Monday, July 27, 2009

Teenage time and the living is harried

I woke up Sunday morning with a great big fever blister on my bottom lip. Actually there were five little blisters clumped together to make one big ol’ nasty-looking lower lip. If the blisters had been evenly distributed my lower lip would have looked like one of Angelina Jolie’s. Not a bad looking lip, but considering it was only the right corner of my bottom lip that was wonky I looked more like one of those women who’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery only to end up looking like a cat.

I knew exactly why my lip was revolting: stress. It had been a busy week and then Saturday morning a certain child who will be thirteen in a month woke up; need I say more? It was all downhill from there. (Watch for the post, “How I Refrained from Throwing My Child Out the Window” coming soon to a blog near you.)

The stress started earlier in the week with Michael. He was driving and I gave what I thought was good advice; he acted like I was the biggest dummy on the planet. Then later in the week I realized my soon to be teenager rolled her eyes at practically every word that came out of my mouth.

This day was bound to happen, the day when I officially became stupid. I remember thinking my parents were stupid (sorry, folks) but I was rarely brazen enough to flaunt it right in front of them. Yes, I rolled my eyes but for the most part when they said, “Jump!” I said, “How high?” That is a parenting skill I have yet to master.

Walking with Michael into his teenage years was a breeze. Thirteen, fourteen, even the first part of his fifteenth year was fun. I thought, “Man, we’ve got it made! Who said the teenage years were torture?” Sure, there were the occasional bouts of, “Mom, I think you’re crazy,” but he managed to make it seem like I wasn’t a lost cause. Lately, though, the times he’s looked at me with eyes that say, “I cannot believe you’ve managed to survive on this planet as long as you have,” have increased exponentially.

And of course, there’s his younger sister who entered this phase years before he did and she is pulling out all the stops. She makes no attempt at all to hide the fact that she thinks I’m a freak of nature who should only be viewed in a museum.

I need a shirt with a big “M” on it. Everyone would think it stood for Mom or Mommy or Mother or some other lovely word related to caring for my young. But I’d know what it really meant: Moron.

The kids know I’m on to them. Now when they give me those looks I make the “M” sign across my chest. I told them I’m going to get a shirt like Superman, only with an M in the place of the S. And maybe a cape, too. Their eyes rolled so far back in their heads I wasn’t sure they’d ever see again.