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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"You Need to Leave Now."

That's what he said. My daughter said she had spent two months solid thinking and figuring out she could afford what her son needed to go to college out of state, shopping and wearing herself out. He received scholarships, grants, help from family in the form of large graduation gifts, and did not work all summer. (He actually landed a job that ended up being fewer hours than they indicated until the last two weeks. I figure that a long-time employee left to go to school but not before he got all the hours and paychecks he could.)

I got all the deals I could for free or almost free school supplies and showed my daughter the best deals online for clothing (underwear and socks) since I have more time to spend online. She even drove to Long Island to get things not available where she is in Brooklyn. (Sandy destroyed places she shopped.) His sister has taken a backseat while everyone focused on getting him to the out-of-state school he only wanted to attend because his girlfriend is going there. His 12-year-old sister was very understanding.

It took two vehicles, my daughter, her bf D, her ex B, the girl's mother, and the girl's uncle riding a bus with luggage to get all the gear the two college students needed to the college four hours away. My daughter drove and arrived exhausted. She was quickly organizing his stuff in the room while he watched, got in the way, was a brat (she said), and did not help. The guys went to buy whatever they needed to hook up his brand-new tv (bought the day before by his father) by stringing all the wire up and around doors to reach the tv outlet across the room. Oh, he did hang up his shirts.

The grandson eventually said to his mother, "You need to leave now." "It's time for you to go." Finally, his girlfriend came to his room and told my daughter, "You can leave now." My daughter was crushed. She hugged her son with no joy, and left when she finished what she was doing.

Then, she had the grueling four-hour drive home. She had gotten up at 5 am and left by 6:15 pm to get him settled so she could drive home before dark. She cried lots because of his ingratitude, his dismissive attitude. She cried when she arrived home. She was still beyond exhausted when I talked to her Monday night.

She had planned they would all go out to eat lunch, decompress/relax, laugh a bit, say good-bye and depart in a good mood. The kids had other plans. There was some event on campus for incoming freshmen that they wanted to attend! Really, they should have just said so instead of telling her it was time for her to leave, dismissing her.

My advice to her: Drop him off at the curb next year. She agreed.
My advice: Let him take the bus home for visits. She already had told him that would be necessary because of the age of her vehicle. She does not expect him until Thanksgiving.

My daughter said her son called his father at 1 am and asked where his toiletries he himself had packed were located. His father had no idea: "look in your bins." LOL

This is a kid who has never given her a moment's worry, just had an attitude problem occasionally and a smart mouth occasionally. He attended school, did not do drugs, does not smoke or drink, won leading roles in high school musicals, played an instrument, played football one year and maintained very high grades except for his junior year. So, all this attitude was totally unexpected.

Since the mother of the girlfriend rode back with my daughter, they discussed the two they left behind. It seems that the girl acted the same way toward her mother, upsetting her as well. So, it was not just my daughter's son. The little girlfriend is an only child!

One good thing did come out of this. I told her I felt the same way she does when she does not call me back or says she is too busy to talk.  She sounded sorry as she sort of gasped and groaned and apologized. So, for two days, she has been responsive. No, I do not expect to talk to her every day.

And, so it goes...................


  1. Ooooh. I loved how you got your point across! And after only waiting....what...18 years? HA!

    Kids today have that attitude that they are owed servitude for life.

    When we dropped our daughter off at IU, in a 4 year old car, she asked us to borrow my sister's new Mercedes the next time we drove up. She was ashamed of the very ones who made that college possible!!!

  2. Finally karma has come back to bite your daughter in the a$$ over how she treats you.

    If you don't mind me asking, what school did he pick?

    Most college bound teens don't want the 'rents hanging around on Move In day. They sure don't want the other teens meeting you.
    Drop their stuff and get out quick is my motto after going through 2 freshman move ins.

    Make a quick getaway and give em a few weeks to really start missing all you do for them....that's my strategy.

    One day they'll grow up and realize how good they had it...hopefully BEFORE they become the parent themselves.

    1. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

      She did not mind leaving him to do it all. But, she did not like his attitude and way he spoke to her and the words he used. If he had said I want to attend such and such, so just leave it to me, she could have handled it, miffed maybe, but not hurt.

      I will have to admit that while I was hurting for her, I was secretly saying, "SEE how it feels?" I don't want my kids to hurt to realize how I feel, but however they learn it, just so they learn.

      When she says angrily that she is busy and to quit calling her, I can hear her children in the background. I pointed out to her once that she is teaching them how to treat her when she is old. WOW, did her voice and patience with me change with the next syllable out of her mouth.

      Next year, when everyone does not knock themselves out, her son may learn. However, my ex buys love and loyalty, so he will probably kick in with some of the money his mother left him. But, he will dole it out so the grandson is beholden all the time and make a beggar out of him.

      I figure the grandson and gf will want to move in together as soon as they can. Of course, her mother may have something to say about that. I am glad he is dating an only child.

      Yes, priceless.

      Do you know anything of the popular reputation of this school? The internet is not giving up the kind of information I want. You can just email it if you have any info that is passed

    2. Sluggy,
      I told her not to call. Let him miss her. She agreed that she would not call him at all. When I moved away to college, my mother was in the ICU, so I was sick with worry about her and the four younger children I was caring for, two teens and preteen and toddler. I would loved for my mother to be with me when I moved in. I didn't want to go, but she ordered me to, begged me to go.

  3. lotta joy,
    She finally gets what I feel, but it seems she always has to feel it herself before she has any understanding. Of course, that is because of her father's continual criticism of me in years gone by.

    I just hope she does not let him bring his laundry home. Her washer is broken and the landlord will not allow them to get another because it flooded the apartment below.

    Any attitude about his being owed servitude is because she has been hovering and doing it for him. Well, he will soon wash his first ever load of clothes. That should be interesting. He left the dishes so dirty she told him he did not have to wash dishes again, too much trouble and easier for her to wash them. I warned her when I heard that!

    She was ashamed of a four-year-old car? Wow! I would have borrowed a junker for the next trip or at least threatened to do so. I hope someone pointed out that not having a new car is why she could attend college. Grrrr!!!

  4. I sure hope your daughter isn't paying a cent for this treatment.

    1. Patti,
      Paying a cent? Well, she has already funded clothing and dorm stuff that she will not remove and cannot get a refund for. He has money on a school swipe card for laundry and stuff, plus his meal card is already bought.

      The child received many academic scholarship offers, and only needed $5K more to attend, then he got another $4K scholarship. So, the $1K came from somewhere. The school has it now.

  5. This year several of my friends have dropped kids off at colleges out of state. Each of them have behaved similarly. I wonder if it is so stressful for them that rudeness and pushing family away is somehow more comfortable for them than are the few tears that their mothers in particular would shed.
    I have not had these particular issues with my kids, but then losing a sibling unexpectedly at Christmastime, and having had life threatening illnesses in the three who remain on Earth has provided the unique perspective of knowing each time we see anyone, it could be the last time. It might have given us a lot, but it has taken a lot from all of us too.
    I am sure your grandson will gain a better perspective in time. I know my kids friends have.

    1. Jane,
      I told her it was the separation that was making him that way. Each of my children were hostile before going to visit their father and after they returned. He said they were angry when they arrived there, too. I tried to get her to not take it too seriously. She did. Actually, so did I. However, I would have told him privately to not talk to me like that. She did not.

      Oh, yes, she would have shed tears. I think the children also might be on the verge of tears and bouncing between that and the joy of leaving home and being alone and

      Actually, his father talked to him today. His father told him to call his mother. Grandson said, "Have her call me." Daughter said it is probably not cool to call your mother. Now, when she calls, he can roll his eyes to let students know SHE called him.

      I agree, it will be better. He has never had a loss since his other grandmother died when he was three. Daughter has had only the loss of grandmothers and grandfathers, not the same kind of close loss.

  6. LOL I guess I lucked out since I bribed all of mine with lunch after we dropped them off. But my rule was no matter what they had to text me something every two days even it was just a smiley/sad face so I knew they were alive.

    Of course I also threatened to shut off there phones..what can I say I am mean!

  7. Judy,
    I was/am mean, too. I will have to suggest this texting every two days. She refuses to use their phones to get their attention. I mean she never cut one off or deprived them of the phone when they did not mind or argued or she had to remind them of things over and over.

    She had not told them anything about lunch, just had it in her mind, a plan. But, they obviously had their minds made up that their was an activity they wanted to attend.

    He had his first day of class today. He talked to his Daddy and Daddy told him to call his mother. He said to tell her to call him. She did.

    Thanks for that suggestion.

  8. I think your daughter was wrong to go into the building with him and start unpacking and sorting stuff out, after all, young guys don't want Mummy hanging around in front of their peers do they ? it's not a cool look !
    It's hard for us Mums, but sometimes we have to take a back seat and let them sort stuff out themselves, and this was one of those occasions.
    This doesn't excuse the rude way she was dismissed though - but who said teens ever had manners !
    It's all about image.
    Two out of three of my children don't ever contact me - so I speak from experience, I know what it's like. It's been years since I saw them or they contacted me, I wouldn't recognise my grandchildren if I saw them in the street !
    You can't make them keep in touch, if you have to make them feel guilty for them to do it, then it's not sincere, and you don't need it.

    1. Wean,
      I don't think she was wrong at all. The mother of his roommate was there as were lots of other parents. There were things they had to go buy at the last minute, like locks for drawers and doors they did not know about and the long wire/cable for hooking up his tv. He had no transportation; they did.

      His girlfriend's mother was settling in her daughter. Honestly, I don't think it was image. He wanted to go do something fun and used poor judgment in expressing his wishes to his mother.

      I suppose she could have used guilt, but she did not. Sorry for your situation.

  9. Wow! When my folks dropped me off, I told them I didn't need them to help me unpack (they had already done so much, and I just had clothes and linens, this being before the 'net was a thing), but I was sad to see them go. We had lunch, and I hugged them goodbye and got teary eyed. The times I went home to visit I took the bus--they'd pick me up at the station. I talked to them on the phone every week or so.

    HOWEVER. I remember when I was studying overseas. My last postcard to them over Easter break (while I was traveling) was about taking the ferry to Ireland. There was a ferry disaster in the North Sea that week. I hadn't heard about it. After a week back at school, the administrator for the program told me my dad would appreciate a call from me since they'd heard about the ferry. He had to tell my dad I was okay (and still a right royal pain). I was very apologetic--it didn't occur to me that they'd think I was on that ferry!

    1. He had a computer, a tv, and the rest was school supplies, linens, and clothing. I have witnessed a dozen or more move-ins at campuses where parents were at the school, going into the dorms, and generally assisting students. I am quite sure most of those were freshmen.

      See, you had lunch with your parents! I think he was not sad because he had his girlfriend there, the whole reason he chose that college. I do think he was sad at some point, having called his father for his toiletries at 1 am.

      Oh my, parents are alert for disasters when a child is traveling. I know I was always concerned with flooding and all sorts of catastrophes when my children lived in different areas or were traveling. That is part of the problem--it just does not occur to children/teens that a parent could think anything could have happened. After all, you knew you were okay. I am certainly glad you were.

  10. I know he was rude and it's really difficult, but I think he's setting up barriers so he can become independent. That doesn't mean his mom has to help him. If he wants to be on his own, then let him be on his own.


  11. Janie,
    She was about ready to leave. He never expressed a desire to do this himself. He has not cared about what she bought him. He only expressed a desire for a egg crate for the hard mattress. Believe me, he was wanting to go somewhere with his girlfriend. My daughter would have gotten out of there if he had expressed his desires. But, he did not tell her what he wanted. He told her what to do in a dismissive way. She was so happy for him and willing to leave him there. He just crushed her. Believe me, she wants him to be independent!

  12. To everyone who responded with a comment. Thanks. Even if you disagreed with me, I got something out of your comments. I like the dialogue.

  13. It is so totally normal for a kid to do that. I know of dozens of similar stories. I'll bet the kid did the same thing when he went off to kindergarten and Mommy was all teary eyed and trying to cling. Kids do it because they must. It's not that they don't appreciate what the parents have done, it is because they don't have any other way to say "okay, time for you to go now" so the kids can deal with the stress, the excitement, the fears, and the upheaval of THEIR LIVES. Parents need to be parents, and smile nicely and say 'I love you,honey, bye' and stop with the drama. Clearly your daughter needs to step back. The boy just stepped into the threshold of being a real adult. It sucks, but it's how it should be


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