Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Parenting a 14.5 year old is not for the weak. Parenting an exhausted 14.5 year old FEMALE requires the expertise and precision of a seasoned brain surgeon. I have neither.
I am screwed.
All I have, really, is my level 1 street smarts and the ability to out-stubborn even the most stubborn of living creatures.
As you might well know the transition from lazy summers to crazy fall is as easy as a “simple Martha Stewart recipe”. Just 12 simple ingredients, two hours of prep time, 8 different dishes and 14 cooking utensils later…….
My fledging high school freshman is also that kid that requires some down time each day to recharge her batteries. She’s not like me in the sense that I’ll just go and go and go and go until I sit down and pass out. Sleep is my battery re-charge (and the occasional adult beverage).
When you don’t get down time, you find yourself being angry and rude to your parents, like all the time….
Unfortunately for a newbie high schooler the day goes like this:
1. Wake up at the ass crack of dawn
2. Lay in bed and wait for your mom’s “get out of bed” prompts to reach new levels of hysteria
3. Drag yourself out of bed and wait for your breakfast to magically appear
4. Sigh heavily and make instant oatmeal because you get tired of waiting
5. Check cell phone in case you missed any texts while you wait for your mom’s “put your cell phone down and get ready” prompts to reach new levels of hysteria
6. Drag your feet as long as possible so the following tasks must be completed in ten minutes or less, and half-assed at best: brush hair, brush teeth, put on clothes and make up, make lunch but run out of time and beg for hot lunch money
7. Check cell phone some more, text friends things like “are you going to school” or “my mom is so annoying” stuff that doesn’t need to be typed into a phone at 6:45am. This is done instead of gathering backpack and putting on shoes…
8. Wait for mom to start yelling to get in the car, waiting until her yelling reaches new levels of hysteria. Perhaps she honks the horn from the driveway. That is the signal that it is indeed time to gather up the backpack, books, laptop and shoes, send three more texts to friends (things like LOL, OMG, TTYL and “ugh my mom won’t stop honking the horn”), forget the cross country bag with running shoes, run back into the house while rolling eyes at your mom.
9. Listen to mom lecture about being ready on time during the 20 minute drive to the private school mom and dad are scraping by to pay for but only half listen because, well that’s what you do. It’s exhausting. Ugh.
10. Spend the day at school like learning and stuff. Talk and text friends at lunches and breaks, and on occasion during class time. Hoping mom doesn’t turn off the ability to use the phone during the day, because you know, she can.
11. Go to cross country, run a lot, socialize and dilly dally at the river when you are supposed to be taking an ice bath but really you are flirting relentlessly in your running shorts and sports bra even though your mother asked you a thousand times to please keep your shirt on because, well, BOYS. But you don’t because like, it’s hot mom, DUH! And your mom is like “whatever” no boy needs to see YOUR SPORTS BRA KID!
12. Get picked up and home late because see item #11. Wolf down dinner and then spend two hours doing homework and flirting with the neighbor kid under the guise of “helping him with his homework” even though your mom isn’t a total idiot.
13. Realize it it’s now 9:30pm and you’ve wasted the entire evening yet feel it necessary to take a shower RIGHT NOW even though your mom told you that you couldn’t if you didn’t get in before 9pm.
This is where the true heart of my story begins. This was last night. And while I have tried to keep my blog fairly anonymous since that Australian freak show started trolling me in 2012 many of my close friends know who I am. They also know that my kid is two inches taller than I am.
This is all pertinent information to the story because this child as always pushed things and up until about a year ago I could literally manhandle her and put her in bed. I can no longer do so because she outsizes me by a decent margin and is nothing but arms and legs that can grab onto door frames and prevent me from doing my parental duties of literally tossing her tired ass in bed and turning off the lights.
So again, back to last night. When you are 14, tired and most likely hungry and you REALLY want a shower, there is almost nothing a parent can do to stop you. Almost nothing…
As I mentioned I’m the most stubborn of them all. My children, God bless them, haven’t quite gotten the memo that I can, and will, outlast them every day and twice on Sunday. Case in point, I’ll link a previous post from the summer of 2010 where I out-stubborned Brady over taking dinner seconds and not eating them by pouring a massive glass of wine and opening a GIANT novel to page 1.
Fast forward to last evening: after five minutes of back and forth “can please take a shower” followed by “no you may nots” which increased in hysteria with each passing second. I realized I had nothing. I could not physically move her to her bed and save for my physical presence in the bathroom, I could not do anything to stop her.
I can’t say “you can’t take a shower” and then go to bed in my own room, because she would have taken a shower anyway and been in there for DAYS ON END. (like really, what DO they do all that time in the shower?!?!).
So I pulled a rabbit out of my hat and said “I feel so strongly that you need to go to bed right now because you are tired that I’m going to sleep in the bathtub tonight.” Yes, yes I so totally did that. I literally took the bathmats, put them in the tub, laid down and closed the curtain.
My husband calls me borderline narcoleptic in the sense that I do have the innate ability to sleep anywhere any time (I once fell asleep eating spaghetti at a restaurant in !). So she knew she was screwed. Even so it took her about five minutes to give in. I heard her LOUDLY brush hair and teeth, wash her face (checking off everything I would have badgered her about from behind the curtain) and then leave the bathroom LIGHTS ON with the FAUCET RUNNING (clever, clever girl).
I waited her out for about five minutes about the time I knew hoped would be in her PJs and in bed. I wasn’t born yesterday, so I was prepared for the worst.
I got up, turned out the lights and turned the faucet off and snuck out of the bathroom.
I KNEW she was just lying in wait for me like a cat waiting to pounce and destroy its unsuspecting prey. Little did she knew I was soooooo ready……
She went all ninja on me and jumped at me asking “so can I take a shower now?” and I just smiled and showed her the giant bundle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor and shaving cream I removed on my way out. “Not without this stuff!” I said as I headed for my room, with a wink and a smile.
“Well played mom, well played” was all she said as I walked away.
The good news is she went to bed ON TIME last night.
The bad news is I cannot turn my head properly either direction this morning. I clearly jacked up my neck laying in that damn tub, I guess parenting a teenager and getting old is a shit combination.
But, worth it. Totally worth it.