My high school son announced the other day that he was getting a tattoo.
I told him: “That’s nice, and when you leave for your INK appointment make sure you take extra clothes with you”.
He stated back: ” Why? Do they make you change your clothes?”.
“No”. I smiled back at him….” You’ll be needing something to wear when you find yourself no longer living in this house for doing something stupid”.
“My friend Jordan got one”….He mocks back. “It’s scripture, written under his arm”.
“Well”, I breath out between gritted teeth, “I’m sure God will be pleased to know that his word is being spread through Jordan’s armpit”.
He carries on: “You know I turn 18 soon, and I don’t need your permission. That’s what Jordan did”.
I hate that sense of entitlement and the continual referencing of the legal age of consent being thrown at me. Just four years prior I had to defend against the dark art of over usage of that illegal statement by my daughter. (That’s right..I call it an Illegal statement because teens tend to use it before they are deemed legal).
I smiled that smile you may have seen painted across the Mona Lisa’s face; the one that smirks: I’m not that innocent…..
I shot back: ” Son, you are right, you don’t need my permission, nor my money, nor a roof over your head, nor the car you drive, nor the snowboard and all the equipment that goes with it, nor the food in the fridge, nor the education I provided, nor the pants that hang below the boxer line, nor the straight teeth, nor the numerous Doctor visits to cure your acne, nor…”
“Mom”…he tries to chime in, interrupting my total recall as I tally his bill and prepare an invoice for Mom Services Rendered.
“Moooom, stop already..I get it”.
“Oh sorry son, sometimes my Stepford brain wiring runs amok with phrases pertaining to child rearing chores…”
I continue; ” It triggers a signal when a teen gives me eye rolling attitude and it can fly out of control when such teen harbors intense entitlement followed by contemptible demands that are rooted and enhanced by Jordan’s freshly stamped armpit”.
How is it that I give birth to two different children of two different genders four years apart, yet I am met with similar situations at roughly the same time intervals? How…
My daughter once came to me at the same age and roughly the same time with the same demand: I’m getting a tattoo. Why do they pick a tattoo. Why not a new spiral notebook or a matching pair of High GPA’s. If they are looking to instill the shock value, getting high scores might do it for me…..
As far as I can tell, I quashed the tattoo dilemma with my daughter the same way I managed to hold off any piercings in areas where they don’t belong. When my daughter was five she wanted her ears pierced. Her reasoning at the time was:
“Because her friend Emily is getting her ears pierced”.
I wasn’t going to get into the family accolade of my mother’s comeback to anything I wanted to do in benefit of someone else, that being: “Well would you jump off a bridge if so-n-so jumped off a bridge?”.
In which I always responded with: “Possibly… it depends on the weather”. Or some ending that would throw her a curve ball and cause her Stepford Brain to re-route…
I brought my daughter to a local mall to get her ears pierced as she petitioned. As we stood next in line, the first piercing victim was a four year old girl stepping up to a high stool minus any arm support. We watched as the ear-piercing attendant approached her with a giant gun that shoots studs into her delicate lobes. My daughter witnessed an unbearable Ear Piercing scream from the cute little waif and grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the exit doors.
The next piercing conversation that came up was in her teens when the rave was attaching a gold hoop through your navel, nose, tongue, and any other not for prime time area of the body. I merely discussed with her that should she attempt to pierce anything but the lobe of her ears, I will personally shop her down and remove the piercing my self….no anesthesia required…..
My first born’s inclinations for obtaining an underage tattoo came about later ,nearing her high school graduation. She, too, offered up the proverbial ” Household Teen Amendment” of: “When I’m eighteen………..”.
It was then I took the medical approach to describe in pain staking detail to my daughter the artistry of Tattooing, knowing full well of the intense fear she has of needles. I know this first hand from the early years of her receiving inoculations by the Pediatrician. My daughter required a Swat team to steady her limbs…..
I continued my diatribe of the long term effect of hosting a tattoo. I calmly explained that depending upon the physical location of this desired Ink Splotch, she will wake up one morning with that cute little butterfly she posted on the lower 40 anatomy and discover its collagen wings collapsed and fell into a fatty fold. And in another thirty years or so she will experience the butterfly defect of The Girl with the Dragging tattoo….
For all you fresh parents out there who shelter tiny tots and elementary dumplings who can’t imagine ever being confronted with issues outside of Gerber, Lego, and little league; hold onto your diaper bags when you hit that bump in the stroller. There will come a time when one has to confront the battle of the almost legal teen who proudly injects their unprincipled Bill of Rights onto your List of Wrongs.
Just make sure you don your under armor and prepare for the battle of parental injustice as they cry foul play when you take their hand in yours and guide them down that road of teenage wasteland to take a sneak peek under their armpit nation…….
spread the humor. This one’s for you Karen…