So I had the indescribable pleasure of viewing a few minutes of an MTV show which finds a young man looking for love while living in his parents’ basement. I am so not kidding. How great is that? Think The Bachelor with a really (really) small production budget. And a set of parents judging the girls from their living room sofa. Hilarity.
My point: for a suspended moment in time I shared a laugh with my teenage daughter and well, it’s been awhile. Thank God there are programs like these to keep us connected.
It’s been a long and difficult (understatement) month with her and I’m happy to report (exhale) that I see a light at the end of my tunnel. Either that or I’m confusing the gleam with another locomotive heading straight towards me (likely being driven by a teenager).
Got girls? Get wine.
I’ve survived the first of probably many teenage tsunamis with her and I’m still treading lightly as it fades to distant memory behind us. If I was unsure about our outcome before, I can now say with certainty at least one of us has moved on: she asked me tonight if she could join her friends in getting belly-button piercings for their fifteenth birthdays this year.
The old me (from 30 days ago) would’ve raised an eyebrow and twisted my grin into a spit of sarcasm (“Suuuuuure…let’s get matching ones”) but the new me is realizing the teenage brain filters simple conversations into odd, hormonal minefields. I raised an eyebrow, took a breath and paused.
“I’m not ready to talk about this right now,” was all I said.
“Okay, but will you at least think about it?” Cue in cautious nod. She walked away, humming.
See? I detected that bad boy before detonation. Apocalypse averted.
I’ll think about my reasoning before I get back to her (do I really care? wouldn’t it look great on her cute figure? didn’t my own mom let me get those ugly new Nikes with the yellow swish when I begged? again, do I seriously even care about this?). I’ve got some time to ponder.
We learn and we move forward. I’m learning — well, trying — to not jump to conclusions, or rush to judgment or bite down too hard on my inner cheek (because that takes awhile to heal and screws up my fondness for hot wings). And maybe she’s learning that her mother isn’t as ridiculous or unfair as she imagines. FIngers crossed.
Boys are clueless bottomless pits of gas. They just want to be fed on their trek to the next game level. Simple stuff. Girls are hard-wired for irrational and emotional fits of lunacy. They simmer, spout and burst when you least expect it. I’ve coined this stage My Elephant Years: Of Thick Skin and Grey Hairs……
So these days I’m comforted by daily doses of idiocy that I come across. Quick fix: If you ever want to feel really, really good about your parenting skills simply click onto MTV at any given time or google Lindsay Lohan. See? Much better.
Finally, from my sister: How do you make a car full of 12-year-old girls giggle uncontrollably in a car? Tell them that in high school you dated a boy named Kenny Balz.
There’s always ways to connect to the crazed teenage girl. Clearly you’ve just gotta be creative.
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –
Good one, Kel.