Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mothers And Daughters (And Toilets)

Anna and I had an animated discussion (late) last evening on the various methods of properly cleaning a toilet. I explained that merely waving the Lysol wipe in the general vicinity of said toilet is not effective, as evidenced by the mold growing underneath the seat. Anna was...shall we say...not receptive to this theory. Things deteriorated from there. You moms of teen girls can picture it, right?

This sort of encounter was nothing new, by the way. When (2 1/2 years ago) I first gave Anna the job of doing a daily, 2-minute powder room wipe-down, she was - to put it mildly - incensed. "Oh," she said. "And I suppose that means that you'll just do nothing!"

[Yes, I did laugh. Wouldn't you?]

So Anna came downstairs this morning, apologized (hey, she had a flute lesson she wanted to go to that day), and then....get this... she hugged me. What's up with that?

[I can tell you when she last hugged me. It was September of 2006.]

I posited that it was temporary insanity on her part. Larry, ever the realist, theorized that she fears we are draconian enough to confiscate the plane ticket her grandfather bought her. You see, she's slated to go to Europe with her friend's family for a few weeks this month.

Let me say here that Larry and I are strict; but we're not crazy. That's going to be our vacation, too, you know. But Anna doesn't have to know that, right? I need all the hugs I can get.

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26 comments:

  1. Sometimes you just have to enjoy it and not question why.

    Yes, I have gotten the "you'll do nothing" on multiple occasions. Sometimes they truly are delusional.

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  2. Hi, I've been lurking for a while, and I really can't stay quiet anymore...

    I know your blog is where you can vent about being (understandably) frustrated about your teenage girl, but even though you describe this stuff with a sense of wryness, I detect an underlying current of resentment towards what she's become that's only going to get worse. I speak from experience...my own parents developed such a grudge against the 'teenage me' (I was melodramatic and overly hormonal, but I NEVER got into any serious (or even mild) trouble, AND I was an A student who got into Yale), that it took them till this past year (age 26 for me at the time) to finally get over it. Of course I'd turned into the 'grown me' AGES ago (circa age 19), but they just COULD NOT LET GO of how much they despised me as a teenager, and we lost seven years of potential positive interaction because of it. They treated me like I was still 15 all that time, despite any and all accomplishments and personality changes I'd gone through. They just refused to acknowledge it, completely SURE that I was really that teenage demon they'd known, only now thinly veiled.

    The point is, Anna can't help how she is right now. You just wait until she's in college a year (or at the MOST, 25 years old (when frontal lobes fully grow in for girls)), and she'll snap right back, not as your 'little girl', but as a wonderful woman, and be totally chagrined at how she behaved all those years. I just hope you won't hate her company so much by then that you won't even try to be around her enough to notice she's changed.

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  3. Oh man, I hope she doesn't know about this blog! Clearly, you could have had a model child for the time until she leaves.

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  4. You could probably get a lot out of her until she leaves on her trip. It's amazing how helpful the kids can be when they want something. Last week mine wanted to go swimming, I told them they could go as soon as they washed the dishes.
    I've never seen that dishwasher get loaded so quickly.

    My 8 year old son loves to clean the toilets and he does a really good job too.
    But then again, he was the one that nearly broke my washing machine this week.

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  5. I'm trying to come up with an original line to the affect of "hell freezes over" but it's just not coming to me.

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  6. Hugs and clean toilets.
    Life is good.

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  7. Kind of like when people ground their kids from watching T.V. What a bad idea! It's like shooting themselves in the foot.

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  8. oh :) I send you hugs too ((((suburbancorrespondant))))

    how is your knitting?

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  9. Lilana -

    Apparently, you've never read this post. That experience taught me that - hard as it is for my present-day self to believe - when/if Anna returns as a delightful young woman, I will welcome her with open arms.

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  10. Bathrooms need to be cleaned? Crud! I guess I know what I need to do today.

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  11. My 14 year old (boy) seems shocked every time I point out to him that
    a) Cleaning the toilet means inside and outside, not just swabbing the bowl
    b) Cleaning it more often than every two weeks (or whenever Mom notices) might be desirable.

    The wisdom we have have to impart to these kids!

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  12. ha. the roo-girl (14) wants to be PAID if she enters a bathroom for anything other than primping or -- ahem -- business needs.

    but i DO get hugs and snuggles. sometimes that's a fair exchange.

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  13. Then there's the mother/son/toilet corollary post, having to do with actually getting the pee INTO the big ol' hole. I caught my 5yo peeing into the toilet from the side the other day (why? he doesn't know). Seeing as how he always misses left, this just meant that all the errant pee was going to end up right where my feet go when *I* use the toilet.

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  14. What do you mean merely waving a disinfecting wipe in the general vicinity of the toilet isn't properly cleaning it?? I guess I've been doing it wrong this whole time!

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  15. Me thinks Lilana has no children, let alone teenage daughter-type children. I can only speak for myself but I LIVE for the day the teen drama ends. Actually I live for the day my drama queens have their own teens to deal with so I can sit back and point and laugh and tell their children EVERY dang thing they did or tried to get away with! LOL

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  16. I had the same conversation with my hubby!

    (and I couldn't disagree with Lilana's post more, I think the love and respect you have for your children is evident in every single post you write)

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  17. Ah, I can well relate--I'm regularly reminded my my 10 year old when I ask him to bring down HIS dirty laundry (so I can sort, wash, fold it)that he does "EVERYTHING around here."
    European vacation? Yes, let her think it COULD fall through. All good to do that!

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  18. My seven year old told me the other day that she was not my maid and was horrified to learn of the eighteen years of hard labor she owed me for birthing her. In the meantime, it would have been nice if she'd just pick up the book she threw on the floor.

    Congrats on the hug. May you receive many more.

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  19. I think she hugged you with dirty hands---having just cleaned the toilet. ;-)

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  20. SuburbanCorrespondent,
    I did read that post a while ago, actually, but my issue exactly is that here you said 'when/if Anna returns as a delightful young woman'...it's the 'if' I'm worried about. If she wasn't a helion to begin with, she won't wind up as one, trust me. And even if she were, she might yet blossom. Some of my most obnoxious male cousins (when children) grew into the sweetest men, so there's always hope.

    ModernMom,
    At no point did I say that she doesn't love and respect her children, only that she doubts that she may continue to like them. Those are entirely different things.

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  21. AnonymousJune 06, 2009

    Have you seen the movie "Taken" yet? This is very important.

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  22. I have the same toilet cleaning issues with my boys. And, they're... boys. Enough said.

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  23. Hugs from those hormone ridden monsters are very nice. Even if you have to do a re-do on the toilet.

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  24. If she's headed for Europe then I think you deserve more than a hug. How about free babysitting for a week? Dishwashing without complaining? Three smiles a day?

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  25. Wow, what comments! I think Lilana just doesn't want them to have the same experience they did, and I don't think they will. So chill everybody! I think that you are getting peeks at the new grown Anna who will gradually emerge. Enjoy all the hugs you can get! You might get more of those than clean toilets for a while...

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