Yesterday was more than a little tense in our house. Aubrey and I were arguing, so we spent the day on opposite sides of the house, not speaking to each other. Even though she had a job interview yesterday for a second/day job yesterday afternoon, I didn’t wish her good luck, nor did I chat with her about it when she got home. Ron was the one who asked her about the interview…she got the job!
Why were we fighting? It was the same old argument about her cell phone and her not calling to tell me where she was. I have both kids as extra lines on my cell plan, because it is so much cheaper than them each having to pay for their own line. It also assures me that they will both always have working cell phones in case of an emergency. At 19 and 24, they both have fluctuating income which means that sometimes, choices have to be made about where the money goes. I would rather know that I can always call them (or they can call me), rather than someone not paying their bill and having their phone cut off.
However, there is a strict rule that comes along with the phone. For Matt, it means I expect him to answer when I call, or at least call me back in a reasonable amount of time. Since Aubrey still lives at home, I expect her to either call or at the very least, send a text to let me know when she is changing locations, and when she gets to the new location. I’ve tried to beat it into her brain that not only is it common courtesy to let the person you’re living with know when you’ll be home, it’s also a safety issue. I’ve told her time and time again that it doesn’t matter if I answer the phone, especially if I’m asleep. I wake up throughout the night (especially if she’s out) and check my phone; if it’s 3am and she’s not home, I had damn well better see a text or have a voicemail telling me that she’s safe.
On Sunday night, she went out with a friend and sent me a text at 6:30 pm to let me know they were hanging out at a large shopping center. I didn’t hear from her again; finally, at 12:45 am, I called her several times and her phone went straight to voicemail. Finally, I started to panic, knowing what a horrible driver she is. Fortunately, I was able to pull up her cell phone record with the current useage and figured out which number belonged to the friend she was with. I called her friend, who didn’t answer, but who immediately sent me a text saying Aubrey didn’t have any cell service, but she was safe and was heading home.
I was absolutely livid. She had said she would be home at 9:00 pm. No matter what, she should have at least sent a message that she was going to be out later than that. The only other rule in our house is that neither of my children is allowed to do anything that would require emergency services of any kind to come to my door. Being four hours late is something that would break that rule, as I was about to call the police to say she was missing. If her friend hadn’t texted me, you can bet I would have called the police and every hospital emergency room in town.
As a result, when she got home, I took away her phone. Because she didn’t use it for its intended purpose, she lost the privilege of having it. I told her she’d get it back when I felt like it. Arbitrary, I know, which is always bad parenting, but I was really pissed.
When she got home from her interview last night, right before dinner, I bitched her out again while Ron cooked dinner. Of course, he’s always good cop to my bad cop, which can sometimes irritate the hell out of me; yesterday was one of those times. After I got through yelling at her, I told her she could have her phone back, but if it happened again, the phone was going to be taken away permanently and she would have to spend upwards of $50 a month for her own line.
That got her pissed off at me. She went and sulked in her room, and I came in the office and watched Star Trek (which acts as Aubrey repellant). We probably said about two words to each other by the time I went to bed.
This morning, though, I came into the office to get on my computer and found an Aubrey peace offering…there were three Hershey’s Kisses sitting next to my laptop, on the bed. I know it was deliberate because she keeps the bag of Kisses in her room (otherwise I eat them all), so it’s not like they fell out and landed there.
So once again, she is my sweet, loveable daughter whom I adore. How can I stay mad after that?