About Me

My photo
I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mothering the Teen/Pre-teen Animal

Photo snapped by my paparazzi child

My parents warned me numerous times when my children were younger that once they reached the teen years my IQ would suddenly drop dramatically.

I was prepared for this. I even experienced it to a milder degree before my daughter officially became a teenager. What I didn't realize until recently was that once you become the parent of a teen and or pre-teen you unknowingly join the ranks of the criminal element.

It dawned on me just this morning as I was watching a youtube video of a symphony orchestra singing about being the parent of a baby or toddler. I longed to hear a composition about parenting a pre-teen and teen child. I thought it could be entitled "Why are You Mad at Me Now?"

Not only am I less intelligent in the eyes of my children. I'm also a criminal against decent society. I think I even outrank my husband in this felony.

Unlike my husband I ask them questions about stuff. Not just any questions, but really hard ones like, "How was your day?" or "Do you have homework?" Most of these questions elicit brusque one word responses like, "Good" or "Yes." Apparently in decent society these short answers are supposed to suffice and make me want to stop asking such invasive questions. But due to my severely lowered mental capacity now, I foolishly continue to question them about stuff in the hopes I might get a full sentence answer. This doesn't usually happen. Instead, the answers continue to be as short as possible and they get more and more brusque. Until finally I ask the worst question of all, "Why are you acting like you're mad at me?" The answer I ultimately receive to this is a very irritated, "I'm not!" But if you're going to join the ranks of the completely stupid I figure you might as well go big or go home. So I very maturely react to this by saying, "Yes you are. You're using you mad voice. I'm going to record you talking to me and play it back for you to prove it." I'm not a very good criminal. I broadcast my intentions too much and then they stop speaking to me altogether.

Other examples of my criminal activity. I constantly insist that they liked something before that they claim to think is boring now. For instance, last year my son, who is now a pre-teen, loved the idea of going to the pumpkin patch near my parent's home to get pumpkins. My dad has a contact (a commercial grower) who allows him to pick pumpkins for free in fields that have already been picked over numerous times. Both kids loved searching for pumpkins each October up there, during their fall break. This year my son informed me that this was boring and all of us but him would spend hours looking for pumpkins and waste an entire day. I was saddened to hear this and was adamant that he didn't always feel this way about pumpkin hunting. But lately he seems to think every idea we come up with is boring. Family vacation to see new places and things, boring. Picking out a costume for Halloween, boring. For someone who is only eleven I am flummoxed by his attitude. Now that I am a criminal against decent society with diminished intelligence I just don't get it.

My biggest crime against decent society is my humiliating habit of following them around everywhere they go, especially after school. I can't just let them go to their cross country meets without showing up there to cheer them on and take pictures. Having your picture taken is another bore my son is forced to endure. His sister doesn't seem to mind it as much. But she tries to pretend I'm not there when she is hanging out with her other teammates. As long as I remain with the other parent felons it is okay. But I'm not satisfied to stay with others of my kind. I actually talk to her and her teammates and walk around the field with her while she's cheering for the runners on the other teams. Worse, I ask her questions about why this or that person isn't racing. I'm sure this equals total embarrassment in her eyes. To be fair she doesn't actually say this. She simply walks faster to discourage me from wanting to walk with her. I guess it could be worse.

I'm hoping my status as a criminal against decent society is just a phase. In a few years with any luck I'll grow out of it and reclaim normal intelligence levels again. Until then I might as well embrace being a part of the criminal element. That being said, I better get going. I have another after school activity to get to with my camera.