Thursday, March 15, 2007

Welcome To Hell...

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Something scary is happening to my daughter, Fric. At ten years old, she is rapidly becoming as cuddly as a porcupine. When her brother sees her, he now turns on one foot and high tails it in the opposite direction. Just the other day I found him hiding in my closet. I asked him what he was doing there as I secretly worried he was eyeing my shoes and fingering my dresses. Thankfully, he wasn't. No, instead he was hiding from his sister and her mood.

The puberty induced mood. It has to be it. I can't think of anything else that would take my sweet beautiful Fric and turn her into the green-pea spewing, head swivelling demon she has become. I'm slightly afraid of her. And I think she knows it.

I was young when I discovered I was pregnant with her. 20 years old, and living with my best friend. Her father and I, had discovered the joys of sex. With each other. (As opposed to the solo variety he liked to participate in frequently.) She wasn't planned but she wasn't unwanted. Well, that's not true. For about an hour after I found out I was pregnant, you could find me out in my apartment's very brightly lit white corridor, sitting on the floor, smoking a pack of ciggies (and I don't smoke people) freaking out wondering if I was grown up enough to be a mother.

Then her father came, held me in his arms, took away my freshly purchased cigarettes and told me I would rock this parenting gig. Fool that I was, I believed him. Boo and I didn't rush into anything, we just continued as normal as I swelled with gestational love. He stayed out on the farm and I stayed in my city apartment. We bought baby paraphernalia and went on dates. We argued over baby names on the telephone. I insisted she was a girl, he insisted she had a penis.

Side note: He has since learned not to argue with me. I am ALWAYS right.

And when she finally arrived, he ran over a porcupine in his haste to see his daughter safely enter this world. Ah, the sacrifice a father will make for his child. When we held her in our arms for the first time, we knew we'd be fine. We were a family, the three of us. She was a gift to her daddy and I, and we make sure to often tell her this.

Sure she wasn't easy. She refused my boobs. She had colic. And she could power shit like no other. She refused to grow hair, she wouldn't speak until almost three and she had a love of coloring on walls that I still haven't managed to cure her of. But she has a smile that lights up the room and a capacity for love that makes me feel extraordinary. Like most new moms, I was completely, utterly mesmerized by her and my powerful love for her.

Now, as she snarls at her brother, and rolls her eyeballs at me, it is all I can do from sneaking into the pantry and breaking open the mommy juice. Where the hell did my sweet ray of sunshine get off to? I am completely unprepared for the demon who is my daughter these days.

Is this the first step of puberty? What's next? The sproutage of boobage and body hair? A love of black eyeliner and a fondness for black clothing? Will she take down her doll collection and replace it with pictures of boys? Will she finally stop listening to Shania and Britney and start listening to the Clash or the Cure? I would pay her large sums of money to speed up that process. Will she suddenly insist on privacy in the bathroom as she wraps toilet paper around her hand 45 times to stop up the toilet?

How long does this stage last? When will it end? Will she ever stop rolling her damn eyeballs at me? I'm getting sick of seeing the whites of her eyes. I'm completely unprepared for this stage of parenting. I don't know how to be the cool mom to a pubescent tween. I'm stuck in the past, I suppose. I'm still rocking the soccer mom thing, and being the rock star at the Christmas concerts. I can't morph into the terribly uncool, unknowing mom who doesn't get tweeny-boppers.

I refuse to become that mom who tries so hard to fit in with her kids that she makes a complete ass of herself and has all the other moms pointing and laughing behind her back, while her daughter proclaims how much she hates her geeky mother to all of her pot-smoking, soon-to-be-knocked-up teeny bopper friends.

This was so much easier when you could just shove a plug in their mouth and bounce them into sleep.

I suppose I should come out of my pantry and start trying to morph into a puberty-understanding mother. Let go of the past and embrace the future. Perhaps if I buy her matching mother-daughter outfits and sync up our iPods, she'll stop spinning her head around and welcome me back into her world?

What do you think?


Blogger Bon said...

i think, if my mom were the writing type, that she'd be asking the exact same questions.

and i'm 35. so maybe it will all become pleasant again when Fric turns 36?

is that comforting?

seriously, though...i think there's a deep vein of horribleness that runs through all adolescents. i remember that age, and it sucked. now, i find being around them kinda sucky. short of putting one of you in a nice padded room for the next seven or eight years...and when it's my turn, i'll volunteer for the pink walls...i have no solutions. but i sympathize. with all of you. :)

11:02 a.m.  
Blogger dennis said...

I'd say start her off with Led Zepplin and the Sex Pistols and hope she avoids the all black attire...

11:13 a.m.  
Blogger sillychick said...

This exact thing scares the living shit out of me! And mine is only 2 and already giving me attitude.

I can see cases of wine in my future and the mantra of, "I'm the mom, that's WHY!"

11:23 a.m.  
Blogger Wendy said...

I think you are in for a long ride. I am sure there is light at the end of the tunnel, but is very long.

Good Luck on your journey. Hope to see you on the other end.

11:34 a.m.  
Blogger Kyla said...

Oh no...I dread the coming of these days, and I have a very long time before it happens. Good luck. *lol*

11:44 a.m.  
Blogger mamatulip said...

I think you should stay in the pantry.

12:28 p.m.  
Blogger Sugar Kane said...

I keep telling myself that it's a girl thing, that my sweet little boy would never roll his eyes at me or hide in the backseat as I drive past his friends. Then I sober up and realize we're all screwed. All kids go through a shithead phase. I plan on surviving it with love and gin. Lots and lots of gin.

12:35 p.m.  
Anonymous heather said...

There is a great book that you should read.

Reviving Ophelia: saving the selves of adolescent girls
by Mary Pipher

Seriously, this is not a frivolous recommendation. I think that this book should be required reading for all parents of tween girls.

12:52 p.m.  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I remember being that tween. (and it was awhile ago).
The moms who were trying to be cool never were. The moms who were themselves - much much cooler.
Mind you, I'm kooky, so I have no idea what my son will say about me.
I'm still rolling my eyes around my mom though!!!

1:13 p.m.  
Blogger Jacquie said...

Sorry to disappoint but the eyerolling does not stop, as my almsot 13 year old has shown me. She has I can say morphed from Shania/Britney/Hillary into the Billy Tallent/Green Day and Fall Out Boys. I have to say my personal favourite hormonal taking over moment is the big "W" ya know the whatever. I keep thinking ok my parents survived 4 girls surely I will my 3. Crossing fingers.

2:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can suggest is hang on tight because it's a wild ride. My sixteen year old is starting to turn back into a person who doesn't seethe continuously, she even laughs with me from time to time. My fourteen year old is handicapped and the poor thing just cries for no reason sometimes, I feels so bad for her.
Try drinking, you, not her, it really does help.

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger kimmyk said...

Do what I do when Abbie rolls her eyes at me....smack her upside the head and tell her to stand up straight. No, I'm kiddin. Seriously, just kidding.

I don't pay attention to Abbie when she gets all fussy and if I do give her any attention it's usually laughter because that cracks my shit right up to see her all in a tizzy.

Tell Frac to just give her space-eventually she'll bring teenage girls over with boobs and he'll be ahead of the game. No wait, he's already into the boob thing isn't he? I'd be more worried about him then her.

4:53 p.m.  
Blogger crazymumma said...

Lets stay close. Real close. My ALMOST ten year old is becoming.....hormonal....and moody. Shit and I am paramenopausal soon.

we are toast. pass the bottle.

ps. she will be human again in about....ummmm. 11 years.

8:18 p.m.  
Blogger kgirl said...

i think you're scaring me. but i'm bookmarking this post to check back in about 9 years when i'm the one hiding in the closet.

8:25 p.m.  
Blogger Bethany said...

Yup, puberty. My daughter got better once she got her period & got on a semi regular cycle. Or maybe it's because we knew when to hide from her then.

It only took six years for her to become a normal human being with only the usual hormonal swings.

8:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with bethany. The two years before they get their period is absolute hell - it's better after that. Only hell three days a month. And remember, the more you freak out about her hair/clothes/music/black nail polish the worse it will get. I draw the line at the slutty look but luckily my daughter is into the goth-skater baggie clothes look so it could be worse.

And remember not to take it personally or you will be devastated by the time she's human again.

And drink a lot of wine, that helps too!

9:17 p.m.  
Anonymous FishyGirl said...

I'm scared of the future with my girls. My uncle had 3 and they WERE ALL TEENS AT ONCE and just last year they got a portrait taken of all three to surprise their dad for Christmas - it had been years since they could cooperate long enough to do that. They're all firmly in their twenties now. And they still roll their eyes at their mother.

Just make sure she knows you love her, know that she loves you even when she screams the opposite, and hang on. She'll come around.

9:19 p.m.  
Blogger MamaMichelsBabies said...

Never show fear, like wolves, tweens and teens can smell it I think.

It could be worse then Brit.. Manson and Type O Negative are all kinds of nightmares in a cd case, Dennis is right though, Zepplin all the way.

I hope the demon that invaded your child loosens it's hold long enough at times for you not to strangle her. Mommy juice hun.. lots o' Mommy juice

9:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Liza said...

You mean she waited until she was ten to start rolling the eyeballs? LUCKY! My five-year-old does that to me on a daily basis. It just started last week. This is the same kid who had an EEG two days ago and asked the tech, at the top of their outraged lungs, "WHY ARE YOU PUTTING THAT THING ON MY NIPPLE???" I am so screwed.

9:51 p.m.  
Anonymous kat said...

Ahh girl is 13 and is starting the "rolling the eyes, you know nothing, I'll throw away my homework to see you have a stroke" phase. I am the cool mom that listens to Rage against the machine, Alice in Chains, the Clash, Britney (barf) allowed...and still the adolescence seeps thru. So - I tell her once again: "I was you - I know what you'll do before you do it and I already did it better. So slow your roll and stop rolling those eyes at me". (while I am walking hear her mutter "how does she KNOW I'm rolling my eyes"...while I just grin)

9:08 a.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

Have you considered the possibility that the porcupine The Boo ran over has come back to inhabit Fric's body? That would be some bad karma.

I am so dreading this time because I know that moms and daughters struggle so much at this point in their lives. Luckily, I hope that I can read posts like this AND recall what it was like to be there, myself (not that I would torture her with stories about it). I CANNOT wait, however, to have her bring home music that she's choosing for herself, rather than because it's what little girls listen to.

9:45 a.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Come on, you've got tattoos and piercings. How can she NOT think you're cool?

But until she figures that out for herself, lock the pantry door behind you. I vaguely remember my tween years and if hers are anything like mine you're in deep trouble.

11:40 a.m.  
Blogger Butrfly4404 said...

My sister is twelve and a half. This crap started when she was about ten. She is obsessed with Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco. OBSESSED. She spends all of her free time on the internet, meeting people from across the world who share her love for P!ATD and goes into psychotic rages if anyone tries to take her computer time away...or reads whatever she's left on the screen. She wears not just black eyeliner, but crappily applied black eyeliner ... and black nail polish. Nobody understands her (In her mind). My mom is unreasonable (IHM). Everyone hates her (IHM). She hid getting her period because my mom would get "all stupid" about it. The eyerolling has gotten WORSE. Also..swearing.

Now that I've made her out to sound like a total heathen, I will say that she is the most loving girl I've ever met. She volunteered to join my WalkAmerica team for MOD...then actually set out and raised a large sum of money for it. She will also do anything you ask (if you can deal with the "aougch" phlemy sound she makes when she says "I guess").

I think there's hope for her. I'm just glad that I was never like that!!. (Okay, maybe I was worse!)

11:52 a.m.  
Blogger stefanierj said...

Oh cripes. Don't tell me this, because I kinda thought once they hit 4 or so that we'd be in a good place. Are tween boys this icky? Actually, most of the tween girls' ickiness is probably the fault of tween boys, huh? :)

12:21 p.m.  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

You know, of course, that because you have tattoos and piercings, your daughter will have to rebel against you by *not* getting tattoos and piercings. I can hear it now: "No, I will NOT be getting a tattoo, and you can't make me, Mom!!" ;^)

12:28 p.m.  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Oy. Not something to look forward to. When they're kids, they're so much more interesting.

Oh, and don't worry about the boy in the closet. Only start to freak when he's digging through your underwear drawer.

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger Kelly said...

I can't give you any pointers, one, because my daughters are still small, and two, because I didn't lose my friggin mind until after high school. I was definitely moody though, but it was more on the morose side of things. (Ya know, listening to the Doors while burning incense in my room.)

Hang in there, even if she pushes you away.

1:58 p.m.  
Blogger Em said...

OOooo....matching outfits. Now THAT will cheer her up. NOT!!!

3:37 p.m.  
Blogger Lucy's Mom said...

Sorry to tell you that you are probably on a fast train to Hell. Mine started at age 11 and she had to be the worst teenager God ever put on this earth. I'm not sure you could think of something that she didn't do or try. Climbing out the window to run wild in the middle of the night; stealing my car and wrecking it; getting arrested; drinking and drugging; dating (or trying to date over my screams) much older and entirely unsuitable men; smoking at age 12; sneaking a boy into MY house in the middle of the night; (when I heard moaning from her room in the middle of the night, I thought she was sick and went in to help - boy, did I get a surprise and so did a certain young man) I could go on and on and on....but you get the idea. I survived her puberty and her teenage years and so did she. She actually turned into a sweet and loving adult with a wonderful sense of humor, a giving heart and a tragically short life, but that's another story.

5:38 p.m.  
Blogger Maria said...

Just don't let her wear daisy dukes and a tee shirt that says, "You can't afford me!"

I actually saw a tweener in a shopping mall with her mother wearing those and I stared like they were a car wreck.

8:44 p.m.  
Blogger carrie said...

The scary thing is that I actually remember those "difficult" teenage mood swings very well. My mom and I can laugh about it, 18 or so years later. God, I am old.

Let's hope that we may laugh with our daughters (and preteen sons) some day.


12:46 a.m.  
Blogger jellyhead said...

T, hello!

You know, I came here earlier, and didn't leave a comment, because I felt so unimportant next to all these many devoted readers you've acquired (not that I'm jealous or anything. I mean, I know you still love me. Don't you? T? T?!). I wondered if you would even get around to reading comment number 32 (or maybe it will be 33 by the time I finish typing!)But then I figured - if you're like me, you read every single comment avidly. So I decided to join your legions of fans and say HI!

Now. The mother-daughter outfit is a *super cool* idea. Gingham would be good, with lace trim and puff sleeves. Skip the iPod and play matching harmonicas.

I hope your tonsils have stopped hurting you, and that Frac has not generously shared his stomach bug with anyone else.

Enjoy your weekend if you possibly can!

XO Jelly

7:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the mother of an almost-19 year old girl. We're getting there, but really there is only one answer for you - CHARDONNAY - it really takes the edge of the passive-aggressive "whatever" which will soon accompany the eye-rolling.

My daughter didn't do the black clothes thing - that would have been me with my Leonard Cohen and purple ink. It will pass.

In the meantime, your pantry seems like a good idea.

9:28 p.m.  
Blogger My float said...

My advice? Kick back with some mummy juice and enjoy the ride!!

5:17 a.m.  
Blogger Boobless Brigade Master said...

Well, it could be PMS...even if she hasn't officially started yet. Her body could be preparing to start if ya know what I mean...and I think you do!
How did I handle it when my daughter hit that the-world-revolves-around-me-and-only-me stage?
I threw KitKats at her, told her to chow them down, then lay down for 20 minutes and get back to me minus the white's of her eyes and sporting a smile;)

5:54 a.m.  
Blogger Melanie said...

hi there, just found your blog and had to read the WHOLE THING. as for the hormone-induced mood swings, as a mother of an almost 14-year-old, i have found two tools to be very useful. the first is a spray bottle of cold water, which is also handy for your cats. the second is chocolate. when my darling girl turns into psycho bitch, i stuff a couple of lindt bonbons under the edge of her door, and she usually comes out cuddly a short while later. be ready with salty chips in case you overmedicate.

7:36 p.m.  

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