Sunday, July 11, 2010

sanity and your teenage daugter...and other such stuff


HOW DO I DEAL WITH IT?..........................................

A typical day for my nearly (3 days away) 13yr old daughter Emma-Kate usually starts off with a sleepy bad hair day and cranky mood. When I say cranky mood (cranky moods are only conveyed BY her TO people who are OVER 16 or UNDER 12). Anyone within that 4 year age gap is exempt and met with “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” type smiles, and “what can I do or give you to make you like me and be in your TRIBE” looks. Usually in the time it takes her to turn on her ‘HAIR STRAIGHTENER’; LAPTOP; IPHONE……she’s usually good for a grunt or nod.
From what I’ve been told by the powers that be, and I have only met one of these fantastic super humans with magical teenage powers to have your aggressively rude “ on the cusp teen” in wide eyed mesmerizing hypnotic attention that is only directed only at “them the superhuman 1”, in the past week mind you, is that I have to “BACK OFF”.
Now this superhuman intelligence that is able to communicate with your fretful teenager, all worried and full of angst over what’s going to immediately change in their lives (for the worse……God forbid, you may just make them perhaps “T U R N A W A Y ….F R O M T H E
L A P T O P………..” , to kindly and ever so gently ask them what culinary delight that you’ve studied Masterchef episodes for hours on end to perfect, would be palatably agreeable for them for dinner.

NOTE: IDEA FOR Sticker or whatever:
NEVER EVER ASK YOUR TEENAGER TO TURN AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP…..LET ALONE…. STEP AWAY FROM IT…….it just doesn’t bare thinking about because every time you do you will end up curling up into the foetal position and whimpering sounds will emit from a hole in your head which used to be called YOUR MOUTH that you ‘used to’ communicate to your baby child with….BUT NOW THAT’S ALL COME TO PASS….as they say in the Bible.
I am sure that this woman looked at me as if I was some idiotic, neurotic (can you have those two words in the same sentence) controlling type of mother who is clearly deranged and has no sense or sensibility when it comes to teenage girls. It’s a bit like when I was in 33 hour labour with the ‘She Devil’ child. The nurse came along after me being 2 weeks and 2 days over due date, induced twice then given the halls of the hospital to pace up and down for hours on end to try and bring on the devil child. She said to me, and it was about 10-15 hours into what ‘I OBVIOUSLY THOUGHT’ was labour………”Oh no darling, this is just pre-labour your experiencing……this isn’t actual labour”, I could have smothered her with a bean bag…..or as I was in the labour bathing suite…..a soothing hospital sick green surrounding me and my partner that didn’t quite do the trick as I felt ill for most part of it, hit her over the head with the rotating shower head.
Anyhow, this A.M person was strongly on my daughter’s side and I felt that she was just a tad condescending towards me too. I may have imagined it, but I just had to put it out there. Maybe she was a teenpire dressed in mature woman drag. Dunno.
Suddenly being 13 sounds like pure ‘BLISS’. In innocence we know of no boundaries and ‘LIFE’ is larger than life itself; ‘WRONG’ is not a word; Fear is in the not knowing and ‘LOVE’ is some thing to look forward to.

Since seeing this Superpower of the Teenage world. I’m going to call her ………A.M as opposed to P.M which is frightfully succinct given that your girl teenpire has something like P.M.S, but times it by one million.
I have backed off, I have spoken softly, asked gently, coaxed nicely, hugged emotionally, cried uncontrollably. I have sat her down and begged, I’ve made pinky promises (which don’t really work after they turn 10 because they start to learn a new ‘communication by hand culture’ (which may I add; they lovingly and to my constant distress, impart on to any younger siblings who think its 100% outrageously funny to hold up their middle finger to all and sundry whilst your out shopping, driving, posting letters, or even to a chook your preparing to roast for dinner, anywhere or anything really…)
I’ve made appointments with the so called teen-child-woman (I say this in this order because it changes from one minute to the next….you just don’t know where you stand with this ……this…….this ………”ANDROID” FROM PLANET “SPIT THE DUMMY”). I have reduced my answers to any of her questions with nods or grunts (be careful “HOW” you nod or grunt too because these little android babies are very susceptible to the wrong inflection in your grunt or the slightest degree of a turn in your nod…………… WILL AND SHALL BE MET WITH VERY LOUD DECIBLES ..I think from memory after the last lot of scientists came and measured her with their current International standards for sound leveling meter performance; which is IEC 61672:2003 and this mandates the inclusion of an A-frequency-weighting filter and also describes other frequency weightings of C and Z (zero) frequency weightings. Which basically means “it’s really freakin high pitched and hurts your freakin ears so that your deaf for days…..and then your husband asks you time and time again why “YOU” yell……..because the clever little devils usually do it whilst one “chosen” parent is out of the house so that when the “chosen” parent comes back into the home after hunting and gathering all day and they are tired, the clever little buggers, push all your buttons so that you end up screaming OR yelling , whichever is the closest to the frontal lobe for the dear little pets….and then they point the finger at you and say, with a certain amount of emotion, perhaps a couple of crocodile tears thrown in for good measure and the very look on their face that say’s “please come to my rescue Daddy”,
“dad, she’s been going off at me like this all day….she’s in a foul mood…look at her…she’s a lunatic”……….
Hmmmmm, you can see where this is going can’t you. You’re intelligent enough I know it.
The word “SHE” is what I am referred to as these days. I used to be a mother, mummy, mamma, mum, ma, mmm…m… penny, wife, even Bitch would be a compliment at this late stage…………………..BUT
“SHE”……… pronoun pl: they; the woman, girl, or female animal (or, sometimes, the thing regarded as female) previously mentioned
Lets get very very serious now at least for a paragraph or two. My husband of 1 year and 29 days; partner of 14yrs 29 days; father to our two babies; one of which I am referring to heavily in this manuscript. I’ve often thought he/ my husband, may just go and check on the first one born, to see if it really is his, but he knows what the prognosis/ outcome/ result would be, its futile, because he often sais that his baby girl has the same temper as he does. YES BUT HE’S NOT A SHE…….biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference……
We, Us, Our Family is in crisis at the moment. And its not just all about the ‘She devil’. On the upside Emma is a stunningly beautiful girl who at 12 going on 13 and with the correct makeup (we’ll go there later……) looks bloody 17 not 13. (at this point in time and as now a mother, I am grateful for the proof of i.d cards that are now in use……..not like the early 80’s where we could sneak in the pub to dance to live bands with obscure names like ‘10th AVENUE’ OR ‘MONKEY SQUARE’…………not drink though…………definitely NOT..). She is sooooo capable of getting A++++ on her school reports. She totally thinks outside the square when it comes to any school assignments (Mum taught her that…..pfffttt).
And apparantly ….and I don’t know how true this is as I am not the least bit interested in it…………… she is the ‘ducks nuts’ (do they still use this expression or do I just say….’MAD’ ) when it comes to knowing all the “CODES/ NUMBERS OR WHATEVER” to “DO UP FRIEND’S “MYSPACE” ACCOUNTS…………….mmm (what does it all mean….???? Think GIANT QUESTIONMARK ABOVE MY HEAD RIGHT NOW….). She has teeth that any teenage model would kill (well ….at least maim for.. except her ‘regular basis’ theory on brushing them just isn’t cutting it….I TOLD HER ONCE OR TWICE A DAY…..NOT ONCE OR TWICE EVERY SIX MONTHS). She has skin that any cosmetic company would be proud to call their own signature look/ let alone pay her mega bucks to spruke about products she doesn’t even use cause its all in the genes ….about. She’s totally and utterly normal in every way shape and form and as usual still thinks she’s FAT which makes me seethe under my breath every time she sais it. Christ my thigh is way bigger than her waist measurement…..THAT’S FAT HONEY….you just wait till you start pumping out mini me’s (mini you’s) then you’ll know exactly what it will mean and you will have what OPRAH calls a ‘lightbulb moment’ and darlin that’s a huge 300watt-ER of a lightbulb moment that’s gunna blind you like a set of 60 year old cataracts, right there….
Lets get back to A.M…
From what she sais, and she must be right is that our “teen- babies” are under a whole lotta new stresses thesedays. This is what she said, truly.
Never mind the stresses that their parents are under, and whether we’re 28 or 48 as parents. We only have to provide for them. Now under the word “Provision” and according to the ‘She Devil’ ………………….. OUR ‘She Devil’, we are her parents and we are supposed to feed (this actually means hand to mouth…….the fact that they just don’t make highchairs for 13yr olds anymore doesn’t count for diddly squat. (scuse me for goin all red-necky and southern on yau’ll and sounding from part of a country I don’t even come from. OH don’t worry, it’s all perfectly normal, you’ll see. Try and look at it as kind of a self protection mode that you develop…it comes in handy if you know how to use it appropriately)
Now, getting back to provision –
PROVISION: noun. a providing, preparing, or supplying of something. something provided, prepared, or supplied for the future; a stock of food and other supplies
BE VEWY VEWY CAREWFUL: it’s the ‘supplies’ word you want to worry about. Vewy vewy twicky.
Supplies or sundries actually better categorised as SUNDRIES: noun. 1, whatchamacallit, stuff, whatsis, sundry, sundries. miscellaneous unspecified objects; "the trunk was full of stuff"
Clothes, toys, makeup, hair stuff, toiletries, ipods, shuffles, laptops, computers, iphones, plasma teles, dvds, dvd players, anything expensive from Freedom furniture, cushions, ottomans, knick knacks, precious little things, doona’s, various quilt covers, underwear, sunglasses, camera’s, makeup bags, candles, books (huh….got sucked right in with those Twilight books didn’t we just and what a load of morose, self indulgent, depressing crap that turned out to be,even if it was vampires, talk about suck the blood, suck the bucks you mean), cds (although if they have a laptop they usually download a little thingy called Lemonwire or something and get their songs from that illegally and what eventually causes their expensive laptops to meltdown), shoes, thongs, bikinis, board games, writing materials, pens, papers, magazines, chocolate wrappers (OOPS HOW DID THEY GET THERE….) dangly crystal beaded lamps, posters, prints, ornaments, (WHOOPS ….MORE CHOCOLATE WRAPPERS AND A DRINK BOTTLE) country road bags (that they begged and pleaded for and said that they would do anything for a month for and loved you just for that moment in which they were begging……AND ….you loved them for it and bought it even though it was part of the ‘something to pay a bill’ with money) money, coins, wallets, purses, little conversation cards (that was a dud buy……conversation cards……pffft ……why would she even want those when shes got ….M….S….N….der mum) photo frames, bits of expensive fluff and dirt and well straightened hair with all the expensive creams, potions, lotions, masks, masques, leave-in-treatments…..I could literally go on for hours…and I’m going to …

I’m tired.,…its 2.45am and my hands are shaking and I think I can hear my beloved banging about in the kitchen or its just my imagination , who knows, I need sleep, I shall and will tell you all about the makeup, the clothes, the hair straightener, the school and the lookalikes, etc tomorrow….as my 8 yr old lies beside me ‘as usual’ in the marital bed (that’s another story I will tell you too…) looking perfectly and princessing-ly every bit of her toothless *8*….I wonder will I be around to see her go through it all …but….and but…
ZZZZZZ………..SLEEP …..its my greatest, truest and trusted friend now. It never lets me down, never gives up on me and respects me enough not to talk back to me. Hell, it’s cheap. Besides, friends take up way too much time, money and energy – none which I have much of anymore. Bar humbug they are so over-rated.
JOY……is being alone in the toilet, preferably in the dark for at least 2-3 minutes. My record is about 1 minute 57 seconds and then 1 of 3 things usually happen.
• My little shadow, Olivia finds me…………
• My husband yells out to me and wants to know where the toenail clippers are (where they always are, in the whatnot basket above the fridge in the cupboard……they have lived there for 14 years ever since I have known he actually cuts his nails on the carpet for us to step on….one of his loving traits…..)
• Primal screams come from the lounge-room or any other room for that matter in what appears to be ancient sibling rivalry over a hair clip or a sock…..blood is usually drawn.
You know, I sometimes find myself gazing longingly at the mummies who are taking their perfectly wonderfully behaved neat clean, exceptionally dressed and coiffured children, usually daughters, to dance classes, sports or just out shopping for the day. No tears, no screaming, no silent voids across the passenger seat as they gaze out into a world they are so desperate to experience but too afraid to tell you “Happy little vegemites, as bright as bright can be”. Having perfect relationships with each other, its called ‘getting along’, I believe. . These perfect people; I have never been one of . I’ve never been your stock standard aussie happy little vegemite type of a person. I was always the one on the side, always the one left over in sports games, the odd one out, a bit quirky was me, with sometimes a weird sense of humour that took people off guard. I was never oily or dry (remember that ad….you had to be there!). Never quite that attractive, never skinny or svelt, never quite tall enough, had chubby chipolata sausage fingers that I was so ashamed of and an ingrown toenail to boot that used to cause me no end of grief. Bloated and looking suspiciously like an alarming ‘Shrek Green’ colour for most part. I used to hide it in the sand on the beach or agonisingly stuffed into tacky chinese happy shoes or worse, espadrilles that laced up my oversized ‘bombastic’ (more of a descriptive word for calves, don’t you think …see below paragraph for reference point) legs.
“That girl is so BOMBASTIC…..:” my Dad used to say. Why say that to an 11yr old. ‘Bombastic’, such a harsh, BIG, dreadful ogre of a word to describe a child. ‘Overbearing’ would have been a better word. At least I could have understood remotely what it meant back then. Not near as horrid as the ‘B’ word.
Remember that song in the 80’s by someone called Charlotte someone or other. “I’ve never been to me…..”, well I do, and I have, and I don’t like it one little bit. I’m there all the fucking time, I wanna go somewhere else for crise’sake’s. JUST …FOR A CHANGE.
This thing that is happening to our family, this ever erupting volcano spewing out a combination of bad luck; sickness; things and events beyond our control; stress and anxiety like a conscious reminder to us as adults; of all things done wrong, said wrong and that are wrong with us as human beings, parents, individuals, man, woman and child.
Its been nearly two weeks since my beloved husband made attempts to suicide. What a bloody cop out. He thought he might take the easy way out. Instead, what resulted was a bungled and cowardly act after plying himself with copious amounts of cheap cask wine from 1 o’clock onwards and into the evening. Would the real Dr Jekyll like to stand up at this point. Throw a stone into a lake and see what happens. Throw a boulder and beware of the tidal wave of emotion, stress, anger, anxiety, instability, despair, hurt, pain, nothingness that will ensue and cause great waves of heartwrenching & tumultuous reactions and sufferings on all sides.
Every hour felt like days.

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