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January 05, 2009

Raising Teenagers With My Eyes Wide Shut!

My middle girl child (11 at the time) needed a photograph of herself for a school project and I was prepared (for once) to offer up some pretty good examples of my futzing around (yes, it's a word!) and organizing some of our family pictures.

So, after only a few minutes of zooming, cropping and clipping, we finally agreed that the end result (see picture above) matched Thing Two's personality, perfectly!

Fun...a bit abstract...perhaps a little cool, even.

Then, she turned 13 (just a few days ago, in fact) her hormones kicked in and all hell broke lose on my face.

[flashback 15 years ago]

Everything I knew about raising kids I learned from watching television (wow, that would look great on a t-shirt) my husband and I didn't realize that tuning into The Cosby Show was like actually being afforded the opportunity to peek into our very own future...but, we went all ahead full (or, is it full speed ahead?) and had children, anyway.

Because Cliff and Clair Huxtable (i.e. mom and dad) made it look so easy?


Actually, I remember thinking to myself -- especially, during the episodes focused on dealing with Theo (their son) and his best friend, Cockroach -- holy crap, but boys are such knuckleheads!

And it's true.

Boys ARE knuckleheads (I've got one) but, raising girls is like entering a mental institution and not knowing whether or not you're a patient, or just visiting.

Then, they become teenagers!


Take 1 pre-menopausal, 2 pre-menstrual and 1 pre-hormonal female, 1 man child bubbling over with testosterone, put 'em all together and what do you get?

[smacks forehead on laptop]

Someone, please pass me a bottle of pain-reliever and the remote...because I swear...I feel as if I'm living in a sitcom and I'd like to turn the channel, now...please.

[cue totally fake-sounding laugh track, now]

Oh, I can hear them now -- you know, those people who insist that whenever they hear a mother complain about her kids that she, you know, asked for it -- just what in the world did I expect?

[shrugs shoulders]

Truth be told, I'm not quite sure and (if you ask my kids) I really don't know much about anything, anymore.

Then, my middle woman child got really sick and all hell broke lose on her ass, literally.

Long story, short (you're welcome!) Thing Two went in for surgery right before the holidays and is currently in her last week of recovery.


"We need to be at the surgeon's in an hour."

[eyes go wide]

"I'm scared, Momma!"

Having been at this mommy gig for 15 years, now (seriously, I still canNOT wrap my head around the fact that I've got 2 teenagers in the house) so, I feel it safe to say that, you know, it NEVER gets any easier!

"Oh, it won't be bad, you'll be fine."

[eyes go wide]



"Seriously, considering what you've been through, having your stitches removed is going to be a piece of cake!"

Sort of.

"You'll be there, right next to me, right?"


"Yep, with my eyes wide shut!"

[heavy sigh]

I don't care how old your children are, raising kids is hard -- if you have teenagers, then you already know -- but, it's okay.

"Can we go to Starbucks, after?" 

I don't know what I'm doing, either.

"You betcha, I'll even let you order a grande frappuccino-whatever-the-heck-you-call-it, if you want!"

I've got a feeling, we're both gonna need it.

Original New Jersey Moms Blog post. Liz is a SAHM (an oxymoron, really) a columnist for the Imperfect Parent and insists on making other moms look good at thisfullhouse.com.


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