Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Them's Fightin' Words

Em and i had a fight today.

Here's the genisis of it:

Em gets into the car when i am picking her up from school, "Hi Mommy!"
Meno: Hi sweetie, how was your day?
Em: Okay.
Meno: I was thinking that since you want to start learning to drive soon that you should start paying attention when you are in the car, to see what to do.
Em: (shrilly) You've already told me that a hundred times!
Me: Oh. (It is true that this is the third time i've mentioned this, but when she is in the car with me she is usually either reading or text messaging.)

silence.................

Em: (whining) Now you are mad at me.
Meno: No, i am not particularly angry, but i don't like being spoken to like that.
Em: (shrilly whining) I hate it when you are mad at me!
Meno: I am not mad.
Em: Don't you hate it when i am mad at you?
Meno: No, not really.
Em: (whiningly shrill) Why not?
Meno: Because i know you love me and that you'll get over it.
Em: But what if you are mad at me forever?

And so on. We both arrived home exhausted after the 20 minutes car ride.

Those of you with teenagers on the approaching horizon, get used to this. Those of you with teenagers on the vanishing horizons, i hate you. Those of you with teenagers right here right now, i feel you.

35 comments:

Lynn said...

NOOOOOO! This cannot possibly be my not too distant future...Tell me that today was an anomly for you and Em. Tell me that she is usually sweet. Tell me that she comes to you for advise and help. Tell me that as far as your dd is concerned, you are still the "bestest mommy in the world". Either that, or tell me where to send Twelve for the next 8 years...

Caro said...

Sounds like every conversation I have with my thirteen year old. And my 11 and a half year old. And my ten year old... I can feel you feeling for me!

Marsha said...

I am afraid that I am not nearly as patient and dignified as you are in these situations. Just yesterday, I might have accidentally told her to stop acting like a bitch. My temper gets the best of me on many such occasions. I feel like throwing a party if and when there is a single solitary pleasant exchange where neither of us says anything we shouldn't. Doesn't happen much.

urban-urchin said...

so what you're saying is that my seven year old's whining will continue ad infinitum? oh goodie.

QT said...

Dude - let the man of the house teach her how to drive. Whining has a way of not working out so well with dads. Then they can come pick you up at the bar when they are done.

meno said...

lynn, ha ha ha ha ha ha. *snort* Well, truthfully, most of the time, for a teenager and her mom, we get along surprisingly well, as we always have. But then there are these moments. She does come to me for advice, she is glad i am her mom. But then, there are these moments. Oh, the Citadel takes girls now. :)

caro, wow, 13. 11.5 and 10. You were/are a busy woman. And i do feel for you!

marsha, i would like to report that i am always cool and calm and that AT NO TIME today did i say "Oh for god's sakes Em, just be quiet and leave me alone!" But that would be lying, and lying is a sin.

u-u, girls, they whine. I swear they never stop, no matter the age. I still do it. We are doomed.

qt, no way will he be teaching her to drive. He is too high strung and together they are a bad combination in a teaching situation. Usually he is a good teacher, but not for his family.

patches said...

The silence was a nice touch. Far more effective than complaining or losing your shit would have been. Don't you miss being young and hormonal?

This is one time I don't really mind being hated : ) Mister Hombre's kids are mid-twenties and beyond. They still have some of the same irrational moments, like you described with Em, but they don't live with us and they drive themselves home after it's over. I've seen what you speak of in action, and do hereby offer my empathy if you will accept it. BTW my MIL makes Em look like an amateur.

lu said...

I'm so working on this even-keel Zen-mom thing you have going on. I've 4 months to prepare and I'm getting more than my fair share of preview. I'm way too reactionary, too quick become defensive. I'm practicing counting and feeling those cleansing breaths.

Mother of Invention said...

And those of us without kids? Well, we're lucky to miss that! But may be unlucky to miss out on the good stuff.
At least you know there is an end to all that. I think you sound very patient and understanding.

stephoto said...

This really hit home for me tonight. Had a trikingly similar experience today when picking up my 14 year old son from school. Same shrill voice and exhaustion when we got home. I honestly can't even remember what I said to provoke him. It doesn't take much these days. We usually get along well, too, but sometimes....look out!

Thanks for your comment on my "Sunday Scribblings" this week...

Hang in there,

Stephanie

D_Man said...

You can still send them to the corner for time out, though, right?

Maggie said...

Every time you wrote the word shrill I got those chills like you get when nails are scraped down a blackboard - shudder.

AC said...

When mine was in middle school and maybe a year into high school, she had the most dramatic eye roll. I was its beneficiary with astonishing regularity. She gave it such power, she almost threw herself down backwards with it.

A 20 minute car ride can represent eternity and a ring of hell. NO EXIT. Bless you, both of you.

Now at 21, mine is much more willing to converse reasonably, but I have stopped offering so many opinions. Letting her come to me with the question makes my answer, even if she disagrees, more palatable.

Still there are times I wish I could pack a bag, grab a dog and move somewhere incognito until she finishes growing up. But when is that, really? Using me for an example........

Bob said...

I FEEL the hate. In GREAT BIG WAVES.

Sorry. There has to be some benefit to having had kids early and close together.

TTQ said...

I was 15 and my mom was letting me drive on a long trip we pulled into a gas station and again I got confused by which side the tank was in, I had made some weird turns and hit the gas pump, it fell over and exploded..My mom calmy said "TTQ? Would you like to move the car before we blow up too?" I almost went through a picket fence and down a hill. I had a phobia of gas stations for years...
aww this story deserves a post of its own on my blog.... fun times fun times. Traumitized brecause I was thought I knew everything and was to scared to admit I needed help..

My mom laughs now and I still hate to get gas. Which is ok, because I swore I was never going to drive again..

Sanjay said...

Oh man! May you have the strength and fortitude to deal with this.
I can feel that hate, we got no kids. ;-)

sari said...

I always think that I'll be eased into this as they get older.

But then again, I could be wrong (insert hysterical laughter here).

Sorry about your fight, hope it's better today.

Susanne said...

ttq, you made my day. Great story.

Meno, does this really mean it won't get better? I thought so after going through phase after phase after phase for the past four years. Well, my son's phases anyway. Or maybe mine... No rest for the weary.

Mama P said...

Stay strong, girl. Teens are like dogs: they smell fear.

egan said...

Teenagers are so cute and adorable. Those of us sans enfants, what should we do?

meno said...

patches, no i don't miss it. As a woman of "a certain age" i am hormonal in my own right! Em is an amateur, thank god!

lu, once you lose your shit, they've got you right where they want you. Keep practicing. I hope it helps.

MOI, You are the smart ones, i envy you, some days anyway.

stephanie, i try and remember how frustrating life is at that age and that she has no one to take it out on but me, but mostly that doesn't help.

d-man, um, yeah sure, that'll work. Wonder if i should have put her in the trunk? It's a thought.

maggie, oh my god, that voice could strip paint off the walls. It bothers me like nothing else, and she knows it.

ac, mine has the deadly-at-20-paces eye roll skill also. I think it a teenage girl requirement.

bob, *glares at you*. I waited until my early 30s to reproduce, now i do see the benefits of earlier child bearing!

ttq, that is the best story ever! I'll have to tell Em. You should do a post. My nephew thought he was the best driver ever, until he rear-ended 2 people in one week.

sanjay, no kids is a fine way to go!

sari, oh no, your kids will be different, really. *smirks*

suzanne, i think it is supposed to get better, at least that's what they tell me. I wouldn't know.

mamap, ha ha, you made me smile! :)

egan, i wouldn't realy say that you are sans enfants. You'll get yours someday. HA!

Bobealia... said...

She sounds pre-mentrual to me.

platypus said...

It sounds sadly familiar ... I should have handed her over to some sort of teenager childcare facility where I could get her back when she was 20! Hang in there. :)

egan said...

I will get mine and then some. (I will stop playing dumb on your blog).

Lucia said...

Sounds pretty damn normal to me!

Princess in Galoshes said...

Wow. I remember that time. So glad it's over. I've long-since learned that my mom can hold a grudge waaaay longer than I could ever hope to. And yet she still loves me. *phew*

jen said...

I am going to start saving money now to send M to Meno's Day Camp for Teens when she gets old enough.

Because god knows, you do it right, even when it might feel like it's going wrong.

mrschili said...

Oh, I'm on the approaching horizon. My nine-almost-ten year old already has "whiningly shrill" down...

Dave said...

You can feel for me and hate me at the same time. My battles with my daughter started during the first week of high school and finally ended duringthe first month of college. My son... well, now that I am on my second round, I am handling it a little better. Believe me... You will look back and know that despite all your fights, there weretons of great experiences as well... Just remember that one day they will have teenagers as well! Yah!! :-)

Mona Buonanotte said...

Oh man...isn't there a switch I can turn off once my kids turn, oh, 11 or 12, to avoid the Angry Emotional Teenage Years? I'm so not ready....

Jeremiah said...

I've got one boy in the Emo years. I'm afraid to ask my parents if I was like that because they may have a flashback and come after me with a stick.

By the WAY! I found a whole bunch of Bott's right up my block! I would have never even been looking for them had you not blogged about it. The ones I found were smaller, and more beat up, but we still nabbed a couple. Cool! Thanks, Bolivia.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Hey, Meno! You are cordially invited to an Aquarian Birthday Mardi Gras Blogparty!

This invitation is extended to any and all readers who want to have a good time and meet some new people.

meno said...

bo, funny you should say that. After dinner i asked her, in rather a snotty way i'm afraid, if she was having her period. I was just trying to needle her back but when she said "YES!" and burst into tears i fely like a real shit. Then there were hugs.

platypus, yeah, i figured you could relate. Thanks. :)

egan, i figured it's not a secret because you told the cyber-world. You'll be fine.

lucia, totally normal. You'd think that would make it easier, but no.

princess, Your mom sounds cool. Lucky girl.

jen, oh, no. Oh...no. OH NO! Your baby will need you there when she is a teen, not some whithered up old crone with two hearing aids, diapers and trifocals!

mrs.chili, they specialize in that. Shudder!

dave, truth be told, we do really well most of the time. I was too chicken to have another one though.

mona, yes, it's called boarding school. Now why didn't i think of that?

jeremiah, wait until you have two boys there, that'll keep you young. I'm glad you found some Bott's Dots. They are fun to play with. I picked through a whole pile to find one as nice as mine. Then i had to soak it in boiling water so i could get most of the tar off the back.

nency, too late, i was already there. I had two mojitos and a white russian, and am now singing old camp songs with the crowd.

egan said...

I will be fine, you're right.

alphawoman said...

It is a tough time with teenage girls. My Mom says that boys were much easier to raise. (she had two hell raising girls and one pretty good one, and three good boys except for those few and far between incidents with drinking and driving, leaving the scene of an accident and puking along the well traveled US 60)...anyway, where was I? Oh yea, my daughter Bridget has made it to 26, but it was a rocky road.