Wrong. Wrong. So terribly wrong.

Yesterday, I stuck my neck out and suggested a new restaurant for my co-workers to eat. It was a kind of special lunch. There were folks in from out of town that wanted to experience Mexican food and the rest of us were only too glad to take them. Eight of us. At a restaurant, on my recommendation.

We ordered. We waited because this is a kind of a small place, 8 plates at once took a few minutes. Everyone got their food and tucked in. I ate one bite. Ummmm. Delicious. What's that? Is it a stem from a pepper? I moved it around and ate a second bite. Ummmm. Delicious. I push that thing again and realize that it's a wire from a steel wool scrubbing pad. In the middle of my enchiladas.

I didn't say anything. I picked up my plate and went to the waitress and showed her and she offered to get me something else. Every restaurant has a bad day. I was perfectly fine with this, I just didn't want to keep everyone at the table while they made me more food. I went back to the table and sat and drank my tea and never said anything to anyone about why I had no food. Everyone was curious, but no one asked and I didn't want to ruin their lunches by saying anything.

Then, it happened. The waitress came by and laughed and shrugged her shoulders and giggled "sorry". I said "that's your reaction? I'd like to see the manager." No one ever came. When everyone was paying, the manager was working the register. I repeated my story to him and shared that the waitress didn't show the appropriate level of concern and he shrugged and said "sorry". We walked out the door and the only lady from my party that heard that exchange said "well, he didn't give much of a @#$# about your problem, did he?"

So, we will no longer be recommending El Rey Restaurant. Not because they had an oopsie, but because I don't think they were concerned enough about it. Which is a shame cuz the food was delicious.

And, last night, we tried to go to the track meet, but we were not prepared for its resemblance to a farmer herding chickens. By the time we realized that the events were happening all at the same time and found the area that Sydney was in, she was done and ready to go home.

I was disappointed. Not that we missed her, but in her lack of team spirit. She's only participating on one event. It was obvious, just from looking at her, that she was there for the wrong reason. For example, she says she can't run track. But, she ran all over that field last night, in inappropriate undergarments, with all her jiggly parts flapping all around, and every boy watching. I think she's found the power of her body.

Let's just say that I was less than enthusiastic about track and her participation in it. We will definitely be more involved going forward. We are such parenting virgins still. We don't know what to do, except that 14 must be too young for giving a child responsibility. We just keep showing up and learning as we go.

I tried to talk to her about how disappointed I was in her lack of "want to". She doesn't "want to" run track. She doesn't "want to" have a B in math or science. She doesn't "want to" stay and support the rest of her team mates as they compete. Told her I can give consequences for some stuff, but I can't make her "want to" do things and that it was really upsetting me.

I knew I'd done good because Rob muttered "well said" so she couldn't hear it.

After we got home, it all came apart. She let it slip that she accepted a zero in science because it was too much trouble to find the assignment and turn it in, so she took the zero and planned to make it up...with a grade penalty for it being late.

I am surprised that you didn't hear me in Canada. I'm pretty sure that at least one set of neighbors heard me. Then, I went outside to walk around.

I came back in and said "I'm so sorry I yelled. I didn't mean to yell. I don't want to yell at you anymore." And the whole time I was talking I was raiding her bathroom for her most precious of all precious items...her flat and curling irons.

Kick 'em where it hurts.

Rob plans to give rewards for her grades this weekend. Reward one, poop-scoop the backyard. Reward two, weed the flowerbed. That guy is much more creative than I am at negative reward.

So, I went to bed and today started with a new day. And, I'm toying with the idea of buying a car on the way home from work. I had decided not to a few days ago. And, every time I get in my car, I think of something else that is wrong. Windows that don't go down. An unrepairable break squeek that's inherent in the model. Peeling paint.

I need to just bite the bullet and do it. And, if I don't do it today, I can't do it tomorrow because there's a quilt show and I have my priorities.

Everybody have a great weekend.



Nancy said...

Oh Lane, I so remember the days of an inappropriately dressed (to my eye) teenage daughter. I remember one day we took the train to NYC and I could not talk her out of the WAY too short skirt she wanted to wear. Her grandmother was with us and even that did not deter her. Well, we went to Rizzoli's (the absolute best bookstore ever) and when she was walking up the stairs to the second level, some guy was standing at the bottom staring up her skirt. That did more to bring about proper dress than anything I could have said or done.

As far as track is concerned, I really wish they could come up with some way for young girls to be properly covered while they run. They are too young at 14 to handle what comes with body development and hormones together. Maybe God could rethink the whole thing and have it happen at 22? I think you and Rob each did the right thing, for the situation and at the time. Sometimes we just have to holler.

Kim West said...

My dad used to "reward" me with weeding... For every minute I was late for curfew, I had to spend five weeding. I wasn't late but once after that and it was a tire blowout that caused it - so it didn't count.

Coloradolady said...

Lane....I know this should not be funny...but I have laughed until my side hurts! Oh. The memories of these days....and I hate to tell you this...but there are still bouts of inappropriate dress from my daughter every now and then. It is a girl thing...and even though mine certainly did not dress like that when she was Sydney's age..she has done it away from home. However, I have a friend, well more than one and they are the same age as Sydney. They dress at times like street walkers. Shocking thing is, it is fine with the mom....popular kids do that. This is what is wrong with the world and girls and their image today. It is not right. It is asking for trouble. But friend, this was so funny to me your description of the track meet....now you see why I said I don't blame Sydney for not wanting to run track. It usually is a free for all from my experience.

Remember, this is the age of raging hormones, pier pressure of a magnitude proportion and trying to discover who they are all at the same time. It is a trying time for sure...it will pass...someday!

I feel you on the grades, that is a hard one. She reminds me of my son. He was so super smart, but just "did not care" to apply himself. So he did not. But I am proud to say, he just went in for an interview for a job. First thing out of the box, the guy said do you have a college degree, because I don't hire anyone who does not have one. Well of course he does not have one, because "he did not care to get one"....make a long story short. He started Monday and is off to school April 1st for training...with a company that does not hire anyone without a degree....true.

Best of luck on deciding on a new car....I wish I had kept my old one....it was better on gas than my newer one! Have a great weekend!! sorry, I rattled on so....

Laura said...

Most good parents lose it once in a while. It is beyond frustrating to deal with a child who is under achieving, but she won't be a teenager forever, and you will have great stories to tell your grandchilden.

lw said...

Three comments: First, I would call the owner of El Rey and make sure they know what happened. Two, healthy girls go through that indecent exposure "they dress like this on TV" stage. Girls who have been molested wear a lot of clothes, mostly baggy. Three: I highly recommend the Honda Fit Sport. I *love* mine. It's a 2009 and it's my favorite car ever. It looks tiny, but it's very comfortable and holds five people. Fold down the back seats and you could shove a washing machine in there on its side. All this and good gas mileage.

Elizabeth said...

We need a new car too. I'm giddy at the prospect, but realize that it is a huge deal that requires level-headed, calm and rational thinking and planning. We haven't bought a car in 12 years. Our insurance is sure to double. And a car payment? Blech. I'm hoping that the recent pay raises for the wage earners in our house and the offset in cost of gas (we're looking into a model that gets 40 mpg) will almost equal out and there won't be too much of a strain on the already tight budget. But that giddy, emotional part of me wants to run right out and buy a shiny new car with a leather interior and lots of whistles and bells. Mr. Bug's work schedule will be changing slightly and so we'll both be able to drive the car to and from work everyday. I can hardly contain the excitement.

So, about Sydney. How the heck do you teach a kid that there are some things in life that you just have to do? That you just have to grit your teeth and get through it and then move on?

And we're all learning as we go. My oldest is very different from my youngest and what works with him does not work with her. It is tough.

Also, sorry about your lunch. If you're ever in Utah, I'll take you to Joe Bandido's. They have the best Mexican north of the border ;).

xo -E

Shevvy said...

I'm not even going to think about what I as wearing at 14, but just imagine, it was London, 1984 and Duran Duran and Boy George were big and Like a Virgin came out!

As for the restaurant, with you completely. Can cope with a mistake, its the crappy response thats unacceptable. I've been in a flame war with Interflora this week over Mothers Day flowers that were delivered late. Its how bad their customer services have been that really peed me off.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the car shopping. I've been thinking about getting a different one, but notice that the used car prices seem almost the same as new car prices. For now, I'll keep looking. Thanks for sharing.

Kath said...

"ran all over that field last night, in inappropriate undergarments, with all her jiggly parts flapping all around, and every boy watching."

(sigh) that was me too, 40 years ago...

Tammy said...

Your post reminds me of a Sesame Street story book called "Grover's Awful Bad Day" everything went wrong that could go wrong.

Sydney will outgrow this rebel stage. Rewarding her performance with manual labour is an excellent idea, as is bribery.

When my kids were teenagers, I paid $20 for every "A" on their report cards. I also paid them $20, $40, $60 and $80 at the beginning of the school years in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. The money was paid up front, with the stipulation if they started smoking they had to give me the cash back for that school year. My son (Jason) told me in grade 12 he was flashing his 80 bucks around and his friends who started smoking in earlier years were trying to quit. Neither one of my two kids smoke.. a small victory and money well spent!

I know this is your blog not mine, but I need to share my the door slamming story. When Jason was Sydney's age, he came home from school one day angry about something. He went down to his basement bedroom and slammed the door. A few minutes later I came downstairs and knocked on his door. When he answered, I said "Jason we don't slam doors in this house." His reply, "I'll do whatever I bloody well please." and yep.. slammed that door again. I went upstairs...thinking... wait a minute...I own this house and I own that door. I went to the garage got a screwdriver and a hammer, popped the hinge pins...took Jason's door away... for one week. Jason hung his boy scout blanket poncho over his open doorway...it was easy to look through the hole into his room, he looked like a bird in a cage. lol To the best of my knowledge my son who will be 30 next month, does not slam doors.

Cheer up.. you and Rob are wonderful, caring and loving dads. Some folks say that kids become teenagers so their parents will want them to move out!

Carla said...

I'll be sure to avoid that place when in Austin again. That was rude and poor business. Word of mouth can hurt a business and a blog even faster. ;o)
As for the appropriate dressing of a 14 year old. I was lucky there. My daughter now 25 has always been modest. When her friends were wearing headband size mini skirts my daughter was going they look like hookers. Thank you Lord. Even now if a shirt shows too much cleavage she starts digging for a tank top to put underneath. She was in the minority amoung her friends for covering up.
I have a nephew who would do his homework but never turn it in. Too lazy to get it out of his locker or put in his backpack the night before. Why do it if you're not gonna turn it in. Good grief. He's in college now and doing better so there is hope.
Don't blame yourselves...Teenage girls tend to march to a different drum no matter how much you try but with your persistence it will turn around. Hang in there.

Vesuviusmama said...

I heard you! My sister and I were in Columbia, SC that night, preparing to go to a concert, and it sounded something like thunder,but not quite - it must have been you! I don't blame you one bit. I got 2 calls in one week for my 4th grader for not turning in assignments - my straight A student who reads at least an hour in bed each night on his own got in trouble for not reading 3 books in a month for school. He reads at least 10 books a month! He just didn't want to read the books they wanted him to read. I'm embarrassed to say that I think there was spittle on the side of my mouth when I was done yelling at him. I think I had to lie down to lower my blood pressure. Holy macaroni!