Take Your Backpacks and Get Out of my Face

Magnolia Ripkin
Written by Magnolia Ripkin

Is this real? Are they actually gone?

I know the calendar says it is the first day of school and all, but I am still dubious that it is real and Summer is actually over. I think I have post-Summer trauma or something.

My eyes saw them get on the bus, but my brain has not fully absorbed that we made it through a school holidays with everybody still breathing and relatively intact.

You see, this has been my first Summer pretending to be a stay at home mom…ever. I retired during the school year, so I spent July and August with my two teens. I had no…fucking…idea.

I dove right in as a rank amateur with no previous home-mom experience and I had my ass handed to me.

This was me in June: “This is going to be fun and they will be busy. There will be laughter and outings making for memorable happy days

Me in Mid-August: “Please kill me”

In the last few weeks I developed a distinct tic in my left eye, I needed an IV drip of sedative and my hair is patchy from pulling it out all Summer. And now I have to buy a new frying pan because I dented the old one smashing it on my forehead just to make the torture stop.

Teenagers are beasts. They are lazy, messy, disorganized, contrary, demanding, selfish and are probably the worst roommates I have ever had (and that is including a flat mate back in the 80’s who chewed his toenails at the kitchen table).

I suspect they colluded to make me regret every chore list I made by suddenly having no idea how to wash a dish or pick up a sock. The whole thing came apart when a missing sock suddenly came peeking out of the dog’s ass. The owner of that sock found it on his pillow that night – unwashed.

I am done. After a Summer of nagging, cajoling, demanding, punishing and bribing, I am wrecked. They broke me. Chores and activities they used to do when I was a working Mom were suddenly deleted from their mental hard drives and they became useless blobs. I frequently asked them who they were and what have they done with my competent wonderful children??

It got so hard to get the lazy boy out of the house that I even offered him five bucks to ride his bike a half mile to get himself a milkshake. He turned me down. I stood there with only a wet five dollar bill in my hands weeping on it.

The girl worked this Summer and therefore argued that cleaning her room was not in her contract and she would need to be paid overtime to tidy and do her home chores. The concept of earning one’s keep can be a tough go for a flighty teen chick, so I ran over her phone in the driveway. Sometimes going nuclear is the only way.

But they are the school’s problem now. They both gratefully bowed down walking backwards all the way out the front door on the first day of school. I had hung two signed enrollment forms for a military boarding school in Slovakia with their names on them. Message received. I should have thought of this in June.

As I start to come down from the excitement after jumping on their beds for a half hour, I am tired. So I settle in on the sofa with my coffee (wine) and my kale salad (tiramisu) and read my novel (gossip rag).  I smile, my eye tic spasming for a final moment and I drink in the the blissful silence.

Then I call my old boss and ask for my job back before the kids come home.




About the author

Magnolia Ripkin

Magnolia Ripkin

Our Editor-in-Chief Magnolia Ripkin is sort of like your mouthy Aunt who drinks too much and tells you how to run your life, except funny... well mostly funny... like a cold glass of water in the face. She writes a flagrantly offensive blog at Magnolia Ripkin Advice Blog answering pressing questions about business, personal development, parenting, heck even the bedroom isn't safe.
She is the Editor in Chief at BluntMoms. Other places to find her: Huffington Post, The Mighty and Modern Loss. You can also check her out in two amazing compendiums of bloggers who are published in “I Just Want To Be Alone.” And most recently, Martinis and Motherhood, Tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF

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1 Comment

  • So true – and funny!! Thank God mine had all moved out before I stopped working – not sure all of us would have survived.