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  • Wherein I Am Omniscient With The Help Of Amazon

    March 16, 2014

    As many of you know, Sean is now a 10-year-old boy and as such, I have had to learn to lengthen the leash, to give him a bit more freedom.

    I have had to carefully calculate how much to lengthen the rope by the severity of the consequences that could befall any unfortunate decision he might make in this new space and then recalibrate and test the rope again just to make sure.

    When he was little it was much much easier.  I could allow him to roam to the other side of the playground where I could see him. I could let him ride his bike in the cul-de-sac where from the windows of the house I could see him. This arrangement was a win-win for both of us.  He felt un-tethered and I felt tethered.  He got to practice freedom and I got to practice letting him have a little freedom in laboratory conditions.

    But now Sean is ten and lengthening the rope to allow him to go across the street or around the block seems like nothing compared to the internet.  The stakes seem higher, but maybe they are not. Maybe they are just different stakes.

    So, yes, I have of course done all the prudent things to lock down the internet, and we have had frank discussions about the dangers of the internet and made clear to him what he can and cannot do on-line, and why.  But still.  Nothing is fool proof and I am always on high-alert on this front.

    So the other day, I told him that whenever he watches anything on Amazon Prime that I get an email, and that is true.  I didn’t really know that until I got an email the other day from Amazon reporting that someone in our house had watched Square Bob Sponge Pants.

    Let me say here, that Square Bob is not evil, I just don’t think he’s all that worthy and I have discouraged that he be viewed as such.  So when I brought up the Amazon Big Brother email with Sean, Square Bob was really all I had in mind.  And for all I know, AD had watched it.  Although, I might have to rethink my marriage vows if that were true.

    So when I told Sean about the Amazon email,  he looked down at his shoes and said, “Well.  Then I guess you know my secret.”

    Opportunity knocked.  At this point, I had not mentioned any specific show.

    “Yes. Yes I do,” I lied as I dangled my unbaited fishing line in the water.

    “I’m really embarrassed,” he admitted.

    Now I was starting to wonder if maybe he had watched some other sort of lurid shape of pants, not square, and I panicked just a bit.

    “Well,” I said, and then paused not for dramatic effect but because I could not think of one thing to say.

    “I know,” he sighed, “Power Rangers.”

    And then he scrunched up his nose like he had eaten something green, like a vegetable.

    “It’s a baby show, I know, but I like it.”

    “You know,” I said, “You can watch Power Rangers if you want.  There is nothing wrong with that.  I’ll be honest, I still love Captain Kangaroo.”

    I reminded him that he knows what is acceptable and what isn’t and that we trust him.

    And I also reminded him that Amazon would be sending me an email documenting his viewing whereabouts.

    Like Ronald Reagan, I will trust and I will verify.

    And then I may or may not have left the impression that anytime he does anything anywhere I get an email.

    11 Comments »

    1. Kay says:

      My girl is in her teens and still doesn’t know how I know all I know. I like it that way. ; )

      March 16th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    2. Maria says:

      Is there any chance you could share how you get amazon to send you that email? I too have a 10 year old and I can’t figure out how to set this up, but it sure would be helpful.

      * * *

      Actually, I didn’t do anything to set it up, and I was curious, so I went back and looked at the email and what it is, is a customer review request – “How many stars would you give Sponge Bob Square Pants Seasons Six?” Although if you opt out of all of their emails, you may not get them.

      March 16th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    3. Iota says:

      “Mothers know everything” is a phrase I often deploy. It might not be strictly true, but it’s kind of true enough.

      I’m intrigued that you prefer Sean to watch Power Rangers over Spongebob.

      * * *
      I don’t prefer one over the other – I would prefer neither.

      March 17th, 2014 at 1:36 am

    4. heidig says:

      When my girls were little and tempted into some shenanigans by a “friend”, I recall my older daughter saying, “I can’t do that. It’s wrong and my mom will find out. I don’t know how but she always does”. She’s 24 now and, with any luck, has learned a few things from me over the years.

      March 17th, 2014 at 8:52 am

    5. Joni says:

      Love it. Enjoy. They grow up so fast. And just who told mine he could work at his presence job! Not me. But mine is a viable adult who thinks he owes a giving back for everyone who helped him grow up. Where does he get these ideas. I’m proud of him and frightened because of all that I out there.

      March 17th, 2014 at 9:14 am

    6. Jake's a Girl says:

      That is the sweetest thing ever. I can see him standing there in shame of you knowing he had watched *gasp* Power Rangers. :) Your cheeks must have hurt from trying not to grin.
      And he’s 10. Time is flying.

      Isn’t it nice that with just a clever word or two they think we know everything.

      K once ask if I had glasses for the eyes in the back of my head. Nope. Contacts.

      Lengthening the rope is hard. Letting go is near impossible because even though his end has dropped…I’m still holding mine.

      March 17th, 2014 at 10:30 am

    7. Dianne says:

      This is what happens when one bails on the blogosphere for a year…or two…or some. How can Sean be 10? That just blew me away. But it was also comforting to find your blog intact, your design the same, and you still blogging. I look forward to catching up a little and wading back into blogging. I’ve missed it. Your son is still ever so sweet and precious. :-)

      March 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    8. Laura J. says:

      I’ve been out of the loop a while, too, so like Dianne — I can’t believe Sean is 10. Of course, I can’t believe my daughter is 18 and graduating from high school in a little over a month. How time flies. I’ve blogged a few times recently about struggling with similar things . . . it’s very, very hard knowing my homeschooled (but very normal) daughter will be starting college in the fall.

      March 25th, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    9. Sheila@Chinaberry says:

      My husband and I were just talking about these kinds of issues a day or so ago. Before you know it, you’ll be waiting for him to drive home late at night, that’s how fast it goes by. In the blink of an eye. It may be hard {for me too!} to give them more independence, but it’s worth it.

      March 27th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    10. Jackie Hall says:

      Not a bad impression to leave a little boy. haha

      I always felt that knowing when to let go and how much is one of the hardest parts of parenting. My son is now 22. It is very hard not to treat him like my baby boy. Him going to a college 5 hours away from me for 2 years helped…. somewhat. haha I am so very thankful he goes to UNT now.

      April 8th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    11. BeckyB says:

      Smart, is what I’d call you! :)

      April 12th, 2014 at 7:59 pm

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