Have you ever watched those melodramatic Dateline specials about rapists, serial killers, and the like? They always have very stupid names like “Murder In The Moonlight” or “Mystery & Massacre”. I'm more of a Law & Order: SVU fanatic myself. Every little “Bom-BOM” gets my mind racing as to how people go from being normal persons in society to “Jeffrey Dommers”. I've said numerous times that people shouldn't cut me off in traffic, because I've watched enough episodes to know how to hide the bodies from even Benson and Stabler. I became even more addicted to these shows whilst I was pregnant. Since I was stuck at home with my feet elevated, I forced BC to watch hour after hour of L&O marathons until it became a running joke. Anytime anything was remotely creepy or mysterious, we'd make the “Bom-BOM!” noise. . .I even downloaded it as a ring tone on my phone. Every time I would get a text message and hear it from the kitchen, I'd hear Chris Hanson say, “Little did she knowww it was the last turkey sandwich she would everrr enjoyyyyy!”
Anyhow, I remember watching this one particular show about children who kill. As would be expected most of their parents were completely shocked to find their little bundle of joy offing the neighbors. There were, of course, the select few juvenile murderers who killed women because their mamas were hookers and such. But for the most part these boys seemed to have ordinary lives and circumstances. It begs the question: How does one raise (or avoid raising) a serial killer?
I am taking precautions already. I am emphasizing daily that mommy is not a crack whore, daddy never beats women, the world is a happy, happy, non-violent place. So far both boys seem mostly concerned with whether or not we're having mac-and-cheese for lunch and fighting nothing but super villains, so I think we are safe.
A few days ago, Mr. Stinky Pants and I headed to the mall for some Chick-Fil-A and last minute Halloween costumes. It was midway through the food court that it struck me: Serial-killing is the LEAST of our problems! What if we raise a douchebag?
The mall was eight kinds of littered with teenage buttheads off school for fall break. All dressed with overly embellished, saggy, and neon-colored garb and speaking wayyy too loudly (I predict to distract from their metal braces and pubescent insecurity). Two of them entered a store in front of us, letting the door slap back and smash into Stinker's stroller. Several more cluttered the open walk-ways with no regard for the several hundred people attempting to squeeze by. What insensitive cretins!
It is becoming clearer to me by the day that the threat of raising a mini-jerk is much more imminent than Grouch or Stink possibly killing the neighbors’ pets. I mean, if I find them writing dark poetry and taking a fascination with swords I’ll let you know. But the possibility that my precious, giggly baby boys could turn into frat-astic idiots somehow feels more alarming and immediately threatening.
All that's missing is Axe Bodyspray & an Ed Hardy Tee.
There will be a day, not so far from now, when Lil Stinker is not huddled up in my arms and entertained by Baby Einstein videos. There will be a day when he walks the halls of school with purebred douche bags looking to make some more douchey friends. They will be everywhere, just waiting to recruit a newbie dimwit into their crew.
They will drink to oblivion because it is cool. They will make up games with these drinks with no other goal aside from getting “plastered”. They will talk about girls in terms of boobs and willingness-to-put-out rather than personality and purity and godliness. They will wear overly embellished shirts with gold print designs and studs decorating the sleeves and chest, sport tribal tattoos that don’t actually mean anything, and wear “distressed” jeans that leave the greater population wondering where the bear went that attacked them. They will roll their eyes immediately at every word a teacher or parent says, not because the adult is wrong but rather because it is an expected reaction from their peers. They will lose sight of the value of intelligence, kindness, and character, focusing, rather, on hooking up, getting drunk, and being the life of the party. They will skip school because a class is never more important than a Taco Bell run. They will break their mothers’ hearts for turning into something so much less than what was dreamed for them.
How does one stop this kind of stupid from happening to her boys?
I have a plan (that could also work effectively if your child is starting to act like a mini-killer,too).
1. Be The Bad Guy: You know what kids do when their parents are “cool”? They get in to very adult crud because they assume they can handle it. They drink, smoke, steal, skip school, lose virginity-or, if you’re really unlucky start experimenting with killing neighborhood pets…and children- because their parents act as if they’d be cool about it. Absolutely NEGATORY. I genuinely hope Grouch and Stink love and respect me, but if they starts actin’-a-fool they will get a swift kick, a nice dose of house arrest, and diminished privileges (as in I will let them eat, breathe, and use the bathroom. . .and not a thing more).
2. Accidentally Insert One’s Self Into Every Aspect of Life: I’ve heard all the talk of “letting your child have space and privacy”… Once again, Never gonna happen with this mama! My dear children, be fully aware that I will work in the office at your high school, I will act like I’m making your bed just to check your drawers for drugs and condoms (or swords and dark poetry), and I will secretly plant a GPS Tracker on your first car. Overboard? Maybe. But when the parents of mini-killers and mini-bully-douches are interviewed, without fail they all make the statement ” I never saw any signs”. BALONEY. I am a firm believer you can’t see signs without looking…so I will snoop. And should they turn out to be either murderer or moron, at least I will have the consolation of being on top of it and trying at every turn.
3. Will Work For Phone: This goes hand in hand with the snooping I suppose. In all my mall-research, I have found a theme of sorts: Kids who get away with being jerks, kids who get away with being bullies, kids who get away with plotting school-yard murders all have too many tools in which to mask or get away with these behaviors. A 12-year-old boy with a cell phone and Facebook account wields a lot of power to bully, experiment with violence, sex, drugs, etc. If a tween-aged boy is not responsible enough to operate a motor vehicle, is he responsible or even ready enough to communicate privately with large numbers of people without parental supervision? My parents would not have left me and a dozen jr. high friends alone in the house for a slumber party. Why would they leave me alone with a social network of 200? Heck-to-the-nanananawww! Call me Meanness, but my son will get things as he proves himself capable of handling them. Phone? Internet? Large allowance? Fancy first car? These are all weapons that- in irresponsible child-hands- can cause some serious damage- be it bullying, drunk driving, or purchasing guns and fleeing a crime scene.
4. Pray Said Mean-ness Away Daily: As I've mentioned before, a recent nightly ritual of mine has become silently sneaking into the boys' room after they are asleep and praying over them. I will immediately start including prayers binding any spirits of douchbag-ness, bullying, anger, self-loathing, jealousy, arrogance, selfishness, and disrespectfullness. I truly believe these are all spirits that plague our children more and more so as they grow. There is also something to be said about constantly saturating their lives with “things of above”. I figure if they are bombarded with mission trips, youth services, service projects, counseling/prayer partners, mother-son date nights, praise and worship teams, and choir practices, it will stifle any idle time for lengthy zombie killing sprees on Xbox Live (or in real life).
So I will leave you with this creepy Dateline commentator voice:
“It twasss a dark September ev-en-ing. The air was crisp, the moon bright. The house full of partying juveniles who neverr sawww it co-mingg. In she burst! But who wass she??? Snatching a 16-year-old fellow known only as Mr. Grouchy Pants, she bent him over her knee. The young men scattered and ran, a trail of empty beer cans and failed party plans crunching under feet. Why had she come?
[Grouch's close friend, Nate Dawg] “Woman was crazy, dude. She was all crazy nuts, man. We was tryin to get our drink and drank on and she just came in all screechin’ and gave Grouch a major spank-down. She had a switch in her handbag, man. She brought a tree branch, dude! It was insane.”
It was, police would later discover, the butt-busting of the century!!!!”