Rude Teen Behavior: I thought you were exaggerating

I thought you were exaggerating about rude teen behavior. I planned what I thought was going to be the perfect mother/daughter activity with my tweener. She’s been a little down lately so I made a special appointment for her to get schooled on all things beauty at our local Sephora. Who wouldn’t enjoy being doted over for an hour? Right. Crazy people. Oh, and apparently 12 YO’s who are related to me. I don’t want Ro to start wearing make-up this early, but knowing how to style your hair  and cleaning your face properly are pre-requisites to womanhood. We women need our products. When I told Ro of my fabulous plan, she actually complained that she wanted to do homework instead. She chose homework over a mother/daughter outing. I was deflated. “I don’t want to wear make-up!” she moaned. I assured her she didn’t have to, and to look at it as a learning experience. I couldn’t figure out her resistance. It’s not like I was taking her to a tampon store or a maxi-pad kiosk or anyplace remotely embarrassing. I’ve been to Hot Topic and Forever 21 with her. She owes me. Not to mention that I’m the one with the purse strings. It’s like when you encounter surly sales people that won’t help you. You’re thinking, “Dude, I just want to give you money! Why won’t you help me give you money?”

Several protestations and eye rolls later, I drove to the mall with Rowan in tow. She was not very happy. It didn’t help matters when we met the Beauty Consultant. She was the spitting image of Marilyn Manson. (The beautiful people. The beautiful people.) Swear. Her skin was like an immaculate corpse, and her highly made-up eyes were hypnotic. Ro lightened up as we honed in on products to help her dry skin and manage her fine, thin hair. (Poor baby has mama’s hair) It’s true that I would have hated having a girlie-girl. Ro is about perfect. Not exactly tom boyish but not girlie either. Marilyn Manson was very knowledgable and friendly. I warned her Ro was there under protest so Ms. Manson downshifted her approach. She picked out some great products for Ro, who seemed not pissed off about the purchase thereof. Is this as good as it gets? For me to do something that my beloved deems “not pissed off about”? I’m asking because I’m just wading into this pre-teen ocean. It’s only six months before she turns 13.

I thought all you folks with your teens were exaggerating about how teens can be. I thought I was cooler than you and that would shield me from being a constant embarrassment to my offspring. I have been thoroughly humbled. I bow at your feet. I know you are laughing at me now, and I deserve it. I didn’t understand why you yelled at your teen as much as you did, or why you got so twitter pated. You can only get so mad at a four year old that spits on your food. I mean, he’s four, and you can still laugh at him for wearing his shirt inside out. When your tweener walks blithely by the pile of clothes that she knows she’s supposed to hang in the closet, that you nicely asked her to put up, reminded her to put away, told her again to take care of it, calmly mentioned that the clothes are still sitting there, scream at her that the clothes aren’t going to put themselves up, foam at the mouth because guests are coming over and her shit is still piled up on the floor…when you finally blow a gasket, it’s a different thing altogether. Then you remember that you just bought her ridiculously expensive Doc Martens she’ll outgrow in a year because she had to have them. You bought them because you recalled the days when you would have cried if you didn’t have those Sperry Topsiders you coveted at her age. You can’t not think about all the love, advice, affection, One Direction music, meals, clothes, gadets and chauffeur services you’ve given her and how completely oblivious she is to the one-sided giving. You want to tear your hair out. Instead, when the avoidable scuffle with your daughter is over, you stand numb as the proverbial feathers from the feather pillow settle around you signaling defeat on all levels.

It’s okay. I know I deserve it. I’m getting my comeuppance. Karma’s a bitch.



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  1. Gayle Kennedy

    Twitter pated. I love that expression. Much better than the expression my children came up with for when I am displeased, monster dinosaur freak mode.

    It does get better. My 19 year old looked at me about a year ago when my then 14 year old was acting full on 14 and asked me if he had really acted like that. I said, “yes” and he said, “Mom, I am so sorry.” It all was worth it just for that acknowledgment.

  2. andrea

    If it’s any consolation, karma is kicking my ass via my 14 year old boy. Yep, boy. Boy who is supposed to love mom. Not. So not. There is nothing to do but wait, and meanwhile, hope your offspring are exposed to really heinous parents vis-à-vis their friends. I mean, we know we’re pretty exceptional, right?

    1. Jennifer McCoy

      Yes! We can count on their friends’ parents to show them the way. I’m only encouraging friendships with girls whose parents are insufferable. Good tip!

  3. Beth Falk

    Dear God, yes. This is my life. On a good day, my 12 yo daughter doesn’t deeply resent me. I swear that I wasn’t this horrible to my own mother, but I probably was and just don’t remember it because I was busy thinking about the fact that she didn’t understand anything about my life. Thank you for reassuring me that other parents are trapped in this cycle of tween drama.

  4. V


    One of mine just turned 20 and it came down harder than ever before. Do not think teenage years have exclusive rights.

    Just remember, no one else can do the job. You have to do it.

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