Monday, December 15, 2008

25 Days, 25 Reasons

Offspring will officially be a teenager in 25 days. It will be a bloody miracle if all 3 of us make it to 13 without maiming, bloodshed, tears, and LOTS of profanity. It is also somewhat telling that I just misspelled "teenager" as "teeanger."

Don't get me wrong -- I love my daughter with everything that I am, but this age is SUCH a struggle. Everything is of such monumental importance. For you other mothers of teenagers (or thereabouts) out there, is this the way things are in your world?

For example, Offspring *desperately* wants a cell phone. Now, while this is a perfectly normal desire of that age, the histrionics that accompany it! Oh, the wailing and the gnashing of teeth! (That's mostly me, by the way, the wailing and gnashing of teeth. But in my defense, she started it.) I told Offspring that I did not think a cell phone was a good idea. I've heard horror stories of parents who get their child's bill to find out that they've run amok with it, and there are pages and pages of charges. I can tell you right now -- we can't afford a $300 cell phone bill. Plus, cell phones aren't allowed at school, so you can't take it there. Once you get home, you HAVE a phone here that you're always on. Why do you need a cell phone, too? Other than it's the hip accessory to have, and that everyone else has? So, when I tell her that I think it's a bad idea, she comes down with a HUGE case of the sulks.

Despite all of this drama, I do love her. So, in honor of my daughter whom I love, and who I sincerely hope will arrive at her thirteenth birthday, I give you: 25 reasons that I promise not to kill my daughter.

1.) People tend to frown on murder.
2.) By "people" I mean "the cops."
3.) And most likely any other government or state agency as well.
4.) I paid an awful damn lot to have her, and I don't want to let all that money go to waste.
5.) My parents would probably be mad at me.
6.) I don't particularly want to go to jail.
7.) I don't think I'm cut out for life as Big Rhonda's Bitch.
8.) Blood is pretty hard to clean up.
9.) And I think we all know my track record as a housekeeper.
10.) If my cleaning skillz are the deciding factor, I'm toast.
11.) It's also really hard to get blood out of some fabrics.
12.) While I like forensic shows, I don't think I've gleaned enough information to get me off scot-free.
13.) Who else could I get to run out and check the mailbox?
14.) And to bring me extra toilet paper when the spindle is miraculously empty? Again?
15.) It would really put a damper on the Christmas season.
16.) And I'd have to return a WHOLE bunch of gifts.
17.) And I *hate* waiting in the endless return lines.
18.) Plus, my feet are still KILLING me, and it wouldn't be good for me.
19.) Who would feed the kittehs?
20.) What would I do with all of her stuff?
21.) I think I'd really miss her. Eventually.
22.) Who else would drive me to distraction?
23.) Despite all my complaining and her crankiness, I still see occasional flashes of the snuggly little girl who once adored her father and me.
24.) She can still manage to surprise me with a hug or a kiss, even though she's too "cool" for it most of the time.
25.) She's still my baby.

And there you have it. She may make me mental a lot of the time, but I'm just hoping that it's a phase, and we'll all come out unscathed on the other side at some point. I hope we can all hold out that long.


ccw said...

I'm going with the assumption that it will calm down for a couple of years and then ramp up to full blown hatred. Then she will grow up some and all will be well.

kathy a. said...

oh, yeah -- been there and sung the song. as dr. corndog would say, "bought the t-shirt." i blame the hormones, which could turn my sweet, lovely child into a demon in nanoseconds, and obviously contributed to Chronic Sulk Disorder.

my daughter is on the cusp of 20 now, and we have both lived to prove that this too will pass. things have actually been pretty decent for years, except for the ever-more-rare flareup. as a matter of fact, i've become MUCH smarter in the past couple of years, and she seeks my company again. it's a miracle.

LaReina said...

Have you considered a pre-paid cell phone? That's what I have. No one can tell they're Go Phones - they look and function just like other phones (well, maybe not like Smart Phones, but some providers might let you upgrade). I can even text from my phone, but I hate texting.

Since I work from home, I don't really use my cell phone much. It's mostly for the rare times I travel, and I did use it while Christmas shopping the other day. Anyway, I pay $25 once every three months, or you can opt for $100 for a full year. That's it. No unexpected bills. While I've never come close to running out of minutes, I'm sure a teen would go through them quickly. So the deal could be the parents pay the first $25 and once she uses up those minutes, she has to buy more on her own (they sell refill cards at most drugstores, etc...). That might be a good compromise. She has the phone, mom & dad subsidize it, but she's responsible for any overages. BTW - most pay-as-you-go phones allow free calls to/from other phones in their network.

amy said...

but, think of all the extra crafting space you'd suddenly have... ;)

liz said...

She's also an excellent foil...I mean you drag out this teenager and everyone goes, "There's no WAY you're old enough for this to be your daughter!"

jo(e) said...

I love your list!

My daughter went through her difficult, rebel-against-Mom stage from about age eleven to twelve. By the time she was actually a teenager, she'd settled down and was pretty easy to live with. So then I was happy I hadn't sold her to the circus.

Anonymous said...

3 girls- 14,12,and 7. Am I stupid or what??
That prepaid cell phone sounds great. My 14 yo ran up $500 texting in 2 weeks. The cell phone was my husband's idea of a Christmas present. She had been asking for one, I said Talk to your Daddy. Now the 12 yo is asking for one. Talk to your Daddy.
It's really great-- I can take it away as a punishment. Only had to do that around 4 times. (my husband took it away when she ran up the bill).
We can call each other in Walmart when we go in for a fast trip. And when she goes to the movies w/ friends, I feel much safer.
If I live through these teenage years, whew!! Tina

kathy a. said...

well, you have already heard that my beautiful daughter had a force 7 meltdown this week, which made me feel like a jerk for sounding so smug in the previous comment. on the up side, they are very rare these days! and they don't last.

i agree about the prepaid cell phone -- that puts a limit on the charges she can run up. she can live without it [not happily, granted], but they actually are a handy way to keep in touch and provide an emergency lifeline as kids get a leetle more independent.

Marni said...

Jman has lost his phone until he pays me back the $356 in charges... and he's not even 1/3 of the way there.




SkippyMom said...

Teenagers don't all deserve a "GAH"...some don't gnash or demand or meltdown... :D

I am all for the prepaid cellphone - although I know this is a bit late for Christmas.

Our daughters "VirginMobile" cost $25 [she bought it with a gift card] and we put $20 on it a month - with the understanding that she has to save 1/2 the money out to talk to me and Dad...and if she runs out then she has to top it off with her money.

Works beautifully.

You might see that not everyone has a "TEENAGER" - some of them are actually non teeth gnashing, um...kind of sweet...non arguing ladies and gents.

Don't know...[well yeah, I do...but I hope others find it out :D]