I am the very proud mother of two teenagers. Teenagers are what you get when adorable, loving, cuddly children move towards independence and young adulthood. Throw in some raging hormones -- both theirs and yours -- and let's just say it's not always easy navigating the waters right now. I live in Bite Your Tongueville. Here are some examples of what I mean:
Scenario: It's the weekend and my son has been glued to a screen playing video games for at least seven consecutive hours. Not unlike the zombies with whom he is doing battle, he is so deeply focused on the game that he can no longer hear or respond to human speech, at least not my human speech.
What I say: I say nothing. He won't hear me, remember? I stalk him, waiting for his need to go to the bathroom to force him to hit the pause button and then I cautiously make my move. It is then that I say, "That game seems like fun. I'm glad dad bought it for you."
What I really mean: It is a beautiful day outside. Why aren't you out in the backyard kicking a soccer ball around or playing fetch with the dog? Have you even noticed that she's pawed your arm to the point of blood trying to get you to play with her? And what exactly was your father thinking when he decided feeding your addiction was good parenting?
Scenario: It is past 11 p.m. and my daughter has been holed up in her room all evening doing homework. As I pass by her closed door, I hear voices coming from the other side. I gently knock and push open the door.
What I say: Oh, sorry Honey! I thought you had fallen asleep with your light on. I didn't realize you were Skyping.
What I really mean: What are you thinking? You should have been asleep by now! You have to get up in a few hours and drive to school. And by the way, who is that kid on the Skype screen who has now seen me in my underwear?
Scenario: My 17-year-old daughter has been driving for precisely 392 days, 11 hours and 13 minutes. Because of where we live, she must drive on winding mountain roads and highways. She announces that she plans to drive herself to the movies where she will meet friends. It's a late show.
What I say: Have a great time! Text me when you get there.
What I really mean: Please let us drop you off. Do you have any idea what kind of crazy drunks will be on the road at midnight? Oh, and by the way, if I don't get a text in an hour, I will drive over to the theater and search the parking lot for your car.
Scenario: We are in a mall trying to find a dress for my daughter (who hates malls and hates dresses) to wear to an upcoming event. She is grumpy and doesn't want to try anything on.
What I say: You know your tastes better than I do, so why don't you just pick a few and go try them on? I'll run and fetch you different sizes so you don't have to undress more than once.
What I really mean: I hate this as much as you do and the blaring music in this store that sells slutty looking dresses for teenagers is giving me a migraine. But this is a first-world problem if ever there ever was one, so how about we just get on with things, move along and not make this any more painful than it needs to be?
Scenario: We are sightseeing in a major city on vacation. My son walks 20 feet ahead of me; his sister brings up the rear, texting her friends back home while we walk.
What I say: Hey guys, I need your help reading the map on my phone, so do you think you could help? You are both so much better at it than I am.
What I really mean: My mother's curse worked. I have children who turned out just like me as a teenager.
What do YOU think? What are some things you say -- and what do you really mean?
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