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Dispatches From Down East: When Your Son Calls You a Redneck...

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Husband and I have embarked on a dangerous journey, riding at break-neck speed down the slippery slope of parenting an adolescent. I'm talking about the downward spiral, baby. The dangerous slide into the abyss. Of being under the same roof as a child going through puberty, that is. And if we are learning anything so far, it is to expect the unexpected.

Who would have ever thought that our own precious baby boy would stoop to stereotyping his doting parents, pigeon-holing us into the category of 'duds'? And so soon, at the ripe old age of 11. As if it is not bad enough that he thinks we are rigid taskmasters, as we expect him to clean his room, eat all of his veggies and do his homework, he now has added another label to our name.

Hill-billy.

Yes. Son thinks his folks are hill-billies (which in his pubescent mind he equates with being cheap, I might add). And he calls (one of us in particular, and it's not me...) this name over and over at such times as when he is not pleased with the outcome of a certain debate we might be having or when he does not agree with a decision we have made. And as a dear friend said to me recently, I guess we could be called worse names. However, now the joke's on him.

Two times over, I might add.

One morning this past week, he decided that he was NOT taking/eating the gross and extremely cheap Hot Stuff pepperoni pizza pockets for school lunch that I had bought (for the bargain basement price of one dollar...cha-ching, baby!). So he then took it upon himself to look up his junior high school's website to peruse the lunch menu plan for the week. He Googled it and then waited for results. Almost immediately, he started to shout out to his "hill-billy daddy" in the kitchen that the website had changed. The mascot was different. The school looked different. And the lunch menu prices were exorbitant (That last word mine, not his. But still.)

Anyhoo, he was going on and on and on about all the changes to the school website when my hill-billy hubby decided to take it upon himself to adopt a country twang and saunter on off to the computer room to see what all the fuss was ABOUT. Come to find out Son had looked up a junior high school with a similar name to his own intermediate school which happened to be situated in some far off place in the United States. And it was Son's own MISSPELLING that caused the error.

'Pays to listen to yer elders, sonny. Especially when thur' learning ya somethin' in school there about spellins' and words and such'.

Then, Son showed his true country charm when at supper time, and again AFTER HAVING CALLED US HILL-BILLIES THIS MORNING, he came out to the kitchen and asked his hill-billy dad, "Why do people buy wood-splitting machines when they can just chop the tree down themselves? Are they lazy or what?" To which I answer with this statement, "ya know yer a red-neck when...you care enough to form an opinion about wood-splitting machines."

I rest my case. I still love my boy. He's the apple of my eye. But if I'm a hill-billy...so is he.