Friday, August 26, 2011

Mommie Dearest's advice on how to deal with teenagers: Don't get mad, get even. Or get chocolate.

Lately, The Boy has a favorite phrase. It is "I will."

For example, if I ask him to empty the dishwasher he will respond, "Yes Ma'am...I will." If I ask him to put his laundry away he says, "Yes Ma'am...I will."

When I ask him two hours later, once again, to empty the dishwasher or put his laundry away he will again  respond with, "Yes Ma'am...I will."

We continue this little song and dance routine, with me making a request and him assuring me that he will while continuing to ignore me until I lose my temper and shout at him. At this point in time he will sigh in exasperation, flounce away from whatever he was doing, which was so much more important than whatever I asked, and don his martyr hat with all the disdain and drama of a teenage boy.

If you call my house the phone will ring and ring. I will yell for someone to answer the phone. No one answers. It continues to ring and I scramble around looking for a phone. Naturally, none of the three telephones in our house have been hung up on the charger. I scurry frantically, listening intently for the ring until I finally find a telephone sitting inches away from a teen while they obliviously carry on with whatever they were too busy doing to hear the phone. Or me. 

The Boy's bedroom looks like a bomb exploded in there. I have been trying to ignore it. It's not working. I feel myself getting twitchy at the thought of that room. It is horrible. It is indescribable. I have threatened to clean it myself, with several Hefty trash bags and a trip to the dumpster, and he remains unfazed. 

I'll do it too. I soon as I work up the courage to enter that disgusting hell hole of puberty.

This afternoon Mr. Wonderful asked The Boy if he would wash the anteater (Mr. W's term of endearment for my little hybrid. He loves my car. He really does.) The Boy responded, "Sure." A couple of minutes later The Boy announced to me that he was taking a shower. I was a bit puzzled and asked, "Didn't Dad want you to wash my car?" He replied, "I will. Later."

I told him that I was sure that Dad would like the car washed now, before he took a shower, not later. The Boy tersely said, "I WILL. Later."

I sighed. Actually, I grumbled and lectured. The Boy took his shower. It is now an hour later and the car has still not been washed.

I am frustrated. Teenagers baffle me. Teenage boys make me want to pull my hair out by the roots and scream. 

I've decided to be a grownup about this though. Instead of screaming and yelling and being my usual nagging self, I will remain calm. And the next time he wants me to drive him somewhere I'll say, "Sure." And then I won't do it. When he asks when I'm going to take him to where ever he wants to go, I'll say, "I will."

The next time The Boy wants to borrow money, or have a friend over, or for me to wash his clothes, or buy him something, or cook him something....I'll smile calmly and say, "Sure, honey." When he continues to ask I'll just say, "I will. You know...later."

Maybe I'll even try ACTING like a teenager. It might be fun to try sighing dramatically and rolling my eyes and huffing and puffing in exasperation at the completely ridiculous and unrealistic things he asks me to do. I think I'll enjoy flouncing around like a teenage drama queen. 

This might be fun. I doubt it will accomplish anything or turn my lazy teenager back into the sweet, considerate boy I raised, but I think it will make ME feel a bit better!

And if it doesn't, I'll just have some chocolate. That ALWAYS makes me feel better.

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