And she’s not even technically a teenager for 6 weeks

Princess Punk and I got in a fight the other night… Sort of.

I made dinner for my mom at their house as her birthday present. Prior to dinner, I asked The Princess to set the table and get things ready for dinner and whatnot. She managed to tear herself away from facebook for a total of 90 seconds to toss some dishes on the table. Keep in mind, she had already been on the computer at my mom’s house for at least an hour, had watched television for an hour before that and had spent the entire morning watching TV at home. She generally has a 2-hour per day limit on screen time, which includes pretty much everything except texting on her phone. So I thought I was being pretty nice letting her lay about and be lazy all day and watch TV and play on the computer. Not to mention that although she cleaned our kitchen that morning, she had done a piss-poor job and had not cleaned her room or bathroom as she is supposed to do before any electronic device clicks on. But I let it slide. I figured she could take it easy a bit before school started and whatever, it was fine for her to slack off for a day or two. SO I was mildly annoyed when she copped a tude when I asked her to please tear herself away from the computer for a few more minutes and make the table look nice, make sure there were hot pads to put serving dishes on and to make sure everyone had a clean plate and silverware. But I took a deep breath and I let it slide. Again. I figured we were both a little grumpy since it was at least an hour past our normal dinner time since my parents’ idea of an “early dinner” is about 7:30pm. So we ate dinner and had a lovely time and all chuckled at The Peach eating Cheerios and banging her head against the table and then looking around to make sure everyone was watching before she put on The Pout and started crying. My dad started making peach ice cream (that would be the fruit, not the baby)for dessert in their fancy assed ice cream maker (which I honestly can’t begrudge them for buying because the stuff my dad makes is sooooooooooooo good). I’m not sure honestly how it came to be that Princess Punk was cleaning the kitchen, I assumed someone asked her to start as it had already been decided (and amicably agreed to by The Princess herself) that would be her contribution to Mima’s birthday dinner. Regardless, all I hear is her stomping about and slamming dishes around in the kitchen. My mom called from the living room,

“Why are you stomping around? If you’re mad, please don’t take it out on my dishes…”

STOMP STOMP STOMP SLAM BANG

I took a deep breath and walked into the kitchen. At this point I didn’t really give a shit why she was mad. I told her (nicely and calmly, I swear) to please stop slamming dishes around before she broke something. Her response was to take the most expensive platter my parents own and slam it into the dishwasher. I’m really glad it didn’t break or I might be writing this from jail right now from either killing her or standing by while my father did. (I am taking some creative license here; don’t go calling child protective services or anything) I did however slap her. ON THE ARM AND NOT VERY HARD. I don’t even think it made a red mark. I have no idea though because she started crying hysterically and screaming “I HATE YOU!” as she ran out of the kitchen and slammed herself into her room (which is actually the guest room at my mom’s house but is where The Princess resides when staying over there).

I took a deep breath and walked back into the living room.

My dad, sitting on the couch said,

“What the hell is her problem?”

I couldn’t come up with an adequate answer and shrugged and proceeded to start packing up The Peach’s stuff to get ready to go home. It had already been established that Princess Punk was spending the night over there and at that point, I didn’t have the energy to deal with her anymore. I quietly confiscated The Princess’ DS as a consequence for being rude and careless with other people’s things.  I put away the food, packed up my computer, had some lovely homemade ice cream and a small slice of carrot cake and gave The Peach a bottle. Princess Punk emerged from her room long enough to skulk around the dining room (I’m assuming she was deciding if she was going to wait until I left to have dessert) and pointedly ignore me. I remained calm, strapped the now sleeping Peach into her car seat and gave my goodnight kisses. I went into the kitchen, told Princess Punk I loved her, gave her a kiss on the cheek and went home. She said not a word. She sent me a text a few minutes after I got home that simply said,

Y dd u take my ds?

That’s all I got.

She apologized the next day and was relatively un-pissy for the rest of the week which was somewhat of a relief given the total insanity. 2 days after the initial blow-up, she finally got around to cleaning the kitchen at my mom’s. The Zen Master made her fold the laundry mountain and she has been otherwise moderately helpful. Things have been generally calm. This should make me feel good that my eldest is actually acting like a human being for a few days but all I can do is dread the inevitable moment that she will slide back into a hormone-induced funk that will produce behavior that will cause me to lose another piece of what remaining sanity I have left.

Why can’t I just enjoy the calm? Even just reading back over this post I see I spent a lot of time describing the bad and little time dwelling on the good. That can’t be right. Maybe she would have a better attitude for a longer period of time if I wasn’t expecting the shit-storm.

Or maybe she’s just a teenager (almost) and I should just suck it up.

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