And That Is How Teens Get Their Way
Here’s how it went:
Son A wants to go to the court with his friends. He asks me to take him. I’m exhausted and was begging for a quick nap so I ask my husband if he would drive him over.
I lay down on the sofa though I should have laid down in the garage, it would have been more peaceful.
Son A walks over and whispers, “Do you think Dad would mind picking up Friend 1 and Friend 2?”
I tell him whether I think Dad would mind is irrelevant, he needs to ask Dad directly.
I closed my eyes again.
I hear Son A walk over to Dad and ask him.
All is well. They head out.
Not two minutes later, Son B walks in the door. I knew from the start what was going to happen.
He walks over and whispers, “Hey, where’s my brother going?”
I didn’t bother opening my eyes, I just mutter, “To the courts.”
He walks away.
A few seconds later I hear his feet shuffling slowly over the floor and toward me. He quietly asks, “Who is he going with?”
I tell him it wasn’t my turn to take the roll call and I turn over toward the back of the sofa. For those of you cringing at my sarcasm, one day you may have a teenager and will understand that you need something to act as a buffer to wanting to pull your hair out. This is especially true when you need a nap and cannot get one because of constant interruptions. In a way, a little snark can be therapeutic.
I can still hear him breathing behind me. After a few more seconds he says “I missed them leaving by about two minutes. I passed them on the way home!”
I say nothing. I don’t want to even breathe as I’m afraid he’ll mistake it for submission to what I know is his determination to get to the courts too.
He shuffles around another minute or two then whispers again, “Hey, um… Do you think Dad would mind driving me over when he gets back?”
At this point, I’m trying to figure out why the kids seem to think I know what Dad would or wouldn’t mind. Do they think I have ESP or something?
I find myself telling Son B the same thing I told Son A – He needs to ask Dad, not me. But then it occurs to me Son B would never hesitate to ask me to drive him over after I just got home from driving Son A and am now questioning why this is. “Because I know you would do it,” was his response.
Sadly he’s right. I would have.
I should have maintained my focus and held perfectly still and not answered him, because like a T-Rex his response is based on movement. Without surprise, I see the light bulb above his head power on and next, I hear, “Would you take me over when Dad gets home? Then I wouldn’t have to ask Dad and you guys would be like doing 1/2 the driving each so it’s fair!”
Fair??? Fair to who? I can’t even get a 2-minute nap in – there is no fair here! I can’t help but start laughing at this point because the logic is flawless and he is glimmering on sincerity, but none-the-less in a last ditch rally to protect my authoritative presence I tell him, “No. I really want to get a nap. I’m exhausted. You’ll have to break down and ask your Dad.”
I have retaken the land! Well, at least the living room.
I shouldn’t have celebrated so soon though because just as quickly as he walked back to his room he has returned. This time to ask, “How long until you think Dad will be home? ”
I’m giggling uncontrollably at this point. I give. I lost. I’m defeated.
If my husband didn’t take him when he got home I was going to – getting him out of the house was the only way I would get my nap!
And that my fellow parents are how teenagers get their way.
For the record – No, I never got to nap that day. Note to self: Next time remember to lay still and not answer – no matter what!