fairly extensive menu every now and then. It also happens to be located near some of our other favorite places, so it also provides a nice variety of alternatives if one place is too packed for us to grab a quick lunch.

As we were walking towards the shop today, we noticed that there was an unusually high volume of patrons. There were so many people that the line was actually coming out the front door! Weird. But, since we were in the mood, we went ahead and jumped in line with everyone else.
After putting in our order and wading through the crowd to find a table, we started looking around at the clientele. Almost all of the individuals were very conservatively dressed - long sleeve button ups with a tie and slacks, urban jeans with a hoodie, cashmere sweaters and loafers, etc....and ALL of them were well groomed. LOTS of side satchels and backpacks. This was also about the time that Richard and I started noticing the general air of nerdiness. All of these people were serious - obviously left-brainers - and friendly, but reserved.

Upon further observation (thanks to our skillful people-watching-abilities), we noticed that they all had conference-type badges on.... Yeah, they were all attending a LUNAR & PLANETARY SCIENCE CONFERENCE!! Holy crap!! I felt like a complete imbecile as soon as I realized exactly HOW nerdy and smart all of these people around us actually were!

And then it dawned on me. Just as surely as I was sitting there judging their scholarly dweebishness, they were probably sizing me up as "the-mom-who-probably-can't-help-her-highschooler-with-his-homework".

And they would be right.