A Day in the Life
12:15: Rip roaring fight with the daughter over the way she treats her brother when she has friends around. Only about the twentieth time we had this fight. Daughter, ever the one to get the last word in, seals her fate with "Holy geez, I said I'm sorry. My god." With a stamp of the foot, of course. Grounding ensues.
12:25: I go to my room to put away laundry.
12:30: Come out of room to discover daughter has gone "out." Where? DJ says she went to the store. I remind self that I just grounded her not fifteen minutes ago. Also take into consideration: No one is allowed to just go "out" without telling me or my husband where they are going and when they'll be back.
12:40: I decide to just wait it out and see if she comes back soon, figuring she went to visit her friend down the block to tell her what a horrible mother I am.
1:15: Call her cell phone. It's turned off. Now very pissed, I decide to see just how long she'll stay out. Proceed to clean the house.
2:15: Try her cell phone again. Still off. Drive past her friend's house, but no one is home. Small creep of panic sets in. Go home to see if she turns up or calls.
2:45: Try her other friend's house. She hasn't seen her.
3:00: Phone rings. It's the owner of the cell phone store a few blocks away. Someone found Nat's phone on the sidewalk and brought it into the store. The guy found the address book and called the "home" number. Go to store to get phone and start thinking all kinds of crazy things, incuding what a horrible mother I am to have sat there and not went looking for her right away.
3:10-3:30: Drive around looking for her. Stop at my mother's house and two friends' houses. At the second house, the mother says that Nat has been there for a while, but just left. Big sigh of relief, which gives way to renewed anger.
3:40: Find her a few blocks away, walking towards home. I say nothing as she gets in the car. Say nothing until we get in the driveway and then I let her have it. This exchange occurs:
Why did you go out of the house without asking me?
Because if I asked you if I could go, you would have said no.
You know the word flabbergasted? It was made for that moment.
New, firmer, longer grounding ensues, as do the tears. Yet absent in the tears and apologies for losing her week old cell phone is an understanding of what she has done wrong. Witness this question after we get in the house and I tell her to go to her room:
Does this mean I can't go out with Jen tonight?
Walk out of room. Go into office, close door, light cigarette and wonder who it was that told me all those years ago that teenage girls are a delight, a mother's best friend. Because I'd sure like to kick them in the teeth right now.