I wrote this last week for the Blogher network– thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy!
Friday the 13th Came Early at My House
I guess, being an uncool mom, I should count myself lucky that within the past 48 hours, both of my daughters have expressed their heartfelt wish that I was dead. The 10-year-old ran outside, screeching it loudly to the neighborhood. The teenager’s words were something like, “I wish you were in a grave so I could dance on it and sing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!” But lucky is not exactly how I’m feeling at present. And all because I said no and stood my ground.
For the teenager, on Wednesday at dinnertime, it was, No, you can’t have 8 teenagers over to the house on Friday night, including 4 boys, for pizza and “backyard games”, especially since you didn’t ask me before inviting everyone, and especially since, after I initially, reluctantly, said yes, you fought with me on what time they’d arrive. No. I told you not to badger me and you did. No. Please go to your room and let me Shake and Bake my chicken in peace. No, your party is not going to happen.
Ding, dong, the tears and nasty comments flew. As well as exasperated text messages across her cell phone, from all 8 teens. And I continued to get whining, begging, bargaining, and verbal abuse from her until, I kid you not, 1 AM! (yes, the cell phone has been taken away for awhile…)
Needless to say, my patience was pretty thin when late the next night, in the middle of piano practicing, my normally sweet 10-year-old quit playing, looked me in the face and told me I’d been “so annoying” earlier in the day when I’d taken her and a friend to a park to play, to kill time between going to the post office and headiing to gymnastics class. (I think they were hoping to stay home and sing High School Musical karaoke, but I had to get to the post office by 5 or Grandma’s Valentine would be late gettting to her, and the gym is close to the post office, so why not play in the nearby park for awhile? It’s a beautiful day! Unfortunately, they didn’t share my enthusiasm.) “She was annoyed, too!” said Emmie disgustedly, referring to her friend. A friend who normally doesn’t come over after school, but who was with us that day after I received a frantic call from her mother, needing me to watch her child for a few hours while Mom attended a last-minute training session. I’d had other plans, but I agreed. And they got to play at the house for an hour and a half before I made the “annoying” gesture of taking them to the park. So I looked Emmie in the face and told her that if I was so annoying, then her friend didn’t need to come over anymore as long as she felt that way, and for that matter, neither did any of her friends. Why would she want to ask them? I’m too annoying!!! Which prompted her to yell at me, which prompted her to get grounded, which prompted her to yell and throw things, which prompted a few Webkinz to be taken away, which prompted her screeching to the neighborhood…
As David Letterman once said, when will this nightmarish carnival of mayhem stop? I hope my husband has something relaxing planned for Valentine’s Day…
Post script: My husband bought me a fat container of bubble bath for Valentine’s Day…but didn’t notice that the inside seal had been “poked” and peeled back, and that some of the contents had spewed around the top and dried in an ooky, snot-like blob. (I couldn’t tell what the “poker” had poked into that Jasmine Flower-scented mixture, and didn’t want to find out…) So, I didn’t take a nice, hot bath, but we did go on a really fun, 1 1/2 hour bike ride on President’s Day– great weather, and so rare for him to be off work on a day when both kids are in school. Also that day, we ate breakfast out, something I don’t think we’ve done alone since before we had kids!
Friday the 13th came early, and Valentine’s Day was celebrated two days late…but it really was a happy one.