Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's All Fun and Games 'Til Somebody Gets on Facebook

So Thing 1 went to a sleepover Saturday night.  Afternoon of four 11 year old boys playing hanging out rolled into "We're spending the night at Friend's house, is that okay?"  Of course, sure, no problem, and in all other ways YES.  Thing 1 spends most of his available time on the Xbox so real live interaction outside of school is a welcome thing.

When he got home the next day I heard a rumble that Friend and Other Friend were being stupid on facebook.  Both Friends are only 11, but they have fb accounts.  They're boy scouts, right?  What could go wrong.  Anyway, The Friends say he Likes likes this one girl and were talking about it via fb chat with her and a couple other girls.

M'kay.  Noteworthy enough in the Thing 1 world to mention it to me casually.  It will later become evident why I'll burn this interaction into my brain as a HUGE red flag and inquire about these casual mentioning moments more intently in the future.  A blip on the tweenage boy's radar equals a DRAMATASTIC EVENT in momspeak.  got it.

Last night, Other Friend from Saturday night who was being stupid on facebook calls.  Crying.  Apologizing for his behavior.  Obviously under threat of parental mayhem.  I inquire again, "What happened?"  "Nothing really.  They just said I Liked Anonymous 6th Grade Girl and stuff.  But it was mostly on message. Nobody saw it."

M'kaaaay...suspicions rising.  What the hell is going on here?  He shrugged it off.  No big deal.  Don't worry about it, Mom.  I remind him on no uncertain terms this is why he can't have a facebook account until he's 13.  People say dumb things all the time.  My own friends do it and they're 40 for god sakes.  An 11 year old brain on a facebook account is nuclear.

This afternoon I get a call from Sleepover Host Friend's Mother.  She let's me know that the boys were being inappropriate on facebook during the sleepover.  I tell her I heard a little something about it.  She proceeds to inform me that she has the whole chat saved to her computer and that somebody, we're not sure who at this point because nobody's taking the fall for this, typed....

::pause for neck cracking head turn::


I gasped audibly.  As any good suburban mother would do.

And inside my head I'm thinking, "Holy mother of jumping fuck."  Because I know that between the Xbox headset and my exceptionally foul language, my kid could definitely have said that.  But I don't use the word cock lightly, so I kind of doubt he'd have picked that up from me.  But it's out there...obviously.  OHMYGOD

So, like one does, I thanked her profusely for telling me and we agreed this was both a learning and teaching moment as parents and how much trouble would we have gotten in for pulling a stunt like that and times are different now with the internet and all and could you image being that girl and what on earth are her parents going to do and good luck to our kids for ever hoping to get a date after that.

Thing 1 and I needed to have a sit down.  CLEARLY.  I mean, we've talked about this kind of behavior before and I really thought I got the message across to him and his friends.  But that was a different set of friends that time and these boys might need some life lessons too.  and quick.

Thing 1 firmly maintained that he didn't say what Friend and Other Friend typed.  He was telling them to stop and Other Other Friend tackled him off the keyboard as he tried to delete the message.  I know this is true because I heard him over Xbox chat this afternoon calling the guys out about it when he thought I wasn't listening.  "That was so stupid you guys!  I'm the victim here because you're saying things I never said and my name is out there for that.  You made Other Other Friend tackle me when I tried to stop you!"

So I didn't bury him under a lilac bush or ground him or anything.  But he is required to apologize to the girl(s) they harassed.  I told him (hands in the air like I'm weaponless) whether or not he really does have a crush on the one girl  (EYEROLL MOM I DO NOT LIKE HER) if he has any hope of being thought of as a normal human being by Pleasant Valley's teenage denizens for the next 7 years, he needs to let her and her friends know that he is sorry for everything that happened Saturday night and that he would never say such a thing.

Is that enough?

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