RIVENBARK

'I'm here' says it all, even with raging hormones

McClatchy-Tribune News ServiceSeptember 26, 2010 

It seems a tad unfair that Duh Hubby must live in a house with two females who are at exact opposite ends of the, er, hormonal spectrum.

In this corner, weighing in at 100 pounds, with thicker hair than I ever had (not that I'm jealous 'cause that would be creepy), and carping about her unreasonable bedtime, is the Princess, 13. In this corner, cursing loudly about the temperature of the room and simultaneously eating Pringles straight from an upturned can that sprays chip shards all over the floor, is me. We're a pretty picture.

In all fairness, the Princess is handling the hormonal shift way better than I am. Most days. But then there are the days when we must tiptoe around one another's mood swings.

Me: "Princess, can you take the trash out?"

P: "Moooommmm, you know I just straightened my hair and it took me, like, forever."

Me: "And does that render you unable to take the trash out ... sweetie?"

P: (calmly and slowly, as though talking to a simpleton) "It's just that you always ask me to do stuff when I've got other stuff to do."

Me: "It'll only take a minute. God, it's hot in here. I mean it's just taking the trash out and placing it in the can. I'm not asking you to WALK TEN MILES TO THE LANDFILL AND DELIVER IT TO THE GUY WITH THE ONE EYE IN THE CENTER OF HIS FOREHEAD!"

P: "You're making that up. And it's kinda mean. And why do I have to go to bed at nine-thirty on a school night when nobody else does?"

Me: "And if everyone else ..."

P: "I swear if the next words you say involve walking off cliffs, I am going to LOSE IT!"

Me:

P: "OK, I'll take out the trash. But I have to send a few dozen texts first. They'll be going to a bunch of kids you don't know and probably wouldn't approve of and they'll include a lot of abbreviations you don't understand because you're like a hundred years old not to mention very sweaty lately..."

OK, that's not a direct quote, but it's close. Actually, I don't mind the texting so much. This summer, I've embraced texting because I've discovered that you can pick up your kid WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR CAR. I just sit out front at the appointed pick-up location, text "I'm here" and I don't even have to interact with another human being. In my pajamas. It is glorious. Gone is the forced small talk with some parent you barely know. "I'm here." Done.

Hair angst is a recurring theme for both of us. Bows, barrettes, and bands are placed carefully then jerked out and tossed across the room accompanied by foot stomping and shrieking. And if you think that's bad, you should see how the Princess acts about HER hair.

It's OK. At the end of the day, no matter what, the same text says it all. From her to me, and me to her, "I'm here."

www.celiarivenbark.com

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