There I was, being a good little mother, minding my own business, when all of a sudden all of my children decided that they wanted to be teenage girls. If you have a teenage girl, you already feel sorry for me. If you don’t, let me explain what the past week in our household has looked like.
The Indecisive Child:
Cameron (the 9-year-old)- “I want to play with play dough.”
Me- “Go ahead.”
C- “Ugh….. but I don’t really WANT to play with play dough… UGH!!!” (This was followed by 45 minutes of tears. I kid you not, my child sobbed when given his way.)
The Mood Swing Child:
Taylor (the 7-year-old)- “Thanks for having us do homework over the summer, Mom! I don’t wanna forget everything I’ve learned before 2nd grade even starts!”
(2 minutes later) “I forgot how to add. I FORGOT HOW TO ADD!!!” (Let the tears begin.)
(5 minutes later) “Oh, nevermind, I remember! Ha!” (Smiles of pride replace the tears.)
(3 minutes later) “I forgot it AGAIN!!!” (Tears resume.)
The Entitled Child:
C- “I think you should give me $10 every time I do yard work for you.”
Me- “Nice try. It’s called being part of a family. We work for free around here.”
C- “That’s not even fair!”
Me- “I think you should give me $10 every time I do your laundry. And cook you dinner. And flush the toilet for you. THAT would be fair.”
C- “You guys never give me anything!”
Me- “Shelter… food… clothes… swim lessons… any of these ringing a bell?”
C- “But I want money to buy things!”
Me- “So do I! Either get a job or get a more grateful heart, child, but either way, you’d better get out of arms reach if you’d like to continue living here rent-free.”
The Screaming Child:
Wyatt (14-months-old)- Frustrated by his inability to articulate his needs, and the fact that he has FOUR TEETH COMING IN (including a molar), he has taken to screaming. Screaming during the day, screaming during the night, screaming when his screaming becomes too laborious for him, screaming when he’s bored…. He even screamed when I refused to let him stab me with a pen. Not kidding.
And the higher the pitch, the more delight he seems to get out of his new hobby. It’s awesome.
The Rude Child:
C- “Why don’t you EVER take us anywhere cool? You’re not any fun.”
Me- “Well, I thought the circus was fun… and the pool. And the amusement park, VBS, the library program, hiking, the park, out to eat….”
C- “McDonald’s is NOT out to eat.”
Me- “I’m sorry that McDonald’s is so beneath you. Your advanced pallet of hot dogs and ramen noodles obviously has you spoiled. Well, we certainly won’t be going there anymore if you can’t show a little appreciation for the things that we do. I’m sorry I can’t entertain you every second of every day, but you’re old enough to use your imagination and be creative. You can play and do some things on your own while I do work.”
T- “It’s not OUR fault you have to work though….” (Said with such attitude!)
And that’s when I took away all electronics, made them put on play clothes, and banished them outside. I told them they could come in when they were no longer teenage girls. They looked at me in confusion. I locked the door behind them.
And they tell me I’m not fun!
The Dramatic Child:
Isaac (2-year-old)- “I want a yogret.”
Me: “Ok, you can have a yogurt in a minute. Let me finish putting the dishes away, ok?”
I-“I want a yogret now!!”
Me: “Honey, hold on. Mama’s almost done.”
I-throws himself down into a prone position, screams into the floor, kicks his legs, cries hysterically, spits all over the floor and rubs his face through it.
T- “Isaac, you wanna come play with the trains?”
I-“Yeah!!!” (Jumps up as if nothing’s happened.)
The Utter Ridiculous Child:
T- “Mom, please take me to the park to ride my bike!!”
Me- “Taylor, there are a lot of hills and it’s almost dark. We’d have to rush the entire time without any stops or they’ll shut the gates on us and we won’t be able to get back out. And you always need breaks, remember?”
T- “No I don’t, Mommy, please! I really, really, really want to ride my bike on the smooth roads!”
I finally agreed because I wanted to get some exercise anyways. We arrived at the park and were a total of 30 feet into our 2.5 mile walk/bike ride.
T- “Mom, I HATE this! (sobs) I want to quit! (gasps) Will you push my bike and hold my helmet? (flops to ground in “agony”) PLEASE, Mom, I really, really, really want to go back home!”
Me- “Toughen up, cupcake. It’s gonna be a long ride.”
She sobbed for exactly 2.5 miles.
My husband wants to send them all to the gynecologist to have their ovaries removed because he fears their menstrual cycles have all synced up. And I, the only one with actual working ovaries, am in full agreement. God help us if this summer doesn’t end quickly because these children… they’re flipping nuts.
I feel the need to say that I love them… but those of you with adolescent girls already know that this is not a necessary clarification, so I’ll just let it go. Bless you, parents of teenagers. Bless you for your patience. Bless you for your strength to not smother them in their sleep. Just… bless you.