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Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-05-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
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Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

Ours has started the long, slow descent into teenager-hood.

Every day she becomes more sullen & surly yet, if possible, more antagonistic and unpredictably likely to explode at the slightest provocation. I'm sure she's suffering from extensive bone loss because no human being of normal calcification could possibly slouch for hours of pouty silence in those positions. She's probably drinking because she always looks like she's suffering from a hangover. And her vocal cords have probably atrophied because her entire vocabulary has shrunk to two words. (Per week.) Spouse & I don't know whether to be happy that she no longer wishes to speak to us, or whether to fear the sympathetic detonations triggered by incredibly insensitive & intrusive interrogations like "What'd you do in school today?"

So when people tell us how great our kid is, we laugh and say "No, seriously. Where have the aliens taken our biological progeny? Does the mother ship hold enough ammunition to survive the challenge?"

But yesterday I was in the orthodontist's waiting room. I'm always a little on edge there because it's like a hypercaffienated flashback from a bad acid trip. Usually the office door opens, a cheerful sadist hygienist says "Next!", a sullen teenager slouches through the portal, and a couple muffled screams later it opens to disgorge yet another fleeing satisfied customer. I keep telling myself that there's nothing to be nervous about, I'm too old for that now, it can't happen to me again! But you see the same frozen expressions on the faces of the other former patients waiting parents.

So when the door opened and the hygienist actually entered the waiting room, we all stiffened like Christians around a hungry lion strolling out of its cage. She looked me right between the eyes and, clearly having wrung my physical description from a hapless orthodontial victim, said "Mr. Nords?"

When I recovered consciousness she was actually smiling at me. (Orthodontial staffs all have VERY nice smiles.) She didn't seem too concerned by my reaction; I guess this happens to them a lot. I uncurled from my fetal position and said "I thought you were going to talk to me about my teeth, I mean my kid." She said "Yes, I just had to meet you. Your daughter is the most wonderful patient. She's always chattering about her Dad, how wonderful your retirement is, and how much you guys enjoy surfing! Is it true that you both do tae kwon do? She just can't stop talking about all the fun you two have together! Are you feeling OK? Why are you laughing like that?!?"

I'll be darned. It looks like we'll survive this maelstrom, although clearly it's not experienced outside immediate family. I guess we'll let her stay in our house a while longer!

I think I'll tell my dad that I'm sure glad I didn't behave that way during MY teenage years.
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-05-2005, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

If it's any consolation, I always felt that each of my teenagers (3) were replaced by aliens for a year. Ultimately the hump was gotten over. All you can do is be there when they need to talk.

Hang in there.

arrete - with 3 now normal adult kids
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-05-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

Nords,

I was laughing the whole time. I have a 16 year old who has braces! It is slowly, but surely getting better. Some days, you just take it one day at a time. The good news, she is getting her braces off 04/19/05!!!

Dreamer
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-05-2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

My 14 y.o. has what we call the "shrug and roll" down to a science...you know the look, roll the eyes, shrug the shoulders and slink down the hall...all with the most dismissive body posture possible. I have assured her that this is a family tradition, my mother screwed up my life, I'm screwing up hers and, if she lives, she can screw up her kids...Lord, let me live long enough to see her with her own child (one just like her would do) before I'm in the nursing home with cream of jello soup dribbling out of my mouth. June 9, '05 for brace removal...after a $5200 bill.
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-06-2005, 03:28 AM   #5
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

Nords
We had many friends whose daughters gave them fits, yet always seemed to be bright, articulate, friendly and focused kids to us.
The parents certainly were at their wits end, at times, but kept a level keel and the kids grew up.
They have turned out to be bright, articulate, friendly and successful young adults.
So keep an even keel and the storm will eventually blow over, the sea will be calm and the sun will be brilliantly bright.
Then you get grandkids and boy will you be happy!
uncledrz
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-06-2005, 07:18 AM   #6
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

Quote:
Then you get grandkids and boy will you be happy! uncledrz
Until THEY become teenagers...

I'm convinced that my mother is avenging herself from the grave by being reincarnated as her granddaughter. Despite my spouse's accusations, I can't possibly have done all of that with my own DNA. I'm considering the same approach when I die!

Take heed, those of you still considering a family decision, that parenthood is a life sentence with no parole.

It's not necessarily a BAD decision, but its impacts are multi-generational... not the typical "Send 'em to college and you're done" first-order response that I evoked when the project was first proposed. There are days that I'm heartily tired of being a responsible parent, and that's a part of the job which is rarely considered as the lovemaking turns from recreational to procreational.

Family-- priceless.
Raising kids-- almost as expensive.
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-06-2005, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

My orthodontist's two front teeth were perpendicular to each other! It was so scary to be his patient.
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...
Old 04-06-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Your kids may not be talking to you, but...

Hay Nords dude,

My younger boy will be 16 soon. He is learning to drive, taking years off my life But the amazing thing is I would describe his childhood life as quite dificult and the prospect of teenagerhood was absolutely teerrifying to me. But he has matured into a neat kid. He is actually thoughtfull and kind and semidiscliplined in school and very much disciplined in things he likes like music.

Each age will have its own characteristics. Wish you the best of each age.

yakers, whose son has a full drum set, and I'm happy to hear it as 1) he's pretty good now and 2) I sure the hell know where he is
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