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"Oh sweetie, clean your room; do your chores"

We all have certain triggers that take us back to our childhood and remind us of the good old days.
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We all have certain triggers that take us back to our childhood and remind us of the good old days.

It could be that when you smell home-baked bread or feel crisp clean sheets you think of your Mother or when you get a whiff of Old Spice cologne you can almost see your grandfather.

For me, the smell of ink and the feel of newsprint take me back to where I came from and where I truly belong.

As a very young child, the thunderous sound of the printing press was my lullaby as I played amongst the pressmen during printing day at my family’s newspaper business.

A fourth generation writer, I guess you could say I was born into this job despite stern encouragement to do other things, broaden my horizons and step back from the competitive grind of the publishing industry.

Obviously not a good listener, here I am today in black and white, on this soft newsprint that smells like home.

Once a month I’m going to bring you something to laugh at, think about or respond to.

Most of the time it will have something to do with the insane or outrageous things my children have done or said, an experience I’ve had or an encounter that has left me no choice but to write about it.

The children - commonly referred to as The Boy and The Princess - live a charmed life with me and their seldom written about but much loved father. Seldom written about not because he doesn’t provide me with ample material, rather his shy reserved personality dictates that thousands of people need not know about his idiosyncrasies.

Too bad for you, because believe me there are some doozies.

I try to think I’m a reasonable parent with reasonable expectations and somewhat well-behaved children, which is why when they came to us nearly a year ago wanting Facebook accounts we decided it was time to stop turning our backs on social networking and reluctantly allowed them to log on.

Not having an account myself, I was entirely ignorant to the protocol and quickly realized that I had a lot to learn. Reading Facebook for Dummies would be necessary if I was going to keep proper tabs on their Internet activity.

Fast forward a year and not only do I know everything there is to know about Facebook, I’ve learned way too much about my children and their friends because of it.

From who made what hockey team to who is mad at their parents to who failed their math test, it’s all there, in black and white for the world, and the world’s parents to read.

I increasingly found myself reading up on my children, nieces and nephews and forming judgments about them based on whatever song lyrics, ridiculous sayings or absurd pictures they were posting.

Even the grandparents are on Facebook lovingly adding responses to irrational and attention-seeking updates posted by my children and their cousins. Case in point, Princess posts: “I’m bored.”

Grandma replies: “Oh sweetie, come be with grandma I will find something fun for us to do.” I think in my mind while reading this, “Oh sweetie, clean your room; do your chores, if you have time to self loath on Facebook go walk the dog!”

I recognize that what started as proper parental control has turned into a wee bit of an obsession, I began holding things my children have said on Facebook against them even if the statements were totally innocent and random.

It seems lately that I am monitoring the computer more than my kids are using it. There’s actually a term for this, it’s called a Creeper.

In an effort to remove this label from my persona I have vowed to stop creeping.

I’m not going to lie, it will be difficult to put an end to my daily checks but really I now know that I was right all along.

Despite social networking’s contribution to society, in my case it has just provided me with way too much information, that LOL I could definitely live without.

Watch for Stacey Carefoot’s column “In My View” every month in The City View.




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