Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Teenage Girls are Impossible
I remember when my kids were little, people would approach me and shake their heads in dismay at the rowdiness of boys. "Two boys," they'd say pityingly. I'd turn to my best friend Ruth and say cattily, "Just wait until those daughters are teens, we'll see who's crying then."
Well, my boys are teens now, and I'm still crying. I had determined to run away last night, but I'm still here.
The whining began yesterday when I made a carrot cake. Maybe it started earlier in the day when I looked in Tucker's lunch and saw he had packed a juice box, a Nutrigrain bar and some Sun chips. Processed food much? I forced an apple on him which he probably threw away. So while he was at school, instead of grading papers, I baked a carrot cake with yogurt, crushed pineapples and golden raisins. Grace took a slice of cake and gushed, "Hmmm. Delicious, Mama." When the boys got home from school, Spencer banged his head against the cabinet, pretty high on the cabinet since he's 6-foot, 2, now. "I wanted ice cream."
"Just try the carrot cake," I urged.
"Mom, can I go to a youth group party with J?" Tucker ran up the stairs, phone in hand to ask.
"No, his church doesn't believe dinosaurs existed. I don't want you hanging around with them."
"But, Mom...." I won't bore you with the details, because Tucker's ability to gnaw on a subject would rival a beaver trying to down a redwood. Suffice it to say that the conversation ended like this:
"Oh, my God, Mom. What is wrong with you?"
And, his opinion, seemed one that my older son would echo. When I suggested that if he wanted to lift weights he could go to the YMCA. "Oh, my God, the guys would all laugh at me."
I took the bait and we started arguing until my teenage daughter told him to stop. She helped set the table, she helped clean up after dinner, and she thanked me for the meal.
Today, those conversations might never have happened. I drove Tucker to Kohl's to find some new jeans and tennis shoes. He plugged his iPod into the radio and said, "Listen to these songs that my band is going to play."
He started the music, interspersing details like, "Listen to this sweet guitar solo."
"Do you like it?" he'd ask anxiously, as if he cared what I thought.
Once in the store, he latched onto some hooded sweatshirts. I said yes to the blue with little design, but vetoed the striped and the bright green with the design covering it.
"Because those kids who are always in trouble wear jackets like that."
"That makes no sense. Why can't I?"
The conversation continued in that manner as I searched for size 30-32 jeans in the men's department. Finally, I said, "Look, drop it or let's go home."
"Fine. Let's go home."
I hung up the blue jacket and began walking for the door, imagining the places I could run away to..
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