March 31, 2021

Tank owes me

Tank cornered me in my study in January. 

Tank: Jay's family invited me to go skiing with them in Colorado. Late February. Please, can I go? I work really hard. I've saved a ton of money. Come on. Max is going too. He went last year not knowing how to ski and he was fine. 

Me:  (groaning) I don't think so. You only skied that one time in Michigan. Colorado is for big-time ski types. People get really hurt skiing. 

Tank then played 'THE' card:  Ya know, I haven't really had a senior year. 

Really? Low blow. 

Me:  You have to ask Daddy.

Tank:  Why? Can't you just decide and then talk to him? You know he's gonna say no.

Coach finished teaching his class and popped into the study. Coach said exactly what I said in Coach lingo:  YOU'LL GET HURT. NO WAY.

Tank was super disappointed. 

I didn't sleep well that night (not because of this). I was up at 3 am sitting in the kitchen on my laptop waiting to go back to sleep. At 4:30 Coach was leaving for work. I'd looked at  flights: 

If we're going to decide to let him go, we better decide soon. Tank could be booked on the same flight as Jay's family for the return. I could get him on an earlier flight on the way there. He'd wait for them to arrive. Flights aren't too pricey. 

Coach shrugged as he walked out the door and gave me his surrender voice, grouchy tone implied:  FINE. GO AHEAD.

I knew he still didn't want Tank to go and honestly neither did I, but the kid is 18. He HAS saved a ton of money (like $12,000 this school year - since August, not including what he made over the summer) and next year he'll be in college making decisions without running it past us. So . . . I booked the flights. 

I slept a bit more and when Tank came downstairs in the morning acting all grumpy, I acted MORE grumpy. I was TIRED. I waved him over and pointed to the email confirmation from Southwest. 

At first he didn't get it. WHAT'S THIS?

Me, doing my best 'I see your grumpy and I raise you a grumpy level':  WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Tank was overjoyed. He said that when he told his friends they didn't believe him. *His friends are nice kids, but they don't tend to have the same kind of parental supervision that Tank endures is blessed with. 

Weeks go by. Flights are combined so he's on their same flights. I help him pack. Print his confirmation. Drill into him about the easy hills. Made him promise to check in.

After he landed, he texted. I texted back: Be nice to Hailey (Jay's sister who's 8).

Later in the day, Rachel, Jay's mom sent a group text to Max's mom and me: 


I was so confused. Huh? I thought Rachel, the mom, was going. Tank said he was going with Jay's family. Plus Max. This text made it seem like she wasn't there. I had texted 'be nice to Hailey' and he hadn't corrected me to say:


What was going on?

Mini was in the room. I wasn't thinking. I shared the situation. She practically fell out of her chair laughing. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I kept telling her to stop laughing, but watching her laugh made me laugh and that was NOT sending the right message to my next-in-line-to-be-a-senior who might take this as a signal that it is OK to push the envelope. 


Mini:  (hiccupping from laughing so hard) THIS IS AWESOME. HILARIOUS! TANK PULLED A FAST ONE ON YOU.

Me:  (more to myself than to Mini) Dear God. Daddy. I convinced him to let Tank go.  

I texted Tank: Call me right away. He texted: OK, AFTER DINNER. 


He called. Oh, hadn't he told me. He thought I knew. Jay's grandpa was with the boys. All was fine. He claimed that he didn't initially know who was going. What's the difference?

I don't know grandpa. Are you guys all partying while grandpa is napping? Is this the 'I'll-buy-the-beer' type of grandpa? 


I told Tank this was NOT what I'd agreed to and that I'd sold it to Daddy, so he better BEHAVE and check in constantly. 

He did check in via text frequently. He later said that the grandpa stayed on the easy slopes with him the whole time. His buddy. 

My kid - far left.
Grandpa, center, or a grandpa they paid to
pose in their photo. Now I'm giving them way too much credit. 

I didn't tell Coach the truth, initially. Once Tank was home and Mini tried to use the info against me:  LET ME HANG WITH MY FRIENDS. I CAN CLEAN MY ROOM LATER. TANK WENT TO COLORADO WITHOUT PARENTS AND DIDN'T GET IN TROUBLE! . . . 

I spilled the beans to Coach. He wasn't happy, but knowing Tank got home safe helped. We were also at his sister's house having an adult beverage. 

How bad does Tank owe me? In my estimation:  more than he knows.

Did you ever pull a fast one on your folks or have your kids convinced you that parents would be there, when they weren't? 


Anonymous said...

Oh man, that is quite the Tank shenanigan ;) I’m glad he made it home un-injured and has a cool senior year story to tell. How awesome that he’s been able to save so much, your mischief maker is at least somewhat responsible! Thanks for the laughs.

Kara said...

I went to Montreal, Canada for spring break my senior year of high school. Because you could drink at 18 there. And even though I wasn't 18, my boyfriend was. And oops, I neglected to tell my parents that my boyfriend was going on the trip. I only mentioned the four girls I was going with. Who also did not mention to their families that boys were going. It was pre-cell phones, and calling international was NOT something that my family did. To this day, I do not know if my parents know that the trip was co-ed. They did wonder why I didn't go to Aruba with another set of friends, but I sold them on the cultural wonders of Montreal (and it was cheaper that Aruba).

Beth Cotell said...

$12k??? That's so much money! He definitely deserved a vacation even if he did leave out a few details! Glad he made it home in one piece.

Suz said...

Tank might be the smartest one in the house. LOL! I bet they had a good time and this has been a year for us all, but this young man did deserve some fun. Right?
I would have initially been furious too though. I'm sure if YOU asked him directly who was going, you would have gotten an answer, but since you didn't ask...

Me? Pull something over my parents? I might have if they ever asked me where I was going or what I was doing. Remember, wolves?

Ernie said...

AM - Yes, he is responsible, but not so great at the communication piece. I have this thing where I don't want to be the one responsible for convincing Coach to let the kids do something if he is really against it . . . because if ANYTHING was to go horribly wrong (God forbid), I'd never get over it.

I am really glad that he got to go. He's a good egg - but they all do dumb stuff and think they are invincible at this age. It was a relief when he texted to say he was on his way to the airport.

Ernie said...

Kara - OK, OK, you've convinced me . . . Tank is practically a saint. You vixen you. I could get away with nothing as a teen. I went to a Violent Femmes concert, but told my folks it was a group called 'the femmes' and that I was getting extra credit in my French class for attending. They were a French cultural group, wink wink. My sisters came home from college and saw my concert t-shirt and ratted me out. So much for sisterhood, right?

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, we joke that college isn't really necessary for this kid. He's just always making money and always finding another way to earn his keep. He's obsessed with money making. Not a bad thing, but we have had disputes about how willing he is to work outside the home and how happy he is to leave a trail at home and NOT CLEAN UP HIS OWN STUFF. Just asking for a bit of balance.

Such a relief that it was (as far as I know) an uneventful trip and he came home in one piece.

Ernie said...

Suz - You are not wrong. And Mini might be the dumbest - bribe me to get out of your chores by using info about Tank, will you? I pulled the plug on that in a hurry.

Yes, he does deserve fun. And he is a good kid, but you just never know what they could get up to without an adult. Once he said grandpa my blood pressure returned to almost normal. I just saw the mom who sent the text (the one whose dad was the grandpa) and I told her how her group text tipped me off to the fact that she wasn't there. She about died laughing.

Ha, yes - wolves, I do remember. I think some of Tank's friends are in that same boat.

Ally Bean said...

You ask: Did you ever pull a fast one on your folks convincing them that parents would be there, when they weren't?

I answer: Of course.

It's part of the growing up game, isn't it?

Ernie said...

Ally - Pretty sure my sisters NEVER tried anything. They were an odd pair. Translation: when I DID get caught doing stuff, the punishment was super-sized.

Suzanne said...

OMG!!!!!! I am speechless! SO glad it all worked out okay.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - See what you have to look forward to? ;) Yes, it did all work out and I am glad he got to go. I pride myself in not being a helicopter parent - like I didn't call the mom to verify the info. But I also felt like my trusting ways got me taken for a ride.

Pat Birnie said...

Wow good for Tank! This is a great story - so glad everything turned out ok. I don’t think I ever pulled a fast one on my parents. They were so strict and my mom missed nothing. I hated it as a teen but somehow 50 years later it’s not a big deal haha. I thinkTank has the makings of an entrepreneur-that kid will go places!

Kari said...

Well, there was an adult there so he wasn't officially lying. But I can totally see why you would freak out. But that looked like a fun trip.

Ernie said...

Pat - My parents were strict too. As far as I can tell, I'm the only one that 'tried' anything. That never went over well. Tank is a piece of work, and I agree that he will go places. The whole situation made me nervous though. The fact that he ended up checking in a lot more than I would've expected made me feel better. Kids this age can make dumb choices. So I hear. :)

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, an adult was present. But until he told me that and I realized that this was not the 'family' trip as he presented it to be, my stomach dropped. Glad it all worked out and he got home in one piece. Being a parent is slightly nerve wracking at times.

Bibliomama said...

I'm laughing because it's not my kid, and also I find it hilarious that Mini's first reaction was hilarity. We didn't really have a curfew as teenagers because we never did anything really bad (that my parents found out about), but my mom did often mention that she would get up and check if our shoes were at the landing before she could really stop worrying about us and go to sleep. So whichever one of us was out, the other one would go put some shoes at the landing (we slept upstairs, my parents slept downstairs). It was a great system.

Ernie said...

Ali - It was very hard for me to stay upset while Mini almost fell off of her chair laughing. I hated worrying that I just gave my kid permission to do something that was going to lead to trouble ESPECIALLY when I convinced Coach to let him go.

Your shoes on the landing stunt is brilliant. My mom used to make us come in and kiss her good night when we got home. She claimed that she couldn't fully sleep until we were all accounted for. I am the opposite. Do not wake me. Coach and I have reversed roles. He used to sleep through crying infants in the night, even commenting in the morning "SO THE BABY SLEPT GREAT, HUH?" Now, I sleep like a log and he pays attention to how many times the garage door goes up while half asleep. The garage sticks out of the house just past our bedroom, so it is easy to hear. I think since being diagnosed with Celiac disease I sleep much sounder.