‘I have a teenager at home’ and if it doesn’t sound like the cry for help from way under the debris, nothing else will. I read somewhere, “We all are great parents, till we actually become one”. I used to think exactly like that. I had life changing ideas about parenting, I believed, I would be the kind of parent, nobody was or ever will be. I would be my teenagers’ friend, guide and somebody they would love to spend time with and then the ‘REALITY’ happened! I know it happens with us all and I take salvation in the knowledge that I am not alone! There were and still are parents who can understand the pain, the madness, the fun (pun intended!) of having a teenager in the house.
Do you know the great part about having a moody teenager (as if there can be other types!) is that it helps you in your marriage. How? Well, you are so busy getting offended, getting defensive, strategising, thinking, planning and rolling the eyes (yeah, we do that too! But ours is cute!) That we tend to put our problems in marriage at the back burner. Let’s get this idiot first and then I’ll deal with the other one.
I have a 13 year old and he is a sweetheart! Trust me! When he is in a good mood (that happens once in 2-3 days when he is not rolling his eyes at me) on other days he is like this blood thirsty, out for video games, always hungry super hero who would not stop at anything and would never take no for an answer. And let’s not even dare to go to his room because there should be another post or better still a whole book on ‘a teenager’s room’ and ‘how to get over the mess in 101 ways or 365 days.”
My teenager wakes up early! Like real early! Ya ya I know, that is a blessing and how fortunate a mother I am, but let me tell all that it is not always fun! Take a Saturday or a Sunday, when my kiddo is out of the bed at 6 A:M, sorry I was exacerbating, it is usually 5 A:M, he would sneak out, along with his sister, then they would play on iPad and laptop and would wake me up in the middle of ‘MY’ night, that is at 6:30 asking for breakfast! Mothers, have you made banana pan cakes at 7 in the morning, before your morning tea, on a Sunday? Trust me it is not very appealing!
Once he asked me if I know the difference between a boy and a girl, I realised it was time for the ‘birds and bees’ talk and was about to call my husband for the assistance, when he started enlightening me. He said, “If two girls wear the same outfit to a party, hell would break loose, they would ignore each other, may be want to kill each other in their heads, whereas if two guys do the same, they would shake hands, hug or even take a pic of the moment and put it up on facebook with the caption (my brother from another mother!). I realised ‘the birds and bees’ can wait and this is the time to tell him how it is an evolutionary problem. It is not girls who are at fault. Theirs is the natural and normal reaction while what the guys would do is dumb and utterly idiotic and they do this because they don’t know how it can affect their life and future in multiple ways! He didn’t understand the ‘gyan’. He too is a guy after all!
I remember another incident when he asked me with a poker face, why do girls like to play with dolls? The dolls don’t have motors or wheels, they can’t move and they don’t even make any sound. He was 5 and I knew it back then that he would turn out to be just like other guys, thinking of us women like a weird breed! Though I have tried showing the superior side of women with my mature behaviour and technical expertise but that has never helped. He has seen the not so mature side of me too many times and about the technical expertise, let’s leave that there.
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Oh, and if you are not yet sympathising, this incident would tell you the emotional trauma, we parents go through every day. The other day he asked me if I had seen Mahatma Gandhi alive? Those who cannot put it in perspective should know that he died in 1948. But somehow my teenager thinks that I am as ancient as Gandhi. I told him I am old but not as old. He smiled and said, OK but do you remember seeing black and white movies in theatre? Grhhh! For somebody like me who remains the previous age till my next birthday pass, this could equal to emotional cruelty!
And those poor parents who are nodding their heads and have tears in their eyes with empathy, hold it right there, I have some more to share. It is about the new lingo that I have to keep up with and if you too are struggling with it, I do understand. An example:
Me: Hey, would you take this notebook tomorrow?
He: Obvio !
Me: antennas spiralling out of my head! ( what was that)
He: Mom! Obvio means ‘obviously’!
Me: OK, and is Saturday off this week?
Me: now what is that?
He: Mom! It’s ‘I don’t know”
Me: Idio !
Me: never mind! 🙂
There is another life altering experience that we all parents have with our young adults and that is trying to find ways to answer their ‘Whys”, trust me, nothing will satisfy their ‘whys’ and ‘why nots.’ It can go from, why can’t I go for a sleep over at a friend? “Why can’t they come to my place right now?” “Why can’t I have long hair?” to “I am the only one with all these restrictions” or ‘Oh God! Why do I have such a hard life?
And if you, yes dear mother, if you try to answer any of these, you’d be sucked into the argument, you’d never find a way out. They would have the best pointers and the mind maps to throw you off your ‘I am the parent’ seat. So you would have to take the nuke out and say ‘because I said so’!
It makes you realise that telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath, and sooner we understand and make peace with the fact that it is impossible, the better it is for us to survive in this battlefield with our cute little rascals 🙂
Please share your experiences in the comment sections
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