Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sex and Lunch

This past weekend Danielle was involved in more drama.

I had been gone, spending the day with an old friend.  When I returned home, she met me out on the driveway to tell me that she had been "triggered" by something that had happened.

Here's the story as Danielle told it.  I'm not entirely sure of the tale's veracity, but here it is...

Danielle was spending the night with her friend.  On Saturday afternoon, Danielle, her friend, and her friend's boyfriend gathered in her friend's room.  Danielle decided to take a nap.  When she awoke, she opened her eyes to find her friend having intercourse with her boyfriend.

Now, to add a bit of context to this, Danielle's friend is two years younger.  She is also developmentally delayed.  The boyfriend is also a special education student.  There is also some question as to whether or not the kids used a condom.

Danielle could have put a stop to what was going on.  She could have told the girl's mother, as she knew her friend wasn't supposed to be having sex, especially given her age and cognitive disabilities.  The parents were home, but they have several other young children.  The house is noisy and chaotic enough that they could easily have missed the goings-on in the bedroom.

And of course, Danielle was in the room with the other two kids, so everyone would assume nothing untoward would happen, right?

Danielle sat on the news for 24 hours before telling us.

And, because the girl in question is two years under the magic age of 17, she must go to her doctor for a prescription for the morning after pill.

Danielle knew that what her friend was doing was unquestionably wrong.  I told her that by sitting by and doing nothing, it was the same as condoning the behavior.  I told her that I was angry, disappointed, and embarrassed that she didn't stop her friend and tell her mother immediately.  The girl's mother was in the next room when all this was happening.  She is, quite understandably, pretty distraught.

I suppose I shouldn't expect Danielle to make good decisions, so perhaps I shouldn't really be disappointed.  I just keep hoping, beyond hope, that she'll eventually get it and start making better choices.

* * * 

Today there was a little bit of drama coming from the school.  I received an e-mail from Danielle's teacher saying that today was the second day in a row that Danielle didn't bring a lunch or lunch money to school.  She said that Danielle was complaining of being dizzy and tired.

The teacher asked for our input.

I politely e-mailed back, explaining that Danielle is responsible for packing her own lunch.  I also mentioned that her lunch is frequently a control battle.  When we ask her about it, she usually tells us that either a) she already packed it, or b) she's not hungry and won't eat anyway.

I suggested that the teacher might want to remind Danielle that packing a lunch is her responsibility.  Given that lunch is such a control battle, I figured the reminder coming from her might be better received than it would be coming from us.

So that's what I said.

Here's what I thought:

Danielle is almost 17 years old.  She is perfectly capable of putting together her own lunch and I am just not going to engage in a control battle over this issue.  I suspect that the real truth is Danielle is trying to manipulate us into giving her a lunch card, which she's asked for several times.

I don't know if this is the case for all schools, but at Danielle's school the lunch card is essentially a credit card.  There are no spending limits.  A child can purchase as much as she likes, and at the end of the month, the parents get the bill.

Given that we have a kid who doesn't comply with doing her chores, who displays a bad attitude whenever possible, and who we can't trust to obey rules, I have only one answer when asked about a lunch card:

No, no, and hell no.

Pack a lunch, kid.


  1. I have to say that as a teenager I'd find it hard to stop people in the room from having sex with each other, to be fair to Danielle. I'm sorry about the situation, but what was she supposed to do, hose them down with cold water?

    1. I would have preferred Danielle immediately tell the girl's mother.

  2. I think that Danielle actually handled it pretty well, she told you in a timely enough manner for the parents to deal with it via the morning after pill. I doubt that I would have told my parents if such a thing had happened when I was her age. As far as the lunch card goes, isn't Danielle eligible for a free lunch as an adopted former foster child with a medical card? Maybe that's only kids who are currently in foster care.

  3. I think it's impressive that she told you about the situation at all. Be grateful for a forthcoming teenager who is looking for your guidance in these hard situations. You should realize that and appreciate her instead of shaming her.

  4. I get it. I know exactly how/why you are disappointed in this situation. This is just another example of her immaturity. This is another situation where she could have been a "leader" of sorts and told them to quit having sex, or just startle them into stopping by "waking up" and telling them how inappropriate it was to be having sex with someone else in the room, and parents next door to the bedroom. If this girl is DD and so is the boy, it makes it even more serious for obvious reasons. It is just examples like this that make it hard to trust her decisions ever.

  5. Man, the lunch saga sounds exhausting, but it seems like y'all are handling it very well. Here's hoping she starts to realize she's not going to get a different response on this!

    On the sex situation . . . frankly, I think Danielle was put in a rotten position and did, if not the 'best' thing, pretty well. The fact that she told you is impressive to me, and suggests that she is far more attached to you than it might seem. I was once in an almost identical situation as a teenager; I was spending the night at a slumber party, sharing a bed with a friend, woke up to find out that she was having sex RIGHT NEXT TO ME IN THE BED with her boyfriend who had snuck in the window. I lay there for a while and pretended to be having a nightmare (which didn't stop them), but never did anything else. Sure, there are better ways someone could have handled it, but I don't think this is necessarily an example of pathologically immature behavior for a 17-year-old.

  6. To expect a teenager to run straight to her friend's parents after the friend have done something wrong is just not realistic or reasonable. She did tell you only a day later which to me shows that she is in fact quite mature and responsible and recognizes the problems with the situation. Most teenagers that age would probably have remained quiet out of loyalty to the friend which is very high on the importance list for a teen girl. I think you should commend her and be happy that she had enough trust in you to come to you with the problem.

    I was wondering, if you don't mind answering, once you ask Danielle to leave your home while still in High School do you plan to provide her with any kind of financial, practical or emotional support should she need it? Or will your help end when your legal obligation does? Do you foresee having a relationship with her as an adult?


I love to get comments from my readers. Please be aware that comment moderation is on and there may be a delay between the time you post your remarks and the time they appear on the blog.

If you would like your comment read and/or published, sign your name to it and play nice.