What Does Rum, a Pirate Costume and a Rebellious Teenager Have in Common?

Me.

I love my kids, more than anything. And like any parent, I will always love and support my kids, no matter what…sounds a little crazy, but it’s the truth. I’ve just experienced something that made me wonder if I’ve been living in an alternate reality that’s covered in rainbows, while I ride a three horned, purple unicorn, sipping the best cocktails ever to be made, placed in the prettiest of fruit carved drink holders, or if I’ve been asleep at the wheel this whole time. I’ve recently taken an online test and it says that I have been experiencing…a Rebellious Teenager.

Fucking hell.

The remedy? I need to get myself a Costco sized box of wine and a Texas Mickey containing rum. I was told to take whatever I need, whenever I need it. Aw hell, throw in a peg leg, pirate hat, stuffed parrot, plastic sword and an eye patch for shits and giggles…that’s exactly what bottles of rum should be sold with, seriously! The Texas Mickey should come with a pair of ass-less chaps, a plastic cowboy hat, an annoying pea whistle and a stick pony. Fun, right?

Maybe the judge will find it entertaining or take mercy upon me, after the cops find my drunk, swashbuckling, bare ass (except for my eye patch, peg leg, plastic sword and hat of course!) wandering the neighborhood, attempting to ward off my teenage daughter’s lovely ‘friends’. It seems to be the only thing that might deter the little shits from being assholes, but I won’t know for certain until I execute the plan and tabulate the results. My teenaged daughter should know, that my milkshake doesn’t bring anyone to the yard, and I know it’s better than hers. Sorry Honey, I have nothing to lose and you’ll learn that I’m the kind of person you shouldn’t fuck with, capeesh?

I apologize for not posting last week, but I was so busy enjoying my newfound affliction that I just merely lost track of time…I wish. I’ve been in mommy purgatory, counting every nanosecond while muttering strings of profanity under my breath. I even do it while asleep, impressive, isn’t it? So being the person I am, please accept my apologies and allow me to piss and moan about the current situation at hand before returning to my regularly scheduled droning. Cue the wine.

Ugh, teenagers

Last week, Lola, my barely teenaged daughter (13 years and a few months old…maturity level – terrible 2 year old) decided to basically fuck me over. Yeah, I love that little shit. Honestly, I do. I just never thought that I’d be faced with having to deal with the usual teenage bullshit because I thought my kid was smarter than that. And she is smarter than that, but her tiny little smart-ass teenaged brain decided that it was going to be a mastermind and flex its puny little muscles some more.

I’m disappointed, and that’s difficult even for me to say (through gritted teeth) because the kid actually used her brain and the power of thought process, to formulate the ultimate escape plan to evade us and sneak out of her room in the middle of the night. Not just once, but twice. Yeah, crazy huh? Little shit.

If she wasn’t my kid, I’d actually be a little impressed, but because she’s my kid, I’m a little pissed. Okay, a little more than pissed. I’ve been waking up each morning so heated, I don’t even need a coffee pot. I just toss cold water and coffee grounds into a cup and throw it back tequila style. Eat your heart out John Wayne, I’m one badass mother. Screw it.

We recently got the kid a cell phone because this crazy lock down really emphasized the need for a telephone with a screen, camera and no cord. How fucked up is that? Yup, get me my cane, apparently I’m old as fuck and don’t understand.

Back in my day (OMG…here we go), I was ‘lucky’ if my parents didn’t smack me upside the head for having the nerve to ask them to splurge on a single goddamn paper cup (let alone 2, heaven forbid! What are we, made of money? Here’s a glass from the cupboard and don’t break it, now go away…remember those days?) and let me cut some string (cut it? We can’t afford to cut it! We need to keep it all on the spool and reuse it…cut it, how irresponsible!) to make a bloody string phone. And now, these kids need the ultimate string-less phone because a real home phone won’t cut it. What the bloody hell? They can’t talk on a phone?

Bring back string phones…please

I’ve learned over the past two or so years, from Caelan, that they don’t use a phone to talk, they video chat. And by video chat, they do whatever they do while the other person does whatever they ‘does’ with this video chat app running. They sometimes act like the person may or may not even be there.

They don’t even look at each other, and sometimes they chat here and there while doing their own thing. Isn’t that something? Maybe it’s just my kid? Back in my day (ugh, here I go again), wouldn’t that be considered ‘ignoring’ that person? You know what I mean by ignore, they’re there and you don’t acknowledge them…is that not ignoring someone? Maybe Lola actually looks at her friends while talking, but I have no idea.

Everyday, I have to remind myself that I need to apply a filter (a filter that proverbially covers my mouth to conceal or revise what I say, not the kind that makes me look like a dog or have butterflies stuck to my face on an image in an app on a cell phone) all the time at home because I never know who’s listening in. My kids walk through the house with their tablets and I never know if they’re chatting with someone or not. I wish they’d put one of those big red lights on the back, that lights up when they’re chatting so I know when to go into stealth mode and shut my potty mouth.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a video chat kind of gal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely awesome, but it’s just not my bottle of rum. I don’t really like it because I feel that the cameras are intrusive. If I’m lounging at home with my Texas Mickey while wearing my ass-less chaps, I don’t really want you to know about it. I also don’t want to highlight the amazing things hidden within and up my nose with shitty camera angles. I’m sure you smell what I just stepped in.

Yeah, the days when Grandpa gets on the horn and he feels like he needs to be real close and all you see is a crusty eyeball, or Grams sticks it at an angle that you can see her prize winning homemade holey as fuck negligee from 1920, I’m just gonna say that I’m out. I’ll be honest and say that there are times that I work on other shit simultaneously because I multi-task, and would think that someone seeing me do that, would be offended because it’s kind of rude. Kids use the term ‘rude’, but it appears that they lack understanding when it doesn’t apply to them. Maybe I’m just that old, but that’s what I feel.

Not only that, if I have to throw my kids a look of disapproval and mouth my disdain, I wouldn’t want to display my colorful character in front of the tax person on the other end of a video call. I think you get my reasoning. And my final point, is very pointy. My in-laws. I cannot openly roll my eyeballs during a call because they might catch me…and I think I see where my daughter gets her feistiness. Shit. Needless to say, I’m no video chatter.

Contracts cause rebellion

Anyway, my kid got a phone and with that phone, came a contract. It was written up between Clem, her and I (which was apparently too much to ask of her). Apply the pressure and see the shit pop out is my most recently accrued lesson. My kid is basically an endlessly filling, inflamed pimple and if she’s asked to be accountable or responsible (gently ‘squeezed’), she pops.

A fucking pimple. On my ass, that’s what this is. Painful, yes. Infuriating and frustrating, even more so. I know that teens pushing back, isn’t a bad thing, but did the opening salvo need to be the largest, smelliest bag of elephant shit to my face? Really? I shudder to know that there are worse things, but still.

So, she had to sign a contract with Clem and I, and the biggest things we emphasized are the basics that should be the norm. I don’t expect straight A’s, just finish your schoolwork to the best of your ability and turn it in on time, basically be responsible and accountable…I bet many of you haven’t heard those terms in a while! No bullying, porn, you know, the usual shit that can happen with social media. We asked her to be mindful of screen time, check in and just be a bloody decent human being.

We asked her to charge her phone at an approved charging station for at least 6 hours with the phone off. This is apparently insanely difficult. She will pass out on her bed with cords wrapped around her and no matter what we say or do, we’re the assholes. Funny, isn’t it?

The next time she’s in the midst of calling me something like that, I’m going to whip out a mirror and show her her own reflection. Who you calling an asshole now? Apparently, all of these rules were just too much to ask because she kept breaking the contract in regards to the charge cord and other small stupid things, all within the first week of having her phone.

So yes, Clem and I didn’t think we truly needed her to sign a contract because she’d never really done anything really offensive before. Merely asking her to provide a signature and a simple guarantee was obviously far too much, even after we showed her the contract we had to sign with the phone company. Commence bitch switch flipping and pimple popping. In 3, 2, 1….ignition.

Tiptoe through the window…get me my ukulele

As Clem was cutting the grass, he noticed that the stack of Adirondack chairs had been placed under Lola’s window with a 10 inch or so piece of 2 X 6 board, balanced lengthwise on top, with muddy, smudged shoe prints all over the side of the house. Cue the suspicion. We’ve been trying to paint our fence, and I’d seen this, but thought Clem had moved everything away from the fence for me to paint. Ugh, I feel like such an ass.

Yup, I feel like the biggest ass for not cluing in and asking him because I just assumed (and you know what I say about assuming…it makes you look stupid). Clem came to me and asked if I had moved the chairs, thinking the same thing I thought. Sounds like something out of a movie, doesn’t it? Because there were obvious ‘signs’ of desperate clawing following a rebellious act and panic about being caught because she couldn’t get back into her bedroom window (not the trail of shame it should’ve been) plastered all over the side of the house, we both agreed that we needed to chat with Lola once she got home from hanging out with her ‘friends’. I wasn’t as Sherlock as I thought I was, that’s for damn sure.

We’ve always told our kids that there are consequences, but being honest may lessen the duration (they do this in the real world, so we should consider the same, no? According to my clever daughter, we’d be deplorable humans if we didn’t) or severity. When confronted, Lola admitted to her transgression and openly told us it had occurred twice. What’s concerning, is the fact that she was quite boastful as to how she planned and executed this endeavor. And when I say boast, I mean all out brag fest. Who the hell is this kid?

Basically, she exited the house out of a window over a storey high (we live in an above ground bi-level), using a bed sheet that she tied to her bed frame. She bragged that she utilized her knot tying skills from her previous Girl Guide days (if your kid is learning how to tie knots, just be aware of the places they could be utilized…consider this a warning). She then hopped into the neighbor’s yard to avoid the security cameras, scaled their back fence and joined two of her ‘friends’ in the alley behind us. We think it was two boys because it started as two boys and another girl in addition to her, but she later admitted that it was just the two boys.

Apparently, they enjoyed a couple of hours of shenanigans (I hope it wasn’t anything remotely close to the worst thing my mind wanders to) around town before returning home. She says that on one occasion, a police officer stopped to talk to them, but didn’t do anything, so she thinks that what she did was perfectly fine. I’d like to know which officer that was. I know it’s not their job to babysit but maybe he could’ve said something a little more persuasive, if you know what I mean.

I have to say, I didn’t see it coming and I feel like an idiot for not hearing her struggle when she was trying to get back in. Oh boy I would’ve had a heyday if I’d caught her trying to get back in! I think that’s why I was up ‘listening’ all night. ‘The Piper’. Paying the Piper. Oh yes (insert evil guffaw here), payback is a bitch.

Apparently, the second time she snuck out, one of the boys assisted in getting her back into her room. She learned, after struggling for an hour or two, that getting in required more work than getting out. She was nearly caught by the neighbors leaving for work around 6 a.m. Such a great ‘friend’ she has!

What I find funny, is the first night Lola snuck out, I awoke to a Guinea pig chirping around 3 in the morning (yes, chirping and she’s done this before but I had no idea why…now I know). When I got up to check on my piggy, I turned the lights on and Lola said she saw them from outside and almost had a heart attack. Her struggle to get out must’ve scared my pig, causing her to chirp, unlike our dog (she’s quite old and I think she’s deaf, my poor fur baby). I hope that there isn’t a next time, but if there is, I’m heading to Lola’s room first, with a pair of scissors or a bucket of water…to be determined.

I need a vacation, a 6 year vacation

After all that, I was furious and disappointed. I managed not to lose my shit on her, that was a feat in itself. The town that we live in, has grown exponentially in the past few years and as such, has seen an increase in crime. We experienced it firsthand last year as a matter of fact.

Only a couple of days after Lea died, a man that lives in a house just a few doors down, tried to get into our house at 5 a.m. when he was higher than a kite. We weren’t the only house who experienced his stupid act. Even with the neighbor’s security camera footage and the fact that I watched him go into his house, AFTER he came to the door a second time, wasn’t enough for the police to do anything. Isn’t that awesome?

We’ve been on edge for a year now, and are hopefully moving soon to get away from it all. Lola doesn’t seem to be concerned that there are some major issues going on in the area. She’s invincible, as many a teenager believes. We reminded her about the guy down the street and that having an open window to climb through was nothing short of an invitation. We got the ‘oh yeah, I forgot’ look after we mentioned this. Insert my eyeball roll here.

We took her phone and privileges away, but her tactic was to stay in her room and sleep all day. She wanted her tablet for music and we agreed, but she screwed us over again when I caught her chatting at 2:30 in the morning. We took away the tablet and shut off the WiFi to reinforce the point that she was not the boss and that her actions were unacceptable. I don’t know if she gets it. I hadn’t slept much because if I so much as heard anything from that room, I threatened that I’d storm the Bastille and there’d be hell to pay.

An Epiphany

All of this was happening, up until yesterday, when I finally had enough. I can’t live like this until she finally figures shit out. If it’s years, I definitely won’t survive, so instead, I may have to relinquish control. Isn’t that scary?

I’ve decided to erect a tower, install high powered lights, mount some laser wire, purchase a megaphone and acquire the greatest hounds that one can purchase…from a rescue of course. I’m thinking a very ancient beagle should suffice. My child has no stamina these days with all of the bedroom dwelling she does, so why waste a perfectly fine tuned running beast on a sloth like creature?

I’m kidding. I’m going to be an adult about this, I say this now, but I hope to hell I don’t have to revert.

I’ve learned that despite everything I’ve done, her actions aren’t a reflection of me. After all of the lessons I’ve attempted to teach and display myself, I can’t take it personally. My kids are good people. I have to trust that everything we taught her, hasn’t just fallen out of her head when she became a teenager.

I wasn’t a rebellious teen and neither was Clem. Lola talks about her aunt often and all of the shit she used to pull on my mother and I think that after watching her die, she understands not to start smoking or even touch drugs. I know she’d give anyone the shirt off her back, but I hope she has enough consideration to keep her pants for herself. Sorry, it had to be said.

We’ve always had open and honest communication with our girls and nothing should be a mystery. Mistakes happen to all of us, and it’s not the end of the world. We’ve done everything and anything we can think of to prepare our kids, and at some point, the dice will be rolled. I hope they respect themselves enough to make the right choices for them.

Clem and I have read a lot of ‘stuff’ about all the teenage ‘stuff’ and have come to the conclusion that anything we attempt to enforce will cause a worse and opposite reaction. The stubbornness is strong with this one. One way of dealing with a problem may work for one, and not for another. Unfortunately, this is going to have to be a fly by the seat of our pants stage. Booze in one hand, hair on fire, one hand on the wheel and both feet on the gas. Heehaw mother trucker!

Lola has experienced many things that children her age haven’t experienced, and as you follow me in my sharing, she was above and beyond in her behavior during our roughest times. This is not an excuse for shitty behavior, but I have to admit that I kind of expected this. She had to grow up and make concessions earlier than most and she did it without complaint.

We desperately tried to keep everything as normal as possible and let her have all of the same opportunities that other kids her age had, but there were times that we just couldn’t. Lola understood and honestly, that was asking a lot of a child that age. Admitting that she’s earned a little wiggle room, is a difficult thing for me but she is growing up. I have to allow this to happen unfortunately, and be there to help guide her when I can. Make no mistake, I am me, and disrespect is unacceptable. She’ll have some leeway, but push me too far, and she’ll see my very ugly, twisted side.

So, you wanna play hardball

Unless I’d like to develop a fulminant alcohol problem, in addition to the other unhealthy coping mechanisms that I may feel inclined to accumulate, I may just have to have a little hope. Yeah, sounds ridiculously shitty and corny, doesn’t it? Hope. Hope that after everything she’s witnessed, learned, and done over the last 13 years, that she will make the right decisions. Please Lola make good decisions!

I firmly believe that after all of the years of us being involved with coaching her sports, being involved at her school and other aspects of her life, that she needs to hear another adult tell her no, or reprimand her because she doesn’t seem to hear us right now. If it’s a police officer or another parent, I may have to allow that mistake to be made to get that point across. I can only hope that no one gets hurt or killed, or that lives do not become negatively altered because of one bad decision. We’re all still speaking openly (like we do) and she still comes to us, so maybe she’ll surprise us.

If the day of good decisions never arrives or if she pushes way too far, I may start to behave like an errant teen too, just to piss her off. If she sneaks out again, I’ll do the same. Hell, I’ll even follow her and her ‘friends’ like an annoying little sister! Or maybe I’ll get ahead of her and be awaiting her presence at her usual hangout location, now that would piss her off. If she goes out drinking and comes home drunk, well Mama can do the same.

It’ll be just like a ‘Your Mama’ joust, a game of one-upmanship. I’ll win though, maybe I should tell her that in advance. My sneak out nights would be epic in comparison…well I’ll make them sound like it anyway. If I must, I’ll turn our home into a frat house. If you fall asleep, your eyebrows get shaved, or worse, why not? It’ll be awesome!

For now, she will pay ‘the Piper’ when needed and we will continue to have our solid ground rules. I may have to become a little more creative in the punishment department, but that’s not difficult for me. As I said earlier, I love my kids more than anything and if it comes down to me donning my rum fueled ‘pirate costume’ complete with a slow moving police chase through the neighborhood, I’ll do it.

If you see my naked, drunk, eye patch, pirate hat and peg leg wearing ass while wielding my sword in the headlines, I’ll gladly give you an autograph, a shout out and a shot of my rum. If I’m riding the stick pony and blowing that awful pea whistle while in my pirate attire, then you’ll know it was an epic day of battle. Here’s to dealing with rebellious teenagers! Cheers!

One thought on “What Does Rum, a Pirate Costume and a Rebellious Teenager Have in Common?

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