Category Archives: Kids/Teenagers

Chin Hairs, Memory Loss and a Boyfriend?

Unknown-1Just when I didn’t think there could be any way I could feel older, I found a way. Or, actually, the way found me. “What is this way so I can avoid it,” you ask? It’s called, “Your Kid Gets a Boyfriend (or Girlfriend).”

Forget the crows feet and the laugh lines. Forget the creaking bones and the pee that leaks out of you every time you move. Forget the droopy eyelids and the gray hairs. Yeah, that’s got nothing on the boyfriend thing.

I knew it was coming. We always thought she was too young to date before, but she’s 16 now. Short of locking a chastity belt to her and triple padlocking the door to her room, we knew we’d have to let go. And the time to let go has come.

Now, for those of you who have yet to go through it, let me explain a couple of things. Because quite apparently, I’m stuck in the prehistoric age. Just call me Wilma. I had to get educated. You know, learn the lingo.

First, they were a “thing.” Actually, I think they were friends and then a “thing.” The friend bit I understand. No problem. Glad they did that before they got to the 3rd stage. I said 3rd stage, not 3rd base. **shudder** Get your ears cleaned. (Yes, I know what 3rd base is, kid. I wasn’t born yesterday.)

A “thing” sounds kinda weird, but I learned that it’s better than “hooking up.” No, no. You don’t want your daughter (or son) to hook up with anyone. I’m pretty sure “hooking up” means exchanging more than just spit in the bodily fluids department. But with no commitment.

In other words, hooking up is kind of slutty behavior. So, if you are a hooker upper and are reading this, then I apologize. No, I don’t. Stop hooking up. Hooking up is hooker’ish.

But a “thing” is the stage between friendship and dating, or going out. From what I can gather a “thing” means you like each other more than friends but are not ready to start dating yet. Just to clarify, there is no hanky-panky. From what I’m told.

Dating and going out. I remember those words from my era. I mean, I don’t much remember dating itself because let’s face it, that was an eternity ago. You know, when we used rocks to open coconuts and well, rocks to do anything because that’s all we had. That and twigs.

So, why does this make me feel old? Because dang, people, it just does. I mean, my baby is growing up. She’s got a boyfriend. She’s probably going to start kissing this boyfriend. I have the feeling that this kissing is not the same as giving air kisses to her little friend Jimmy in the ball pit when she was 2. Besides, I was 16 once. Also, I’m not dead.

But, I will not be handing my old 1984 copy of “Forever” to her. She will not be learning about sex from Katherine and Michael.

No, our sex talk will go something like this…”so, once upon a time, there was this nice boy and this nice girl and they got married. The end.” Now, if that won’t scare away her new boyfriend, I don’t know what will.

I jest. He’s a very nice boy. I completely approve. Still, don’t move too fast buddy. I’ve got eyes all over town including the one in the back of my head. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Also, you two should talk on the phone. Like, the real phone. The one connected to the land. Because the one thing that would make me really, super double approve, is if you make me feel young again. So, please. Tie up the phone lines. It would make my day. 1984 style. But without “the book.”

Hormones vs. Hormones

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I woke up in a bad mood this morning. A real bad mood. Even the text to my mother was full of venom. I’m pretty sure she was praying. Thanking the good Lord that she was 639.59 miles away. Safely tucked away in the sweet plains of The South.

I don’t know why I woke up this way. I just did. It happens. So, when I told The Kid to empty the dishwasher, she replied through gritted teeth with a “PLEEEASSSE???” You know, the kind of “please” you say to your two year old when she demands a lollipop.

This was probably not the best day to get snarky on me. Peri-menopausal women are a force to be reckoned with. “Force” as in an Uzi With A Vagina. But what does she know? She’s only 16. So much to learn. Poor thing.

What was my reply? “I don’t think so, child. This is your chore. Why I feel the need to remind you to do your chore is beyond me. So no, I will NOT SAY PLEASE!”

When she was done with her chore, I told her she had an attitude and that I didn’t like it. “Mom, can I say something to you?” she asked.

The previous night I was at the high school for a seminar. It was about drug awareness. Three kids from our town came to speak about their drug and alcohol addictions. A child professional got up and spoke for a bit. One of the things he said is to listen to your child. Never dismiss her.

Usually when I am in this type of foul mood, I would say something really stupid and completely against what all child development people would recommend saying. They would not only cringe at my reaction, but would probably have my kid in some kind of therapy for the next 20 years.

When I am in this mood, it would sound something like this: “no, you can’t say anything because whatever you say right now will not help you. Now go upstairs and get ready for school.” But I didn’t. I stopped and I thought before I spoke. I know, this is a shocker. My mouth is usually louder and faster than my brain.

“Yes, you may.” I nearly had a heart attack at my own reaction. “Mom, why is it every time YOU’RE in a bad mood, we have to suffer?” I looked around for DH. So sure he was hiding in the shadows with a $20 bill.

I was rendered speechless. This is the second “attack” I’ve had from my family in a week. I use the word “attack” loosely. It was more like an awakening. The first time, when we were in the car going somewhere, it was what I like to refer to as a “come to Jesus” meeting. Except I’m the only one who didn’t get the memo. “We think you are going through menopause and we don’t like it. You’ve kind of been mean lately.”

They were as nice as they could be about it. But I sit here thinking about these occurrences. Yes, I have been pretty bitchy around here. Not always. I’m not one of those raging lunatics who should probably be committed. But I have my moments. Perhaps a little more than less lately.

And I know why. Sure, hormones play a part in it. I was born hormonal. You should have seen me as a teen. Think Regan without the complete head turn. Damned as I tried, I could only get my head to go 3/4 of the way around.

I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should. I stopped exercising. Exercise plays a huge part in feeling good. It’s got something to do with endorphins. Endorphins are your best friend. But I digress.

Whatever the reason, it’s not a good enough one to treat the people you love the most in this world the worst. No, I seem to save my best mood for everyone else. Friends, strangers, people who I try too hard with.

So, in my eye-opening last two weeks, I’ve decided that I need to lighten up on the closest people to me — my family. I can still be great to my friends. Kind to strangers. Civil to everyone else.

I’m going to save my good energy for my people. The people who, even though I act like Sybil at times, still love me back and never give up on me. Even in my peri-menopausal semi-crazed rage.

With that being said, we are still allowed to get upset with our children when they don’t listen. When they don’t do what we ask them to do. Perhaps I don’t need to spit blood, but I can be a little exasperated. And I’ll try to keep the Regan to a minimum. I promise.

The Birds and The Bees As Told By Katherine & Michael

It’s safe to say that I grew up with a fairly unconventional mother. Sure, she was young. 21 when she had me. That was still the generation when women were getting married out of high school and popping out babies pretty much as they were saying “I do.”

So, she wasn’t the only young mother on the block. Still, when I think of all my friends’ mothers, mine was pretty much one of a kind. You can take that either way. There is no right or wrong answer by the way.

She was very much unlike her own mother who was a complete kook. You know, making shit up like “you only get three orgasms in your lifetime, so be careful how you use them.”

Doing things like sniffing the crotch of her only daughter’s underwear to see if she could detect the scent of semen (this coming from a woman who only had 3 orgasms in her lifetime? How she could differentiate between semen and hollandaise sauce is beyond me).

Running into an old friend at a wake and yelling out across the room, “HEY AGNES, I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU SINCE OUR TWATS WERE FACING EACH OTHER IN THE DELIVERY ROOM!!”

Ok, so that last one was a little reminiscent of something my mother would do. And she once told me someone died in my childhood bedroom. But other than that, nothing alike. Just had to get that in. Maybe one day I’ll tell you other reasons why I not only believe this, but know this. It’s a good story.

At the age of 10, my mother turned to me. In front of my entire family. In the living room. On a commercial break. During the “The Waltons.” And said, “please make sure you come tell me when you are ready for sex and I’ll get you on birth control.”

Say what and come again? I’m 10, mom. Please. Now if you don’t mind I would like to finish brushing Barbie’s hair. She’s getting ready for the ball. Ken is taking her (umm, to the ball, not uh..well, you know). Ooh, I think I get it now. Sorry, a little slow on the uptake.

Fast forward 4 years. I was in a conversation with a group of girls in the locker room at school. They were talking about blow jobs. “Oh yeah, gag me with a spoon!” I replied. Completely not letting on that I had no idea what they were talking about.

It was something you do when you get your hair done, right? Except it didn’t feel like it was something you do when you get your hair done.

So, I asked my mom when I got home. After all, I wasn’t afraid to. She said I could talk to her about anything. “Hey mom, what’s a blow job?”

“Oh honey. I have something I’ve been saving for you,” was her reply. She left the kitchen only to come back holding a book a few moments later. Oh great, she was going to give me a reading assignment.

This was back in the day when I would scan the pages of “Black Beauty” and brag about how great the book was. When I say “scan” I mean wave it in front of my face like one of those Japanese fans they hand out in church on a hot day.

What was this book she wanted me to so desperately read? “Forever” by Judy Blume. I heard of Judy Blume. She was that children’s writer. What the hell was she giving me a kid’s book for? “Here, read this. Come to me with any questions you have.”

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So I read it. Cover to cover in less than a week. I did not scan it. I did not use it as a fan. I did not pass Go. I did not collect $200. I read it. The whole damn thing.

Well, hello teen porn. How do you do? This was nothing like the time I walked over the highway to Carrie Hoadley’s house on a Thursday afternoon to watch the XXX movie we found in her dad’s closet. That scared me so bad, I was certain I would die childless.

Judy Blume? This was different. It just was. Probably because I didn’t visually see anything that permanently scarred the insides of my eyeballs.

So, that was pretty much my sex talk. I’m sure mom told me about fallopian tubes and periods and how babies grew. But I don’t remember. All that comes back to me when I think about the mother/daughter all-important coming-of-age discussion is Katherine.

Rock on Katherine. That does not mean I give permission for The Kid to ever act out in this way before she’s, what? 29? Pfft. That’s silly. I am very hip after all. And totally contemporary. 28 would be completely acceptable.

 

The Epidemic of Mother Guilt

It's a conspiracy

It’s a conspiracy

We moms talk about guilt. Every single mother I know suffers or has suffered from it. In one form or another. Whether they had a single episode or have experienced chronic guilt. It happens to us all. It’s pretty much an epidemic. I mean, seriously. Every time a bout of it flares up, we should be quarantined.

We feed off of each other. “Oh my god, little Johnny wet his bed last night. It’s totally my fault. I yelled at him two Wednesday’s ago because he tried to feed his goldfish the meatball sandwich I was saving for my husband’s late night snack. I scarred him for life. I’m the worst mother EVER!”

“Oh, don’t feel bad, let me tell you what I did…” As if it’s a competition. My guilt is worse than your guilt. And the winner is…umm, I hate to break it to you, but we’re all winners.

I have the habit of labeling my forehead with a big “L” as in LOSER with my forefinger and thumb. Like I’m twelve or stuck in 1985 or something. “I’m such a loser mom. I’m totally getting Mother of the Year.” I mean, how many of these damn awards are there? How can we ALL be recipients of the most prestigious award known to mothers? Apparently, it’s possible.

Mother guilt causes sleepless nights, crying jags, severe regret. We take away their phones, tell them they can’t go to a party they’ve been dying to go to, ground them for a month, take the car away, send them to their rooms without supper, put their favorite doll up on a shelf. All because they broke a rule.

But they broke the rule. Not us. So, why do we have to suffer? Why do we feel bad?

Remember when our parents would punish us and they would say, “this hurts me more than it hurts you?” And we would give them the stink eye because we couldn’t believe they totally just said that. I mean, if that’s the truth, then just don’t punish us, right?

And then we would get punished for giving them the stink eye. But I digress.

Well, now the torch has been passed. And we finally, finally, finally get it. They were telling the truth. It does hurt us more than it hurts them. Because they freaking get over it. For us, it lingers. Like when you eat enough garlic to raise the dead. Seeping out of your every pore. Except sometimes way longer.

We feel bad because we love them unconditionally. We love our little crotch fruit with every fiber of our being. Let’s face it, the feeling isn’t likewise. Sure they love us. That goes without saying. But when we die, they will get over it. Eventually. That’s the way it should be. Dang, I’m digressing again. Sorry.

So, should we stop the Mother Guilt? Yes, we should. Will we? No, we won’t. Because we can’t dammit. We just can’t. Like I said, it’s an epidemic. It can’t be stopped. And our children will always do something to piss us off. It’s a vicious circle. With no way off. So, enjoy the ride. And I’ll be sure to pass along my crown to you.

Him vs. Me

Teenagers. They are full of Anguish, Hormones and Attitude. AHA. Except it ain’t so satisfying.

“Empty the dishwasher,” says me. “Okay mommmmmm, I will!!! You like already told me like 12 times!” Exactly.

“Hey, there must be a nice place in your room to put your shoes,” says him. “Hee-hee. Dad, you’re so funny!”

It’s 10pm on a school night. I really want her to go to bed because it was getting late. “Are you done with your homework yet?” I ask. “Geez, mom. NO! I’m trying, all right?? I have to finish THISSSSS!!!!” I think I actually saw her head spin on her shoulders.

“Umm, love bug? Maybe you should go take a shower and get ready for bed now?” says him. “Okay, dad. I think I may not wash my hair tonight so I can get to sleep early.” Hmm. Why didn’t I think of that? And I swear I actually heard her eyelashes flutter.

What’s up with that?

Who spent…okay so I wasn’t in labor for an eternity like some women. But still. She passed through my lady parts and ripped all kinds of shit. And it hurt. But who gave her life? Okay, so I couldn’t have done it without the sperm part. But I nourished her and carried her and got fat for her.

Who feeds her chicken soup when she has a cold and holds her hair when she’s puking? Who helped her bathe after her accident when she could hardly move? Who does she go to for girl advice? Or when she needs a shoulder to cry on?

Me. That’s who. So, she’s a little snappish. So what. She’s just like me. Full of hormones and attitude. I’ll take her like this. She may be daddy’s girl, but she’s my girl too. And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less of the head spinning…

 

Yellow Back Seats

keep-calm-and-pee-your-pants-4I want to apologize for not really being around. Besides my little Jeter post the other day, I’ve been out of commission. I’m not sure most of you know what happened. I talked about it on my Facebook page but I know not all of you follow me there.

The Kid was struck by a car a couple of weeks ago. She’s okay now. We had a scary night in ICU where I lost 20 years off my life, but she is a miracle really and is doing really, really great. So, now it’s back to normal. It’s good to be back.

I was reminded of a story from a very good friend of mine. This friend has been in my life since 1979. Probably the one person, besides my family, who I have known the longest.

As you know, I was supposed to be on the Dr. Oz show. I commented on my Facebook page about how I was going to pee my pants because I was so nervous. This has nothing to do with anything about what I am going to talk about, but since when do I not get off topic at least once during a post?

I never made it to the Dr. Oz show because the accident happened the night before. I know, tough decision. The Kid or Dr. Oz. Hmm. I mean I was in the city anyway. I’m kidding people.

So, getting back to my pee story from my youth. I have several pee stories but this one is particularly funny.

I was about 15 years old. I was hanging out with my oldest friend when her mom offered to take us to the local high school parking lot to let us practice driving. Yes, we were underage and without a permit but I think because of statute of limitations or something, all involved are protected.

My dear, oldest friend was a terrible driver (sorry J, but you did fail your driver’s test, remember? Was it twice? Hmm?). I was in the back seat, J and her mother were in front. Driving with J was like being on one of those bucking bronco guys set on the highest setting. I was being thrown all over the backseat (yes, this was also before seat belts were a big deal. And yes, I’m that old).

I tried so hard to hold it in, but I just couldn’t. I never laughed so hard. Okay, so that’s a lie. I have laughed as hard and peed too. Because I have a problem. And the problem has gotten worse since I bore my child because we all know what children do to our bodies.

Anyway, I let it out. All of it. All over the vinyl seat. But I didn’t worry. I knew it would dry up nice since it was vinyl. No one would notice. Except it was my turn to drive. When I got out and J’s mom climbed into the backseat so me and Jen could be up front, she saw it.

And gave out an, “Oh Mo! Not again!” Yes, again. I had done this before on her dining room chair, in her yard, on the floor. My friend J has this ability to make me laugh hard. Even now I have to strap on a Depends if I’m going to see her. Her laugh alone makes me lose it.

So yes, I have a problem. And I have many, many more stories just like that one. So please. If you are going to plan on being funny and making me laugh, just warn me ahead of time so I’m prepared. I should probably just start carrying around a diaper bag. Should I have it monogramed?

As far as my friend J is concerned? I hope you all have a J in your life. J’s are awesome. Love you girl.

 

Calgon, Take Me Away

teenagers

I often brag to people about my teenager. You know, when they ask me if I have any kids and I say, “why yes I do, I have a 16 year old daughter.” What inevitably follows is, “ooh, I’m so sorry about that. How’s it going?” And I honestly can tell them that really, she’s pretty cool. She’s pretty good with holding back what she’s really thinking, rolling her eyes at me or bringing on too much sass.

But, like anything else, there is the exception. And that exception was today. No, today was not the only exception. Because as much as I would like to think I birthed the perfect child, I did not.

I had just gotten home from My Job and I wanted to jump on the elliptical for 30 minutes before I had to take her to her orthodontist appointment. Since I wore my work-out clothes to My Job (one of many awesome perks), I only had to grab a bottle of water and inform The Kid of my plan.

The night before she had a friend sleep over (really her cousin so if she acted like a piss ant and I acted like a piss ant back it was family and it’s not as embarrassing, it’s just not. My niece already knows I have a screw loose, no surprise there). I peeked in her room before heading off to my elliptical.

Me: OMG you lazy girls are still in bed (it was 1:22pm)???

The Kid: Yeah.

Me: Okay, I want to leave here at 2:10 for your appointment.

So, I’m huffing and puffing, sweating to some Al Green 29 minutes and 30 seconds into my workout and I hear this:

The Kid: MOM, WE DIDN’T EAT LUNCH!

But it wasn’t said in the, “oh my goodness silly us, we forgot to get up and have some lunch so now we’re hungry but since we were just being silly lazy people and didn’t feel like getting up even though we had like 5 hours to do so, we’ll just have to wait until after my appointment since we are, after all, leaving in approximately 16 minutes” kind of way.

It was said in the “OH MY GOD DON’T YOU KNOW WE DIDN’T EAT LUNCH AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT BECAUSE THERE IS JUST NO FOOD IN THIS HOUSE??” kind of way. Just so you all know, I grocery shopped the day before so whatever.

Insert a very deep breath here. Or some wine. Better yet, an IV of tequilla and keep it going until midnight. Because everyone who knows me knows I have very little patience to begin with. Throw in a PMS’ing or whatever happens to be the problem of the moment teenager into the mix? Not a very good combination to say the least.

Through gritted teeth, my reply was, “you are 16 years old, make yourself some lunch.” But of course, I cannot just stop there. I have to vomit all the venomous shit out of my mouth as I possibly can so that I may feel better.  Things like, “don’t you know where the kitchen is?” and “open your eyes and look for food” and “give me a break you aren’t five” and “wanna knuckle sandwich?” Actually, I didn’t say that last one but I came close to it. And I also really wasn’t as kind as all that sounds.

The afternoon just kind of got worse from there on out. Let’s just say that now she’s not allowed to watch television or anything until she’s married. Or finishes her reading assignment for the summer. It will be interesting to see what comes first.

One Side of Empty Nest Coming Up

empty nestIn two years, DH and I will become empty nesters. The Kid will be going off to college. Because she is an only child, there is no other kid left behind to help retain our status of Full Nesters. Is that what they call that? If not, I just made it up. Catchy, isn’t it? Feel free to use it.

First of all I have this to say: WHERE THE HELL DID THE TIME GO? That cute little girl who looked up at me with those adorable blue eyes and blonde ponytails now looks down at me (yes, she is nearly 2 inches taller than I am) with now beautiful blue eyes. Gone are the ponytails, replaced by long blonde locks.

Needless to say, I pretty much blinked three times and here we stand. I was warned about children making time go by, but I never fully appreciated it until it happened to us.

Last week, as you know, The Kid went off for a week on a mission trip far away. I cried as I was hugging her good-bye because all I could think of was, “what am I going to do without you? How am I going to manage not seeing you around for a whole, entire week? Not able to communicate because cell phones are off-limits during the day? Who will empty the dishwasher?” That last one is particularly true, because quite honestly, I really hate emptying the dishwasher. I just do.

She will be back in a couple of hours. Yes, it was odd not having her around. I missed her. I did. But there was one thing I realized as the week went by…I am going to be just fine. I spent a couple of days with a dear friend of mine who I don’t have the chance to see very often because she lives a couple of hours away. That was a bonus.

But what was even better was spending one-on-one time with DH. Although I always pretty much have known this, we have something in common besides love. It’s called like. We like each other and had a great time tooling around in the jeep, or on the boat, having dinner together whether it was at home or out. We could canoodle without closing and locking the door as if it were Fort Knox. Walk around in the nude if we so chose to.

I will be so happy to see her when she gets home. I can’t wait to spend time catching up with her on her week and ours. I’m not sure I’m completely 100% ready for her to leave for good, but I do know this: I will be just fine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get dressed. 😉

Growing Up Too Fast

“BZZZZZZZZZZZ,” went my alarm clock at 3am yesterday morning, followed up by the alarm on my iPhone.  Because when you have to wake up at 3am, you take all the backup you can get. Why did my alarm go off at 3am?  Because The Kid was flying the coop.  Spreading her wings.  Leaving for a mission trip with her senior youth group for a full week.  Off to South Dakota to help build some houses for the poor. This chick will be wielding a hammer, planing some wood, caulking windows perhaps.  All for the good of humanity.

It will be a great experience.  But this is the first time she will be this far away from home for this long without me.  Well, last year she flew down south to visit my parents, but she was with family. That was different.

Sure, there are chaperones going.  One being the pastor of our church who is totally cool and just loves the kids. Still.  I won’t be there to remind her about stuff.  You know, to put on sunscreen, drink plenty of water, wear a hat, eat her vegetables.

I won’t be there.  Period.  I am relinquishing control.  I knew this day was coming, but I’m just not ready.  What happened to my little baby? The baby who depended on me for everything?

I guess DH and I did good.  She’s off for a week to do great work in a place that she’s never been.  She’s going to see how people live who don’t have everything, or even anything. This will be a humbling experience for her. We are so proud. It’s pretty brave of her, going somewhere so foreign without us.

So, as DH and I are standing there saying goodbye, hugging her for dear life, I start to cry.  I hear her say, “gawd mom” as I’m squeezing the life out of her.  My baby is growing up.  In exactly 2 years from right now, we will be getting her prepared for college.  I don’t know how I’m going to do it.

So, should I turn her room into a spa or a mom cave? Ooh, I’ve always wanted my own luxurious bathroom. Decisions, decisions.

This one will do just fine.

This one will do just fine.

Teenagers Don’t Suck Anything But The Life Out of You. Sometimes.

TeenagersWhen I was pregnant with The Kid, I absolutely dreaded the thought of having a teenager. Especially a girl teenager. Freaked me the freak out. Honestly. I was making plans for either having her enrolled in a military boarding school by the age of 13 or me running off to a hideaway for “Moms with Teens” for 5 years. One or the other. Because there was no way there was going to be room in this house for the both of us. No way in hell.

Of course, this is going purely on assuming that she was going to be just like me. And if she was going to be just like me, there was going to be a little problem. Because although my dear mother says “you weren’t that bad,” I kinda was. A little. The crap I did would be enough to send me, as mother, running to the nearest homeless shelter. Because that sounds more appealing. Homeless vs. Hormone Laden Teen. You’ll find me in the woods. By myself. No forwarding address.

We all assume teenage girls are awful. And they are. For the most part. But, there is the exception, of course. There is always an exception. The Kid isn’t horrible. I am becoming increasingly pleasantly surprised. She’s not a dang thing like me. She doesn’t cut class, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t hang out at the 7-Eleven drinking beer. I haven’t seen a hickey on her, she’s a great student and an all around happy kid. Okay, so I’m pretty sure she doesn’t do these things. My mom didn’t think I did either. Oh shit.

Still. She’s a teenager. There are days that can suck. I could definitely do without those times where there is nothing I do or say is right. Other times I am her most treasured friend. You know. Like when we are at the mall. Hmm.