Thing 1

Motherhood is ugly sometimes

I just recently made LilZ give me $40 because I’m a horrible mother.

LilZ has developed this habit over the last year of doodling and drawing on all of his possessions. The first major thing he defaced (I’m so old) was a backpack that I was planning on using once he got bored with it. The second? A pair of shoes. Both of these things I bought for him, of course. And because I’m an old crotchety woman, I gave him some sort of lecture about he is “More than welcome to draw all over the stuff he buys, but not the stuff I buy for him.”

Now – to completely draw the picture of my hypocrisy – I need to remind you about my fashion in high school. I had a pair of blue jeans that wrote the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven” all over. I also drew peace signs and yin-yang symbols all over my tennis shoes. I had bags and notebooks and t-shirts marked up and doodled on. DO YOU SEE HOW EVIL I AM?

It gets worse. I bought him a new pair of shoes recently, and I discovered he had drawn all over them the other day. So, I reminded him of the rule and informed him that he owed me money for the shoes. Lucky for us he had a wad of cash leftover from Christmas. He gave me the $40 and I gave him permission to color on them as much as he wanted from that point out.

I know! I’m evil! But, I’m evil with $40 in my wallet. And that’s awesome in it’s own right.

21 thoughts on “Motherhood is ugly sometimes”

  1. Go Zoot. I would have done the same thing. We have to teach them the value of items some way. I know mine think it simply grows on trees.

    My son recently broke or worn out another xbox controller. He about died when I told him he would have to rake the yard and bag it for another one. Maybe he will take better care of the next one. I doubt that though! πŸ˜‰

  2. Evil Mom πŸ˜‰
    Hey you can buy more pens and office supplies with the $40. Pens that he can use to deface more items which would lead to more money in your wallet. You can make a tidy profit. πŸ™‚

  3. I think you did the right thing. KIds need to learn to value and take care of things. My 10 year old broke his Nintendo DS last year. Cause he never put it in its case. We told him over and over to take better care of it. When it broke he thought we were going to buy him a new one. SURPRISE! No way! He had to save his money to buy a new one on his one. I threatened all the grandparents to not just buy him one or give him money for one, he had to earn it! It took him awhile but now he takes better care of the new DS.

  4. what about when they write all over themselves? My daughter comes home with marker writing on her hands… and she’s not a toddler! She’s 13!!

  5. Wow, I am going to be going against the tide here, but sorry, I thought it was wrong. Sure, if it is a “family item” then I could see the point. If he was losing things, then I could see it. But once you give him a pair of sneakers, backpack, etc. It is his, to “personalize” any way he sees fit (as long as it doesn’t make him not be able to bring it to school etc.)

    As you noted, you did it. I know I went through a similar phase (although I will blame my girlfriend for getting me started in this habit of “stylizing” my sneakers).

    He is looking for individuality. Like all things tween and teen , this will pass.

  6. Isn’t that like half the fun of being a parent? Getting to do stuff like that?

    Also, you know, you had to teach him a lesson and stuff. Yeah.

  7. As a fellow stuff-doodler I have to agree with JayMonster, Zoot. You gave him the stuff. What would you have said if your mom made you pay for all the stuff you doodled all over?! But just think…in a couple of years he’ll be old enough to get a job (!!!) and buy his own clothes and then it will be a nonissue. πŸ™‚

    (OK, I’m done. Please don’t ban me.)

  8. Jeez. Here I thought I was writing a funny entry about getting money from my kid, with a tongue-in-cheek mention of being a bad mother. Little did I know people were actually going to tell me I was wrong. That kinda sucks.

  9. I about died laughing at this one – especially the “deface” line. I think you are right on – my 6th grader son has lost 4, yes 4, jackets this year at school/sports. And we live in Florida, where we maybe have worn jackets 4 times! I am making him work the money off in chores/reading/massaging my back, etc πŸ™‚ I TOTALLY back you on this – they have to learn and accept responsiblity for their stuff, esp. if you told him no more “defacing” Go Zoot!!!!

  10. Aw, screw that. You know I think you’re totally in the right. Those naysayers can talk when they actually reproduce. I charged Aidan $20 for failing to pack his coat (after being told to repeatedly) when we were traveling for Thanksgiving last year, to cover the cost of a cheap replacement hoodie. Kids have to learn to take care of their crap and stay on top of things, and hitting them in the wallet is often the only thing that cuts through their protective shell of stubbornness and forgetfulness and plain ol’ adolescent idiocy.

  11. I made my stepdaughter give me $20 for a sweater not too long ago. She’d gone to school on a cool day with no coat; so I let her BORROW my sweater for the next day of school. We have shared custody — she wore the sweater home that day to her mom’s. . . and she never brought it back, despite my constant reminding. Then, her mother WORE MY SWEATER to my stepson’s football game. I came unglued. I called my stepdaughter and told her that I wanted my sweater back the next day and reminded her that I’d only let her BORROW the sweater and it certainly was not for her mother to be wearing. A week after that phone call, we gave her one more day to return my sweater. She didn’t, so I told her she needed to pay me for it. I’d bought it (on sale) for $30, so I told her since it was not brand new, that she could give me $20.
    And, I don’t feel a damn bit bad about it. It’s our duty to teach these kids responsibility. (Plus, I wanted to make sure she remembers to bring my things back next time!!!!!)

  12. I’m with ya Zoot. My best friend and I had a conversation a while back about things like this. Our kids are much younger than your son but we are trying to make them understand the value of things, that money doesnt fall off the trees and respecting and taking care of their things and certainly property of others. We talked and talked and it went along the lines of “When did YOU appreciate it?” – Answer: “Not until I had to work and pay for every thing I got.”

    You are teaching him well.

  13. I’m being forced to comment here, which I never do, I prefer lurking….but…yeah, I think I would have charged him to, it teaches him to respect his belongings. But then again I’m one of those mean Mom’s who believe in bedtimes, time-out and rules, so, you know.

  14. I TOTALLY agree with you. When Elyse does that crap it pisses me off! She doodles on her jeans — in ink that doesn’t wash out. Then when she dumps the current bf, no more wearing of the jeans!

  15. Of course make him pay! Sheesh!

    When he buys his own shoes, he can write alllll over them.

    I made the POD pay me for a pair of jeans she wrote all over. So if you are all evil and “creativity stifling”, you’re not alone.

  16. LMAO
    If I were a mom I’d do the same.
    My mom did it to me and it taught me the value of things … especially things that weren’t technically _mine_ yet.

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