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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Official member of the club

Ever have one of those days when you just want to go have a day out with the family and instead find yourself isolated in the car with your teenage daughter screaming at you ?

It was a Sunday and I  had asked my kids to get ready to go. I let them know that we were going to go do some errands then go out to dinner after. It was like pulling teeth to get them out of the house. Each of them had something they would rather be doing. Its very interesting in the Winter time. My children become home bodies. When given the choice they always want to stay home lately. When the sun is out, I can't keep them inside. As we were almost all gathered up and heading for the car, my 16 year old begins to have a melt down about not having the right shoes to wear. " "I am not going!" she screamed, " I don't even have any shoes I can wear!" Well if any of you have been to my house, you would know that we have an over abundance of shoes. In fact, they are everywhere near my front door and bursting out of the closets. Anyway,  my other kids went out the door and got in the car and I was left with a flailing screaming teen. Now....

This is daughter not having the "right" pair of shoes to wear?. In turn, as I finally got her into the car after explaining to her that we are leaving, she began bickering with her sister and questioning why she can't borrow her shoes.While my twelve year old son is adding in remarks, not to mention my 6 year old leaning onto my 13 year old daughter and my 13 year old  freaking out about the 6 year old being in her space. With all this, a little later after the shrieking stopped, to find out my daughter just really wanted to stay home because she wanted to see her boyfriend.

I was proud of myself. I just remained calm and turned to my 16 year old and said,"We have talked about the screaming many times. I would like you to hand me your cell phone now" (This made the screaming louder.) Then I turned around and tried again in a calm voice and said, "It is a privilege to have a phone, we your parents pay for the phone. I expect you to give us respect as your parents or you lose privileges"

Now this is the funny part. She turned to me and said, "Stop yelling at me!" I sat there for a moment confused because I actually did remain calm. Do you know how annoying this is when I restrained myself from blowing up and was so calm, for her to come back and say that to me? My instant reaction (in which I remember with so many fond memories from my childhood and my mom and I's relationship) was to come back with.."Do you want to see what yelling is about? this is not yelling!" But again I held back. I have made up my mind, and came to peace with the reality that  this is normal behavior. In fact, I have talked to my children's pediatrician about the fluctuating teenage girl hormones. It just doesn't feel fair to have to go through it again after spending many hours and minutes of my life going through this same tantrum thing when my children were toddlers.

 Is this just another step of motherhood? Will I be joining the ranks of every other mother that now has grown children?... "Been there, done that" they say. "You are now part of the club" Which club? The one where you are driven to insanity. It's always so hard for me to comprehend the one minute irrational screaming to the next minute completely mature and sophisticated thing.

Is this just nature? To feel like you are doing everything right, even reading and studying about the process teens go through. To ultimately feel like there is nothing you can do? Maybe this is the problem. Maybe there is just nothing I can do about it. All I can do is be there for my girls when they need me. I need to let it go and someday my sweet girls will come back to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yup! Let it go! Do what you need to keep them safe and love them. K