It was too quiet. Usually Catgirl never wanted to take a nap and she would appear at the foot of the stairs and say she wasn't tired, and I would send her back up to "rest", because, let's face it, I wanted a rest from two very active toddlers. But not that day. That day it was just too quiet. So, I went to see what she was up to, because Catgirl was very good at getting into mischief...especially the kind involving makeup, crayons or markers.
I found a very sticky but highly amused Ro, standing in her crib, laughing at her reflection in the mirror. Catgirl had found a tube of A&D ointment and decided to see what happened if she smeared it all over her sister, who was also supposed to be napping, but that's a bit difficult when you're all sticky. So, I had a sticky child, a sticky crib, a sticky floor and a sticky mirror...and several hours of work ahead, trying to get it all off. At least I got a fun anecdote to tell out of it.
Now Catgirl is fifteen, nearly sixteen, and has a boyfriend. And that's a whole different kind of "sticky" situation. At least for me. A&D ointment I can deal with.... nothing that a little elbow grease can't take care of. But boyfriends, now that's a whole new terrain.
|A Friendly Warning to The Boyfriend|
Just people? Wait a minute...
All the parenting instinct bells and whistles started going off, and I knew there had to be more to it than just wanting to go out. So I asked if there was a boy involved. And Catgirl looked just as sheepish as she had on the ointment day and said "Well, yeah."
So, there it is. A boyfriend. It had to happen sometime, but no matter how ready you think you are, it still comes as kind of a shock that your mischievous little ointment-smearing daughter is suddenly head-over-heels in love and wanting to go out and "experiment" with the sticky world of dating.
What now? I think back, trying to remember what it was like. I remember my first boyfriend. I was fourteen. But he hardly even counts since he didn't last more than a week. I dropped him like a hot potato when he tried to feel me up in the pool during P.E...before he'd even kissed me.
Here's a little advice to teenage boys: don't try to feel your girlfriend up before you kiss her. It doesn't go over well. Remember, kiss first, everything else later.
So, back to the situation at hand. I didn't have my first "real" boyfriend until I was sixteen, and things never got past a little kissing. Times were different back then, although some of the girls at school bragged about how they "did it" behind the bushes, or in their parents' room, while their parents were at work. But most of us weren't ready to take that step at sixteen.
Times have changed. Now it's the girls that chase after the boys, and it's not uncommon for them to have more than one "boyfriend" at a time. Alcohol is easy to get, and one of the things that many Spanish teens do on the weekend is to participate in something called a botellón, which mainly consists in mixing alcohol with soft drinks and passing the bottle around until everyone is thoroughly drunk.
So, I'm just a little bit worried. When my nieces went through all this I could just watch and be amused, but Catgirl is my kid, and that's a whole different thing. Now it's my responsibility to do something.
Which brings me to "The Talk". Catgirl and I had "The Talk" several years ago, but with the coming of The Boyfriend, I've just given her a booster shot of it for good measure. And now it's time to let her go and put all that advice to good use. While I was talking to her, she kept saying, "I already know all that", in that exasperated why-do-my-parents-think-I'm-stupid tone that she is so good at. So, I just said, "Hey, I'm your mom and it's my job to tell you this stuff. It says so in my contract, so just bear with me and we'll be done sooner that way." And I kept on talking...
So, Catgirl has been warned about sex, drugs and rock and roll, and now she's ready to take on the world. She's actually a pretty responsible kid, so I'm not too worried about her.
But still, The Boyfriend, is a seventeen-year-old boy. And according to my husband, who I assume was speaks from experience, seventeen-year-old boys will do anything, even sell their own mothers, if it means getting sex. So, I told Catgirl that I think she should wait until she's a little older before having sex, but that what she does is ultimately her decision, and that she should only do what she really wants to do, not what The Boyfriend wants her to do.
But more than sex, I'm worried about drugs and alcohol, which I think are much more dangerous. For now there won't be any botellones or anything of the sort because nighttime dates are not anywhere on the agenda...and Catgirl has been informed that it will stay that way for quite some time. So, she'll have to be happy with afternoon movie and mall dates, which is more than enough for a fifteen-year-old.
At least one good thing has come out of all this...I caught Catgirl spontaneously cleaning her room the other day. That's one point for The Boyfriend in my book. Now he's been invited over for pizza on Saturday and we'll see how he behaves. He did ask if he should bring something...nice, that's another point for him.
No, young man, you don't need to bring anything, just remember our new rule: doors open and hands where I can see 'em, and we should get along nicely
And Catgirl, as for you, if you promise to keep him in line, I'll make sure your dad doesn't do this:
And I'll even promise not embarrass you by getting out old photos of you in diapers and telling him stories about how you got into the ointment.
Well, maybe just one...