This is, just possibly, the dumbest sentence I have ever uttered sober, outside of “Sure, let’s have a baby! Actually, there’s a pretty good chance I had knocked back a few Pete’s Wicked Ales when that second sentence left my mouth. In fact, I know I had.
Having now established that I was not intoxicated (nor have I been for quite a few years now) when I made this, quite sensible, but (I would think) rarely necessary declaration, I’ll bet that you’re just on the edge of your seat, awaiting the details that would have compelled such a statement to come out of my mouth. I’ll get to that.
First, you need to understand that my very typical teenager and her iPhone are rarely seen in different locations. This includes the bathroom. Admonishments from her very frugal and level-headed mother notwithstanding, this behavior had become problematic (mostly for me).
Being “some kind of lunatic” (her words) about the iPhone’s precarious position on the edge of the sink in a steamy bathroom (You have that image, right? Of the $500 iPhone teetering on the edge of the curved surface of our pedestal sink. And the steam. You see it seeping into the little do-hickeys on the sides of the iPhone, right?) was causing a significant “rift” (think San Andreas fault-sized divide) in what has recently become a tempestuous relationship. In an attempt to quash some of the negativity that has infiltrated my formerly placid home environment, I made a conscious decision to change my approach. I decided to try funny.
Whenever I would hear the shower, I would yell this (or variations on this) to the showerer: “Is your iPhone in there with you? Are you sexting? Because unless you are sexting there is no reason for your iPhone to be in there. You’re a little young to be worried about breaking a hip and needing to dial 911. If you’re sexting, I’ll need to know. So that we can start packing. Your father could not weather that sort of scandal. He still thinks you believe in Santa!” I will refrain from reporting her responses (so that we all— but, mainly so that I— can continue to labor under the delusion that she is a nice kid).
Whether she just grew tired of my harping or she admired my attempts at humor, I’ll never know. But, the iPhone ceased to be a part of her morning toilette. Hallelujah!
A few weeks ago Fangette got herself a job at the local movieplex. She comes home from work smelling of popcorn, synthetic butter, and Goobers. The other day she regaled me with a “toilet plunging” story. (Now that’s something I would like to have seen. It was news to me that she was even familiar with a plunger!). She comes home tired. Ripping tickets is, apparently, taxing on her fragile adolescent bones. She also comes home starving. So, the first thing she does is peel off her smelly clothes. The first thing I do, is rustle her up some grub.
When I opened her door to ask her what kind of culinary masterpiece she was expecting at 10 o’clock at night, there she was, sitting on her bed, typing away on her laptop in nothing but her bra and panties. Of course I asked her if she was sexting. How could I not? After four hours of standing on her feet (Why can’t they give her a chair? Because that’s why they call it work!) and vaguely pointing patrons in the general direction of their assigned theaters (“Mom, they’re in numerical order. Why are people so stupid?” I know. I know. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I haven’t the heart to tell her that it really never gets better, this working with the public thing.), she’s plum done out. Who wouldn’t be? I told her to save the sexting for the morning (like she usually does) and to put on some clothes. Then I went out to make her some soup. Because she had a better chance of seeing God or the real Santa, than she did of getting steak and mashed potatoes out of me.
Admittedly, I let my attention wander. What, with fielding questions about stupid people and making soup, I was on overload myself. I heated up the soup, placed it on the kitchen table, and went back to what I had been doing, which may or may not have involved potato chips, onion dip, and lounging on the sofa. I had barely made a dent in the couch cushion when I heard her screaming. Screaming. Like something was after her. I jumped up to investigate. It turns out that she had taken the soup back to her room and decided to eat it while catching up on all the tweets and tumblr posts she had missed in her four-hour absence. (For those of you unfamiliar with “teenage time”, this is like days. If you’re a fruit fly it’s about 25% of your life. So, it’s all relative.)
It was then, when I arrived post-soup spillage, that I found myself saying, “Did you spill that soup on your MacBook? On your iPhone? No. Good. Don’t eat soup in your panties!” After we spent some time attending to the very minor burn on her thigh and to the clean up that spilling soup on your leg and bed requires, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I cannot believe you asked me about my laptop and my iPhone before you even looked at my leg.” I explained that replacing those items would cost upwards of $1000. Skin, on the other hand, grows back for free. I think you can send your “Mother of the Year” nominations to Good Housekeeping or some other such publication.
photo credit: allthingsd.com