Texting Your Teen, A Lesson of What NOT To Do
I was walking a friend through the process of setting up a Facebook account and had just said, "The most important thing to know is that everything you post on your wall or anyone else's can be viewed by everyone who likes you," when a little pop up appeared notifying me that my 13-year-old son Keenan had updated his status.
"Keenan is horny."
"I'll call you back," I said.
I reread Keenan's status and saw that his younger brother's friend had already read and commented on Keenan's status with, "Wow." Panic set in as I begin imagining all of the parents of our kids' friends reading about my 13-year-old son's desire to have sex with their daughters. I started to write a comment of my own that went something like this, "You are soooooo grounded you…", but remembered reading an article about Facebook no-nos if you want your kids not to hide their account from you and decided against it.
Instead, I formulated a brilliant plan. One that would mortify my son beyond words. One that would cause him to think these things through in the future and NEVER embarrass himself or his loving mother on Facebook again.
I picked up my cell phone and with a grin that makes the Joker's look pretty, I texted him these four words, "How horny are you?"
I could barely contain my giggles.
That's right kid. Don't ever underestimate the reach of a mother's eyes.
Within seconds, Quick Draw Mcgraw hit me back with, "WHAT????????"
As if. Now I was fuming. How dare that little twit act like he didn't know anything about it. I could see his circle face in my head. That's the one where his eyes and his mouth are all open at perfectly gaping proportions causing him to look like he has three circles on his face. That is his lying face. Every. Single. Time.
Feeling quite smug, I texted him back, "I saw what you posted on Facebook."
He responded with, "What are you TALKING about???????????????????????"
It was at this point I began to feel a little tightness in my chest and my breathing started to get more labored than the day I delivered him because this one tiny thought popped into my little pee brain. Is it possible he didn't post it?
I sheepishly texted him, "Ummmmmm. You see, your Facebook update says you are….well, ummmmm, you know….horny."
Then there is a mortifyingly long wait and I get this text. "OMG. I would NEVER put that on my Facebook. My friend did it. I checked my Facebook on his phone and forgot to log out. OMG. I can't believe you texted me that."
Sweet blindness causing mother texts. My unsuspecting teen was walking along innocently with his friends, all smiley faced and happy to be alive, when he looked down and without any provocation or warning, received a text from his mother asking, "How horny are you?"
I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering how in God's name my child would ever be able to look me in the face again without needing to run to the bathroom and empty the contents of his most recent meal. I picked him up at his bus stop and was encouraged to see that he made eye contact with me without turning three shades of green as he departed the bus.
He tossed his backpack into the back of the car, came around to the front, opened the door, took one look at my, "I am such an idiot" face and busted out laughing until tears were streaming down his face. I joined in and we sat there for several minutes laughing so hard we could barely breathe. Which was clearly fake laughter intended to ensure we didn't have to speak to each other. We didn't.
As I drifted off to sleep that night, I kept thinking the same thing over and over again, "No 13-year-old boy should EVER receive a text from his mother saying, 'How horny are you?'"
This post is the post that started Ooph. Well, more precisely, it is the moment that made me realize parenting teens was not something I was going to be naturally good at. I would need to study, do homework and most importantly, rethink every text I would ever send to my teens EVER again.