Just take the pants and say thank you

Let me begin by saying that I’m not too familiar with a lot of mom blogs. I’ve visited a few, and they seemed nice, and the parenting advice was pretty much rainbows and butterflies. I’m a mom, and I have a blog, but today I am feeling far from rainbows and butterflies.

I pride myself on being a halfway decent mom. I say halfway decent, because I don’t have it in me to be the perfect mom–too much pressure, and I’m kinda lazy. Even though I have twelve years experience as a mom, I’m still trying to figure out how to get to carline on time and what snacks are appropriate for after ball games. Call me crazy, but Doritos and cookies sound better to me than veggie sticks and organic not dogs.

Anyway …

I love my children, and I think they’re awesome. My boys are straight-A students, kind, respectful, loving, artistic, athletic and all-around great kids. We have a lot of fun together, and I enjoy being with them–most of the time.DSCF9519 (2)

All this praise doesn’t mean that I think my sons are perfect–far from it. I’m just pointing out that I know who they are fundamentally. Trust me when I tell you, they make me earn my mother-of-boys badge every day, especially that little with that mouth he can’t seem to keep closed. But today, the big one is on deck.

Last week, my oldest son forgot that I am his mother and not his friend. Since I’m not one to mince words,  I had to remind him that he “ain’t runnin’ nuthin’ around here.” My man knew he’d messed up, because I went straight Camden, New Jersey on him. I had to get real, just so there was no misunderstanding as to what was about to go down.

Long story short …

I went shopping at Old Navy for a few things for school since my kids outgrow their clothes every 15 minutes. (FYI: I found a pair of pants for myself for $0.47 on clearance. WooHoo!) I came home with a few items the boys could wear for the rest of the school year. But evidently, I missed the memo that stated my seventh-grader no longer wore cargo pants.

When I asked him if his new clothes fit he said, “I told you I don’t like cargo pants anymore.” He had the nerve to have a little attitude.

This statement confused me, because the last time I checked no kid tells me what to do. I was speechless for several moments, and all I could do was stare at him. If my mom had gone out and spent her hard earned money on some new clothes for me, and I said, “I told you I don’t like acid-washed jeans anymore,” I would have grown up in the alley behind my house–in my old clothes.Uhh (2)

The expression on my face must have given him an indication that the current situation wasn’t going to go too well for him.

His eyes got wide and he took a step back. Then he said, “Uh …”

I finally found my words and said, “First off, when I buy you something, you say ‘thank you.’ Do you know how many kids would love to have a brand new pair of cargo pants? A lot. But noooo, instead of appreciating what I got you, you want to tell  me what I’m supposed to buy you. I’m walking around here still wearing maternity clothes–and your brother is ten–just so you can have nice clothes, go to private school and get X-Box games. If forty-seven cent pants are good enough for me, and I’m the one with the money, then cargo pants are good enough for you. I wish somebody would buy me a brand new pair of cargo pants.

“But this is what I’m going to do for you … I’m going to take back all the clothes I bought you, and you can finish out the year in the clothes you already have.”

“But my pants are getting too short,” my son said.

“And they’re going to get even shorter. But at least you won’t have to wear cargo pants. And I don’t care if you end up looking like one of the Little Rascals. DSCF2506 (3)May 25 will be here before you know it.” I collected the new clothes and strolled out of his room.

The next day I returned the clothes and used some of the money to buy a sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie and a large green tea from Panera. Then I went to the movies to see London Has Fallen. It wasn’t as good as Olympus Has Fallen, but Gerard butler was worth the $8. When I picked the boys up from school, my son apologized as soon as he got in the car. He said he appreciated everything his dad and I do for him, and he’s lucky to have parents who take care of him.

“Next time, I’ll just take the pants and say thank you,” he said.

I waited for him to ask for his clothes back, but he never did. But his younger brother took the opportunity to say, “I’m grateful for my clothes, Mommy.”

“Don’t be a suck up,” I said to him and pulled out of carline.

Some  people may think that I was too hard on my son for “expressing” himself. To that I say, they’re wrong. My husband and I take our responsibility as our children’s parents very seriously. It’s our job to make sure they grow up to be respectful and honorable men, and they can’t do that if we allow them to feel entitled. We don’t have great kids by accident. It’s by the grace of God and because we check them whenever they get out of line.

For now, it’s all rainbows and butterflies at Chateau Gaskins, and everyone’s getting along and acting right. But don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time before that little opens his mouth when he should keep it shut, and I have to go Camden all over again.

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4 thoughts on “Just take the pants and say thank you

  1. We had a similiar outburst from our son last weekend. I remain unemployed and Dad is the sole bread winner currently. The attitude reared its ugly head of (We don’t do anything for him). So to make a long story short, not too many minutes echoed and he was apologizng for his choice of words. My husband and I are old school, and we remind him of this daily. More often obviously now with a lost income. One day will come and we prayerfully will see the positive end result as he exits our residence and creates his own. Tough love is a big mountain here. Yet he sees just the opposite at school on a daily basis. To which I remind him; “Nothing ever stays the same”. He (our son Cameron) is working part time and has seen how quickly a dollar disappears. We must be parents to them (and not friends) in today’s crazy world of Give give give me. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6. Your sons are blessed!!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Cameron is blessed as well. We are doing more than raising boys, we are training men. And it is crucial for our sons to have respect and honor, and not become what the world would have them be, which would ultimately keep them from God’s blessings. I am praying for you and your family. Hang in there, and continue to have faith.

      Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9


  2. I will remind my little people in a heartbeat that they don’t live in a Disney teenage movie–no attitudes, eye rolling, silent treatment, stalking off in a huff. Love the post! Going Camden will do it every time. 🙂

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