Tag Archives: parenting

R-Rated Movies Are Not For Twelve Year Olds

I apologize for my absence. Life had me in a headlock and I couldn’t get away. But I’m back now, so you can relax.

I went to see Hangover: Part Deux over the holiday weekend with my boyfriend and his son. It’s rated R. I have a problem with taking a twelve year old to see R-rated movies. I can see that my objections might sound a wee prudish but isn’t there plenty of time for kids to be exposed to boobies, and tushies, and hearing cussing like, “Fuck that shit man. You’re an a-hole.” Or sexually explicit language like, “He took it up the ass and loved it. I’m going to tap that tonight.”

I’m not living under a rock. I know what ‘kids’ are listening to on the radio, and what they’re watching on television, because they’re doing it under my roof. And here’s where the biological parent, not the Girlfriend Mom, runs the show. If it were my child, I’d keep them locked in a closet (figuratively speaking of course) until I deemed them ready (I’m thinking mid twenties) to handle graphic language and mature sexual content.

Parents use excuses for letting their offspring see these types of movies. I’ve heard some say that all the kids do it, and they’re going to see it one way or another. This is equivalent to the, “If Barbara jumps off the bridge, would you jump off the bridge?”

It’s a lame defense for letting your child be verbally and visually assaulted by adult movies. Another excuse I hear is that kids don’t understand what’s being said or ‘acted’ out in these movies. Oh, really? Hey, mom, get your head out of your butt and wise up. They do to understand, so that logic is severely faulted.

I sat in the movie theater next to my boyfriend with his son next to him. Whenever something inappropriate came on screen, I just reminded myself that it’s my boyfriend who’s corrupting his son’s sweet and innocent twelve year old mind, not this girlfriend mom. 

I was able to get through the movie without having an aneurism, even during the (spoiler alert) scene with the naked transvestites in the strip club. However, when the credits rolled over the outtakes, the real shit hit the fan, and I almost lost it. There we were, sitting in a nice little theater in Jersey, watching an Asian woman shooting balls out of her hoo hoo. Don’t ask me, I don’t know how she did it.

Another woman pulled a scarf out of her hoo hoo, (like the endless ones magicians pull out of their mouths) but you had to be paying attention to catch that one. Not to mention an onslaught of boobs, drunken debauchery and sexual positions I’ve only recently come to know (and love). And all the while I kept thinking how my boyfriend’s son had seen the movie the first time around with his mother.

I don’t know if the Girlfriend kid was embarrassed watching this in front of his father and me, but I sure as hell was. It reminded me of the time my overly responsible and parental  (read sarcasm) mother took me to see Saturday Night Fever, also Rated R, in 1977, when I was, ahem, eleven years old! I’m pretty sure my father was in attendance, thereby intensifying my embarrassment.

Let me take you to the backseat of the car scene with John Travolta (Tony Manero) and Donna Pescow (Annette). The poor slut wasn’t even given a last name. When the scene started, I wanted to die. I didn’t want to watch people screwing (whether I knew what they were doing is up for debate) sitting next to my parents. Why would I?

Even at eleven years old, it felt wrong. Obviously my parents did not share this sentiment because they continued to chow down on their popcorn and Twizzlers, paying no mind to what this might be doing to their impressionable daughter’s young psyche. And as I had to do on so many occasions in my childhood, I self parented.

I grabbed my macrame and beaded hippie purse and told my parents that I was going to the bathroom. I didn’t have to go to the bathroom but I didn’t want them to think that watching a sex scene with them pushed my boundaries (and wasn’t cool?) which it did!

I walked out of Hangover: Part Deux, praying that no one would bring up the magical wonders of the vagina. They didn’t, at least not to me. “Hey you guys, next week Kung Fu Panda: Part Deux?” And much to my surprise and satisfaction, my boyfriend’s son gave me a thumbs up. Okay, so maybe if he sees some cuddly panda bears he’ll forget about the tits and ass. Here’s hoping.

The Girlfriend Mom

My boyfriendʼs twelve year old son asked me to put his hair in a ponytail last night. He thought it was hysterical that he looked like a girl, as he modeled it for the five friends he was talking to on ooVoo. For those not in the loop, itʼs like Skype. For those not in that loop either, itʼs video chatting. I didnʼt think anything of his request. I was just flattered that he saw me as someone who knew how to make a ponytail. My mother used to pull my ponytails so tight I got headaches and an unnecessary face-lift. Not so unnecessary now, Iʼll tell ya.

Iʼm calling myself, The Girlfriend Mom, because my boyfriend and I live together but weʼre not married (hence boyfriend) so Stepmom doesnʼt apply. However, I do step mommy things, I suppose, like his sonʼs laundry. Sidebar: I have to say that sometimes, when Iʼm folding his tiny pair of jeans, it feels weird, dare I say ʻunnaturalʼ. Iʼm convinced that it has to do with what I associate being a ʻmomʼ with (which sometimes I find unattractive) and laundry seems to be on the list.

I help him with his homework and I consistently nag him about the television volume. I swear, itʼs like living with the deaf (or my grandparents) How can you NOT hear that?! Well, this just smells of ʻmomʼ (girlfriend or step) doesnʼt it. I feel myself getting uglier by the minute.

So Iʼm not just a girlfriend, whoʼs boyfriend happens to have kids. There are expectations of me, some being easy and ʻnaturalʼ to pull off, like making up his bed, pouring him ice tea when heʼs parched, teaching him how to apply Orajel to a sore, or eating at Chiliʼs for a less than nutritious meal. Other times the expectations feel as ʻunnaturalʼ to me, as doing fractions, or wearing make-up to the grocery store. (Wearing make-up anywhere really) and like folding his tiny fruit of the loom tidy whiteyʼs.

I say ʻmomʼ things, but I canʼt be sure of my modus operandi. Sometimes itʼs because I think Iʼm supposed to say them, but how the hell do I know what to say. Other times, I think itʼs imbedded in my DNA. My boyfriendʼs son got a laptop over the weekend and he took it into our bedroom, which is one and a half flights up from where we were in the kitchen. Oh, no you donʼt. I watch “Dateline” and “Primetime Live.” I told him to get where we could see and hear what he was doing. It was a knee jerk reaction. Iʼve watched enough Lifetime Movies to know what can happen if youʼre not paying attention. My request sounded like it came right out of, “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger.”

I want my boyfriend to know (and Iʼm not sure if he truly can) what itʼs like to go from not wanting children and not sure that I even like children, to bringing a 12 and 17 year old into my life. Theyʼre his flesh and blood. He was there at the beginning. Heʼs watched them grow and journeyed with them. Iʼd imagine with each passing year, a parent adjusts to the plethora of changes, and then eventually, if youʼre lucky, you canʼt imagine your life without them. Me? It felt like two minutes in the microwave and BEEP. Instant kids. Ready! (no) Set! (no) Go! (no, wait!)

I used to hear stories about a great aunt of mine who was a lesbian. She used to be a dancer (loved her immediately) and she had been with her girlfriend since WWII. I think they invented Lesbianism. They traveled the world, had several homes, and no children. Their life was exotic to a kid from Yonkers and it had a profound affect on me. The effect in this case being the possibility of a fulfilling life without children… not the girl on girl part. Although… My point is, I got the message that I had choices, and it was okay not to want what others wanted.

Iʼm not sure I can directly attribute my ambivalence towards kids to my Great Lesbian Aunt (that sounds like a superhero) Iʼm sure that my own parents made a contribution, unbeknownst to them Iʼm sure. By the time my parents were 24 years old, they had two kids under the age of 2. My mother wanted to have children, at least thatʼs what she tells me, but she wasnʼt your typical mother. Personally, I think she was in way over her head. Kids raising kids people! She rarely made breakfast and by the time I was twelve, I was babysitting, taking the train into the city alone and doing my own laundry. (What is it with laundry?)

I can spend another lifetime researching and analyzing why I feel the way I do, or how can I feel the way I do, but I donʼt have that kind of time, and Iʼm not sure that it matters. What matters to me now is being honest about my feelings and not judging them. They are what they are, and since feelings change from one moment to the next, I think itʼs unwise to give them too much power.

Instead, Iʼve decided to forge a relationship with my boyfriendʼs kids, based on who I am now, and who they are, as individuals, with all of our unique personalities. Weʼre not going to be defined by shouldʼs, supposed toʼs or societal constraints. And I have to say, so far, so good.

“Can you PLEASE turn that television down?!”