That One Monday Where We All Lost Our Minds

January 22, 2018

 Is it a full moon? Has the government shutdown caused every last one of us to lose our mind? Something is off in the world. There’s all sorts of crazy happening around here today and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry, scream or assume the fetal position and rock back and forth until the day is over. Today is ridiculous.

Yesterday I told Lolo she and Gman had dentist appointments at 9 a.m. so she could sleep in and I’d take her to school after the appointments. She was excited to not have to wake at 6 a.m. as she normally does to catch the bus at 7. And then we went about the rest of our Sunday.

Today, I woke at 7:15 a.m., over an hour later than normal. Ah, sleeping in a little feels awesome. I showered and then went to wake the kids. Lolo wasn’t in her room. I figured she was watching TV, so I headed downstairs to make coffee, let the dogs out and tackle the morning routines. It was pouring rain and the puppy didn’t want to go out, then stood at the door barking. I left him out there while I looked for Lolo. I couldn’t find her, so I sent her a text (yes, we text each other from within the house – it’s easier than yelling).

“Where are you? Remember the dentist???” I texted.

And then came the ALL CAPS text reply from Lolo. I just love ALL CAPS texts from my sweet child.

“OH. I’M AT SCHOOL YOU DIDN’T REMIND ME SO I FORGOT.”

Deep breath. Inhale through the nose, exhale out the mouth. Count to ten. Drink coffee before drafting a reply and resist editing her grammar.

I read her message again, because SURELY this usually responsible, almost teenager of mine would not be suggesting it was MY fault because I didn’t remind her?

And then came the second text:

“You only told me ONCE and you weren’t awake this morning.” (Yes, child, because for once we were going to be able to sleep in a little!)

I thought I was calm enough to reply. I said I’d hopefully have time to pick her up and she should be ready by 8:45. And then…

“Can’t you pick me up now?”

“Mom it’s not my fault (this is the battle cry of 12 year olds everywhere) and if it’s anyone’s fault it’s yours so please answer me.”

OH NO SHE DI’INT!

If my husband were here, this would be the point where he’d notice the visible steam shooting from my ears, and take over. But he’s not here, so here we go. Buckle up.

I decided I needed a little more time to be able to reply something non-irate and insane, which is where my thoughts were in that moment. Plus, let her sweat it out a second, it would be good for Ms. Sassy, all caps, no personal responsibility girl, I thought.

So here’s how my calm, patient, teach a life lesson text reply went:

“You’re grounded from your phone.”

I hadn’t had any coffee yet, so give me some extra grace, parenting experts.

“Why? What did I do wrong?” Lolo asked.

“Actually, I’m rescheduling your appointment and I’ll just take Gman today. Stay at school. And as far as why you’re grounded from your phone? Reread your texts to me.”

“Thanks a lot,” she replied.

I realize fighting with your kid via text is super mature and effective. (eyeroll) This is why having Mark here as a co-parent was great. He was the male buffer to save us from our female mother/daughter selves.

I let it go at this point, focusing on getting Gman and myself ready for the quickly approaching appointment time. I was almost over it, and then this text came in:

“I need you to go to a pet store to get stuff for my project because my partner has been sick but we’ll pay you back. I need rocks (not colored), shrimp/crayfish food, 2 male crayfish, as well as 2 female. Look online or ask someone to see if they’re female or male.”

I did not reply. I could not reply. There was nothing calm or kind in my heart and so I chose silence.

I was thirsty and a glass of the new juice I just bought the day before sounded great. Plus, taking a refreshing juice break would give me a little cooling off time so maybe I’d be able to approach parenting calmly.

I pulled down my favorite cup and opened the fridge. I was consciously trying to free my mind from the Mom rage still brewing within. Here is what greeted me inside the fridge:

I CANNOT!!! I’m so done with today. Today is a crazy mess and my personal grace tank is on E.

At least Gman didn’t have any cavities today?

Extra grace (100% required),

Jodi

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6 Comments

  • Reply Karen Underdahl January 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Oh Jodi,
    I read your story and could hear your frustration! I hope things will get better soon. KIds do keep us on our toes that
    is for sure! Thinking of you and know that you are a great mom!
    Love, Karen

  • Reply Angela January 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Jodi my friend, I love you! You have expressed what every parent of a teen feels. I would love to tell you it gets better but instead I will tell you to buckle up because you are just beginning. Our son is 14 and this is what we go through on a weekly (sometimes) daily basis. You are not alone in your frustration (she said, reaching out to hold your hand). If you could have peered into our house this past Friday evening, you would have seen everyone running amok to track down items for a school ski trip the next day (we still haven’t located the 14 year old’s sun glasses, he used safety glasses instead). Of course it is the parents fault that these items go missing, (she said sarcastically). Jodi, you are not alone. Recite that to yourself every time this happens and it will happen again. You are not alone AND you ARE loved!

  • Reply Kim January 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Jodi, I’m new to your site (love it!) and as a fellow widow (whose husband’s name was Mark), I feel your pain. I go through this daily. I remind my 13-year old of his piano practice on Tuesdays and he forgets. He’s been taking piano on Tuesdays for over 7 years! My 15-year old looks me dead in the eye and says “OK” and then argues that I never told him about XYZ. I talk to brick walls around here. I hope and pray one day they’ll come out of the teenage fog. Until then I sniff essential oils and whisper “serenity now” so I don’t end up losing my mind. Not sure it’s working 😅.

  • Reply Laura January 22, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    💙💙💙

  • Reply Connie Schrier January 22, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Jodi,
    I love Extra Grace Required. I read your story and I am sorry you had a tough day. You are a great mother and doing it very well. Just want to say, I feel for you even though my daughters’ teenage years have been gone for quite a few years now. They are mothers and have daughters of their own. One of my granddaughters is 17 going on 18 April 2018. Praying for you.

  • Reply Maryellen January 23, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Oh Jodi! Is it mean of me to say you made me laugh out loud?!
    I know those kinds of days & my daughter is 37 with a 4 year old son of her own.
    This too shall pass! I know there’s times when you feel you’re being taken advantage of. I felt that way too!
    For some reason I thought Lolo was older like 15! Like someone above said, “put on your seat belt, the ride is just beginning!” But you have to remind yourself that in less than 6 years she’ll be gone!
    I’m keeping you in my thoughts & prayers this week. Times will get better! ❤️❤️ You’re an incredible mom & strong woman. Hang in there, girl!
    PS who’s Mark?

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