As readers of my blog already know, I’ve recently begun home-schooling my son which means that life has taken quite a hectic — but happy — turn in the Venomous Household. I suppose it’s no surprise, then, that this week’s mail bag was full of child-related questions… as if warping my own off-spring’s mind isn’t enough! Well, you asked for it… just remember that any advice is worth precisely what you paid for it.
I think my 13-year-old son is becoming a clean freak. I used to have to beg him to take a bath twice a week, and you can’t imagine the fights we had over how many times he’d wear the same pair of underwear before putting them in the laundry. Now, all of the sudden, he’s showering every day — sometimes for 30 minutes at a time! And don’t get me started on the bulging laundry hamper. It seems like the instant I finish one load of wash, he’s already bringing down another. What gives?
Wash and Wear
While it’s entirely possible your son is channeling the ghost of Howard Hughes, his adolescent hormones may also be to blame. Could it be that your little boy worries what girls think of him? That would certainly explain his about-face on the hygiene front. Then again, you may want to ask your husband to see if any of his copies of Playboy are missing… and lower the setting on your water heater. A good blast of cold water might be just what’s called for.
I’m 14 years old and a girl. I get good grades, do my chores on time and haven’t been in trouble at school this year, so I think my parents should respect my privacy and stop snooping through my room. I’ve asked them to stay out, but my mom always finds some excuse to go through my dresser when I’m at school. How can I get her to stop?
I know where you’re coming from. My mother used to go through my things, too, and even went so far as to read my diary (which she’d given me for Christmas) when I was your age. Although she tried hiding her tracks, I realized what was going on and decided to teach her a lesson by making up things and writing about them in my diary. Unless you’re curious about what it’s like being in a school for juvenile delinquents, I would strongly advise you not to do this.
Instead, recognize your mother’s behavior for what it is: parental concern. Yes, it’s invasive but if you’ve got nothing to hide (and if asking her to keep out doesn’t work) then there’s really nothing you can do. Meanwhile, start saving your allowance and baby-sitting money for your first apartment. And plan on never giving Mom a copy of your key.
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for five years now, and we’ve been exclusive for the past three of those years. We’re both in our mid-20s, have finished college and have jobs making pretty decent money. I’m ready for our relationship to move to the next step — marriage — but he doesn’t seem to be in any particular hurry. Whenever we talk about our future, he says he wants to have a wife and two or three kids someday. He even says he thinks we’ll get married eventually, but for some reason he hasn’t proposed!
I’ve been thinking about getting pregnant to give him a reason to get off the fence. His parents got married when his mom got pregnant with him, so I’m guessing he’d want to do the same thing. What do you think?
I’d Wear White Anyway
Pardon me while I go check my calendar…. Yep, just as I thought: it’s not 1950. So why would a girl in this day and age even think she could “trap” a guy by getting knocked up so he’d marry her?
Just imagine what would happen if you got pregnant and told him, prompting him to propose at long last. You would always, always wonder whether he’d have really chosen to marry you had you not “tricked” him into it. Even if he swore he would’ve married you regardless of your pregnancy, you’d never quite be able to believe it. Why burden a life-time commitment with that kind of baggage?
Frankly, the fact you’d even consider such an immature, selfish act makes me question whether you’re mature enough to be a parent, anyway. If that sounds harsh, tough. Someone has to think about your potential child’s mental well-being and feelings of worthiness, and evidently you’re too preoccupied thinking about your own needs right now.
So my advice is: wait for your boyfriend to reach the decision on his own, and consider the intervening time a chance for you to grow the hell up.
Note: Confidential to Sweetcheeks who didn’t want his question posted online: use a little talcum powder next time and those rubber pants won’t chafe nearly as much.
That’s it for this week’s issue of Dear VK. Remember: I can only work with whatever you send in. Got a question? Disagree with something I said? Send me an email for next week’s column.