According to Cheyenne I am the ONLY parent (a.k.a. dinosaur) in the entire universe of her friends and acquaintances that insists on speaking with another teenager’s parent when she wants to spend the night at their house. I get the impression whenever I insist that my expectations of chatting with another child’s parents be met that Cheyenne is secretly wishing I was extinct. You would think that I was a scourge on the planet the way she responds. The disbelief – the disgust – the drama!
But this isn’t my first rodeo. This isn’t the first child who has bemoaned my need to know where they are going and who they’ll be with. Plus, I was actually a teenager once upon a time (in the stone age by Cheyenne’s estimation) – I know the ways of teenagers all too well. So I trust, but verify the plans of my kids with a responsible adult. This is how dinosaurs like me still like to parent.
I have found that despite the huge embarrassment Cheyenne perceives this behavior on my part will cause her, that she usually capitulates because I refuse to waver. It is a shame that she wastes all the time and energy she does on trying to secure a different outcome each time. Alas, hope springs eternal and she does believe most days that she is capable of almost entirely managing her life decisions without me. Imagine that…a teenager who believes she doesn’t need the assistance of her mother. That is such a novice view -everyone needs their mother’s assistance from time to time.
Today Cheyenne informed me that she wanted to spend the night at her friend’s house – a friend I know, but a mother I do not know. My standard reply was issued – “I will need all the mom’s contact info and I will be calling her to confirm these arrangements.” Her standard reply was immediately forthcoming – “OH MY GAWD! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO DO THIS? NO OTHER PARENTS DO THIS!”
As is typical I held my ground while Cheyenne huffed and puffed around the house about how unreasonable I was. If only I could channel that kind of energy into her chores. After about a half hour of huffing and puffing, Cheyenne informed me that the girl’s mom, who was coming to pick up Cheyenne for this sleepover event, wanted to meet me.
Well, you can imagine my glee. Apparently, I am not the last of my species…there is at least one other dinosaur like me still walking the earth. Oh how I relished the fact that Cheyenne had to now deal with another mother who also verifies.
The mama and daughter came over and the mama and I did the unthinkable – we met, chatted, and exchanged telephone numbers. Life as we know it on this planet did not end, no one spontaneously combusted, and two teenage girls survived to tell the story of the day that the last dinosaurs met. Well, at least the two dinosaurs they know about. I suspect that the planet is still pretty heavily populated with dinosaurs like me – parents of kids who still keep an eye out for what their kids are up to and where. Indeed, I think that is part and parcel of the definition of parenting.
So, you heard it here first – dinosaurs still walk the earth. Indeed, after a day like today when two teenagers realized against their wildest expectations that the species is alive and well – two West Fargo dinosaurs skipped.
Day one thousand two hundred and twenty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da