Why is it when you stand for a principle or even better, assert your right as a parent, it costs you money?
Case in point: I've been having a long running battle with both my son and my mother over him wanting to get a driver's license. Long story short, I made it crystal clear that in order for me to allow him to get a license, he has to get a job.
I suppose it has to do with the fact that the nano-second he gets a license my poor paycheck, already stretched to maximum capacity as being the only source of income in the house, cannot absorb the financial hit that a lazy teenager will inflict on it.
So in order to help defray the cost of a teenager latching onto my paycheck, said teenager got a job flipping burgers, which in and of itself was a good thing. Responsibility and all that jazz, I'm all for it.
Anyways, at about the same time he got the job, he also signed up for driver's ed classes (Connecticut says that you have to have "x" amount of hours of a particular type of driver's training under your belt before you can take the exam). Which was fine. Again, responsibility and all that jazz, I'm all for it.
And he also makes an appointment to take the test, which is also fine. Responsibility and all that jazz, I'm all for it.
A few weeks later, once it became clear enough that son was gainfully unemployed due to being dropped after a weekend of training, it was decided by me that a rescheduling of the driver's test needed to be done.
You thought I uttered a profanity against the Prophet Muhammad. Next thing I knew, I'm being jumped by my lazy ass son and my overbearing mommy dearest.
After an intense rock 'em sock 'em battle in which profanities, threats and objects were hurled with deadly accuracy, and of which I tried (again) to get my point across about it being financially unsound in the most direct way that I knew how, I left the household battered and bruised, and unsure whether or not I was going to win this latest flareup.
By Monday (this donnybrook having taken place on Friday morning so my day was severely shot to tiny little pieces) the acrimony had died down to the point where I was on acknowledgment terms with lazy ass son and mommy dearest.
So I'm busy typing away on keyboard at work with pretty much an empty mind, when my phone rings. I looked at the caller i.d. and considering its from home, my tone is somewhat brusque.
"What?" this is how I usually answer the phone from home.
"Hey, where do you want me to take the money from?" as you can see, wife is more than used to this kind of 'tude from me.
"Again, for what?"
"Cancelling the driver's test without two weeks notice." driver's test was the next day.
at this point I'm swearing under my breath because if I did it out loud I would be hip deep in pig shit.
"G?" she really didn't call me that but you know....
"Where do you want me to take it from?"
grumble, grumble, grumble "Checking I guess."
So in the end, this debacle (for it was a debacle) cost me a great deal of peace of min, made my wallet a tad lighter and made my mood just that darker for the next week.
I often ask myself is it really worth it to hold your ground in order to make your point, when in the end all you've accomplished is to widen the chasm between yourself and your kids, yourself and your wife, yourself and your parents, and sadly enough, between yourself and your peace of mind.