Ask Amy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 12:00am

DEAR AMY: My parents are crazy.

My mother is a part of the parental gossip network in our town.

All the mothers are always gossiping about teenagers and reporting what we do.

I'm not even allowed to sleep over at one of my best friends' houses now because my mom heard so many rumors about drinking going on at the house.

Truthfully, there has only been drinking once at the house when I've been there, and it wasn't even really at the house — it was at the park next to her house, and during that one time, I wasn't even drinking.

Bottom line: My parents don't trust me to hang out with my friend anymore. They also seem to think that my friend's mom supports the drinking, but she is completely against underage drinking and drugs.

How can I gain back my mom's trust so that I can hang out with my friend?

— M

DEAR M: If your parents are crazy, then they're good-crazy.

I know the sort of news-gathering your mother is engaged in seems like gossip to you, but her keeping in touch with other parents and finding out what their kids are doing is going to help her be the best mother to you.

You're just going to have to put up with the fact that your mother knows what she is doing — and that means she knows what you're doing.

The way to gain your mother's trust is by proving that you are trustworthy — over and over again. Then you're going to have to ask her to trust you to spend time with your friend.

One way to gain trust would be to invite your friend to hang out with you at your home so your mother can get to know her better. You should also encourage your mother to talk to your friend's mom so that this other mother can make her case, mom-to-mom.


DEAR AMY: Recently I brought my 12-year-old daughter and her friend, "Lisa," to a play.

I picked them up from soccer and bought dinner and the tickets. Her friend then spent the night. I cleared this with the mom, whom I hardly know.

It was my treat, and I don't mind that part.

It was never clarified when Lisa would go home. I told her that I could bring her home at 2 p.m., but she said, "No, my mom is picking me up. She called on my phone."

Of course there was no consideration if that worked for me, but OK, fine.

By 4 p.m. I asked Lisa if she had heard from her mom. She said her mom was "on her way."

At 5:30 the mom pulled up and sat in the car with her cell phone planted in her ear.

I waved to her and got a nod back. Lisa got in, and they pulled away.

No thank-you from either one of them.

I want to call this mom and tell her how upset I am. Should I let it go?

— Upset Mother

DEAR UPSET: Your job is to establish with the other parent when the child will be retrieved. Twelve-year-olds don't always know what their parents are up to.

It is irresponsible for this other mother to release her child for an overnight if she hasn't established a pickup time with the other parents — and it is rude not to thank you and prompt her daughter to do so.

The fact that this other mother is so irresponsible and ungrateful means that you should hesitate before hosting her daughter again — but because you didn't confirm the pickup time with her personally, telling her off now doesn't seem right.


DEAR AMY: My family was at a carnival today, and my toddler son had to "go potty."

There was a long line at the restroom, and he was crying that he had to go.

I politely asked the woman in front of us if we could please cut in front of her because my son really had to go. She flat out refused.

Another woman who was next in line was kind enough to let us go in front of her. I was so grateful!

If I'm ever in a restroom line and see a little one squirming I will happily offer my place.

— Grateful Mom

DEAR GRATEFUL: You've heard of "paying it forward?" This is "peeing it forward!"

Send questions to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles