The picture above could be a picture of me this summer. I feel like I haven’t gotten out of the car all summer; a permanent imprint matching my butt can be found on the driver’s seat. Uber is my new name. My husband’s too…we share this awesome moniker. At least that’s what my sixteen year-old son believes. Apparently his father and I are running a car service for him. For free.
I drop him off at the baseball camp that he’s helping out at the other morning and he frowns as he glances around the parking lot.
“I’m the first one here,” he tells me.
“There’s people here, ” I point out. There are girls on the soccer field and boys on the football field.
“Not for baseball camp though. I’m the first one for baseball camp.”
“Yeah, okay, that’s good, right?” I say, really confused. Usually he is rushing me out of the house because he’s paranoid about being late. Even though he’s never been late in his entire life. Okay, maybe once he was late when his sister threw herself on the floor and refused to move unless we gave her a cookie or something, but generally, he is never late.
“No. I don’t want to be this early.”
I look at the clock and see that it’s 8:15. He needs to be at the field by 8:30. He’s not ridiculously early. And I have a doctor’s appointment 20 miles away at 9:00. An appointment I may not make it to if I allow him to stay in the car for another minute. “Oh well. Sorry,” I said, practically shoving him out of the car. The coach is there and besides, he’s sixteen, not six. He has a cell phone and the campus is crawling with students from other camps and sports teams. He’s not getting abducted—he just has to spend 15 minutes alone…the horror.
He grudgingly gets out of the car, but not before mentioning for the bazillionth time that the camp is over at 2:00 and there’s no need to wait for him to call to say the camp is over and I should be there at 2:00 because he was the last one picked up yesterday. I grip the steering wheel because I’m contemplating “bumping” him with the car and that would be bad. Beyond Bad Mommy Diaries bad. I drive away muttering under my breath, cursing him and his ungrateful teenage ‘tude.
It absolutely amazes me that not only are we bending over backwards to get him to where he needs to go (and ON TIME), he’s got the nerve to tell us how were supposed to be doing it. Instead of thanking us, he’s critiquing us. I remember walking home from track practice in high school or walking to work…MANY TIMES. Not once would I have berated my parents for not giving me a ride if it wasn’t convenient. I would be missing teeth right now if I had complained.
But not my spoiled boy…he seems to think rides to wherever he wants to go is his God given right as our offspring. In fact, for someone with no license or car, he makes an awful lot of plans, plans he expects us to partake in. He doesn’t seem to get that there are 3 other people in the house—3 other people that often have to change their schedules or not go out in order to accommodate his schedule.
“I’m hanging out with my friends tonight,” he says to me in the car as I pick him up from his umpiring job later on. I glance at the dashboard clock. It’s after 8:00 in the evening.
“Um, you are, are you?” This doesn’t bode well for me. Not one of his friends live in walking distance. In fact, his circle of friends literally extends the entire width of our township. It takes a good hour to collect or drop off the entire lot of them anywhere. Not that that stops them from actually walking here there and everywhere once they’re together. In fact, once when he was at one friend’s house (who lives 3 miles away), they walked as far as the McDonald’s that is a half a mile from our house—and then turned back to walk to the friend’s house to ask me to come pick him up!
“Yeah, we’re gonna go to the fair,” he tells me. I groan. The fair is on the other side of the world. Or at least, the other side of the township.
“How are you getting there?” I ask with a sinking feeling that I already know the answer to this question. This is the fourth night he’s been to the fair—I’m pretty sure this is going to go down a lot like the other nights.
“Can you take us?”
I sigh. I have no desire to play chauffeur tonight. I’m tired and cranky and there’s a glass of sangria in the fridge screaming out my name. A glass that I will have to neglect if I’m the uber of the evening. I’ve juggled multiple schedules to get him everywhere he needs to go several times this week already. I’m going to follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and just say no, I decide. After all, who’s the parent?
“Nope,” I tell him with conviction that I don’t feel at all. I really have no reason to refuse to let him go other than the fact that I am feeling lazy and I would like to have an adult beverage. So yeah, worst bad mommy ever.
“What?!?!” he is appalled at my selfishness.
“No,” I repeat.
He then proceeds to confirm the fact that I am the worst mom ever by telling me so. I then tell him that he’s grounded and he can kiss my butt if he thinks I’m ever going to take him anywhere again. There are tears and threats and pissed off faces when we pull into the driveway.
“What’s his problem?” my twelve year old asks as her brother storms past her to throw himself down on his bed, face in his disgusting-probably-hasn’t-been-washed-since-I-stopped-doing-his-laundry-two-years-ago pillow. This is her signature sulking method and she wants to know if he’s justified in ripping off her practically trademarked move.
I explain to her that he expects me to be his servant and shuttle him all over God’s creation at the drop of the hat. I mutter that I am counting down the days till his seventeenth birthday (367…) My daughter shrugs as she watches me angrily pour my drink and then says, “Why don’t you just get him an uber?”
I stare at her for a second, considering her suggestion. She may actually be on to something. His birthday is coming up…does uber have gift cards?