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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.


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There is nothing meaner than a teenage girl. Good luck, and hold your ground.


off topic, but holy shit hang onto your hats...

the "Team America" trailer is up!


My thirteen-year-old daughter came home from school four hours late a few months ago, said that "some eighth-graders were chasing and even threw schoolbooks at me!", resisted my call for her to tell the truth (which I knew after a game of phone tag with strangers and their parents), called the police on me for "scaring" her, broke a window with a rock during the eventual argument (yes, the argument was later), and didn't even have the decency to tell the police dispatcher (who called to find out why someone called 911) that she was completely and utterly full of shit.

I'd like to say you have it easy, but I know that's not true. But I can say, it could be worse. (And yes, it's gotten better.)

lalallalaaaaaa I'm not listening!!!

Three boys. Now ages 22, 20 and 18. I feel your pain, darlin'!

My 14 year old learned the hard way about leaving without permission. I left her home while I went to a dr's app't in a nearby town; it was about 3:30 and she was to be picked up in an hour by a friend and her mom to go see a movie. In the meantime, she called another friend to talk while they did homework. When no one answered after repeated calls, she started to worry that her friend was stranded at the city bus stop a few blocks from our house and that's why she wasn't home yet. So she decided to take her scooter and check it out.

On the way, a guy in a car pulled over and asked directions to the freeway. As she leaned down to answer him, she saw that he was masturbating. She tore off and went over to the house of the people that were going to be picking her up for the movies....the mom (a good friend) calmed her down and called the police, who came over and took a report....apparently they had received another report on the same guy earlier in the day.

I don't have a cell phone, and so when I got home, there was a note on the door to call over to their house - they had gone ahead and gone to the movie as planned and were just getting ready to drop Anna home.

Now, she doesn't walk or ride anywhere alone, and understands why I had been so strict about it before. Even though I had previously told her of the experience I had when I was about her age, having a guy expose himself to me when I walked home at night once, it didn't register that something like that would ever happen to her.

It's so hard to make kids understand why we put restrictions on their movements - I trust Anna but I can't trust others - and I can't control the actions of the perverts in this world....and there are far too many of them.

I hope Natalie will understand that your intent is not to ruin her life and keep her from having fun, which is the way kids view even the simplest rules. And I hope it doesn't take having to experience the dangers out there for her to get it - please tell her from me...as a mom of a girl just like her...it won't kill her to follow your rules, and that you enforce them because you love her more than life itself.

Damn. Boys are so much easier to raise...lol.

Nat'll make a great lawyer. ;)

Man, if she keeps that behavior up, she's gonna wind up living in a van down by the river ...

rofl! Whoever told you that was lying!!!

ALL teenagers, male or female, are dain bramaged until they reach 30.

I'm 31 years old. I'd just like to take this opportunity to apologize to... well, everybody for being the world's biggest asshole between 1985 and 1989.

I think it would be cool to have a teenage daughter. I watch the Gilmore Girls all the time and it looks like fun.

This is yet another example of why a lady friend of mine thinks a woman's right to abortion should be extended up to the 18th birthday of the fetus.

wonder who it was that told me all those years ago that teenage girls are a delight, a mother's best friend

They are! After they have graduated from college, moved out of your house, and have a job...until then, remember these two words (one word?)

Duct tape..

I got lucky, hell ended when mine reached their later teens, and actually, my daughter was the easy one.

Maybe it was because when they'd do the :::footstomp...hands waving in the air::: thing I'd start laughing because they looked so ..well..silly. At that point they'd usually stomp off to their rooms caves until I regained my composure again.

Naw..I think it was the duct tape...

Yes, I'm a meannnnnnn mommy

disclaimer: NO, I never ducttaped my children, (though I can't say there weren't times I thought about it.::grins::)

Of course she understood what she'd done wrong, she was just yanking your chain to see if she could get away with it. Remember when she was a toddler and started testing boundaries? Same thing now, just she's bigger.

Hang in there. It gets better eventually.

Well, focus on that instead of this if you want to stay off of Xanax.

hehehe...while reading of your interesting day I couldn't help remember earlier posts of yours telling of your wild adventures as a young girl.

When I was a teenager I remember my grandmother telling my mother that she was "payin' for yer raisin'".

You might want to print out Trish's comment above and lay it on her bed to read...

Nat seems like a good kid just pushing the boundaries abit. You did good...hold yer ground and she'll be fine. Of course, she might take the whole episode to the UN Human Rights Commission...

It wasn't me.
After having gone through those years wuth me step daughter I know better.
The good news is that is just a phase.
The bad news is that you have to live though it.

said I'm sorry. My god."

You're an atheist, your daughter has a god?

Hormones must be fluctuating.

Does this mean I can't go out with Jen tonight?

Somehow rolling your eyes, dropping the hip and "Well, DUH!" comes to mind.

I've already started on my daughter, I tell her it's in the parenting contract, she didn't read the fine print.
She couldn't read when I started telling her that, tho.

And if she says, what contract? Just tell her it comes w/motherhood.

Remember the energy you drew from the anger - you will need it to carry you through the second guessing and sheer astonishment of the next episode.

Here is an expression that I have uttered once or twice:

"who in the hell do you think you are, anyway"?

The (unspoken) answer surprises us; they think they are adults and we should negotiate a new contract.

Miss Michelle-
I think your daughter and my son are MADE for each other.


After they have graduated from college, moved out of your house, and have a job

Uhh, Tink? Sometimes they come home.

Ok, I'm down to my last daughter being a teen (17) and starting senior year. (other girls are 21, 23, 25) And I've also been through my share of power plays.

Michele, can I add something to your arsenal? I really don't remember the gist of the blowup argument I had with #2 when she was about 15, but she always had the bad habit of wanting the last word, including mumbling under her breath as she was stomping to her room after being ordered there. Add to that, she 'just forgot' the rule about slamming her door (another hot-button thing for me). I flew down the hall (I don't even remember my feet touching the ground) flung open her door and she glared at me saying "You touch me and I'll call the cops!" I said "Good. Let me get the phone for you. But first I'm going to beat the crap out of you just for threatening that and remember I'll be in jail and you'll be in fostercare home." (No, I didn't beat her, but her eyes were so wide she realized her "threat" wasn't getting the reaction she had counted on). I did ground her, but I added something because I was tired of the slammed door being the end of every argument and getting the same lame "I'm sorry and I won't do it again" schtick. I told her the next time she slammed the door, she lost it. "What do you mean, lost it?" I told her "This door on your bedroom in my house is a privilege. Next time you slam it, you lose it for a week." Her with mouth open "You can't do that!" Me "Wanna watch? I'll go get the hammer and screwdriver right now, it'll take me two minutes to get it off the hinges and put it in the garage."

For a teen girl loss of privacy is a great leveraging punishment.

Oh, and it worked...we still had arguments from time to time, but she never slammed the door again.

My daughter lost the (not "her") door for two weeks following her little incident. It was just another part of her series of punishments.

And there's the great unused, but still effective because she's not sure I'd back down threat of bra shopping with dad. From age 11 to now, it's been an effective version of "shut the hell up and settle down".

Oooo...the door thing is cool. Never heard that one before.

There is a little part of me, just a bit, that is looking forward to eldest leaving for college in a couple of weeks. The funny thing is, knowing them as I do, mom and daughter will both be weepy wrecks for weeks.

I try my best not to think about my teen years anymore. That's because whenever I do, I am driven to the immutable conclusion that my parents should have simply strangled me at birth.

The only serious consolation I have is that I told my father this shortly before he died. The man was full of grace, however, and obliquely implied that I'd turned out to be worth the trouble.

Bless his heart.

I understand the gypsies are still buying...plus, it would give you a spare room!

The gypsies, being nomadic, lack the adequate sofa cushions to come up with the spare change needed to purchase all the misbehaving teenagers. All they offer are mehndi tattoos and poorly-crafted amulets meant to keep the evil eye looking elsewhere.

I, too, had my share of battles when my stepsons were teens. I handled it about as well as the old Soviet Union did to rebellions in Hungary - massive and ugly.

Fortunately, they both made it past their teen years alive (a minor miracles when it comes to boys) and are now 31 and 33 years old. And, oh joy of joys, they both recently became parents! Grandchildren are the sweetest revenge! It's payback time!

Just hope you don't have them too soon.

Look on the bright side. If they ever nominate you for President, you can always get her to introduce you.

When my daughter turned 14, our happy world came crashing down. I seriously looked up justifiable homicide, just in case...I felt sure I might have to use it in court one day. Then she graduated, is on her own and actually wants to see us and be with us and treats us like regular folks. Amazing.

My Mom says that I had this habit of saying, "yes, Mom/Dad; you're right; I see your point," and then doing whatever the heck I wanted to do anyway. Heh.

I don't have any children.

Uhh, Tink? Sometimes they come home

::sigh:: I know, I know. My almost 22 year old is home now..but I can't complain, it was at my husbands request while he's out of the country. We have livestock, she's been a huge help.

Like I said, I got lucky.

Her room still looks like a pit..and there are days I still dream of duct tape..but I still got lucky.

"This door on your bedroom in my house is a privilege. Next time you slam it, you lose it for a week." Her with mouth open "You can't do that!" Me "Wanna watch? I'll go get the hammer and screwdriver right now, it'll take me two minutes to get it off the hinges and put it in the garage."

Sorry, that one had me laughing out loud. Wish I had thought of that in the hell years...

Michele..Sorry you are dealing with the "hell years" right now, but someday you'll look back and laugh..I promise..

:::ducking before Michele hits me with something:::

It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, someone once said. Sounds like Nat learned that somewhere along the line.

You held your ground though and grounded her even further, right.

Forgiveness is not a substitute for punishment.

I can't wait, got one 9 and one 4.

Hang in there, and thanks for sharing.

hmm sounds like my house! I'm dealing with that too. I have two fifteen y.o girls and a thirteen y.o girl.

And they say it only gets worse!

We'll hunt down that person together, Michele. My middle daughter, a/k/a "Satan's Spawn," calmed down at 25.

Hang in there, and frequently remind her that it's YOUR house, you make the payments, you have no privacy. The door thing is a good one, I used it when #2 used our fire escape ladder to sneak down to see a boyfriend.

Imperial Keeper

Around here we generally believe that teenage boys are complete idiots and teenage girls are fairly nasty. But I live in a rural area with nothing within 12 miles to go to. So grounded girls stay gounded. My eldest is going to be 16 soon, so that could change, but not unless she figures out stick shift.

"threat of bra shopping with dad."

LOL! Unfortunately, it's a bigger punishment for Dad. I know because I had to go underwear shopping with my 13yo daughter last weekend. Lost count of the number of times I said these two phrases:

"No push-up bras."
"No thongs."

The door thing I have been doing for years... first time she was only about 4. Saw it on the Roseanne Barr Show!

As long as they know and understand that you will follow through with the punishment, you will maintain some semblence of control!?! Stick to your guns... I thanked my parents for being strict with me.

I am a child advocate, fighting for the rights of children, stronger sentencing for predators etc. etc. The stories I have heard and the research I have done....I have a hard time letting them walk to the corner store, even... but I know it is not their fault these creeps are out there, and I cannot hold them hostage in their own home... BUT I do know where both of my children are every minute of every day. Working on a way to start letting go when they reach university age. They are 13 (boy) & 15 (girl).