I may need a therapist when this is all over.

My mother raised two girls on her own, my sister being slightly under 4 years older than me. Looking back, I understand that we were horrible teenagers and of course now I understand that you always reap what you sow! I look back at our fist fights, our disrespect, our laziness and I cringe…My sister even beat with me a Thigh Master (Thank you Suzanne Somers) Our mom probably deserved a medal for allowing us to grow into adults.

 Amber had the best perm ever!

I have never been disillusioned to thinking that my sister and I were sugar or spice or anything nice and this instilled a fear of raising daughters of my own.  Of course, I was blessed with two beautiful girls, who mean the world to me. The last two years I did realize that I do have an illusion about raising girls: attitudes start way before the teen years.

 I am preventing traumatic hair pictures for them.

There are many days that I feel like the Chief of Staff at a mental ward where my residents are all bipolar, ADHD, and have Intermittent Explosive Disorder and there are no warning signs to when an “episode” will occur. I am not making fun of mental illness, please do not take it in that way, I actually used to work in the field and I seem some striking resemblance between tween girls and my old workplace.

Dazed and Confused:  Planet earth to daughter, can you hear me? I can have a complete conversation with one of my daughters and at the end she will turn her head, gazing at me with a glazed over look and say “What did you say mom?” I am baffled, did I miss that moment when they became zombies? No matter how much electronics I limit in my home, I still have space cadets inhabiting my home 40% of the time. I don’t remember being an absent minded teenager; wait maybe I don’t remember because I cant remember or maybe the Thigh Master did some damage.

It’s cute how your head can spin around 360 degrees like that: Nothing changes faster than the emotions of a girl, not even Midwest Weather. There are times that I feel compelled to call our priest and ask about an exorcism. I am sure I am not alone but there are times that I am so blind sided by an emotional outburst that I just stand there in pure amazement. Genevieve seems to suffer from the most drastic mood swings, it can be literally; happy to sad to anger in less than 5 minutes. It is hard to console someone when you (and her) aren’t even sure why a certain emotion is being felt.

Sorry our home is like living in a third world country: On the outside,it would appear as though my daughters live a privileged life: Private school, designer clothes, cell phones.. Do I need to go on. Some of these things are out of necessity, like private school (LA Public Schools need a lot of help in providing an acceptable education) and others are done because I want to. I find my desire to “want” to give them the best is dwindling. On Christmas, the girls reacted as though they received plastic fruit; not a full green screen and an IPod touch; the whole day was riddled with grumpiness and complaining, minus Liam, his reactions were of pure bliss and happiness (what a kid!).  It is not that I need gratification from the girls, just a courtesy of appreciation, I really do not think they comprehend all that is handed to them and entitlement does not settle well for me. I do remember though, that I too was this way and my mom continued to reinforce certain values and those have stuck.

So… This is puberty? And we are just entering it? So, an intelligent guess would say there are worse days ahead of us? Do I start crying now? I do understand now why my mother didn’t drop us off to a remote forest with steak necklaces now… It is because she could see past the fist fights, the back talk, the dirty rooms, and the budget deficit. My mother saw what I see in my girls; smart, funny, and wildly strong young ladies who are learning about their world and testing those boundaries. So, I will keep them, I will continue to take it one day at a time but I will never, I repeat never bring a Thigh Master into my home.

 Sorry Suzanne Somers.

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