My daughter pulled a fast one last week. This, in and of itself is not a shocking development. My daughter is 13, and so she’ll not only pull fast ones, but believe with all the sincerity and fervor of a cult member that she was justified in doing so. “Well of course I didn’t ask if I could arrange an arms deal with El Salvador freedom fighters so that I could use to proceeds to buy earring’s at Claire’s. You would have said no!”
It’s difficult to keep a grin off of my face when I catch one of my kids doing this sort of thing, because when I was that age, I ran my fair share of covert operations that required some modifications to the truth. My favorite was The Sleepover Gambit. This is how it operated:
Me: Mom, can I sleep over at John’s house?
(meanwhile, at John’s house…)
John: Mom, can I sleep over at Greg’s house?
John’s Mom: Ok.
Sprung from the bonds of parental supervision, we then set about exercising our freedom, which in this case meant building and detonating large bombs made out of gasoline, gunpowder, and dynamite wick. If 9/11 had happened 20 years earlier, I’d probably be writing these words from Guantanamo.
Later on, after I had discovered the joys of throwing up in bushes, I would also use The Fake Parent Ploy to make it easier to free up my time for binge drinking.
Me: Mom, can I spend the night at Curt’s?
Mom: Well… Are his parents home?
Me: Here (hands over the phone)
Curt’s 25 year old brother with a very deep voice: Hi! Hey, just to let you know, we’d love to have Greg over tonight. We’ll keep a good eye on him for you.
Mom: Oh, good! I’m glad I talked to you and won’t have to worry about what Greg is doing tonight.
Curt’s brother would then go out and buy us a couple of cases of beer, and we’d spend the night drinking and getting so high that we’d wind up playing pool with ping pong paddles. (To be fair, Curt’s brother did keep an eye on me in that he was conscious most of the time I was over there.)
Ultimately, though, I wound up using the Untraceable Technique, which relied on me telling my mom that I was potentially going to so many places that it was impossible for her to check on me.
Me: I’m leaving, I’ll be back later!
Mom: Wait, where are you going?
Me: Well, we’re going to get a bite to eat first, not sure where, and then we were thinking of maybe catching a movie, or playing miniature golf. Or bowling. Or go-karting. I dunno, we’ll figure it out later. See ya’!
And then we’d go get high in the woods for six hours. We spent a lot of time getting high in the woods, which was very educational. For instance, I learned that trees are fucking hilarious.
So when my ex-wife called to inform me that my daughter had pulled the wool over her eyes, I laughed. Kids will be kids, after all. Besides, how bad could it be?
“She had a sleepover at her friend’s house, neglecting to tell me that her friend’s twin brother is her boyfriend.”
“Wait, she had a sleepover at her boyfriend’s house? She’s 13!!!“
So now I’m looking at the Forced Chastity Gambit. Anyone know of a good nunnery around here?
That’s exactly what I said. Only with 7,000% more profanity.
Aside from being sneaky, the sleepover plan may have been more innocent than you think.
You know that there is no such thing as forced chastity, unless you put your daughter in a locked cage, with all the whining, deep sighing, and eye-rolling that would result.
I don’t think anything untoward happened, as there were parents over there. But everyone, both sets o parents AND the kids involved agree it was inappropriate.
As for the cage idea, that’s brilliant. I’ma go find on on Craigslist, thanks!
I enjoy parents who have faith in their teen-aged kids’ good behaviour. So much optimism.
Yeah, I was a teen once. I know better.