Amuse Me

Oh Dear Lord…

Time to share a little story about a 10-year old boy and the Mom that might allow him to see 11.

You see … on Sunday, September 29th at about 9am, I was laying in bed in my room and Jason was supposed to be watching TV in the living room. I saw him walk back in to his room – where the PC and the wireless hub are located (it was close to the cable outlet so it worked well at the time.) I figured he just went to retrieve a toy or something like that. After awhile I realized that things were too quite and he had never returned to the living room.

I got up and used the stealth Mom super-powers to go quietly to his door and quickly open it. He jumped up from in front of the computer and quickly slid in the keyboard tray. I made him move out of my way … and found my debit card (the ATM card with the Visa logo) on the keyboard drawer, tucked under the keyboard.

He tried to tell me the cat must have brought it in to his room.

I didn’t buy it. He was grounded from all electronic devices for the day – no TV, no computer, no gameboy, nothing. I told him then that if he used the credit card he should tell me now because I *would* find out later. And he would be in a lot more trouble when I did. He insisted he hadn’t used it.

My instinct was that he might have tried to sign up for a membership at a site like or someplace like that – where you get more goodies if you are a member.

Late last night I decided to look at my online bank statement – I wanted to see if my PayPal fund transfer had gone through. Hmmmm… well, lookie there. 9/29 – a charge for $24.95 from Interesting … very interesting.

I called this morning – their 800 number was on my bank account. I was asked for my membership name. The conversation went a lot like this:
Me: Uhhh… I don’t even know if I have a membership. I just discovered a charge on my credit card.
CC Guy: Ok, what’s your account number and I can look it up.
Me: Ok (rattle off account number.)
CC Guy: Christine Selleck? (Address?)
Me: Yes, that’s me … but that hasn’t been my address for years.
CC Guy: Do you know a Jason?
Me: Yes, my 10 year old son. Who hijacked my credit card a week and a half ago.
CC Guy – with a tone of shock: 10 years old? Uhhhmmm…
Me: What did he use to buy with it?
CC Guy: Uh, well … he signed up for a porn site.
Me: Hysterical laughter Really? Oh my. Which one? Oh my.
CC Guy: (No – I’m not linking it. You want to go there you’ll have to type it in yourself.)

While I laughed non-stop, he proceeded to kindly offer to cancel the account for me. However, he couldn’t reverse the charges. So I had to call the bank for that.

“Hello? I’d like to report an unauthorized use of my bank card. My son took it out of my wallet and used it to sign up for (insert dramatic pause)”

The bank woman was cracking up as much as I was. Even funnier (well, if you are amused like I am) is the fact that in all her years of working there she had never had a call like mine – until earlier today from another mom!

The computer is losing it’s keyboard & mouse tonight. I will have them stored in a safe place where he can’t get them. He won’t be using the computer for the rest of October. I will be setting up logging on the wireless hub. Special permissions for his very own log-in on Windows 2000. Oh dear Lord. Puberty has arrived, hasn’t it? I’m in trouble now…

Anyone ever try out CyberSitter? Feedback? Any other Mean-Mom tracking software packages out there I can try?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

51 replies on “Oh Dear Lord…”

Oh Wow.. that is shocking. I don’t know if I would chuckle or cry because my kids went up that next step. Wow.

Umm I use NetNanny and love it. It logs every stinking bit of activity and you can set custom urls for him to go or not go too. They update the can’t go list ALOT, you can’t even imagine just how many bad sites are out there. I was shocked. I mean I knew alot, but this has literally thousands upon thousands that Net Nanny will block. It’s a pretty cool program. I think I picked it up for about the price or a bit more than what he paid for LOL!

Good luck dear! I’m so glad that my daughter (11) still thinks boys are icky! LOL

I use a personal software called LiarMom. It works like this:

Me: I put a new spyware on the computer. It tracks every keystroke you make, turns it into a file and stores it in a secret cache.

Kids: EVERY keystroke??
Me: Every. Single. One.
Kids: Umm..Gee, that playstation hasn’t been used in a while. Think I’ll play that.

I tried LiarMom last week. It still didn’t get him to ‘fess up about the porn site. So now I’m going to put the real stuff in place. And I might even just educate him on how it works, since he doesn’t seem to believe me otherwise.

I *TOLD* him that the credit card charge would show up and that I *would* know what he had done. But he just didn’t listen…

oh man! my brother tried that last year (at 12) with a 900 number – don’t these kids realize that these things do show up somewhere?! Silly little boys! Good luck with that 😉 I’m not anxious to have a little boy yet!!! 😉

First off, let me apologize. Christine, you just gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had in days.

And I have no solutions aside from the ones mentioned. I think the Win2k fix is a great start.

Silly boy, porn is for Mikey. Oops, did I say that out loud?

I have a copy of KidsGoGoGo for Mac OS X, and it’s pretty keen, as mac protection software goes. Not because we don’t trust the wee ones, but to protect them… my stepdaughter (10 at the time) was innocently looking for sites about horses, and typed something like “people who love horses”. into google. Guess what she got…? Ugh.

When I was 12 years old, I did the 80s version of that and called a bunch of 900 numbers, not realizing that they would show up on the phone bill.

Of course, they were porn lines where some sexy recorded fulfills every 12-year old’s fantasies. My mom still kids me about that one.

So Christine, two thoughts:

1) It’s about time to have “that talk”–you know, the one about the birds and the bees and how the bees who look like that are simply airbrushed bimbos who only really ever go out with complete assholes who have far too much money, testosterone, access to drugs or a combination of the three.


2) Takes after his mom, don’t he?

Wow! Congrats on keeping your cool. I guess parental software reviews is what I’ll have to start paying attention to. Chat logging ability is a need since I have a daughter.

J. and I were rolling on the floor over this – thank goodness I came of age before cyberspace, when it was easy to sneak those Judith Krantz novels out of the bookcase. Ah, the good old days. Why can’t Jason read National Geographic like everyone else? 😉 You’ll find a way around him – you are the mom, after all!

Tell Jason how lucky he is you aren’t from my grandmother’s generation where waving a pair of giant kitchen shears around and saying “I’m going to cut IT off if you do that again” was a pretty regular response to anything sexual my brother or cousins got into. She was known to sneak into bedrooms in the middle of the night to cut off those nasty 80s rat-tails the guys wore, so they actually took her threat seriously. 🙂

ROFL!!!! Ok… I’m sorry. hehehe… =snort=… i’m not laughing.. I swear! =giggle=… Oh boy! You know all those stories you told me about how good a baby Jason was… Every dog has their day. 😉 I think it’s payback time… (and NO! You can NOT laugh at me when Rachel’s 16 and sneaks out her bedroom window…) 😉

I made mention of this to my husband and he remembers sneaking his dads playboy magazines at around age 10. It must be a guy thing because I can’t even remember wanting to know anything sex wise until I was in high school. LOL

And then my husband wondered why on earth didn’t this company question this signup? Granted he probably used your birthday, we are assuming? So the age was legal. But look how easy it was for him. So we wonder just how many others out there are doing this. It’s shocking tthat kids are starting all this so young nowadays.

I have a friend that puts spyware on his pc and has caught his stepkids so many times. Ooops. LOL

poor kid… doesn’t he know that there’s tons of free porn to be found in the newsgroups? hahahahah

well hey, at least it was teen nudies, and not something like, after all, he is only 10…

At 10 I was roughly the same way. Actually – I’m still that way…

Anyway – we’re curious as to when our son is going to start veering into trying to explore porn…fortunately, his Mac ain’t on the network.

and to think….all I had at 10 were Playboy magazines to hide under my bed and in other creative places. And yeah, I got caught once. Poor kid. That would totally suck to grow up now.

Of course the bad thing really is that he stole your credit card and used it…not that he wanted to see naked people (that’s normal for 10). But the stealing thing is what you really need to be worried about. At 10 they know that is wrong (or he wouldn’t have lied). Good luck.

Christine, we finally put a lock for the actual DOS system. The girls didn’t do this back at that age, but they were going online when we weren’t around. So, that stopped the problem. As they are networked to our main computer they can only turn on theirs, no printing, etc. Nothing. 🙂 Of course now there’s not a problem, we are even thinking of selling all of the computers and buying one system. It’s funny in a way, but serious as well. Sandy is right, he did lie about the credit card even though you gave him a loophole. When the girls did lie and we caught them at that age, cleaning was the punishment. They learned to clean everything in the house just about! Good luck! 🙂

Oh man, sorry. But that’s pretty funny.

I am a mean dad too. My kids will never have access to an unsupervised Internet connection if I can help it. I have Girlzilla convinced that Dad knows all and sees all movements on the Internet. So that’s a deterrent. But I wouldn’t hesitate to use cyber sitter software if I began to suspect sneaking and stealing were going on.

So far no problem for me. But my oldest boy is just two.

There is a Dilbert comic that fits this situation perfectly, but I have looked and looked for since you posted this article and I can’t find it! Can anyone find a link to the one where Dilbert tries to write filtering software? Am I just too much of a geek?

LiarMom reminds me of a program I used to run, oh, nearly two decades ago, on kids who were trying to break into the computer where I worked. It was called “Trace,” and any time we saw that someone was trying to break in on a particular remote terminal, we would run it and it would display on their screen that it was tracing the telephone line. An actual trace, we couldn’t do, but “LiarTrace” would get people off the phone lines quickly.

What a great mother you are, hope he realises how lucky he is.

And just think – 7 or 8 years from now you will really be able to make him squirm with embarrassment as you recount the story to his girlfriend(s)…!

Oh my, Christine!!! LMAO! This is what I have to look forward to in 2 years? Grrreat. 🙂 I am still cracking up over Mikey’s line about MatureMuffs vs. TeenNudies… the man does have a point there.

Hrm, I would have to agree with what someone else said – the real bad thing is that he stole your credit card. The porn thing is definitely normal for that age (though maybe a little earlier than I can remember for myself) – I remember sneaking over to my friend’s house to look at her father’s Playboys … now that I look back on it, it’s kinda odd that a girl was willing to show us boys that sort of thing and even more odd that she liked to comment on the girls in the mag herself.

I would highly recommend “the talk,” but I’d also definitely have a talk with him about stealing. I don’t know if at that age you really comprehend that using a credit card is essentially stealing. It just seems like a magically wonderful way of getting things …

i’m glad you were able to laugh. i might have been a little closer to screaming pissed off — not about the porn, you have to expect that, but the stealing the credit card and lying about it? that would make me a little crazy.

but, you know, those hormones are pretty toxic to young minds. i can sorta see that as almost an excuse.

Wow. My son is 4 and I’m already worried about this sort of stuff when he gets that age.

Like KD said I’m glad you could laugh at it. It’s a natural tin in today’s world and there are a lot worse things he could have been doing.

Best of luck.

What about the fact that he stole from you and continues to lie about it? Oh yeah, cute kid looking at porn at 10, but that shouldn’t be what disturbes you. Well, okay, his paying for porn at 10 should maybe disturb you a little…

I was worse as a kid… I memorized my parent’s credit card number (funny, I still remember it 10 years later) so I could pay for stuff on the web… everything from clothes to games. They always caught me, though. I grew out of it! He will too, I’m sure.

Verry Interesting. Thank God it was only I thought you were going to say he bought something expensive to resell so he could get the money for crack.
Anyway, good luck with the spyware, and go easy on him. The usrge to pass on you genes is a strong one, and its related to this bit of subterfuge. :-))

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