by Rene Syler (www.GoodEnoughMother.com)
This article originally appeared on Rene’s Good Enough Mother (GEM) site.
Hey everyone! We’re gonna start a new thread around these parts called, ” How would you handle it?” You already know my take on modern motherhood; for those of you coming in on the middle of the movie, you can read about it here. It’s a big gig, one that we relish for the most part. But there really are situations that stump us all and, given the collaborative nature of GEM, I figure we can rely on each other to find solutions. Plus it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. Okay so here’s we go, the first installment of, “How would you handle it?”
Last night I was in my son’s room, which could have been mistaken for the Knicks locker room, what with the underwear on the floor and faint smell of b.o. Just as my eyes were starting to water uncontrollably, I spied 30 bucks lying on his desk. Now I am keenly aware of how much money this kid has at all times, given I’m the one who gives it to him in the form of allowance and what was on the desk was about a month’s worth.
“Where did that money come from?” I asked, pinching my nose in an effort to ward off the olfactory assault. “Oh, Michael bought that old gun from me.” Now, “that old gun” was a broken, piece of junk, a toy one of Cole’s friends gave him that, when the trigger was pulled, made the most annoying, clacking sound. I was happy to see it go but there’s no way in hell it was worth 30 bucks.
“You have to give some of that money back.” I told Cole, which of course was just the spark we needed for the Battle Royale that ensued just before bedtime. I tried to explain to my baby boy the importance of being fair because, “that’s what we do in this family.” Cole shook his head, “But mom, Michael offered it. This is how much he wanted to pay.”
The story ends this way. I told Cole he had to give back ten dollars or I was taking all his electronics for the year (Please God, don’t let him make me do that!). I also told him I’d be calling Michael’s mother to make sure Cole had done that (oh great, now SHE’LL be pissed her son even bought that hunk of junk). Needless to say, Cole wasn’t real happy with me last night and won’t be today either when he has to turn over that ten-spot.
Okay, so, how would you handle it? Did I do the right thing in insisting Cole give back some of the money or should I have applauded my son’s entrepreneurial spirit? What would you have done?
After two decades as a television news anchor, including 4 years on CBS’s The Early Show, Syler decided it was time for a change. Tired of reading from a teleprompter, RenÃ© was determined to find her own voice and inspire women like herself ““ juggling busy lives, raising children and trying to live up to impossible parenting ideals. The result RenÃ©’s missive on modern motherhood, Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting and its subsequent website www.goodenoughmother.com