Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Game Fondly Known As "You Can't Win."

There's nothing quite as satisfying as unexpectedly finding a confidante who is sharing the same problem that you are facing. Whether it's an illness, a difficult boss or a bad teacher, when you run into someone that feels the way you do, it's like the weight of the world lifts for a brief moment.

Today, this is exactly what happened to me. I was talking with a friend who also has a 13-year old daughter and we were trading tales of vacation plans, school projects, sports schedules and suddenly we touched on the subject of 13-year old attitudes. I'm here to tell you other mothers of 13-year olds that there are more of us out there and we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. (At least this is the conclusion that the two of us arrived at.)

Maybe there's something in the water or, worse yet, a major dip in a generational gene pool, but our kids are disrespecting us and it's got us down. They're defying every command we give, they're rolling their eyes at us till we're dizzy and they are just making every little thing incredibly difficult. Throughout the day, I'm picking and choosing more battles than Napolean, and now I understand why he had such a stomach ache!

Apparently, everything I say is dumb, annoying, rude, mean, redundant and crabby. (I completely agree on that last one. I can go from zero to bitch in two seconds or less when confronted with teen angst.) It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, it's all just wrong. And if I do nothing, I'm accused of being moody and obviously mad at someone.

You wouldn't believe it if you spoke to the teenage one, but I'm really trying to avoid all of this. I keep my opinions to myself, which only elicits reminders of my past opinions, which again, were WRONG. If I leave the room, it's somehow worse than standing there arguing.

Honestly, this is a dramatic reenactment of what most people would call insanity. It's like walking through a minefield of hormones and anger without any battle gear whatsoever. The only reason why I keep plowing ahead is because I'm apparently an eternal optimist (or stupid) thinking that this can't last forever. Can it?

If your kids are still too young for you to relate, don't let me scare you. It is possible to survive this. I personally recommend a nice Pinot Noir. And the most amazing part is just when you're ready to throw in the towel, the incredibly raging hormonal one will do something....nice, at which point you'll totally forget why you were mad in the first place. Now, doesn't this sound like a fun game to play?


At 2:16 PM , Blogger utenzi said...

Hi Karen. Michele sent me to visit with you.

I don't have any kids but the experiences I've witnessed from my girlfriend's kids definitely match yours. Those kids will definitely drive one to drink! Heavily, at that. LOL My brother, on the other hand, has 3 boys and they're all pretty well behaved. I think that he and his wife should write a book on how they managed that!

As for you and your 13 year old--good luck and keep that wine on hand.

At 4:35 PM , Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Quite frankly it sounds like one's worst nightmare..but...I guess it's the 'terrible teens', isn't it? All I can say is HELP!!! (lol)

Sorry it took me so long to comment....I got interupted by the doorbell!

Michele sent me this afternoon.

At 9:15 PM , Blogger kenju said...

Wait a few years - it may get worse. When I was 15, my mom said to me "Never again will I be as dumb or you be as smart as we both are right now". I was a real smart ass at 15 and I really gave her a hard time. When my kids started doing it to me, she laughed and laughed and told me she was happy that I was getting a taste of my own medicine!

At 3:46 AM , Blogger Terry said...

Hi there Karen, I feel your pain too. My 13 year old boy can be like that but the funny thing is that he is more of a smart ass to his Dad and not so much with me and I'm not sure why. It's almost like they have a power struggle and he of course wins it all the time. I better get prepared as my sweet little girls will be 13 one day. ..

At 6:22 AM , Blogger kenju said...

Karen, I am back again via Michele. Have a great day!

At 7:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What gets me through is remembering what a jerk I was at that age.

It is a rite of passage I think.

Some worse than others...

At 8:19 AM , Anonymous JustSue said...

My son is now 18, and things are a lot calmer and smoother, however between 12 and 17 at times were complete and utter he77. The tone, the attitude, the sarcasm, will eventually fade.

Thanks for the visit and the comment!

At 8:59 AM , Blogger Valerie said...

Oh god this is what I have to look forward too? I thought 2 was a tough age, guess not as bad as the teenage years.

Michele sent me today...

At 11:39 AM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Oy, I have a 12 year old boy, and I am feeling it already. Thankfully, I'm already in therapy, or he would drive me to it ;)

At 12:38 PM , Blogger utenzi said...

Hi Karen. Me again! Michele sent me to see you again.

I was reading your post below and I agree with you completely. Christmas presents really need to be opened across a wider span of time so the kids can really look at each one. And we can watch them! As is, the kids race to get to the next present and open that one. It can be quite a letdown for the person that gave the present. *sigh*

At 3:01 PM , Anonymous JL Dropout said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my site. What is really sad is that I remember being 13 and being pissed off at the world for no reason! Thankfully I have 11 years to go before we get there!

At 3:06 PM , Blogger ~Cathy~ said...

Hi Karen... just returning the visit!

You've got me scared! LOL I have a total drama queen four (almost 5) year old!! Thanks for showing me what I have to look forward to! ;)

I wouldn't trade it for the world, though!

At 3:36 PM , Blogger ribbiticus said...

i shudder to think how my future kids will be like. remember that old adage, "you reap what you sow"?. wasn't really an angel back in my teens so don't want my karma to get back at me tenfold..:)

At 8:29 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Karen! Michele sent me today.

I loved your entry today. My daughter will only be turning 12 in March, and I'm already dealing with most of what you mentioned.

She's a pro at the eye rolling...

I get even by wearing my big pink fuzzy slippers when I take her to school.

At 6:27 AM , Blogger craziequeen said...

You're right - the one NICE thing can (and usually does) make up for all the teenage grunts.

Michele sent me


At 8:05 AM , Blogger Plumkrazzee said...

Hi Karen,

I remember my mom going out of her head with my sister. She was a total BRAT. I was the peacekeeper, and didn't raise too many waves in the attitude department, although I was naughty in other ways. =) I remember once when my sister had been extremely 'sassy' to my mom....she made my sister stay home all weekend and do a 3 page report on the word "haughty". It was hilarious, and she really actually got something out of it. Creative parenting helps, I gotta find what works for you. I'm already guessing that Valium and Margaritas will be my creative outlet in about 8 years or so. Have a happy day, Michele sent me.

At 9:03 AM , Blogger Karen said...

Wait... you mean your 13yo actually does something nice every once in a while? Hmmph. Someone forgot to tell mine the rules.

Oh wait.. mine is 14 today. Wonder if anything will change?

Hello, Michele sent me.

At 9:22 AM , Blogger Zephra said...

Wow! this one got a lot of comments. I too am entering the battlefield. I am not lame yet but I can tell I am getting there. I am scared. I am going to try to remember what it was like for me when I was that age.

At 10:38 PM , Blogger Holly said...

we had a preteen moment at the grocery store yesterday. my 11 year old son and i. i sent him on a mission that he reluctantly took. he returned i said "thank you, very MUCH!" he said "WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN.. YOU'RE ALWAYS SO SARCASTIC!"

ack. i was in shock. a neighboring mom said "honey, i didn't think you were being sarcastic" while my son continues a freakout meltdown.

dear jesus. he's only 11.


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