Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | 2 Comments

We've had our exchange student, Pedro, for two months now. So far it is going well, in fact it is almost spooky as to how easily he shuffled right into our household. It is almost as if he had training. He gets along well with JD, in fact they do some things together. Pedro even tries hard to take an interest in the things that JD does. Now if I could just get JD to make an effort to return that consideration.

The only problem that we have had with Pedro is that he has been pressing the issue of going into the Twin Cities with a boy from school. We even sat him down and went over our ground rules for going out:
  1. At all times while away from the house you must be accessible by phone.
  2. For every outing we need to know where you are going, when you intend to be back and who (full name) you are with.
  3. As long it is in the city limits (would take you no longer than 5 minutes to be back home if needed) you can go without pre-approval but you must leave us a message ASAP.
  4. Anything out of the city limits (would take longer than 5 minutes to get back home) requires our pre-approval.
  5. Being in a car without an adult/experienced driver is OK during the day and within an 8 mile radius of home.
  6. At night and out of that radius an adult/experienced driver is required, unless we give specific approval.

I consider these simple, reasonable rules. These are rules that our son has, although I am a little lenient with him since I know his routine so well that I can guess where he is if he doesn't show up at home when he normally would. Pedro is just setting his routine, so I have to make him adhere to this a little more strictly. But he keeps pressing this Twin City thing. He wants to go into St. Paul at night with a bunch of teenagers.

Nope! I could never see me allowing my own son to do that, why should I allow Pedro? I told him that I have an obligation to his parents to send him home in one piece. He says that he understands, but then keeps asking anyway.

Another problem I have with this request is that we don't know the boy. He will not come over to meet us either. I did get to see his and his friends' driving habits and I have to say, I totally feel vindicated in my decision! They drive like a bunch of assholes. This boy also either is really flighty, or he is a real dick. He will invite Pedro to do things then not show up, he'll leave without him, or he won't let him know what is going on until it is too late. In either case, he's not really racking up the trust points with me, that's for sure.

Part of me feels that I should allow him to go for the experience, but then, I work with people who have just gotten out of high school and so far all of the ones that I asked said that their parents didn't let them go in the Twin Cities without an adult driver either. Seems like I am not alone; although I'm not sure that me being alone on the matter would matter that much to me. Right now I have a strong instinctual feeling that I should not let him go, and as those of you have followed my blog for awhile know, that feeling -- The Force, as I like to call it -- has been very, very good to me. So I will listen to it, even if it doesn't really make total sense. Problem is that it is hard to convince other people that they should listen to it too, since it doesn't make total sense at first. But I can be formidably tenacious, so I usually prevail.

I'm thinking that when he turns 18 in a couple of months we will re-visit the rules; but until then I am going to trust my instincts.


Lyvvie said...

Stick to your guns. He can keep asking, so long as you keep saying "no" he'll know all is right in the world. In fact just get a flashcard or t-shirt with the word no so you don't even have to speak.

I'm always being asked questions the kids know the answer will be no. I think they must be double, triple, quadruple checking that everything is as it should be. Every no is the world being set right. ;)

Sy said...

Lyvvie, I like the flash card idea -- that sounds so me.

So maybe he's not sure if he's in a dream or awake and the question is his totem to tell the difference?
BTW - I haven't seen the end to Inception, so no spoilers!