What’s Scarier Than One Teenage Girl?

Why two teenage girls, of course.  And that’s just what we got a few weekends ago when Kid B turned 13, joining her older sister in the official years of life-affecting decisions, crazy, unpredictable hormones, and angst.  Lots of angst.  Oh, and the texting while they are doing just about everything else.  Don’t forget that.  Maybe some eye rolling, door slamming and foot stomping too.  But it does not all have to be bad.  I think that teenagers have gotten some bad press because some of them can be really cool.

In fact, most of Kid A’s teenage years to date have not been horrible.  I would even go so far as to say that they have been quite pleasant.  She is still talking to me and we rarely fight.  She is sometimes sullen and moody, but I always ask her what is going on and we usually talk about what is bothering her.  Some things get resolved and others go on festering, but I don’t do better than that now with my own mother and I’m forty.  My teenager teaches me all kinds of teenage things so I can continue to stay in touch with the youth of America.  We talk openly and often about relationships and sex.  She’s already smarter than me in math, but she doesn’t make fun of me for it.  She teaches me how to navigate Prezi and Spotify, and I teach her what dirty slang words mean when she asks about them.  So I can only hope that Kid B’s teen years are half as good as her sister’s have been so far.

A few weeks prior to Kid B turning 13, she presented Sheepdog and me with a packet of sorts.  It was an “All I Want for My Birthday” kind of thing.  So I laughed out loud, but she said it was serious so I read through it with an open mind.  She asked for a new purse from zappos.com, some posters for her bedroom, a neon soccer ball, an Angry Birds iTouch cover, and a week off from making school lunches.  But in lieu of all of these presents what she really wanted was a weekend trip to Atlantic City.

Seriously… Kid B wished to go to Atlantic City for her 13th birthday.

You have got to be kidding me.

Now you have to understand that her favorite person in the world (her Pop Pop, who is my dad) lives there, so her big draw to Atlantic City is (hopefully) not lucky craps tables at the Borgatta or even my cousin’s 70% manager’s discount at Lacoste.  She wanted to spend time with her Pop Pop and her Nanny and just chill with no sisters or brothers and no scheduled activities.  She wanted to sleep in every day, walk down to the docks to get some breakfast, then wander over to the boardwalks to maybe play a round of mini golf (in Ocean City) and get her tarot cards read by a gypsy (in Atlantic City).  As a bonus she got my undivided attention, a visit with 3 Pops at the VA Home, Primo pizza for lunch one day, and both a t-shirt and a sweatshirt as souvenirs.  It was a fantastic weekend.

Most importantly, we got to spend time together.  We were adding to an already strong foundation just by having this shared experience.  Then we watched “Bridesmaids” together, and we laughed until we almost peed our pants.  I reminded her that I am her mother first and her friend second.  Teenagers can get caught up in their own heads pretty easily.  It is my job to make sure that mine don’t get lost inside there.

For now I’m just going to continue winging it with my teenagers.  With communication and a lot of luck I hope we can make it through these years with more laughter than tears.  I’ll continue to remind them that they are not perfect and neither am I.  And even when they do stupid teenage things I will love them unconditionally, for ever and ever.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

The Very Hungry Mommy

By the light of the moon a sleeping Mommy lay in her bed.

One vacation morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – into her bed came very tiny and very hungry Kids A – E.

They started to whine for some food.

On Monday they ate through a bag of Twizzlers.  But they were still hungry.

On Tuesday they ate through two Primo pizzas.  But they were still hungry.

On Wednesday they ate through three boxes of Tastykakes.  But they were still hungry.

On Thursday they ate through four cheesesteaks.  But they were still hungry.

On Friday they ate through five Blizzards from Dairy Queen.  But they were still hungry.

On Saturday they ate through blue chips and guacamole, cupcakes with jimmies, salt water taffy, WaWa hoagies, a bag of pretzels, tacos, hamburgers, chili dogs and a blueberry pie.  That night they all had stomachaches!

Sunday comes afterwards.  They ate through one nice dinner that Mommy made from the South Beach Diet menu (pistachio-chicken salad) from whole food ingredients and after that they felt much better.

The kids weren’t hungry anymore and they were fine and still fit (because kids must have holes in their stomachs).  But not the Mommy.  Because she wasn’t a little Mommy anymore.  She was a big, fat Mommy.

So she put her skinny clothes away in a drawer and she stayed inside for almost 90 days.  And she pushed play on every one of those days and by the end…

She was a Super Fit P90X graduate!  The End.

This picture is from the summer of 2009. I do not look anything like this currently in the summer of 2011. In fact, I think I recently ate that very bikini and maybe even some of the children in this photo.

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I did, in fact, complete 60 of the prescribed 90 days of the super-hard P90X program two years ago.  The family photo above is my after picture.  I just got bored with it and did not keep it up.  And you don’t get to keep a super fit body without working at it every day (trust me – I’ve tested that theory).

The Beachbody people who produce the program are now talking up their new P90X2 DVDs, which are due out soon and I am getting excited about them.  But I haven’t worked out seriously in more then two months.  That fact, plus my very bad vacation eating habits have led to a plethora of mom tankinis, caftans and casual hiding behind towels and beach chairs and kids.

So I have decided to stop whining and covering up and I’m going to start working out and eating better.  I have a new friend who has decided to train for Savannah’s Rock-N-Roll Marathon in November (http://rfbr262.wordpress.com), and if an old man can do that then surely a spring chicken like me can do a few push and pull-ups.  Right?

And a very sincere and heartfelt shout out to Eric Carle for creating one of the best children’s books ever for me to parody in my story above.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic in our kids’ library right next to Goodnight Moon, Big Bird’s Very Busy Day and the newly minted Go The F**k to Sleep.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…