Sweet rewards of parenting

 

Image result for difficult teenage boys cartoon

My teenage son has contributed to the vast majority of my gray hairs, and although I love him a crazy amount, he also makes me crazy.

From his special ability to only see things from his own viewpoint, rendering himself the victim in every possible scenario….. to his disregard for a clean organized room and bathroom which is all I really will ever want from him for Christmas….

It is sometimes quite a challenge.

And, you know, he’s a teenager. So multiply everything by 5 million because if those two chin hairs are any indication….hormones are raging, and rational thought is out the window.

Something is happening though…

Here is an example of something that kind of gives me hope that he might come out the other side of puberty in a good place.

He was at his dads house Monday, because that’s one of his nights with his dad. I get a call from him, around the time I need to put the little ones to bed, asking if I can iron some clothes if he brings them over because he forgot he needed to dress up for school.

“Don’t you guys have an iron??”

He doesn’t want his dad to iron his clothes, and he doesn’t want to….because neither one is capable of doing it well, not as well as me.

This is true….but also designed to inflate my domestic ego so I can’t resist demonstrating my mad ironing skills.

It works. He comes over and hands me a shirt that looks like-and probably was-balled up somewhere before it was fully dry, and a pair of pants with questionable history of cleanliness.

I iron them both, he takes them and leaves.

Later that night, I get a text.

Good night mom, love you. Thank you for everything you do for me. By the way  you need to step it up, you’ve been slacking lately. JK, love you but for real pick it up get your head out of the gutter, JK love you. Tell Gasan to keep up the good work, he’s been ballin lately.

Interpretation: I love you mom. I’m 15 and on the verge of being a man, but still kind of a little boy and I know maybe I’m hard to deal with but I’ll never actually admit that…but we can both just “know it” and I’m going to cover up any expression of feelings with little odd remarks about you not doing your domestic duties well enough and a nod to your husband for being a cool guy.

Progress people. I’ll take what I can get.

 

 

 

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The joy of having a 13 year old

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Truly, an unparalleled experience.

This is the second time I’ve had a 13 year old. I have 2 more to go after this one.

There are just so many amazing and wonderful things that go along with this age. Some things I remember from my first child at that age, and some new things I am just learning. For instance…

There is a need to be right, and always have the last word. It’s not even a need to be right, who am I kidding. He’s right. that’s IT. I just NEED to accept it.

There is a potential argument for everything. Because he is always right. And by speaking to him, I might somehow be questioning his awesome rightness, so he must assert himself yet again.

the whole idea of good personal hygiene is still a bit hazy….the need to take a shower after football practice does not strike him as urgent, although the rest of us are gagging every time he comes close to us and begging him to clean himself.

Deodorant is still considered optional.

He will still take walks with me and the little kids to get ice cream, and even pull the wagon without embarrassment.

If he is required to make his bed and keep his room clean, I have no right to expect him to help vacuum the living room. because that is borderline abuse. And the start of a text argument.

He plays amazingly well with the 4 year old, then fights with the 4 year old, then gets mad at me because I expect one of them to be more mature than the other in these situations. Apparently the 4 year old should know better.

He still lets me kiss him goodnight, and tells me he loves me.

hairy legs and baby face. (him…not me)

All discussions (arguments) will end in me losing. Because no matter how wrong I believe he is….. he simply reminds me that  I am the one who chose to bring him into the world. And since he couldn’t have done anything bad if he didn’t exist…..that clearly makes everything my fault. (he’s a philosopher.)

He will be a man…tomorrow. But still clings to his childhood today, as do I. The day I can’t excite him with some fake tattoos or bubble tape will be a sad one indeed.