I recently diagnosed myself with a mid-life crises. I can only imagine that’s why I suddenly want a puppy. We have a perfectly good dog. She is the greatest. But, those feelings that some women get at the site of babies? You know, when they see a baby and they squeal and profess how they want one? Yeah, that has never happened to me. I have two daughters and I’m good with that. But, when I see a puppy these days my whole body needs one.
I have never wanted a puppy before. I have always felt I have enough to take care of and I do. I absolutely do. I don’t even like getting off the couch to feed my kids much less my dog. Why would I want something else to interrupt my Netflix binges? I remember when I was house training our dog 9 years ago. We lived in a 900 square foot apartment. I had a 4 year old, a two year old, and a new puppy. It was not pretty. I was potty training the two year old at the same time I was house training the dog. If that doesn’t read epic set up for failure and mental instability, I don’t know what does. There was dog pee and little girl pee everywhere. As soon as I could clean it up, they were already squatting under the kitchen table with another round flowing.
After that fresh hell, I have never ever wanted another puppy or child. So, what gives? Why do I suddenly want a puppy?
My daughters are 12 and 14. They are awesome people and we totally hit the jackpot with them, but when I say they can be total and complete jerks, I am not exaggerating in the least. I surprised my youngest with a trip to Starbucks recently. I am not known to do this often as I think it’s a place where you go when you have your own money to throw out the window. She was very excited and said thank you. I wanted to take our picture with the new Christmas cups because I thought they were cute. As I leaned over to snap it, she literally gave me the hand. AND she said “Ugh, mom, no.” Knife straight through the heart. Die. Die. Die. Twist.
I was actually stunned. Maybe some of you expected this or were ready for it, but I was not. This girl of mine who use to beg for hugs even in the middle of getting in trouble won’t even take a picture with me? After I spend $6 on a drink?. Such betrayal. She was always our touchy feely child. We use to fight over who would pick her up from Sunday School because she would run full blast to the door and jump into our arms and squeeze us super tight. Now, I find myself analyzing how to touch her at all. Do I go in for a hug? And if I do, should it be a side hug or a regular hug? Or maybe just a shoulder pat? Because God knows if it will be well received or make her skin crawl. She barely hugs us at all now. You know what I mean. A hug just to be nice. Sometimes she’s “just not in the mood” for a hug at all.
I have always been vocal about not really being sad as my girls got older each year but was known to embrace their new ages and all that came with it, but now? I daydream about what she use to be. I miss that touchy feely girl who I didn’t repulse by the touch of my hand. I hate all those sayings you hear but, It’s true what they say. One day they won’t want to be around you so embrace it, mamma. Really. Let them squeeze you and wallow and bother and invade your space because one day you will find yourself with nothing but space for miles and days on end.
I think I took it pretty well. I gave her the silent treatment and a long list of chores to do the rest of the evening.
My oldest has always been super easy going. She still is mostly, until she’s not. Like the other day when we had a face off in Target. We may as well have had pistols and turned our backs to one another to take 10 steps and draw. Que the whistling Western music. I had picked out two dinnerware sets. One Paw Patrol and one Peppa Pig. Confused? Well, let me explain. We have had an ongoing problem of them not putting their gal-darn dishes away, ever. We have scolded, grounded, taken away phones, and immediately following the end of punishment dishes are still not being put away. God. Bless. America. They pile up in the sink and for some reason, the magic dish fairy they think must exist never shows up. And do you know what? They don’t care. They start a pile on the counter and when that fills up they will just leave it on the table. I have let this run its course for a few days before and was dumbfounded how two very smart honor roll students could be so lazy and just plain rude as to let their dishes pile up like we live in a frat house. You’re welcome if you can relate and now feel validated because you are totally not alone with your teens doing a shitty half-ass job at anything related to chores. And to those of you that have this part of parenting down…help….me….please.
So anyway, I decided they could have one set of dishes and were not allowed to use ours for a while. They could eat on their dishes, wash them and put them away after every use. I wasn’t trying to humiliate them by getting the character sets, but they were cheaper. I also thought they would think it was funny which, turns out they did not. At all. I suppose this is the part where they would say “you totally don’t get us.” and I would say “your mamma” or some other good comeback circa 1994.
She stared at me and said, “You can buy that, but you’ll be wasting your money because I’m not going to use it.”
“You will use it or you won’t have dishes to eat on. And you will use them because I am your mom and you are fourteen. So, at this time in your life, sometimes you just get to do what your mom says.”
“Mom, I am NOT using those dishes. I don’t care WHAT you say. This is stupid. And you don’t always put your dishes up so go ahead and pick yourself out one too. And, do you really want to do this here?”
No she did NOT. In my head I whacked her with a loaf of French bread. I cussed. I bit my tongue. I clenched my fists. I did not know I could have those feelings towards my precious child turned horrible horrible teen who thinks she’s 25.
“Oh, I think we’d better do it here. Your life depends on it.”
What do you do? What do you do when your teenage daughter who is bigger than you, is staring you down in the middle of Target matter of factly stating she is not going to do what you ask?
I wish I could say I was some bad-ass mom who knew exactly what to do and how to handle such a circumstance, but I’m not Super Nanny, ok? (Jo, if you’re out there, I love you and I need you). I questioned myself and just stood there staring at her like an idiot. I decided to throw in a good compromise like they say to do. Give them choices! Make them feel like their in control! Hogwash. But, I didn’t have a plan B so I told her she could go pick out solid color dishes since she wasn’t amused by my choices but still, I got the push back. She said, “No. It wouldn’t matter. I’m not using that either.”
I had stood their long enough. I reminded myself that I was in control and I am the mom. I made the call to walk to the register confidently and buy the pre-school dishes. She had no choice but to follow me because she had some things she wanted me to buy her. And speaking of which, what is it with these people with half-grown brains treating the people with all the money like that?
We are officially in the I hate my mother and she is the dumbest person alive stage. Signed sealed delivered. And in Target for all to bare witness.
I miss my little people who would hug me and not refuse to comply at Target in front of the masses. Who weren’t embarrassed to take pictures with me or to be near me. I miss them not being locked away in their rooms only to emerge when they smell dinner or when they need money. I just miss them. They are here, but they are not. I know there is science behind it, teens needing their space and all. But what about the mamma’s? What’s the science behind our broken hearts?
So, obviously, I want a puppy to fullfill all the holes my teens can no longer fill. Listen, I didn’t say it was healthy, but I’m just saying it has to be related. A puppy is tiny and needy, my girls are big and independent. It would love me unconditionally and never be embarrassed by me. It would take 1,000 selfies with me and not even bat an eye. And if I took it in Target it certainly wouldn’t argue with me. It would just wag its tail and lick me no matter what I said. And, most importantly It would eat out of whatever dang bowl I gave it, for sure.
And there you have it. Just one more notch in my mid-life crises belt. I think I’m ok, but my 40th birthday is coming up so, I’d say a few more notches are most likely in my future. To be continued…
Oh, about the dish war. I recently bought this thing that plugs into your router and you can control EVERYTHING on all your kids’s devices. You know, like turn off all the internets when they don’t put their dishes away. So, girls, I win. I am mom, hear me roar, bitches.
I am a 39 year old mom of two girls ages 14 (an ADHD cheerleader/connoisseur of junk food) and 12 (dimpled ball of fire and fury…this one keeps us on our toes and scared) and wife to a bearded architect. I am currently a third grade math and science teacher and former blogger who can’t seem to let the writing dream die.