Several days ago we let Rachel know that she would be expected to stay home tonight; she could make plans for tomorrow, even if they involve Cheese and I would drive her (or them) to whatever destination she had in mind. We gave her the advanced notice because Ian was sure that he would be feeling up to snuff today, finally, and we need someone to stay home with Kevin, so that Ian and I can finally get out of the house. She didn't seem to have a problem with this--until today, when Cheese asked her to go to a movie with him.
Now, we specifically targeted Rachel to be home with Kevin (for his sake, we're not referring to it as "babysitting" because that apparently is offensive) because Alex has had plans in place for a long time. Valentine's Day is on a school night this year, and having the sense to plan things out, he and Stephanie decided that they would celebrate it a few days early this year; he picked a nice restaurant, made a reservation, and afterward they'll walk the two blocks to the theater for a movie. He asked us several weeks ago if we would drive them there and if, after we picked them up, if we minded one more stop some place to get dessert, and if we wanted to join them, we were more than welcome (we won't, but that's beside the point.)
Now that Cheese has asked her out, life is woefully unfair. How was she supposed to know that he would want to go out tonight and not tomorrow? Why can't Alex stay home? It's not like he hasn't already been out with Stephanie a million times. We are so unfair!
Ian let her wind up and vent, then reminded her that Alex has done his fair share of staying home to keep an eye on both Kevin and her, and he has canceled plans in the past in order to accommodate our parental whims. Now that she's older, it's her turn to step up and do something she doesn't want to do; Alex had plans first, and his are, frankly, more important.
Then Rachel made her first real mistake. Ian can overlook an occasional flare-up of disappointed temper, but when he said Alex's plans were more important, she said, "Well that's just bullshit!" She said it loudly, and she said it with emphasis of the bullshit.
I just wanted to shake my head sadly. Up until she said that, she was fine. He understood she was upset. But now she's grounded, and ohmygod, you'd think he'd rescinded his permission to date at all, ever again, and told her that she will never speak to, text with, or even think of boys from here on out.
Needless to say, she is so outraged that Kevin was actually uncomfortable being left alone with her tonight.
Ian drove Alex on his date, and during an incidental phone call with my dad a few minutes ago I related his granddaughter's latest teenaged drama queen moment, and when he was done howling with laughter (not that he can relate or anything, because I was never this dramatic. Really!) he said he would be over in half an hour so that we could still go out.
I tried to assure him that we were grown up enough to withstand the disappointment, but no, he insists. The lesson is Rachel's to learn: her temper doesn't get to change anything, and if she's going to act like a small child, she's getting a babysitter like a small child. She is going to be furious when he gets here, because my dad will make her sit in the living room with him. He's not going to let her hide in her room with her cell phone, texting to all her friends about what awful parents she has.
I almost wish we could stick around to witness her entire indignation ;)