Saturday, August 05, 2006

Silence, Cell-phones, and Shampoo

Right now I am getting my first real "silent treatment" punishment by Alvis. Haven't really dealt with this too much yet.

Lavie and I each have a Cingular cell phone. Alvis has finally gotten to the age where she can probably be responsible enough to be trusted with her own cell phone.

Our school district's policy allows Jr. & Sr. High students to have a cell phone in their possession so long as it is kept turned off during normal school hours, the bus, etc. Alvis stays with a friend after school right across the street from her Jr. High until Lavie gets off work about 30 minutes later and picks her up. We live just close enough not to have bus service to the campus, but just far enough that we aren't comfortable with her walking or riding a bike to school.

So after a parental conference we decided we would get her a cell phone. We are going to try a "Go" phone--kinda like a pay-as-you-go cell phone for Alvis right now. If she shows responsibility (as I am fully confident she will) then we will add her phone onto our family cell plan. If it gets lost or stolen well, we will be out the price of the phone and minutes but we won't have to worry about our plan getting drained out. Getting the phone from Cingular will work out well. Just a $1 charge per use and unlimited phone-to-phone talk-time as long as it is with a Cingular customer (Lavie or me).

We decided that it might be a positive thing to draw up a "parent-teen cell phone contract" between us and Alvis. Just so we all understand the ground-rules. I've been looking on-line for some sample templates, but haven't had much luck. When I get it done, I might post it for other parents in a similar mood and opinion of such things.

So we stopped by a Cingular store and looked at the models she wanted. But I wouldn't buy one until next weekend. (Bad father that I am.) That brought out the pre-teen pouting, crying and....the dreaded silent treatment.

I began to launch into a lecture about appreciation, respect, walking to and from school barefoot in the snow (uphill both ways)...blah-blah-blah. But wrapped it up quickly seeing as there wasn't much point in it for the time being. I know she really has been looking forward to "growing up" enough to have her own cell phone. I do respect that. Far be it from me to harm my daughter by not making sure she has the coolest cell phone we can (within reason) afford to provide her.

For now I'm going to concede and respect her pouting space. She is such a great daughter that I can't help but cut her some slack on this one. I probably acted the same way when I was her age and I wanted that "Army Men" battle-fortress command center play set from Sears (that I never did get).

In the end we will both make up and she will eventually get her phone and I will again be the best daddy in the whole world. It just kinda bites waiting for the clouds to pass.

That reminds me of one other bit of male vs. female bit of Valca trivia: Bottle ownership in the bathtub area.

There are (at current count) 18 bottled personal-care products in our tub area:

2-shave gel cans,
10-shampoo and conditioners (some matched pairs, most not),
5-baby-oil and body soap bottles,
1-bottle of some "girls-only" concoction.

+ 3 razors, none of which are mine.

Of those products, I bought and use only 4.

Life as usual in a "girls-rule" home zone.


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