A few days ago, I had a rare opportunity to spend a thoroughly entertaining evening drinking tea, (whoo, wild and crazy, we are) nibbling on delectable snacks, and chatting with some of my Mom Friends. These are a few of the women I met when Derek was 5 months old and we happened to be matched together for a playgroup. Although our kids obviously have outgrown their Legos-and-juice-box dates, we adults still have "meetings" when we can, to catch up and socialize.
Now, at our latest gathering the other ladies who could make it happened to all have two daughters each...leaving me as the only one there with experience in the, um...Boy Realm. So while I could contribute very little to the discussions about "girlie stuff", I did find it quite...let's say enlightening. As my friends told stories chock-full of adolescent female angst, I felt both aghast at the sheer...hormonal emotionalism...they described, and also hugely amused by the creative, heartfelt, dramatic outbursts they reported navigating--almost on a daily basis--with their offspring.
What I learned can be summed up in a few points: 1) Parents of a pre-teen or teenage daughter should expect to deal with a great deal of crying. 2) And shouting. 3) Also eye-rolling, huffing, sarcasm, back-talk, stomping of feet, slamming of doors, and other forms of vehement displeasure. 4) But my absolute personal favorite has to include the following lines, reported by each of the women as "commonly heard in our house": "Whyyyyy are you yelling at meeee?" "Stop NAGGING me!" "You're so meeeeeaaan!" And the guaranteed conversation-killer, "Just leave me alooooooneee!" At this point I couldn't help it--I burst into gleeful laughter as I clearly envisioned these scenarios between overwrought young girls and their exasperated mothers. And I had to simultaneously breathe a profound internal sigh of relief...because I just can't imagine any of these sentences E-V-E-R issuing from Derek's mouth (pause for a moment...thank goodness!!!)
In fact, when I shared the story with both of my kids the next day, Derek enjoyed a good chuckle over the antics of his middle-school-girl-pals. Then--wiseacre that he is--he just had to try it on for size--so he stamped his foot (so softly it didn't even register on the carpet), threw his notebook on the ground (gently, so as not to wrinkle the pages or rip the cover), and flung himself on my bed (carefully, barely denting the comforter), wailing something incomprehensible about...I don't even know...the injustice of his life? Or some such nonsense. The entire charade was further undermined by the enormous cheesy grin splitting his face from ear-to-ear as he delivered this masterful performance. Meanwhile, a bemused Riley briefly looked up from across the room, where he sat engrossed in examining an Amazon delivery box that was empty, except for the packing peanuts.
I turned back to Derek to emphatically conclude my comments with something along the lines of, "And that's just one more reason I'm sooooo thankful that I have sons..." However, we'll never know what my final words might have been, because at that very moment I glanced back to Riley...who had (for reasons that remain utterly obscure to us all) buried his head in the styrofoam-filled container...so that the most visible part of him was....his butt sticking up in the air. As my mouth dropped open in disbelief at this ridiculous sight, Derek actually fell on the ground in hysterics. When he managed to recover enough breath to speak, he gasped out, "What were you saying about boys being better, Mom?" Riley in the meantime had popped his head back up and was swiveling his startled gaze around the room, as if to determine the source of all the fuss and merriment. Oh...never mind. But you know what, I'll still take unadulterated... boy...gooberheadedness over...chick histrionics, any old day!