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Phynix Blog

Parenting Teenagers in the Morning

Heather Neufeldt

Firstly I have to say that I love my girls; with everything that I am. They are two sweet, intelligent generous kids who will move on to change the world one day. That said - they make me crazy! I am not talking a little I am talking get out the straight jackets and padded cell crazy. The worst for me is the morning. I am not a morning person, never have been. My husband learned early in our marriage that I’m not going to be hopping out of bed in the morning a la Snow White or Cinderella singing with cute birds and forest animals surrounding me. Nope I’m probably closer to an annoyed mole rat - blind (without contacts or glasses), running into things, and randomly grunting. So he approaches me with caution in the morning: cup of tea in hand. My children just have not gotten the memo. My older daughter regularly comes running down yelling about not being able to find a shirt or pair of jeans. (Sidebar - this daughter prefers to keep her clothes in convenient piles on her bedroom floor. Thus making finding things such as t-shirts and jeans ‘easy’ for her?) She will storm - loudly and mostly panicked - into my bedroom and start searching through my clothes. I don’t tend to wear crop tops and jeans that are so ripped they might as well be shorts so I never know why she looks through my things. But this method of waking is disturbing to say the least. If I get up and groggily help her it isn’t fast or thorough enough and if I try to stay in bed I’m a horrible person and I don’t “understaaaaaaand” how important today is for her. Good morning Mom. My younger daughter prefers to play brinkmanship and see just how late she can arise and still make it to school before the morning bell. Another “fun” habit of this daughter is to set her alarm as loud as possible and then ignore it. At one point she had both our dogs from China in her bedroom.; when they woke up at dawn she slept through it. They barked and whined and scratched the door - and they ended up pooping in her room - all while she was asleep, leaving me to come upstairs to get the dogs and still need to wake the child! She also, helpfully, decides to sleep anywhere and everywhere randomly. The basement sofa, the bean bag in the game room, the guest room in the basement and so on. Luckily with her habit of setting her alarm to wake the dead I am usually able to find her relatively easily (see above mole rat reference). Her particular irritating habit is not showering the night before so when she wakes up with three minutes to get ready she gets insanely angry (at both her sister and myself) about not having time to shower. Great, more angry teen angst at the best time of the day for me. I do try to make breakfast. When we first moved back from China I went all in for breakfast. Seriously, I would make French toast, pancakes, poached eggs - you name it and I would make it. But then a minor problem presented itself, they did name it… all of them older daughter wanted pancakes, younger daughter wanted French toast and hubby wanted poached eggs on the same morning. You know those Moms who plan the night before for breakfast and lunch and are prepared for whatever the kids and hubby throws at them? That’s. Not. Me. I am the exhausted Mom who staggers into the kitchen running into the center island who ends up exploding the pod in the coffee maker and swearing her head off. Breakfast is a struggle but I love my kids (who by the way are big enough to make their own breakfast) so I try to pull it off. I will admit I am not successful the majority of the time. But when I do make the effort the usual response is one daughter crying or yelling and the other telling me that they aren’t hungry. I know, I know why try? I still haven’t figured that one out. Once that is finished we get into the car. A while ago my husband cancelled our Sirius XM subscription so I was providing the music from my phone. This, apparently, was not OK. Younger daughter would immediatly put in headphones at a volume so high that you could hear her music from other cars. This habit creates issues with older daughter who can’t hear her music, (she sits in the front because she is the first one dropped off) which she insists on for at least five of the ten minutes it takes to get to school. In addition to music we have the “I forgot my…” or “you took my…” and the perennial “I feel like crap - gag gag gag”. There are honestly days when I want an ejector button. The first fight, tears or whining and bang out they go. I have also toyed with the idea of carrying a squirt gun and squirting them when they annoy me - the same method used for dogs. I have played that scenario (crying because they are wet, screaming at me, or causing the police to pull me over because of erratic driving and if I can’t handle my own teens I am not going to do well with the police) out in my head and it isn’t worth it. Some days are good; like the day we saw a snow rainbow and spent the whole ride singing the Rainbow Connection together. But that’s kind of like winning the lottery while simultaneously being struck by lightening. IE Rare, very rare. Next year my eldest will have her drivers license so my driving the girls to school is a finite experience. I’m sure that I will miss… that is a total lie I am not going to miss it I am going to sleep in.