Trivia Night, but Not Really

Jackson, Jerimiah, and I went to Mellow Mushroom on Tuesday night for Trivia Night. It’d been years since we last did it with friends in Charlotte, and we knew it was fun, so we kept meaning to go (the MM is like a mile from our house), but never made it a priority. We also weren’t sure if Jackson would like it or not, turns out yes, he does, and he even answered a couple of the questions himself. One of them was about The Office, which y’all know he loves, the question was: What is the primary crop that Dwight Schrute grows on his farm? Jackson freaked out and scribbled down: BEETS! The second one he got right was: Whose home, known as Mount Vernon, was neutral territory during the Civil War? “We’ve been there!” we all yelled, and he jotted down George Washington.

The questions got harder and harder with each section, but we didn’t too bad for our first time. There were 15 teams and we took 8th place, and mind you there were whole teams of people. Like two groups of 10 people who meet there every Tuesday night, and it was the three of us, so we were pretty happy with our results, and the wings, and the beer, and we’ve already recruited friends to go back another night. But that’s not what this post is about, cause that’s not how I operate. The Mount Vernon question reminded me that I haven’t shared some of the travels we have been on over the last few years, and I thought I would go back and do that now, starting with Mount Vernon. So please, enjoy. Or stop reading now, cause a whole buncha history gonna be thrown at ya!

I think one of the reasons I forgot about the visit to Mount Vernon was because it was on the heels of our trip to the Women’s March last year and that took precedence. But this is how we travel. If we go somewhere to visit, and there is something sorta cool and it’s relatively close, and we have an extra five hours or so, we stop in. That’s what we did with Mount Vernon. It was the day we left DC with our friend Beth and her daughter Morgan riding back to Charlotte with us, and someone said, “Hey Mount Vernon is just like, I dunno, somewhere over there.” And that’s all it took.

Mount Vernon was just somewhere over there in Mount Vernon, Virginia about 40 minutes south of DC. Mount Vernon, in case you don’t know, is the estate of our first president, George Washington. And it’s pretty cool, as far as old estates owned by rich, *Slave-owning, white men go. I mean, it wasn’t totally awesome, but it wasn’t a shithole either. And any way you slice it, a lot of history happened there, good and bad, so you know, we went with it. But before I show you the pics you should know it was January in DC, it was the week of the government shutdown, and we were all a little tired from having marched our asses off for women’s rights, so there was already a little skepticism about any white males, particularly ones with power.

Blisteringly cold day at Mount Vernon
Much warmer inside, but alas, we had to go back outside

Mount Vernon is situated on the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia (where my ancestors were first recorded on census, for real). It’s near Alexandria and across from Prince George’s County, Maryland. George Washington’s great-grandfather owned the land and a small house as far back as 1674, and our dear, old GW didn’t become the sole owner until almost 100 years later. Of course there are expansive grounds, including gardens, barns, a dock on the river, and the Slave Quarters, which are all open to tour if you are so inclined, and have the time. We did, so we made our way around most of what was accessible to tourists, including a tour of inside the house (no photography allowed) and the Slave Cemetery where you know, they’re trying, and the tombs of both GW and his Slave-owning, hella racist, bitch wife Martha. Ahem.

The house was what you would expect, as well as the Slave Quarters. It’s said that he treated his Slaves better than was expected, but, nah, I don’t buy it. Although his wife Martha sounded like a real piece-of-shit. Maybe he was nicer than she was. I dunno.

The kids liked to see the animals, and I liked walking along the shore of the river, and taking in all the architecture, even though again, hella cold.

I liked the animals too. Did I mention it was cold?

The best part of the whole thing was honestly the inside stuff, and not just because we were fucking cold. So cold that, yeah, that’s my son’s Harry Potter scarf I took off of him and told him to run around and he’d heat up. The inside has the museums. One is dedicated to GW and his life, including as a general and a president, and the other is dedicated to the Slaves at Mount Vernon. It is called Lives Bound Together and it was actually really interesting, educational, and infuriating, which I think is what a museum dedicated to Slaves needs to be.

I’m not going to share pics from inside there, because I think it’s just something you need to go see for yourself, and I don’t think I took very many. I was so engrossed in their stories. This part was my favorite. And I would like to point out, that after struggles with lawyers, Washington dying, and debates with his bitch-ass wife and her bitch-ass dead first husband’s estate, several shitty kids and grandkids, and some cousins on the Washington side finally, on January 1, 1801, all the Slaves on Mount Vernon were freed. So there’s that.

If you’re wondering why I’m all caught up with the Slavery at Mount Vernon, it’s because I was legit shocked at it. It’s like I didn’t pay attention to what my history teachers said, or they all loved GW and pretended like it was all cool beans over at the little ‘ol Washington farm. Uh no. And while we’re at it, there’s no damn cherry tree, and no, it’s not because he chopped it down, it’s more likely that Martha sold it out from under him, to wrangle up some cash to buy more Slaves. SMH.

But you know what there IS? His dentures made of wood! (GASP!)

Not what you were expecting huh? Me neither. So much that I wasn’t expecting.

So there you have it. This was a shitty review of Mount Vernon, I get that, but it was an interesting time, it really was. And I’m glad we went, and as usual I’m happy about who we went with, and what it taught the kids, and me. And oh, I almost forgot, there was this really creepy giant head thing when you first walk in. And his eyes follow you. So yeah, good luck sleeping tonight.

Thanks for reading about one of our many adventures, I have more on deck so don’t go anywhere. In the meantime, enjoy some more pics of Mount Vernon, and if you’re ever in the area, stop on by, you probably, most likely, won’t regret it.

M.

He just needs to run around, he be fine

*I used the word Slave rather than Servant or Enslaved Individual because I think that makes the whole Slavery situation sound like a fancy thing, when really it was a crock of shit and GW was way part of it. And as I may have mentioned before, so was his bitch of a wife, Martha. You guys I think I hate Martha.

This Explains So Much

Last time I visited Leavenworth, I went through my mom’s photo albums and took pictures of photos that I wanted to remember, either because they sparked a memory, or because they were too absurd to pass up. I’ve been going through these old pictures, which is sometimes scary because I never know what memories will surface from them. Like, will it be a good memory? Will it teach me about who I am? Or will it make me cringe? If a picture from my childhood makes me cringe, I simply jot that feeling down so I remember to talk to my therapist about it. She just loves a good challenge. Anyway, today I looking for a very specific picture for another post I am working on, when I came across this photo instead:

Yeah, I know, there’s a lot going on here. Let me break it down for you. My best guess on the year is 1987. That would make me about six-years-old, my older sister Belinda about sixteen-years-old maybe seventeen, depending on whether this photo was taken before or after July 10th. That’s a crapshoot. It’s obviously summer. I’m not holding any poppers, or snakes, or smoke balls, but that doesn’t mean much. Still could have been near the 4th of July.

My sister is the one standing next to me by the picnic table and the girl on the lounge, I think, is Shane. Shane was one of my sister’s friends, and aside from knowing that Shane drove a truck and had a boyfriend who once showed up at our house in the middle of the night to ask my mom if she would hold $10,000 cash for him for a few days, I don’t remember much about her. I do remember holding the $10,000 cash in my hands when my mom called me into the utility closet, closed the door, and asked me if I wanted to hold $10,000 cash to see what it felt like. I think I may have buried my lead.

My mom has to be the one taking the picture. I know this because suddenly I’m all too aware of what I’m looking at. I’m looking at the one and only time we ever attempted to go camping.

It had to have been Shane’s idea. Had to have been. Or maybe something Shane and my sister cooked up together while they were drinking Boone’s Farm, and chain smoking Marlboro Lights in the Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot after my sister got off work. Why my mom and I were brought along, I can’t say. Shane was the only one with a working vehicle, unless this was that short time when my sister had that big land yacht with the dead-body trunk she bought off an old guy for $200. Who knows.

But I do remember with clarity now, that there was a tent. And a BBQ grill. We ate hot dogs. We sat in tall, itchy grass. Or probably just I did, maybe on a blanket, the adults had chairs. I remember my mom dousing me with that bottle of OFF on the table there, and her being overly anxious about the trash bag hanging off the table because of bears. I remember that my sister told her we didn’t have bears in Kansas. But she wasn’t convinced. And neither was I.

The orange bottle on the table is either lighter fluid or suntan lotion. Pretty sure that’s a bottle of drinking water on the seat of the table. Or maybe bathing water. Or washing your hands water. Or pouring over your privates after you peed water. It was probably for all of that.

At some point when I asked if I could swim in the lake, everyone yelled “NO!” all at once. I was allowed, however, to walk into the lake for a little bit, up to my ankles maybe? And then later my mother told me about one time when Belinda almost drowned in a lake and OMIGOD! That’s why I was terrified of water and a full-grown adult before I was taught how to swim. This explains so much.

Later, after the tent was set up, the campfire was roaring, and the stars were out and beautiful, I drifted off to sleep in a little pallet in the tent, only to be violently shaken awake about 2:00 am and told that we had to go home. Everyone had had enough of camping and my sister needed her own bed and toilet.

Yep, that was the one time my family attempted camping when I was a child. I’d call it a success.

M.

Facebook in a Tight Fifteen

In what seemed like a moment of clarity yesterday, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and asked my husband to log into my phone and ban me from the mobile version as well. I asked him to use the parental block, create a passcode, and block me from accessing Facebook for more than 15 minutes a day (just long enough to see puppy and baby pics, and post my daily blog) on my phone, my MacBook Air, and my Mac since they are all connected by some invisible Apple cloud in the sky. He agreed. He did it. Then I immediately tried to log into the Facebook mobile site.

Damn it.

Okay, here’s my line of thinking.

Facebook has been, and always will be, my biggest time-killer. It’s where I get my news, though there are tons of other ways. It’s where I stay connected to family and friends who live far away, but I can always call and text or (gasp) write letters! And it’s where I sort of document my life, my husband’s life, and my son’s life for posterity. But I can do that here now. So why was I really on Facebook so much? To self-indulge.

I like Facebook to get into political spats with strangers on the comment sections of USA Today.

I like Facebook because there is always someone who seems to be having a shittier day than me and it makes me feel better.

I like Facebook because I can be self-loathing while CNN plays in a small part of my screen, and poodles dance around in another part. I can compare my life to others. I can offer witty banter toward Trump supporters who never really understand I’m making fun of them.

But really what that all says is that I can let Facebook, and the people on there (half the people I am “friends” with I don’t even like in real life, even the ones I’m technically related to) ruin my day. And I let them. A lot you guys. I let them zap my energy. I let them take up my motivation for laundry, and real writing, and calling people I like, and volunteering in my community, and I let them turn that time into hours and hours of meaningless crap.

Like yesterday I called three different people out on their bullshit posts, and what changed? Not a damn thing. I didn’t make them see how horribly wrong they were, like how no, you probably shouldn’t be comparing the plight of the Jewish people in concentration camps in Nazi Germany to crazy, gun advocates. They don’t give a shit about that. They just like to share memes.

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I feel better.

So, fifteen minutes a day. That’s it. Enough to say I’m alive. Enough to share the link to my daily blog post (cause it’s the only social media site I can’t do it from here), and enough to share pics of Jackson. Fifteen minutes. Okay? Okay. Okay sure. Let’s do this.

Wish me luck.

M.

Year of the Rat

Saturday, January 25th began the Chinese New Year, which in case you are taken back to your childhood and remember those placemats at your Mom’s favorite Chinese food joint, you know the ones I mean, the ones that showed the Chinese zodiac so you could look up the year you were born and see which animal you were (Year of the Rooster, represent), while you waited for your sweet and sour chicken and water—because your Mom never let you order Coke—then you know each year gets assigned an animal. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Rat. Now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you about all the fun we had ringing in the Chinese New Year with friends at Atlanta’s Chinatown on Sunday. Spoiler: There were no rats.

There was however, some great food, for starters. Jackson opted for dumplings, which is one of his favorites when we visit Hell’s Kitchen or Chinatown in NYC. He also ate a bowl of rice, cause why not? Jerimiah chose a pork roll, which was sweet and savory, and something neither of us had ever tried before. And I had the Beef and Bitter Melon. The beef was amazing good, but the melon had a weird taste and I couldn’t eat it. I kept trying, but my body was just rejecting it. Jerimiah asked me what was up and I was all, “I dunno try this and tell me what it tastes like, I just can’t place it, it’s not spicy, it’s just…” Then he took a bite and he said, “Jesus, it’s so bitter.” And I was all, “Oh that’s it! It’s bitter!” Then he asked me what the dish was called and I confidently said, “Beef and Bitter Melon” and then we looked at each other directly in the eye for a few seconds, wherein I realized what had happened, and he, I suppose, started to wonder how he got stuck with me as his wife.

Luckily just then a little boy came running toward us yelling, “Jackson! Jackson!” The little boy was Jackson’s friend’s little brother. He is in first grade, but he legit. He grabbed Jackson and immediately took him over to see the koi pond. Then came Jackson’s friend, her Mom (and my friend) who legit was born in China, but raised in Hong Kong and Ohio, and speaks Mandarin and is a badass, and her husband, who is from a remote village in India, but works for the State of Georgia. They are amazing, and they had invited us to see their daughter perform at the Chinese New Year celebration, which she does every year with her ballet/Tae Kwon Do team. PS… They all do Tae Kwon Do. No shit. How do we meet such cool people?!

Anyway, her performance was about to start, so we found a good spot to watch and cozied up. It was a pure delight, the favorite of the whole celebration year after year. First her ballet dance team came up and performed, then she had a violin solo, then the Tae Kwon Do team came out and did an amazing performance wherein I, for a split second, thought that I could probably do jump kicks and break boards with my feet too. I mean, probably.

Afterward we meandered around a bit more. There are a lot of shops, but the place was so crowded we vowed to come back another time to do our real shopping. Then suddenly someone was shouting that the lion was coming so we followed the crowd outside to see what this all meant. We were not disappointed.

The Lion Dance is a traditional Chinese dance where performers mimic a lion’s movements in an elaborate costume in order to bring good fortune for the new year. The Lion was running a little behind because they had many performances that weekend all around Atlanta. Atlanta, particularly the area of Chamblee/Dunwoody/Doraville has a large Asian population, and the Lion had a lot of performances and this was their last one, the grande finale. While we waited for the Lions to get there (there was actually two Lions) the announcer told us the story of The Lion Dance. (After she had Jackson run through the whole Chinatown Mall and yell for everyone to hurry up and come see the Lion. For real. He was happy to do it.)

The Lion Dance starts with firecrackers, so she warned us that it would be loud. Then the Lions would fall asleep and we would have to wake them with cheering. These are not Serengeti lions, y’all, don’t try firecrackers and screaming on your safari, okur? Then someone, an unsuspecting young boy and slightly scared white dude, were chosen to “feed” the Lions lettuce. Why lettuce? Lettuce is the color green. What else is green? Money, you nailed it! The Lions would eat the lettuce, then regurgitate it, for real, then you would run and get pieces of eaten lettuce from the Lions to bring you good fortune all year. Oh, and also you can and should feed the Lions actual money, for your prosperity, and for theirs. Get it yet? No? Here’s a video:

Atlanta’s Chinatown is not really what you think of when you think of Chinatown in a big city. It’s not like Chinatown in San Fran, or NYC, or even Chicago. It is more spread out, sort of like Atlanta, but there is this one mall where you will find a grocery store and several shops, and authentic food, and that is sort of the center of the Asian culture in that area, so this is where they do all the celebrating. It’s unique and fun, sort of like the rest of Atlanta. We had a really nice time and can’t wait to go back and explore more when there are way less white people to ruin the exploring!

So Happy Chinese New Year! And Happy Year of the Rat. I asked my friend how to say this in Madarin, but I have literally no idea what she said, so I will just copy this from Google translate: 新年快乐

And here are some more pics from our day in Chinatown. Enjoy.

M.

Puppy Fever

You guys. You actual all. I am in deep with the puppy fever. I don’t even know why. Duke is only a year and a half, but I keep looking at his pictures from when he was a baby and my uterus, the one that doesn’t even exist inside my body anymore, starts to ache. I don’t even have that reaction when I see babies. Like real, actual, fucking, human babies. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are cute, real, human babies (after the first three months or so anyway) but I’m like, “Ohh, she’s cute. Oh, she pooped her pants, here take your baby.” But doggos and puppers. You guys. That’s another story. First of all, do me a favor and LOOK [clap] AT [clap] THIS [clap]

LOOK [clap] AT [clap] THIS [clap]

So a couple of weeks ago I talked Jerimiah and Jackson into going to the shelters around Altanta looking for a dog to adopt, and let me just say what a sad, sack of shit we all were when we left. Like sad, y’all. Who does that?! Who goes to like three different shelters (the kill ones owned by the county) and looks at dogs. Uh, dumbasses.

Obviously we found 47 dogs we wanted to adopt. And since they are running a “Roaring 20s” special this month, all dogs over 25 pounds are only $20 to adopt. So, that’s only $940. Uh, that’s a steal, y’all! We paid half that for one Sir Duke Barkington. Christ, Y’ALL KNOW I LOVE A DEAL!

When Jerimiah ultimately stopped me from trying to convince the employees at the shelter that we could house 47 dogs, they were skeptical anyway, we decided maybe we, ahem I, should slow my roll. So we walked away with zero dogs that day. And zero the next. And zero the next. And he has not even mentioned taking me back, which is a real dick move on his part. Until, well, he said this:

“I think I’d rather wait until like the summer, and get a puppy. Maybe another Poodle, or a Doodle or something like that. You know, a dog that really fits into our family and lifestyle. I’m not sure adopting 47 Pit Bulls* would be an ideal situation for Duke. Or, well, any of us.” –Jerimiah

Yeah. That’s a thing he said. I might have added some of it for entertainment value (and to make a long, educated post about Pit Bulls at the bottom of this blog), but he for sure said he ALSO wants another dog. And since I wrote it on my blog, it lives forever in posterity.

So, a new dog is coming our way. What kind, I don’t really know. Because while I LOVE that I don’t have dog hair floating all around the house (thanks to that Poodle gene), I HATE spending so much money on grooming my dog. And while I LOVE that my dog is a cuddle-bug who sits on my lap even though he’s way too big, I sometimes want a dog who doesn’t lose his shit and shake like a leaf when he sees the mailman (who he literally sees every, single, day). There’s good and bad. Plus, y’all know I am always down for a Chocolate Lab. Because I miss my best friend Bentley-girl like a sumbitch. LOOK [clap] AT [clap] THESE [clap]

You can read more about Bentley-Girl in the red link and you can read more about Sir Duke Barkington as well. As for me and my puppy fever. It will rage on until we find the right dog for us, but don’t worry, we will.

M.

**Pit Bulls and Such**

You guys, the Atlanta-area shelters are filled with dogs that are either Pit Bull, Staffordshire, Mastiff, or Boxer mixes. Most of these dogs just get clumped into the “Pit Bull” category because people are ill-informed. And afraid. We talked to several shelter employees and volunteers (that’s a bonus about going on the weekend, there are a tons of knowledgable people there who want to talk to you about the dogs because they see them every week.) And the real truth is that yes, black dogs are the least likely to get adopted. Same with cats. Dogs that have a Pit Bull “look” are the least likely to get adopted and the most likely to be euthanized when they run out of room. At the DeKalb County Shelter we didn’t even get to see all the dogs. The had 450 in cages, and another 150 or so in a backroom awaiting a spot to be seen, and I’d say about 90% of them looked like this young lady who I FELL IN LOVE WITH:

She was the sweetest. We got to take her out for a walk, and she just wanted to sit next to you and have you pet her. In fact, her and this guy Mr. Charlie Brown:

almost made us bring Duke in for a meet-and-greet. But we were hesitant after we learned how long they had both been in the shelter. Shelter dogs are unique, and the longer they spend in the shelter, the more love and attention they need. And we are afraid we don’t have the time or the patience, though we have the love, to make these dogs feel special.

Even worse, some of the dogs are only allowed to be in “one dog” homes. Some have a “No Kids” restriction. Some, many, have tested positive for heart worms, and while they are being treated at the facility, we were told both Ms. Bianca and Mr. Charlie Brown would need to not be “active” for weeks after we adopted them because of the heart worm medication. We weren’t sure how we could keep a dog not “active” when we have Sir Duke at home, the most ACTIVE beast on the planet! We want nothing more to give all those 47 dogs we fell in love with a home, but it’s not feasible for us right now. But if you can, if you live in the Atlanta area, and if you are interested in any of those dogs they can all be found here: LifeLine Animal Project.

And remember, please don’t judge a dog by the breed. Get informed before you make a decision. Remember that visiting a dog in a shelter for 30 minutes one time doesn’t mean much, and even the craziest looking ones in the shelter could be the calmest, most sweet, dogs ever. If you shelter has a “Try before you buy” program, do it! If you can find a shelter dog that has been in a foster home, talk to the foster home, they will know so much about the dog. Just some things to keep in mind.

Parenting is Tough, Y’all

I had a lot of parents and teacher friends reach out to me regarding yesterday’s post. A lot of parents telling me it gets worse before it gets better, and congratulating us on being proactive parents. And while I appreciate the comments and community, what struck me was what the teachers said.

After school text messages in groups lead to classroom distraction. It seems like a duh, but it makes perfect sense. That’s what happened in Jackson’s case. It never occurred to me before yesterday, but I have repeatedly told Jackson I don’t want him getting involved in the “drama” that finds its way into these group chats because I don’t want it messing up his schoolwork, but more importantly I don’t want it messing up his friendships, his responsibilities, and/or disrupting any of his classmates, making other kids feel alienated, or bad because they aren’t “in” the group, or because someone is being mean to them, which is what happened in Jackson’s case. The boy being mean to him, egged on by the girl who wanted them to fight over her, was starting a big ruckus about these group chats and being left out.

It’s group think. I see it now, but I was so caught up in the bullying aspect of what Jackson was dealing with in school, that I didn’t even think about the how the after school group texts had repercussions on the bigger classroom community. And now I’m teetering on that line of keeping him from chatting with his friends, which I do think he deserves to do after school and on weekends sometimes, or just shutting it all down because of a couple kids who didn’t respect the rest of the group.

Then I remember that my kid is a good kid. He’s respected at school for his honesty, willingness to learn, his positive attitude, his leadership qualities, and yes his kind nature. Maybe too kind. Too forgiving. And this was a good lesson for him on how to stand up for himself. To set boundaries with friends. At the same time, not all kids can stick up for themselves. Not all kids have the courage to be “different.” To be the kid in the group chat that says, “Hey, let’s not talk about this or that, or this person or that person.” But now my son does, and I hope he takes that lesson into everyday life as well.

Parenting is tough, y’all. I’m straddling this line of being considered “that mom” because yes, I gave my kid a cell phone, and yes I let him text his friends, but also I read every message. He knows that. And now his friends know that too, but I might be judged by others. Or I might be considered an “uncool” mom. I might ask too many questions, or read the messages through my skewed view of the world, but still I do it, and still I will continue to, and teach my son lessons like how to stand up for himself, how to be the bigger person, and how to be the best version of himself even when I’m not standing next to him. And I think as parents that is all we can do. Because at the end of the day we have decisions to make. Decisions in the best interest of our kids, and decisions, sometimes, in the best interest of others’ kids as well.

So thanks to the teachers, and mommies, and daddies, and friends who reached out concerning Jackson and the bullying he encountered at the hands of “friends.” (He’s actually not allowed to talk on text message with that boy he calls “Jerkface” anymore, but of course he will still see him around school. I’m just hoping things go well on Monday, and I don’t have to make a trip up to the assistant principal’s office.) Thanks for the support, the recommendations, and for sharing your own stories. Jackson learned some good lessons from this experience. And so did I.

M.

No, This Can't Really be Fifth Grade

I know y’all tired of hearing me talk about fifth grade. I know y’all tired of me talking about the boy/girl drama. Think of how tired you are of hearing me talk about it, then think about how tired I am of being smack-dab in the middle of it. Jerimiah says, “Just don’t let it get to you. He will figure it out.” And I’m sure he will eventually, but over the last few days this love triangle my fifth grader has found himself in, has required a parent to step in, and it was obvious none of the other parents were, so I did. And it has escalated so quickly that Jerimiah is involved now too.

Before I tell you about the shenanigans of the last few days, get yourself up to speed here: https://missygoodnight.com/2020/01/13/is-this-really-5th-grade/

So Shirley and Jerkface are still a thing, but Shirley has been “flirting” (and I put this in quotes because again, THIS IS FIFTH FUCKING GRADE) ahem, Shirley has been “flirting” with Jackson, while still “dating” Jerkface. She appears to be doing this on purpose in order to make Jerkface mad at Jackson. Da what?! How is a fifth grader capable of such high-school-girl-drama? It’s called Abuse of Power and Jackson wants to call the senate to have her impeached.

In case that doesn’t work out, after Jackson decided he was tired of the lovely couple’s bullshit this week, like how Shirley added Jerkface into their friends’ group chat (even though no one likes him because he’s a, well, jerkface), and how Shirley encourages Jerkface to be mean to Jackson on the playground, Jackson wrote Shirley a private text and said, “Hey, when you’re ready to be cool again, like you used to be, just friends, let me know. Until then I don’t really want to hang with you. Sincerely, Jackson.”

Shirley replied with, and I quote, “Are you faking because if you are I do horrible things…” What the actual fuck, y’all?! Who is this girl?! And who does she think she actually is?!

So after that, she was texting him and trying to FaceTime him to beg him to talk, but at the same time texting the other friends and threatening to “share all their secrets.” Then they were taking screen shots of what she was saying and sending them to Jackson, and I had enough.

I told Jackson to go ahead and let them know that I read ALL his text messages, because I do. I trust my son, but I obviously do not trust these other kids. And as you can see, that is based in good reasoning. Then to go ahead and let Shirley know she’s real close to getting her contact blocked in the “Mom Mode” of his phone. She proceeded to say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Jackson!” Then she sent him a picture of her puppy and said, “Look how cute my puppers is!” Uhhh… I know I’m not supposed to dislike a kid, but…

Then Jackson proceeds to tell me all the rude things Jerkface has been saying to him in the hallways and in PE class (their two classes go to PE together.) On Wednesday he pulled Jackson aside in PE and said, “Shirley broke up with me, so you can go ahead and be her boyfriend now.” Jackson was very confused because he knew that if Shirley had actually done that she would have told him, she would have told EVERYONE because #drama. So he just sort of ignored it. Turns out is was not true. Jerkface was just baiting Jackson to see if he would move in on Shirley. And Shirley knew about the whole plan. What the actual fuck?!

On thing Jerkface ACTUALLY said to my fifth grade son was, “You better not be fucking my girl!” Yeah, that’s a thing fifth grade boys are capable of saying to other fifth grade boys. Then he stopped Jackson in the hall on Friday and said, “I saw you sitting next to my girl in class, and you better not do that again, aight?” Jackson and Shirley are classmates, project partners, robotics team members, and friends. On Friday Jerkface walked by their classroom and saw Jackson and Shirley sitting next to each other, working on their project together in their classroom, and Jerkface made a mean face at Jackson and Jackson got nervous, then he told him this after school. THIS IS FOR REAL, Y’ALL!

So I told Jackson that I was not above talking to the Assistant Principal about all this, and y’all know I’m not, so he needed to let Jerkface know he wouldn’t be bossed around or cursed at anymore. Jackson sent Jerkface a text that said all that, including that he had no desire to be Shirley’s “boyfriend” and he was happy they had each other, (I am too, because they are both just as crazy as each other and I want my son far away from a girl who says, “I will do horrible things”), and then decided it might be best to distance himself from Shirley for a bit as well. Good choice.

So then Shirley called him, crying, unable to say anything, just crying. And Jackson said, “I can’t hear you, maybe call back when you’re not crying.” And I support that.

So there you have it, the short of the long. I’ll let y’all know when/if I have to get more involved, but right now just know that this shit is happening in fifth grade. I’ve heard of it happening in fourth and even third grade. Matter of fact, in Jackson’s second grade class there was a love triangle he was involved in and didn’t even know about, with some nightmare teacher’s kid and some little blond girl. No shit. This is happening. And no, it’s not just happening from technology. Because all the mean stuff Jerkface has done has been in person at school. And he’s (I’m pretty sure) being led by Shirley who wants two boys to fight over her. Thankfully, my son ain’t no dummy.

So what’s the point of all this, other than to alert you to the fact that there is a rapid change in fifth graders, and it happens in the second semester and if you aren’t one of those parents who keeps up on all of it, asks your kids about school EVERYDAY, and uses instances like this as a learning experience to prepare them for even more craziness in the future, then you better jump on board with this sort of parenting, and fast.

Raise yo kids right, y’all. And be involved. Be vigilant. Don’t be afraid to be that parent that “is in everyone’s business” because there are far too many parents who don’t give two shits about how their kids are treating others, and we need to pick up the slack. Geez, I don’t remember this kind of drama in fifth grade. I mean I remember drama, but not this sort of shit. WE need to do better.

M.