Pre-Teenage Wasteland

The teenage angst is both palpable and painful in the Cooper household this summer. All the more painful because we don't actually have a teenager, thank you very much. We DO have a bored, spoiled, ungrateful and sometimes very sweet PRE-teen, however, and I think that's quite enough.

Suddenly, she's talking on the phone to her friend who is in Arizona visiting her father for four weeks. I try not to listen because it only ends up making me mad and wanting to tell stories about how, "When *I* was young, I had to work in the fields picking cotton and my mother would never drive me ANYWHERE. This is very different from YOUR mother, who would gladly drive you somewhere if only you would MUSTER SOME FREAKING ENTHUSIASM about going somewhere--ANYWHERE!"

See, she makes me talk in all caps. That can't be good.

Anyway, I hear her say, "I'm already bored of summer," in her long-suffering, Forced to Live Among the Muggles voice and I have to pour myself a diet coke with some rum in it immediately. I manage to keep from snatching the phone away from her and beating her with it and sit down on the sofa to reason all this out. (Maybe my boot is too tight.)

This is the thirteenth day of summer vacation. We have, roughly, another 300,000 days to get through. We not only have a pool in our backyard, we also belong to a community pool. She is signed up for piano, horseback riding and dance camp and she was adamantly opposed to the latter. I had to vacate my previously strongly held position about over-scheduling children who don't want to be over-scheduled and yelled asserted (firmly and kindly) that she needed some sort of activity besides reading and eating goldfish and by GOD, she was good at dance and she was going to camp and she WOULD like it.

Don't get me wrong, I really do think it's a good thing for her to get bored in the summer--because if summer is so much fun --, like, a virtual party every minute (that I get to pay for), she will never want to go back to school in late August, which currently seems about six years from now.

I sit, seething, and then I hear, "Oh, but we ARE doing this thing that's super fun. My mom and I are redecorating my doll house and it is, like, SO COOL."



Underneath that teenage camouflage she's trying on this summer is still my nine-year-old.


Tiffany said…
Oh, just wait. Just wait. NEXT summer, Calling Boys begins. They don't actually have anything to say yet...there's a lot of hanging up interspersed with trading insults...but I haven't seen my cordless phone for a couple of weeks unless I caught a glimpse of it out the window while my daughter and one of her friends was walking by.