Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Ah, Sweet Youth! How I (Don't) Miss Thee

At what age do we begin to doubt our parents, question their authority, hate their little habits?

In my son's case it is 11 years, 11 months. Take tonight. He is to go on a three-day school trip tomorrow. The school has sent home a comprehensive list of what to take. I asked my son for two weeks if he had it. He said he hadn't received it yet. So, in a panic, I phoned the school on Thursday. The head of year phone me back and kindly explained that the list had been handed out some time ago, my son should have received one, and should have a very good idea of what to take because it was discussed at length at school. Hubby and I went upstairs to his reeking tip of a bedroom and found it. When son came home, he was instructed to read the list thoroughly and we would start to put it all together over the weekend. Which we did.

Which he later undid. No, he wasn't going to take the pink towels. They're PINK, for chrissake! (I figured that one out on my own; hubby is still confounded.) Yes, he brought home his waterproof jacket from school (which shouldn't have been taken into school, being that it's somewhat expensive). No, wait, he didn't bring it home. He left it on the bus. I blew a gasket at that point. He is grounded when he gets back, and will be in his room finishing his homework and studying for his upcoming exams. Then I counted out five pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, five T-shirts, two fleeces, three tracksuit bottoms, one heavy jacket and counted them all back in again. I found some non-pink towels. I asked about sun cream, toothpaste, shampoo. I packed the bag. Son sat on his bed, sniffling. I had gone too far in my criticism. I apologised for losing my temper.

"I didn't lose it," he replied. What? No, he didn't lose his temper; I did.

"I didn't lose the jacket," he said.

"Where is it? Is it still in your locker?"

"Yes."

"Did you think it would be better to say you lost it rather than forgot it?"

"Yes."

He slammed some doors and threw some papers and muttered "I hate you" under his breath afterwards.

You must understand something. This is not my son. My son is a very sweet, affectionate child. This is some alien being that has invaded my son's body. My daughter, on the other hand, first told me she hated me when she was four.

"You're not supposed to say that until you're 13," I told her.

Now she is 13. I'm sure she says she hates me a lot, but not to my face. To her friends, to her cat, to Jake, to her brother. But not to me.

Adolescence, I have realised, is the time when all the hangups of a parent's childhood and teen-age years come back to haunt them. Our critical parents' voices are heard once more. Coming out of our mouths.

My children are lucky, I think. They have a privileged life and two parents who love them very much and try not to inflict their insecurities too much on them. They don't have mother who threatens to divorce their father every five minutes and then has a mental breakdown when he leaves her. They don't have a father who decides to have a midlife crisis at 49 and grows a ridiculous mustache to go with the ridiculously young new wife. We are squares because we've decided that's the best way to be to bring up children properly. We weren't always this way.

At one time we hates our parents and questioned their authority.

6 comments:

cactus petunia said...

Most days, my mantra during those years, (which are thankfully! over), was: "This too shall pass". And on exceptionally bad days? Let's just say I can't blame my kids' swear word vocabulary on hanging out with the wrong crowd. Repeat after me: "this too shall pass..."

Flowerpot said...

Yes very true it will pass but I can only imagine, not having children myself, how difficult it must be. Hang on in there!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

It's a right of passage! How stressful is it beig part of the sandwich generation, ageing dependant parents and stroppy obnoxious teenagers! Can it get any worse?

Vi said...

Does that man I have 1 year and 11 months for mine to says he hates me? lol

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Welcome, cactus petunia. Usually, I do try to keep that in mind but after referring hubby and son, I just lost it.

flowerpot: animals are so much easier. Their phases pass much quicker too.

mob: I keep asking myself that. I suppose it could always get worse. I must just soldier on.

vi: Yes, and it will happen overnight almost.

milf said...

black mold exposureblack mold symptoms of exposurewrought iron garden gatesiron garden gates find them herefine thin hair hairstylessearch hair styles for fine thin hairnight vision binocularsbuy night vision binocularslipitor reactionslipitor allergic reactionsluxury beach resort in the philippines

afordable beach resorts in the philippineshomeopathy for eczema.baby eczema.save big with great mineral makeup bargainsmineral makeup wholesalersprodam iphone Apple prodam iphone prahacect iphone manualmanual for P 168 iphonefero 52 binocularsnight vision Fero 52 binocularsThe best night vision binoculars here

night vision binoculars bargainsfree photo albums computer programsfree software to make photo albumsfree tax formsprintable tax forms for free craftmatic air bedcraftmatic air bed adjustable info hereboyd air bedboyd night air bed lowest pricefind air beds in wisconsinbest air beds in wisconsincloud air beds

best cloud inflatable air bedssealy air beds portableportables air bedsrv luggage racksaluminum made rv luggage racksair bed raisedbest form raised air bedsbed air informercialsbest informercials bed airmattress sized air beds

bestair bed mattress antique doorknobsantique doorknob identification tipsdvd player troubleshootingtroubleshooting with the dvd playerflat panel television lcd vs plasmaflat panel lcd television versus plasma pic the bestadjustable bed air foam The best bed air foam

hoof prints antique equestrian printsantique hoof prints equestrian printsBuy air bedadjustablebuy the best adjustable air bedsair beds canadian storesCanadian stores for air beds

migraine causemigraine treatments floridaflorida headache clinicdrying dessicantair drying dessicantdessicant air dryerpediatric asthmaasthma specialistasthma children specialistcarpet cleaning dallas txcarpet cleaners dallascarpet cleaning dallas

vero beach vacationvero beach vacationsbeach vacation homes veroms beach vacationsms beach vacationms beach condosmaui beach vacationmaui beach vacationsmaui beach clubbeach vacationsyour beach vacationscheap beach vacations

bob hairstylebob haircutsbob layeredpob hairstylebobbedclassic bobCare for Curly HairTips for Curly Haircurly hair12r 22.5 best pricetires truck bustires 12r 22.5

washington new housenew house houstonnew house san antonionew house venturanew houston house houston house txstains removal dyestains removal clothesstains removalteeth whiteningteeth whiteningbright teeth

jennifer grey nosejennifer nose jobscalebrities nose jobsWomen with Big NosesWomen hairstylesBig Nose Women, hairstyles