Wake Me Up When the Hormones End

Is it 2025 yet? I’m looking forward to 2025 because that is the year neither of my children will be teenagers, preteens or PRE preteens with teenaged attitude. It better come quick. Because I don’t know if all of us will make it.
My oldest will be 12 next month. He started middle school last fall and on the first day of school I said adios to my sweet innocent little boy. I was returned a cranky, wiseass with a chip on his shoulder, in his place. Lately, we end up arguing about the most ridiculous and mundane things. In fact, I just got into it with him over eating BREAKFAST.
I was downstairs folding his baseball uniform for literally the SIXTH time this week (yeah, he played seven games last week…we have no life), when I heard banging in the kitchen punctuated with loud groans of annoyance. Wondering what could possibly be wrong at 7:45 in the morning, I poked my head in the kitchen. I found my son pulling things cereal boxes out of the cabinet and slamming them on the counter with disgust.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, naively thinking that maybe there were ants in the cabinet and he was trying to be helpful and take everything out for me so it would be easier to clean. How thoughtful!
“There’s NOTHING to eat for breakfast!” he answered in the voice of teenaged angst that he has perfected in the last ten months.
“Sure there is. There’s five different cereals right in front of you,” I pointed out, making a mental note to have his eyesight checked.
“I don’t WANT cereal. I want a bagel.”
“We don’t have bagels right now. You’ll have to eat cereal,” I replied logically.
“Why don’t we have bagels?” he asked, still rummaging through the cabinets as if bagels have magically appeared in the last thirty seconds.
“Because I bought them on Thursday and you ate them all. Have cereal.”
“I HATE cereal! I want a bagel! God! This SUCKS!”
“I am going to Shop Rite later. I will get you bagels then. Have cereal.”
“I don’t want cereal!” he repeats. “Why didn’t you get me bagels yesterday?”
“The maid was off yesterday,” I replied sarcastically while trying to keep my cool. “I shouldn’t have to be at the store every $@&# day of my life.” Nope. I didn’t keep my cool.
“But that’s what I want to eat! Why can’t you buy me what I WANT?”
“You can’t eat bagels everyday. You’ll get fat.” I grabbed for his nonexistent love handles. “You want to get fat?” Okay, that was a low blow but it’s never too early to start healthy eating habits in my opinion. Especially since obesity runs rampant through the family like a streaker at a baseball game.
“GOD, you’re so MEAN!” He stomped away while I resisted the urge to knock him into next Tuesday. I used to hate when my father said that to me, that he would knock me into next week, thinking that it was the stupidest thing I ever heard. Now I get it. Maybe next Tuesday my son would have a better attitude.
This little scene plays out pretty much anytime we ask the Prince of Puberty to do anything he doesn’t want to do at that moment like shower, put his clothes away, do his homework, feed the dog or eat his veggies. I know…we are such AWFUL parents, making a kid do any of that! We get the eye roll and the heaving sighs of annoyance. we get the stomping and throwing objects. “This sucks” is his mantra lately, followed closely behind by “you’re so mean” and “this is so unfair”. I am getting fed up with hearing it. Maybe we should buy him a thesaurus so he can expand his vocabulary.
While we should be happy it’s not as bad as some teens and he’s generally an agreeable kid, it’s frustrating because the mood swings do not follow any pattern that his befuddled parents can anticipate.
The other one however…. She will be 8 next month and so far, we’ve had almost 8 years of PMS. I can’t even begin to imagine how I am going to survive actual hormonal surges with this one. Her mood swings more frequent that Tarzan swinging through the forest. We call her Sybil (google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about). She goes from 0 to Freddy Krueger with an ingrown toenail in about three seconds.
We could be having a great day, getting a pedicure or having lunch and I will ask her something simple like, pick your napkin up off the floor and she will spontaneously combust into tears. And it is as unpredictable as an earthquake. You know your are living on top of a geographically fault, but you have no idea when the ground will start shaking and your pictures are going to rattle off the walls. But you know it’s coming.
A few parents of teenage girls have suggested to me that maybe the estrogen and all that will balance her out. Maybe the teen years will be lovely and blissful and we will have a wonderful relationship like the mother and daughter in the Summer’s Eve commercials (Mom, you ever have that not so fresh feeling?) Yeah maybe Publisher’s Clearinghouse will show up at my door with a check for a million dollars. I’m not holding my breath.
Much more likely, I will need an IV of tequila to get through the teenaged years. I know I should be enjoying every moment of their childhoods. It goes by so fast. They will be adults before I know it; off on their own, possibly battling their own kids. But it is damn hard to see that now. I guess I’ll just buckle up and take the speed bumps on the Hormone Highway as they come as they come.
Waiter! More margaritas please! And let me know when it’s 2025!

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