Sunday, September 27, 2009

Street Rules

My 11 year old daughter told me that she wanted to walk to school and to her friends' houses by herself and I said, "absolutely, just as soon as I'm dead" which she thought was totally unfair, but I reassured her that we live in NYC in a middle of a terrorist threat epidemic and swine flu hysteria so that she may not have that long to wait after all.

That didn't cheer her as much as I thought it would, so I decided to do a practice run with her.

It worked like this: She walked to school and I walked a respectful distance behind her, to monitor how she stopped at the red light and didn't make eye contact with the hung over drag queens on the corner. (I can't believe people move out of NYC when they have kids and deprive their progeny of these sights). Anyway, she was doing so well that I decided to throw a little Advanced Street at her.

"Hey, little girl!" I said. "Come with me. Your mom said that you should."
She kept walking.
"I have a puppy that needs help!" I continued. "And a kitten that will be dead unless you come with me."

She ignored me.

"Of course, there's some candy and ice cream too." I went on. "So, to recap. You need to come with me to help save a kitten and a puppy and have some candy and ice cream. Because your mother said that you should."

She kept walking, not breaking her pace at all.

She passed my test!

I beamed with pride until we got to school and I realized that she had her headphones on. And that the people who were walking their kids to school right behind me were holding them unnaturally close and giving me wide berth.

Labels:

43 Comments:

Blogger daydreamymama said...

I really, really hope you write a parenting book some day.

September 27, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

I think the key to making this test work is to be behind the wheel of a beat up white Chevy conversion van. That's masters program training.

September 27, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Oh My Goddess said...

Now that's funny!

September 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Too funny.

I've been arguing with my step-daughter recently about the fact that she won't allow her 7-year-old to play in the front yard or ride her bike around the block.

All that hovering looks like it would take a lot of energy....

September 27, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Jeanne--maybe your step-daughter likes her 7 year old? I know it sounds crazy, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

September 27, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

ha!!

September 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Jen on the Edge said...

If it makes you feel any better, I live in a small town in Virginia and I sure as hell won't let my kids walk around without me. Maybe when they're 30...

September 27, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Redstocking Grandma said...

I suggest you all read Free Range Kids regularly.
http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

Too much overprotection leaves your kids vulnerable.

September 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Redstocking Grandma--I've read Free Range Kids, albeit not regularly. I find that point of view highly resistible.

September 27, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

When my son said that he wanted to walk to school I said ok. But first I bought him a taser and a .22.

September 27, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Only you can make me laugh on this dreary rainy afternoon.
Too funny.
Maybe if she wore a gas mask the freaky child stealers would be frightened? AND the whole terrorist gas threat would be covered.

September 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger A Mom on Spin said...

Kids. . . always showing you up. . .

September 27, 2009 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger rachel... said...

Ha!

I won't let my kids leave the yard and we live in the suburbs!

September 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Janie at Sounding Forth said...

You are so funny - and so wise! I agree, you need to write a parenting book.

Too bad my kids are grown...guess I'll buy it for them!

September 27, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Charmaine said...

Can I publish your post on my blog? I know that you're not into that nonesence.

I have at least one reader who will benefit.

I swear, I have one whole reader. Yep, yes I do. It's a fact.

September 27, 2009 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

I thought it was you I saw the other night on America's Most Wanted!

Tonight all of New York are holding their kids a little closer.

September 27, 2009 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger La Mere Joie said...

That's hysterical! I so won't let my oldest go around the corner by herself. She's cute and she'll be stolen for sure. Of course, they would give her back once she started talking with them. Still, ain't gonna happen!

September 27, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Ann's Rants said...

Oh lord, lately I've had to allow 5.5 to go in the men's room. ALONE. Oh, sure, I'm all free range mom in theory, but I become shooting range mom in practice--barraging any men through the door with my voice:

"HONEY? I'm standing right by the door. RIGHT HERE. DO YOU HEAR ME? If you need me I WILL COME IN"

September 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Maddness of Me said...

I live near Detroit and have never heard of such things. Are you saying it is dangerous for kids to walk around alone where you live? That is horrible.

September 27, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Your daughter is a real smart cookie. You may be a little crazy.

September 27, 2009 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Oh, Marinka. I do love you... And I'm SO GLAD you weren't my mother. (because, that'd be really weird, as in a mother who was younger than me, right?)

September 28, 2009 at 2:18 AM  
Blogger Sophie said...

YOU, my friend, are a model parent. Your methods should be tought at parenting school under "how to do it right".

September 28, 2009 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Maelstrom said...

A+ Marinka

September 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Madness of Me--I don't think it's very nice of you to rub in the safe oasis that is Detroit in my face.

September 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Mwa said...

My mother did that with me when I was five. (In a small village, not NYC.) She had the decency of following me SECRETLY.

September 28, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Keyona said...

Ha! That is a mess! I always have my earphones in on the Metro and it drives my huband nuts! He swears somebody is going to sneak up on me and take me. Believe me, they will return my annoying ass.

September 28, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Marinka, that's too funny!

September 28, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Maddness of Me said...

Great. Read your follow up comment on my iPhone in the ladies room at work and laughed out loud. Thanks. Now everyone thinks I'm a freak.

BTW, if you watch Hung on HBO you will see that we have male prostitutes here. Hot ones. So don't go counting Detroit out girls.

September 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger CSY said...

Good Job, Marinka! We live in a small town (that WANTS to be a big city, not happening yet) and I don't let my kids out of my yard alone...we live in the country and I'm STILL tight with my kids.

September 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Sherry C said...

Your blog is so funny i love it! i don't even know how to be clever wish i did. I live in the suburbs and there is only a soccer field between my house and the school and my sons who are 9 & 7 walk with momma each day. I also have a 4 year old and 5 months old so some days I will send then out and watch from the end of the drive. Mostly I feel like I'm going with them honestly because all the other mothers are walking with their kids.

Your sound like an amazing mom. I love your blog

September 28, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Sherry C said...

Your blog is so funny i love it! i don't even know how to be clever wish i did. I live in the suburbs and there is only a soccer field between my house and the school and my sons who are 9 & 7 walk with momma each day. I also have a 4 year old and 5 months old so some days I will send then out and watch from the end of the drive. Mostly I feel like I'm going with them honestly because all the other mothers are walking with their kids.

Your sound like an amazing mom. I love your blog

September 28, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Sherry C said...

Your blog is so funny i love it! i don't even know how to be clever wish i did. I live in the suburbs and there is only a soccer field between my house and the school and my sons who are 9 & 7 walk with momma each day. I also have a 4 year old and 5 months old so some days I will send then out and watch from the end of the drive. Mostly I feel like I'm going with them honestly because all the other mothers are walking with their kids.

Your sound like an amazing mom. I love your blog

September 28, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger That one girl said...

I think this just made my day!

September 28, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger fosterhood said...

At least you didn't hire actors to shout at her about the dying puppies and candy. Not yet anyway! :)

September 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Elenka said...

OMG, so funny....I think.
What do I know? My kid used to get on a bus at the foot of our driveway in the country in Maine.
But it was equally dangerous......ANYONE could have been driving a school bus. ANYONE could have purchased a school bus of their own and pretended to be a bus driver. The school bus might have been hijacked and the real driver bound up in duct tape and shoved under a seat.
You can't be too careful.
Good job, Mom.

September 28, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

now THAT is funny.

headphones. ha. ha .

September 28, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

You are SO lucky you didn't get arrested!

September 28, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

ha! that is great! my husband wants to move to NYC so bad. we just had our first child ... he's 3 months. it is an exciting thought, but a scary one at the same time. all i've ever known is the south.

September 28, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Chief said...

I don't know I was wondering around and I landed here. I've been looking around I think we should be friends.

I'm not batshit crazy or fatal attraction... I am just heavily medicated.

I will keep my distance the best I can, but I think the caption contest from the first of the month, might have sealed our fate.

September 28, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

It sucksa that we live in a world where we have to worry about all this crap. I biked to friends houses all the time as a kids 2-3 miles by myself at age 9. I would NEVER let my son do this now mind you. Sad.

September 28, 2009 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger {Kiki} said...

Wow! I can't imagine doing that. I am not brave. My son is only 5 and I fear for his future everyday. I have told him that I will be working at his elementary school; he must bring home any girl to be approved by us before a date; i will be his housemother at college; he is to move back in with us post-grad; he cannot marry until he is 30, and only after she is approved by me. I think that is why the word "smother" has mother in it. I am the definition. Take care.

September 28, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

That's it? You don't even have a kid leash for her? When we have kids, I think we are thinking big. Bubble boy big.

September 29, 2009 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Grove Designs Co, aka Kriskropmemories said...

I have only read a few posts but I can't wait to read more, it is soooo funny!
Thanks for the laugh :)

September 29, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

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