Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm Raising A Derelict

I’m raising a derelict. This evening I took my three sons out for dinner. This is no small feat. I’m the woman you look at from the balcony bar while sipping your brewski and think, “That poor woman, how does she do it?” Well apparently she does it not as well as she would like.

While the kids were finishing up their dinners, Ryan put the finishing touches on his menu art. He is fantastically imaginative and artistic. I’ll give him that. Apparently he’d had his fill of paper art and crouched under the table. I figured he was just messing about. I was wrong. My budding artist had taken a crayon and written under the table. There amongst the dried out gum wads was Ryan’s first piece of graffiti "art." Scribbled hastily in sienna crayola, in an 8-year old’s shakey lettering was the king of four letter words: “F U C K” .

While his older brother may have been momentarily impressed by this vandalistic (there's a new word) act of terrorism, I wasn’t. I had one thought. I’m raising a derelict. And then after a moment the mother’s mouth moves. “What in god’s name were you thinking? Do you realize you damaged someone else’s property and that is against the law? Your behavior is not only horribly wrong, it is also embarrassing and shameful. You should be ashamed Ryan Pifer. Would you like me to call the owner over so you can apologize?”

I went for a damp rag and Ryan spend the next 10 minutes under the table scrubbing and tearing up pleafully (another new word). “It’s not coming off Mooooom. What should I do?” He ended up scribbling over it. And then, as his eyes welled up with tears, he asked me “Could I go to juve for this?”

The punishment was swift and severe by Ryan-standards. Two weeks without Play Station. And Ryan has spent the last hour attempting to right his wrong with “I’m sorry's” galore. I explained to him that it’s nice to say “sorry.” but it does not undo what he did. Actually, now that I think about it, he doesn’t care so much about righting his wrong as he does negotiating away the consequences. And, I’m not caving on this one. Because, damn it, I am not raising a derelict.

Ever had an experience like this?
Think its a harbinger of worse things to come?


  1. You should check under his mattress... I bet you'll find a Play Boy! lol!!

  2. He's 8 years old! Besides he doesn't need Playboy when I bring friends like you over to visit!