“We’re not doing anything in school today. Can you call the Attendance Office so I can leave early?” This one is not to be confused with “Can I go in late?”, also an FAQ. I receive at least one of these texts a week. Rather than get into a lengthy back-and-forth (she’s got faster, more nimble fingers and has been texting, sometimes literally in her sleep, for years now) I just don’t respond.
“Can I borrow twenty dollars for gas?” Let me tell you, this is more of a handout than a loan. I have yet to see her slide a twenty back my way. I feel like I am going to the ATM every other day to be able to supply sufficient funds for gas, coaches’ gifts, dance tickets, Starbucks, toiletries, salon vsisits and other various and sundry items.
“What time do I have to be home?” This one slays me. She’s driving on a restricted license until the age of eighteen. She, and all of her friends, are required to be off the road by midnight. I didn’t make the law, nor do I have the power to change it. Period. And yet she asks all the time as though sometime between the last time she asked and the next request I have been given some magic authorization by the State.
“Can we order pizza tonight?” I admit I am powerless against this one. I want pizza every bit as much as she does, if not more. It truly doesn’t even matter if I already have a roast in the oven.
“Can I spend the night at insert-best-friend’s-name here house?” You would imagine that the days of sleepovers are long in our past, but she spends at least one night a week at a friend’s house. We suspect this is her way of escaping our scrutiny and getting into some shenanigans. Little does she know that I am fully in contact with the parents, who are instructed to let me know if there is any deviation from the plan and who text me when heads hit the pillows.
“What time will you be home? Don’t mistake this one for a kid who’s missing her parents. I’ve learned to respond with “I don’t know” to which she responds “What time do you think you’ll be home?” She must think she’s dealing with amateurs.
Maybe we should automate a bit. We could create a text message that reads “ You may find an answer to your question in our Frequently Asked Questions! Please check this page first, as we may not be able to respond to individual requests immediately.”