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Car Troubles

Jacqueline explains why she and Chris helped Ashley get a car (again).

By Jacqueline Laurita

I know, I know! Here we go again. Before I start getting the lectures from you all on why the heck we would help Ashley (Ashlee) get another car, I will do my best to explain the reasoning behind our decision. IT'S ALL CHRIS' FAULT! BLAME HIM! BLAME HIM! ( LOL! Just kidding!) I was just blame shifting. Sorry. Actually, I didn't have to consign. Nobody forced me. I caved. Chris gives in to Ashley, and I give in to Chris. Chris just loves her and wants the best for his family. I love him for that! He's a good man. I just listened to what my husband's reasoning was in wanting to do this for Ashley, and seeing as he is usually very levelheaded (and has those amazing blue eyes that melt me every time), I trusted his judgement and asked, "Where do I sign?" Where does this sucker sign? The deal was that Chris would pay the first three months to get her started and give her a little jump. After that, Ashley had to be working enough to take over the payments. She had some money put away and decided to pay off the car payments herself for a year. I hope she doesn't think that means that she won't have to work until the year is up. That would not be a wise decision. There are things called gas and insurance, which we are not paying for.

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I was so mad at first, because I felt like I wasn't even considered in that decision. Chris and Ashley had discussed this, went out looking for a car, and made a decision without even consulting me and then had the nerve to expect me to co-sign. Seriously? ( I guess they were confident enough to believe that I would agree to that.) I think being left out of the loop on such a big decision is what really bothered me the most. It wasn't the first time. I was hurt, angry, and felt very insignificant. But at the same time, I realize how big of a heart my husband has and what his intentions were. He takes care of many members of his family in various ways. I absolutely love and admire that about him. Not to mention all the charities we are constantly supporting. He is not a selfish guy. So he gets a pass. I love my daughter very much, and I want the best for her too, but she has some proving to do. I want to see her being proactive and take control of her life. I'll keep the faith. She will learn to make better choices. I know she will succeed in the end. I'll keep praying.

Chris's reasons for getting the car were as follows:

1. He felt like the car would give her an incentive to want more for herself and drive her to want to work.

2. It would give her motivation to want to do the right thing for herself and for us out of appreciation for what we've done for her.

3. It would give her transportation to and from work and/or school so she couldn't use her lame excuses for being late or not getting there at all.

4. She could stop inconveniencing us for rides!

5. I also think that my husband just enjoys leasing cars. He gets bored. He liked that one and had no other reason to get it. Men! Boys and their toys. I need to help him find a new hobby. I hear that Matchbox cars are big collector items nowadays.

Well, what's done is done. Let's she what she does with it now. It better not fall back on me! If she doesn't do the right thing, someone else will be driving it. (Just like the last time.)

I also want you all to know that when you saw Ashley and I texting, we were actually playing a trick on Chris. I told her to act up before we signed, and she did. I wanted to see if Chris would still want to go through with getting the car. He did. That was a set up. She really didn't act that way. Just thought you'd like to know that.

Teresa has such beautiful little girls, and I always love the way they dress. The all have such beautiful eyes and all slightly different in color. They are always so confident and full of life. It pains me to see the sadness in Gia's eyes, because she's old enough now to understand what's going on within her feuding family. I see how much pain Gia feels missing her Uncle Joe and how much she is hurting over the feuding between the adults she loves the most. Everyone needs to be very sensitive to this and do their best not to involve her in adult conversations and try to keep her out of earshot when it comes to family feud discussions. I know how easy it is for little ones to sneak up on adult conversations. My son CJ is at the age where he thinks it's fun to spy on family members, and he will hide behind things to listen in. Sometimes he will even take cheap shots with his nerf gun. It's funny, because I still remember spying on my family when I was little by ducking behind and beneath furniture and hiding behind doors. (Minus the nerf gun.) Sometimes CJ is so quiet that I don't even realize he's standing there. Sometimes you think kids aren't listening, when they really are. Kids absorb and understand more than we give them credit for. Adults need to be more conscious of when the "ears" are around. We need to make our kids feel safe, loved, and secure. Discussing feelings and emotions are very important. Let them know that it's normal to feel sad, mad, scared, and happy at times. Keep in mind that we should never push the burden of our ill feelings onto them. We need to show them that with every bad situation or conflict there is a positive way to find a resolution. We need to teach them that process of finding a positive solution and not just, "Mommy is dealing with it, go ride your bike." Anyway, I wish Teresa and her family peace and happiness in the near future. I wish the same thing for our family and yours too, of course.

I couldn't imagine the fear the Wakiles had when their 10-year-old daughter had to go in for surgery to remove a tennis ball sized tumor from her brain. How do you stay calm and strong during something like that for your child so you don't scare them? How do you explain that to your child? I think I would go crazy. Thank God they had the love and support of family to help them get through it. I'm so happy that the surgery was a success and Victoria is the beautiful, healthy girl she is today with an appreciative attitude about life and a generous soul for giving back.

I like the contract idea that the Wakiles used with the kids. I read about that concept in a parenting book, and I also learned and used that technique from a therapist I used that was helping me with Ashley. In the contract you also have to define very clearly what the consequences are for breaking the contract. It makes the child accountable for their own actions. We made a few of those contracts ourselves. They are probably getting recycled as we speak.

I loved what Kathy said about being "the neck." "The men may be the head of the household, but the head can't do anything without the neck." Haha, I'm going to use that now.

I admire how the children seem so honest and open with their parents. Communication is so important within a family. They are so darn cute! It's like the Cleaver family in that household. Our family is more like the Griswolds. My advice, keep renewing those contracts. Let's check back with the Wakiles in a few years, shall we?

Did everyone already know about Melissa's singing? If you didn't already know, then you do now. Melissa sings. So what did you think? I think that was just a teaser of what is yet to come. Stay tuned! You ain't heard nothin' yet. If you think her husband is supportive now... Just wait! I am pleased to see that there is real love and support there between them and not just the lust for each other and the need to release poisons. Lol!

I loved the scene with Caroline and Albert golfing. They are so cute together, and she cracks me up. She's not just always tough. She can also be so cute and funny. She's just exploring her empty nest and trying to find ways to entertain herself and feel needed again, since her kids are now so independent. Caroline parented with love and logic. She gives amazing advice in ANY situation and on just about ANY topic. I STRONGLY feel that she should go that route whether it be a column, a book, a radio show, or her very own talk show! I say go for it! I know she can do it!

That's it for now. See you next week. :0) XOXO!

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