Sunday 7 July 2013

What's next? Anally shooting jellybeans at a moving target??

As a parent, I fight a constant mental battle between wanting to fashion a suit for my kid out of kevlar and bubble wrap and lock him in his room until he turns 30, vs letting him make his own choices, mistakes and decisions that will allow him to grow up into a happy, well-adjusted adult. Usually I take the latter route, partly because I was raised by a very strict disciplinarian father who was (and still is) a major control freak, and I know how much that contributed to a lot of the issues and dysfunctions I have as an adult (not to mention an often-tumultuous relationship with my dad even now). I swore to myself when I gave birth to my son I would not be that parent...that especially when he became a teenager, I would allow him a reasonable amount of freedom and wisely choose my battles. I wouldn't scream or dictate or rule my household with fear as my weapon. And in turn, he would not do the sort of dumbass shit that would give me multiple heart attacks. But even if he did, I was prepared, because I too was a dumbassed teenager once, and figured I knew exactly the sort of dumbassery to expect.

Until he actually became a teenager and I discovered a whole new level of teenaged stupidity disguised as internet "challenges". Apparently getting blackout drunk at lake parties or tying a pallet to the back of a truck and going road-sledding is not quite dumbassed enough for this generation. Snorting condoms and seeing how long you can asphyxiate yourself without accidentally dying is the new 6 pack and a bag of weed. I've already had those uncomfortable conversations with Spielberg about drinking, drugs, sex, STD's, teen pregnancy, internet privacy, and I made him watch Project X to make him believe that any house party he ever would throw in my absence would potentially end with 2000 uninvited guests, an insane drug dealer with a flamethrower and complete destruction of the entire neighbourhood, resulting in millions of dollars in damages, plus a criminal record (lessons learned: do not ever announce you are having a party on any part of the internet. Also, do not steal a drug dealer's garden gnome, because it could be full of Ecstasy and he'll probably want it back).

Anyfuckingways, a couple weeks ago we were watching a Criminal Minds episode about these kids who died playing this online choking game where they would see how long they could asphyxiate themselves for points. I found myself having to grill Spielberg to see if he ever heard of anyone doing this, explain how stupid and dangerous it could be and to make him promise he would never ever do anything that retarded and that he would tell me immediately if he ever came across anything remotely like that online. He seemed a little offended that I would question his intelligence like that and also a little shocked that anyone would choke themselves for shits and giggles, and I seriously could not believe I even had to have this conversation with my 13 year old, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.

Then the other day I saw this thing on facebook about kids who are snorting condoms and posting it on YouTube (yes, that would be snorting a condom up your nose and have it come out the back of your mouth. Lubed, for your pleasure. Did you just throw up in your mouth a little? I know I did). Apparently YouTube has cracked down and deleted most of the videos, but before they did, at least a couple hundred THOUSAND kids filmed themselves doing the Condom Challenge. I did some stupid things in my day but I can assure you, I never would have voluntarily jammed a slimy piece of latex up my nose and gagged it out of my throat and then stuck a vid of it on the internet so all the world could bask in my epic stupidity. And now I have to have a conversation with my son about the perils of condom snorting, which I'm pretty sure will go down in history as The Most Idiotic Thing I Ever Had To Warn My Kid Not To Do Because If I Don't And He Decides To Choke To Death On A Condom I Will Never Forgive Myself For Thinking This Was Too Stupid To Mention.

I was thinking that I'm off the hook once he hits about 25 and can breathe a sigh of relief that he will have left that level of stupidity behind. Then I remembered my boyfriend's text yesterday, telling me how he almost got struck by lightning at work, and I quote "Yeah, it's right over our heads. Really fucking close. Awesome!!" and realize he's 41 and still enjoys taunting the threat of death with a happily up-thrusted middle finger. So I may be still be screwed even when my kid is an adult if he suffers from Peter-Pan-The-Adrenaline-Junkie Syndrome