Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Guess That Makes Me a Trailer Park Mom...

On Friday, Eva and her friend went to the Stampede. The plan was that we would pick up her friend and I would drive them to the C-train station where they would ride the train to the Stampede grounds. H's step-dad, a strange angry little man, was home and he informed us that her mom would pick them up in the evening. "From the C-train station?" Eva, quite appropriately, asked.
I thought he was going to blow a gasket. "There's no way that H will be taking a train home from the Stampede!" he sputtered. "Things happen on the train!"

Okay, so I let that go. And then as H proceeded to get ready to go, he kept at her, snarking about how she was doing this wrong or her attitude was poor, and then looking at me, as if for approval. I said nothing, although perhaps I should have (although it certainly wouldn't have been what he expected). In his defence, I guess he has only been a dad for a couple of years and didn't have the experience of growing into fatherhood with her, but he didn't need to make up for lost opportunities to assert his authority. It certainly didn't impress me at all.

Eva arrived home at 5:30 pm - hours sooner than I expected - as H had spent all her money on games and snowcones and had gotten bored. Eva had already gone earlier that week with some other friends so she said meh let's just go home then.

It turns out H's mom had picked them up from the train station and apparently received a reaming out from her husband because she had let the girls (14 and 15 years old) ride the train by themselves at 5:00pm. Unbeknownst to me, when we picked H up in the morning, he had assumed that I was riding with them on the train down to the Stampede at 11:00am and escorting them to the gates. The girls wisely didn't tune him in as to what really happened.

Am I totally out of line here? Eva has been taking the train by herself for a year or two now, and I think these short trips are an excellent way to get to know the city, to gain some independence and to demonstrate her responsibility.

I think he was a complete shite about this. And I'm sure he thinks I'm a crack dealer mom now.

My back is starting to feel a lot better! By the end of the week I expect to be doing back flips. Well at least exercising again.

You know, I originally thought that I pulled something while exercising, but then I remembered I also cleaned the house on Friday, so that must have been what did it. Because I exercise pretty much every day and I've always been fine, but house cleaning, now that's another story.

That shit'll kill you.

23 comments:

Allison said...

So true, wouldn't it be nice to just snap your fingers and the mess would disappear?

I don't think that you're out of line in letting Eva ride the train at this age. As you said, gain independence. I remember when I was 5years old, my Dad riding the TTC with me, and showing me all the routes, and years later, I think around 13 or 14 I was riding with friends. Its all about having a dialogue, instead of yelling and just saying no. My parents were the same way with driving (although I took my time, and didn't get my full liscense until I was 18), but I'm way more independent than most of my friends whose parents caudaled them growing up. Its only going to hurt the kids later.

Allison said...

On a completely different note. Did you know you can now watch every episode of South Park online?
http://allsp.com/

She's Crafty said...

Oh Allison you are a gem! "South Park..hurray! Giggle giggle!

Barbara, God I wish you could have been at least one of my Dad's (love my mom and she might not like being replaced even for blogging purposes!) I had one Dad that's been around but never REALLY done any of the parenting and one Dad that was overbearing and controling. I couldn't do anything, ever! Going to the high school dance took a two hour lecture and my Dad was picking me up and dropping me off. I had a 10:30 curfew in grade twelve! I still don't have my full license b/c I wasn't allowed to learn at 16 when I had the time.

Parenting requires creativity. It's your job to KNOW your child and no one else's. If your daughter is mature enough and comfortable enough to venture around on her own, then that's great. Whatever feels right for the both of you, is the right thing. I think that there should be more give an take to the parent child relationship. My 3 year old loves to yell at me and tell me what she wants. But if she isn't behaving, well she doesn't get it.
I am only a couple years into this...I hope that I am better at "getting" my daughter than my parents were at "getting" me. I am pretty sure that they still don't get me!
Sarah

mellowlee said...

Wow, I think buddy was totally out of line and needs to take a chill pill! How else are people supposed to learn to be independant? GAWD!

As for "stuff happens on trains",well stuff happens while you are crossing the street, etc, etc. Is he going to lock his daughter in her room and chaufer her around the rest of her life? geeesh!

kees said...

100% agreed. Feel really sorry for H, I hate men like that. Soooo frustrating. Lots of parents assume that given the choice, their children will go wild, but I think not being given choices fosters a desire to rebel whereas mutual trust fosters respect and understanding. Anyway, that's my two penneth for today! Sounds like you have it totally sussed to me. Lucky Eva!

And housework IS dangerous, I once cut my wrist changing the bed sheets (not pink ones sadly) and I'm still not really clear how...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oooooooohhhhh sssswwwweeeeeeet!!! Every episode online! You sure know the way to a girl's heart, Allison!
Your dad was doing things the right way, in my opinion, introducing you to the system and then when you were comfortable, letting you try it on your own. Dialogue is so important. How are you going to know your kids unless you talk with them (not at them)?

haha Sarah - I would never dream of usurping your mom! Too bad you had rotten luck with dads. My own dad was pretty overbearing, but he was away a lot with the army, so it all evened out.
It sounds like you are doing a great job with your daughter, introducing her to wonderful things like the folk festival but still having boundaries. You'll be fine.

Mellowlee, I think he may be planning to do exactly that. These people have not only a security system in their house, but it TALKS and it is always on. Freaks me out when I hear a voice saying "front door is ajar". Yikes.

I agree Kees, it's the frustration that comes with not having any choice or control which foments revolt. I think I have been really lucky in my relationship with my kid and I expect Eva to keep entertaining me until I am well into my 100s.
Sorry to hear about your near death encounter with changing the sheets!

Barbara said...

There are Dads like that, nothing you can do about that. Thank God my dad was not one of them. I was taking the train or bus by myself each summer from age 14 to see my best friend in Burlington then back to Montreal.
If we had a good transport system when I was younger my dad would have been happy to let us go to the amusment park by ourselves as well from age 12. I know times have changed... but have they really?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I agree, Barbara W, I don't think the reality of danger has really changed ALL that much since we were kids. But attitudes sure have. Pity.

Leazwell said...

My dad could be overbearing (not like this guy) and on a couple of occasions when I thought he was wrong I didn't mind so much because I knew he was doing the best he knew how to and he did it because he loved me, cared what happened to me, wanted me to see there was a line....

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's true Leazwell, you have to establish a line, but this guy was expecting me to approve of him just berating his step-daughter for every little thing, and in front of others. Shameful behaviour (on his part).

Leazwell said...

Oh, I agree, this guy was way out of line himself!

~Jen~ said...

he seems like an anal control freak....perhaps hes sexually assaulted a girl on a train before? lol ok thats not funny....but i always think ppl who overract about stuff like that have usually been a perpetrator of some sort...or a victim.

mellowlee said...

The voice doesn't sound like HAL does it? *worried*

Leazwell said...

A girl I taught last year has a VERY strict father. I like him - nice man but at home...He was wild in his youth so he is putting a curb bit on her. She really resents it. Poor girl, seems she is grounded ALL the time. When she complains about him in school some of her classmates roll their eyes, nodding and vocally confirm he too uptight.

Kellee said...

HI BARB AND FAMILY! I HAVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!
PS: Someone stole my camera @ Stampede on which was pictures of me and the original MGB. I haven't been to Stampede since. Hmmmph.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

He's not someone I want to spend any time with, Leazwell. Kids can only take so much harrassment, I think. That girl you used to teach is going to blow one day.

I never thought of that Jen. You could be onto something there. I just assumed that he thought that I would think he was doing a great job of being a father by being a total hard-ass, but maybe not...

haha Mellowlee - no, it actually sounds like Stephen Hawking or that computerized voice you get when you call the library renewal line (of which I do a pretty nice impersonation, I might add).

Hey Kellee, where the hell have you been? Good to see you. No wonder you haven't been back to Stampede since. Come to think of it, I don't think Matt Good's been back since either.

Will said...

No, not a trailer park mom at all. I think at a certain point, a kid needs some independence. Now, I wonder - will you get in trouble for playing rock and roll around the children?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Won't somebody please think of the children!?
hahaha Will, good thing the dad hasn't heard some of the stuff we listen to in this house!

chuck said...

Uptight parents can be a pain in the ---.

Young adults, by and large, are worthy of trust; and most can handle a good measure of responsibility (in my experience)...unless they have been allowed few opportunities to be responsible.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Exactly, Chuck, they need to practice to handle the responsibility - small steps as they grow up.

Ruhee said...

This has nothing to do with Mr Ridiculous Dad, but Eva came to visit me twice at Stampede :) You're lucky you didn't have to witness me in my uniform - although it makes us look official, my jeans are practically up to my chin. Wranglers are not girl-flattering things.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Aww I would have loved to see you in your chin high Wranglers, Ruhee! You probably looked like my grandpa!

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