Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Sit-Down with Mini

The split-up is hard for everyone. And even though MS and I are in an amicable space, Mini's life is a little upside-down. We haven't forgotten or dismissed that. However, the overall situation doesn't excuse Mini's behavior, even if it does explain it.

As mentioned before, Mini is on legal license suspension. She has home/work/school rights. We took the car away for a while after she was playing fast and loose - and then gave it back. In the last couple weeks, she's been outright flaunting "well, what are you going to do?" We have her tagged via phone with GPS, and she has repeatedly thrown a "fuck you" in our faces by random outings to the mall and Chipotle and Starbucks.

When the mall thing happened, she ghosted her "friend" as the driver and promised she left her car at home. Since I got out of work early, I ran by the house: no car. Even though she doesn't have a parking pass for school, I checked there as well: no car. When she got home, I made smalltalk and then confronted her about the location of the car, saying it wasn't at the house. "Oh," she slipped to without a thought, "I left it at the school." I told her I was there and her car wasn't. "Well then I don't know where it was."

It's a nasty affront when Mini doesn't have respect enough to follow her legal limitations, knowing if she were pulled over that it would be a year suspension and a gigantic fine - that we would be responsible for. But I think it bugs me more when she ignores our wishes, our guidelines, our limitations, and then lies directly to my face, lies to me so convincingly that I question my own judgement or the technology that tracks her to a specific point.

So we sat her down tonight and ran through the dog and pony show. We know you're lying, we know you're driving where you shouldn't be, we are having trouble trusting you. Insert explosion of how she's not a bad kid, what were we doing at 17, and other classic misdirection tactics.

She was shutting down, so it was endgame time: I called the school and blocked her ability to get a school parking pass (she's a 7 minute walk from MS's house), she will not be reinstated anytime soon, and one more transgression, and we're done; we will sell the car. And if she wants to keep it up, we're fine with shutting down Homecoming and Senior year is going to kind of suck.

Is it just a teenager thing or did we do something wrong? Is she genuinely reacting to our split or just using it as an excuse to mess around? What can I possibly do differently to make this better?

I/we don't know. All parents make it up as we go. There is no instruction booklet.

We do what we can, set the best example we can, and hope for the best.

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