Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, December 22, 2008

How the Girl ruined Hanukkah

It was the worst of times. It was not the best of times. It sucked. I cried. A lot.

Yesterday the Girl begged to go to Boyfriend's house for a while. There were to be both teenage mothers and babies there for party and she wanted to see the newest of the babies. They were decorating a Christmas tree. It was going to be festive. Please, please let me go!

I told her about 10 times that she absolutely HAD to be home before 4 pm, as it was candlelighting time. Over and over I reiterated BEFORE 4 pm. She agreed. No problem. She would be there with bells on. It was going to be fine. She was responsible, she would be home.

You know what happened next. 4 pm came and went. At 4:30 she called and told me she would be home in a few minutes. 5 pm came and went. At 5:30 I called and she was still at her boyfriend's house. I was livid. LIVID. I told her to get her ass home right that second.

She got home at 6. Two freaking hours late. No apology whatsoever. The second she walked into the house she started on her iTunes gift card. She wanted to upload songs onto Boyfriend's brand new IPod touch. I mentioned we needed to light candles. She went right on with the damn iTunes. She asked the Boy. She asked his friend. She had all kinds of questions and wanted to go onto the computer. I kept interrupting her but she WOULD NOT give up on it. I was getting madder and madder. I could feel steam pouring out of my ears.

We went to light candles and she sat down at the computer. Even with company I lost it. I really did. I had freaking had it. I made her stand up and light candles but she would not do the prayers. No participation at all. I'm getting madder.

The second the candles were blessed, she started on the iTunes card again. I shot her a look and she got a clue and asked if she could open the only presents there were, from a friend of ours. I said sure, and she made a really nasty comment. REALLY nasty. And then opened the present, which admittedly was a terrible choice, and got all high and mighty and even nastier. She complained vehemently about the present like it was MY choice and MY doing. It was not. And she knows from experience not to expect a relevant gift from this particular person. But she would not let it go.

I gave her fair warning that I was just about done with her. I went into the kitchen and asked the Boy to get out the food processor, so I could grate the potatoes and onions for latkes. When he did, the grating attachment was missing. I asked the Girl to look for it and first she ignored me, and then when I asked her more forcefully she gave me this crap about not knowing what I was looking for and how she couldn't find it and she had no clue what it was blah blah blah.

Well, that was about it for me. I threw up my hands and said "I'm done" and walked into the living room and sat down on the sofa and burst into tears. And right in front of me was the GD iTouch and iTunes gift card, so I took it and hid it from her. She marches into the living room, sees that it's missing, and goes ballistic.

She's going to call the police and report me for stealing the iTouch. She gets right into my face and she's screaming at me and calling me every name in the book, and and threatening me and I just sat there in tears. She marches upstairs to call the Boyfriend and comes down and smashes the phone into my face because she wants me to talk to him. I refuse. I have nothing to say to him. Again she threatens to call the police. Because I "stole" the iTouch. The child is delusional. I am now so furious that I know if she comes near me I'm going to blow. I tell her that she's grounded for two weeks and I will be taking her paycheck for the next month for the way she's behaved.

She goes APESHIT. But Boy's friend, who has his own family issues, tells her it's perfectly legal and that she's a minor and that everything that she thinks is hers belongs to me, including her paycheck. That his parents took his paycheck too several times.

Aha! Light dawns over Marblehead.

One thing I know about the Girl is that she listens to other kids when she WILL NOT listen to me. Because I'm only 56 years old and have lived a long and interesting life, so what the hell do I know? I'm her mother. Ugh.

Upstairs she goes for the night, and I do not see her again. The Boy and I eat leftovers and watch some TV. I cry pretty much all night long. I'm just so DONE. I have nothing left to give this kid because she is so not appreciative and she just berates me and treats me like hired help. It's enough.

However... this morning the Boy's missing jacket reappears. We both searched the entire house about 5 times looking for this jacket, and this morning it is under the chair in the front hall. It was NOT there last night. So either we have house elves, or the Girl had hidden it as some kind of a mean joke, and decided that it might not be taken well in this climate. Whatever. At least the jacket has re-appeared.

And that's how the Girl ruined Hanukkah.

The end.

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Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ugh, crappy night for sure. So sorry for it all. (and hiding the stuff? I TOTALLY would do that!)

22/12/08 4:18 PM  
Blogger TX Poppet said...

My money is on the house elves. Now for the important things, how did your latkes come out?

22/12/08 4:22 PM  
Blogger jodifur said...

i know this doesn't help right now, but I was a horrible teenager, mean awful, nasty, all things your daughter is now. And I'm a perfectly lovely responsible adult who has a wonderful relationship with her parents. Teenage girls are awful. There is nothing to say.

Happy Hanukkah. I hope tonight is better.

22/12/08 4:37 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

What jodifur said? Goes double for me.

I hope you had a better day today.

22/12/08 6:25 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

I'm so, so sorry to hear that your daughter behaved that way. Who was it that said they can't believe modern medicine hasn't come up with a way yet to skip right over adolescence?

I'll third what jodifur and Robin said. I wasn't a horrible teenager, but I remember doing and saying some horrible things and behaving really selfishly around the holidays a few times, making my mom cry in similar fashion. And my brother WAS a horrible teenager. And now, we're both kind and thoughtful to our parents and productive members of society. I know that doesn't really help right now, as what your daughter did and said was hurtful. :-(

I'd give you a hug if I could!

22/12/08 8:22 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Aw guys, you are so kind. Thank you. I WAS a horrible teenager and I have no relationship at all with my family (father deceased) so it hits me really hard when she behaves this way.

We haven't found the grater attachment for the cuisinart, but I gave in and ordered one from amazon after searching for over an hour for one online. The cuisinart is so old that I'm just PRAYING that this is the right attachment. I got it when I was in grad school, in the late 70's. They last forever!

When the attachment comes, we'll make latkes.

22/12/08 8:43 PM  
Blogger Rhea said...

Cripes, I don't know how you do it. Can't they just be 18 already!?!?

23/12/08 9:53 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

You know, I can totally hear the stress that exists in your life, with your health issues and single parenthood, but there is a way to learn how to speak to teenagers so that they are respectful to you (and you to them, it must be said).

Teen years CAN be a delight - so much is going on in their young lives, wouldn't it be great to be a part of it?

Parenthood isn't easy, but if you view it as a journey, you can give yourself permission to learn additional skills that will create the homelife and relationships you want to have.

I urge you to take a look at the following book: "How to Talk so Teenagers will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk"

(Amazon link: mazon.com/How-Talk-Teens-Will-Listen/dp/0060741252).

It might just help you to get to where you want all of you to be.

Best of luck.

27/12/08 11:32 PM  

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