In the interest of keeping it real and not just painting a pretty picture for the general public, as they say people do on social media and the like, let me say that today is July 28th. School starts in 23 days. I know the four years of high school are going to go faster than the other eight years preceding. I don’t want to rush what remains of the Divine Miss M’s childhood. But (and this seems key) I do want everyone in my house to survive.
Please God, Goddess, Allah, Buddha, any higher (or at this point lower) power anywhere, please oh please let school start soon.
There is no way to prepare yourself for teenagers, even on a daily basis. Asking a direct, and seemingly innocuous, question turns into accusations of ‘snooping’ into their business and there are no answers to anything that do not come with enough attitude to choke the recipient.
Honestly, at this point, I’d pay money to go 24 hours without being faced with what I long ago dubbed the ‘dead fish stare’ – they’re technically looking at you but their eyes are half-closed, just looking through you and the only possible activity going on behind those dead eyes is that of purposely not listening to you.
Or, there is always the look that comes with folded arms, head cocked to the side and eyebrows raised like you’ve just said either the stupidest or most offensive thing they’ve ever heard.
I have a hard time deciding between which I loathe more: dead fish, cocked head or eye-rolling.
I am consistently at a loss as to how one minute I can be having a normal conversation and without any warning whatsoever, I’m in the middle of an argument before I even know what happened, or why.
And then there are the reactions received when they’re told to do something. Anything. Putting away their clean clothes (that someone else laundered) or loading/unloading the dishwasher (after someone else provided cooked meals). Perhaps, given the apparently unreasonable and inhumane nature of those tasks, a negative reaction is understandable?
I really don’t see how she’s ever going to hold down a job.
Two summers ago, Miss M went to a two-week sleepaway camp. Last year, she went to Oklahoma to visit family and friends for two and a half weeks. This year, she stayed home. Last night I concluded this was clearly a tactical error on our part.
Then I wondered what it says about us as parents when I question the wisdom of three months of uninterrupted time with our child.
I have begun to accept the fact we are basically just not very good at the parenting thing. We seem to have succeeded only in creating a monster with a sense of entitlement so large, I can no longer traverse it to meet her. Now I just want to survive and hope that we can, purely by accident, produce an even marginally productive adult.