No, You Di-In’t…

I knew this was going to be hard before it even happened, I swear. I’m not one of those people who went into it thinking, “Oh, I’m totally prepared. And, besides, it won’t be nearly so bad in MY case…” I knew it would be bad. I totally did.

I’m still struggling, though. And, believe me, I’ve got it pretty good. Things haven’t imploded nearly as severely as it does with some. There isn’t nearly the chaos and shrapnel that many suffer through. However, I don’t think I could ever have been fully prepared for it.

No, I”m not talking about some horrible, traumatic event. Not some unexpected medical diagnosis or anything like that. I’m just talking about having a teenage daughter.

I really can’t stand this. The eye rolling. The sighs. The disgusted snarls. The overdramatic reaction to being asked to do something simple. The selfishness. The attitude of already knowing everything. The dismissal of ideas that aren’t her own. I have a very, very, VERY low tolerance for teenage attitude. I think I have for about 20 years or so now. I cannot stand children (and, yes, they are children) who have no respect for anyone or anything that isn’t one of their friends. Who treat all adults like they’re morons who couldn’t possibly ever understand anything about anything. Or like the adults have some sort of secret, conspiratorial plot to deny them their freedoms, quiet their expression or just make them actually DO what they’re supposed to be doing.

I hear stories on occasion from my husband about the attitudes he encounters day after day at his job at a high school. Kids who think they shouldn’t ever have to pay attention, think about others, deny themselves what they want or even just meet the requirements of whatever they’re doing. They all think they’re “special” and that rules don’t apply to them. They shouldn’t have to go to school because it’s hard or because it interferes with some other thing they would rather be doing. They shouldn’t ever be asked to not use their phones in school to text, receive calls in class, be on Facebook or whatever. The idea that phones should not be allowed during school hours is simply HORRIFYING and utterly unacceptable. Because God forbid you should actually be paying attention in school and focusing on the work you have to do for those hours. How very archaic. Your mom should totally be able to interrupt any class you’re in to tell you whatever stupid thing can’t wait until after school. Your teacher should just stop what he/she’s doing so you can receive instructions about ordering a pizza for dinner, right? I mean, some of these kids can’t even be bothered to TURN IN their work. And when they do, they are too lazy to write their name on it. Goodness – that’s just ridiculous. The teacher can FIGURE. IT. OUT. Then, when the parent realizes at the end of the semester that said child is failing, they want the teacher to come up with some way for their child to make up the points. They couldn’t be bothered to CHECK ONLINE to see the grades as they’re posted throughout the semester and see the running list of whatever assignments are missing, late or just failed. They wait until the last minute and then it’s the teacher’s responsibility because we can’t possibly let a kid fail because they’ve been too damn lazy all year to follow simple instructions. I’m really hating the world as it’s running right now.

Anyway, I digress. (What a shocker, Christy. You never run off-topic) Here’s today’s issue. I can’t complain TOO vociferously about my daughter. I mean, she’s about 75% totally amazing and awesome. It’s that 25% that’s making me crazy. For example: yesterday I had conferences for 3 of the 4 kids. I met with all her teachers and left there simply GLOWING. Every single teacher had nothing but wonderful, glowing things to say about her. “She’s a hard worker.” “She’s a pleasure to have in class.” “She CARES about her grades and it shows.” “She’s a very good writer.” “She’s got such confidence & really knows who she is.” “She contributes and has great things to say.” I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. I was overwhelmingly proud of her – this 14 year old sophomore who skipped a grade and is totally kicking backside all over this school. I practially skipped back home and lavished her with praise. Telling her several times how proud I am of her. How proud I am that she has this great work ethic that all her teachers notice and that she’s giving her all. That, in spite of the theatre, music and speech she’s doing, she’s pulling all A’s with 1 B+ and one B (both of those in honor courses). I relayed all the wonderful things her teachers said (as best as I could remember), telling her again and again that I was really, really proud of her. Not because she’s smart and getting As, but because she has discipline, honor, integrity, she doesn’t slack, and she puts forth effort. Plus, she’s someone the teachers actually LIKE. These are serious accomplishments, not to be overlooked or minimized. And I didn’t – even one bit.

Cut to this morning. Steve and I are in the midst of a new vehicle search. We have very specific needs with this vehicle. The #1 consideration is having something where the children can be very apart from one another. Henry can be extremely difficult in the car. He does not want anyone sitting anywhere near him and, if someone does, he attacks. He will hit them, scratch them, throw books at them, kick them, pelt them with Cheerios. And, since Steven is the logical choice to sit next to him when we’re all in the car, life becomes unbearable for him. With his Asperger’s, he cannot tolerate Henry’s antics, Henry’s voice, or being touched by Henry. When Steve’s not int he car with us, Steven has to sit in front of Henry. Henry kicks his seat, pulls on his seat belt and any screaming Henry might do goes directly into Steven’s ears. Approximately 80% of the time, car rides devolve into the 3 boys screaming at one another and a mom who is looking for a bridge to drive off. So, in order to resolve this issue, we’re looking for a rather large vehicle.

We have eliminated the maxi-van (Ford, Chevy, GMC) because they are pretty junky. They get crappy looking very fast, they get horrific gas mileage and they are ugly. Nissan came out with a passenger version of their NV van and we test drove that, but it was not quite right either. The mileage is so bad that they won’t even advertise it. When we asked, we got some hemming & hawing and a “well……maybe about 16-18 MPG?” Plus, the back seats are cramped and uncomfortable. That pretty much leaves the M-B Sprinter. We really like this vehicle and will probably go with that. It’s significantly more expensive than the NIssan van, but it’s made better, plus it has the diesel engine which get much better gas mileage and the engines last much, much longer. It might be cheaper at first to get the Nissan, but I think the Sprinter will be more economical in the long run. Basically, now, we’re trying to decide if we want to just buy a new one or talk to the dealership to get information about conversion packages. We’d like to get some higher-end seats in it (like captain’s chairs replacing the 1st 2 bench rows), adding an entertainment system and possibly some 120V plugs as well. We’ve been looking already for used conversion Sprinters, but there just aren’t that many out there that have under 100,000 miles on them. Yes, the engine can last 200-500,000 miles, but I would like to get one with lower miles.

So, today we were going to go back to the dealership and talk with the salesman about these issues. We’d really like to get this wrapped up in the next couple of weeks or so. I woke Maggie up at 11am to tell her she needed to watch Henry & William while we did this. I gave her probably 30-45 minutes to get a shower and then we had to get moving. She came stomping downstairs and refused to talk or answer any questions – showing utter disrespect and disdain in her pissiness about the situation. OH HELL TO THE NO. I asked her a question and she ignored me. Then I got pissed and shared my anger that I had worked so hard yesterday to make sure she knew how proud we were of her and how much I appreciated her hard work and just who she was and now, when we’re trying to go out and secure a vehicle that will benefit these kids probably WAY more than me, she can’t even have the courtesy to answer me or behave appropriately at all. I’m SO SORRY that our journey to dump tens of thousands of dollars to make all y’all’s road trips more positive interferes with your need to pluck your damn eyebrows, but FREAKING LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU.

This is what I’m sick of. Acting all put-upon and abused when we need her to do the few things we ask her to do. Rolling her eyes and refusing to communicate at all. Believe me, I WANT to know what’s bothering her and why she’s angry so that we can work through it. But when she won’t talk at all, it’s impossible. She gets all mad when we assume things about how she’s acting, but what choice do we have when you WON’T TELL US.

I hate teenagerhood. Like the plague.

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