Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Your Teenager "Friends" You

Do Not Press Play! First Born Son lip syncing to the Ding Dong Song

When your teenage son asks you for permission to open a Facebook account and you agree with the stipulation that he "friend" you and his father (so you can keep tabs on his activity), you had better have a sense of humor and the ability to let little transgressions roll like water off a duck's back. Becoming a Facebook friend to your child opens up a window which makes you wonder how your child ever graduated from third grade. First Born Son's posts are rife with grammatical errors which we are often tempted to correct. For example, take this post from February 8th at 7:15 PM
Or, there is this exchange  which occurred after First Born Son posted a photograph of himself that he had altered through his cell phone with a stamp filter.
Above the photo, he wrote: Yepp because I can.
Me:  Just because you can, it doesn't mean that you should.
First Born Son: mmmmmm tuche

Tuche? What the hell is tuche? It took me a moment to realize that he wasn't attempting to call me a douche and that he meant to say touche (with the accent over the e, which I have no idea how to execute in a post). His friend corrected his spelling error before I had a chance to.

We have also been subjected to countless status updates with screen shots from Call of Duty. And, we have sat patiently through an endless stream of You Tube videos (99% are benign- though quite annoying like the one where a girl sits in front of her computer monitor asking "Where's the Chapstick?" And, then begins to pseudo beat box the question over and over again). Others are links to the portal of his 14 year old brain which cannot yet discern what is acceptable footage to share with both his friends and his 60 year old grandmother (not to mention the countless aunts and uncles he has friended). An example of a questionable video is one that he posted of himself lip syncing to the Ding Dong Song by Gunther (do not click on link if there are small children around you). While the music is all tongue-in-cheek, there are elements of the real video that are literally tongue-in- cheek. There is a moment in the clip when First Born Son tugs on the collar of his T-shirt in a slightly seductive manner. While The Mr.'s response to the video was disgust that our son was ruining another T-shirt,  I had to remind him that many eyes from our family are watching him. And, I recalled the story of how his Uncle C, my brother, was un-friended by one of our more self-righteous relatives after he posted a video of himself "exercising" in a suggestive manner in a leopard print thong to Bon Jovi's Runaway (again, all tongue-in-cheek, but waaaaay too much cheek). I am just attempting to avoid becoming the target of a mass email campaign preaching the need to restore innocence to our children.

Being your teenager's Facebook friend allows you to also see images and comments from his peers that he is tagged in. But, the photos- such as the one where he is standing in the aisle of the metro bus wildly  throwing his arms in the air in some primitive dance, only make me more concerned for his safety (as well as the safety of his fellow passengers) while riding on public transportation. Or, there are pictures posted by his classmates from lunch that once again drive home the fact that your kid just does not care for lunch.

Really?! Now he's just farting in the face of our hard earned money.

But, then he endears himself to us-even more than we thought was possible (because truly, we are madly in love with this wacky kid) when he posts videos of his time spent with The Baby. There are clips of the first time Violet crawled; of Violet's first steps; of her dancing; of her singing; of her carrying on a conversation with the faucet in the bathtub; of him just adoring her. And, it is because of this sweetness (below), I can look past the grammatical errors, the annoying videos, the dangerous bus dancing:

And, I should mention, as my mother was concerned that I too often slam First Born Son in my writing and do not provide enough praise, that I am very proud of his accomplishments in school. Freshman year started off rocky; but, he has greatly improved his work ethic. The evidence of his effort and hard work is in the 5 1/2 point increase in his overall average for the 2nd quarter- which lands him a spot on "The Board" at school for honor and merit roll holders.


  1. That's great. You should always remind your kids that what goes on the Internet will ALWAYS be on the Internet. It's very difficult to get that point across but it should be discussed, absorbed, and then discussed some more. You should also talk to Uncle M. and Aunt K. about how they handle their children with Facebook.

  2. After reading through the post, the only thing that kept repeating in my mind is that he's such an amazing brother...you've got a good kid there...forget the grammatical errors... :)

  3. I think we have the same son, or maybe they are friends on facebook? Everything you say is TOO true! The other day he called me a stalker because he did some app that said I was his #1 fan..... geez....

  4. When I see some of the stuff my nieces and nephews put on their Facebook pages, I know exactly where you are coming from. I am almost embarrassed the world thinks I'm related to these illiterate people who make no sense.


  5. He sounds like a really great kid. That picture is adorable! : ) I am glad you have raised him so well! Laughed my head off about the leopard leotard and the unfriending! : )

  6. OMG my mother says the same thing about me! She told me after I first starting writing my blog, "People are going to think you don't like your kids!"
    At least your son makes the Facebook friendship fun. My son, who has friended me, is never on there. There's nothing to see! It's frustrating!
    This was a funny post though, I really enjoyed myself, especially the story of First Born farting on his lunch.

  7. PS: I really love your blog design with the hand drawn people and the header! This is a fun place! I'll be back!