Preteens are Assholes

I just came to grips with why my mother loathed us so much.  She didn’t actually hate us; she just cringed every time we entered the room.  I always wondered why she would sigh and roll her eyes after each question we shouted at her while she tried to balance cooking dinner and monitoring homework. I pondered why she growled when we barged into the bathroom to vent our personal dilemmas and teen dramas while she was on the toilet. And I was more than a bit curious as to why her cup seemed to runneth over with a distinct blend of Southern Comfort and water every night when she finally got to sit down after a long day.

My mother’s pain has become my pain. I often hide under the covers when my son comes to see if I am awake on Saturday mornings and I have perfected the art of lying motionless for hours to avoid making pancakes. The top item on  my grocery list every week is a 6 pack of Corona (to be refilled approximately every 48 hours) and I roll my eyes at the sound of my “name”: “Ma. Ma. Mama …”   I dread going outside because the whining is sure to ensue about everything from how hot it is (in September), to why are we walking so much (4 blocks), to why do we have to go to such boring stuff (a tremendous dance party in the middle of a park).

The reason my mother’s eyes glassed over every time we entered a room is because we were raging, narcissistic assholes.  As teenagers, my brothers and I made her poor life miserable by our mere presence and what worsened our misuse of her was the fact that we never noticed our mom was a person too.  An actual real, live person with feelings, dreams and possibly even a life of her own. 
I am so sorry, dear mother, for all the pain and torture we put you through.  I am mortified by the thought that I used to believe that your world revolved around me.  I apologize for not seeing that I was not a bundle of joy but a thorn in your side that not only pricked you but bled you dry.  I now completely understand the urge to throw my hands up, lie comatose on the couch and reply “Ummm hmm,” to everything my child says. It is clear how much you sacrificed and that you simply wanted to enjoy a life that included me not one that was consumed by me.
A while ago, I wrote a piece entitled Single People are Assholes.  In this rant I outlined the ways in which single folk without children can make those of us who have been offspring challenged feel like shit.  But it’s not only single people who can sometimes give off an air of assholery; I have now realized in the past year that my child is an asshole as well. Some may feel that is wrong for me to say but let me outline for you the ways in which he consistently displays a level dickheadness that is unparalleled by most other people in my life. Case in point, the list of things he hates:


We all hate homework, right?  This is a common topic of disgust for most of us who have had to trudge through monotonous years of schooling.  But is not the fact that he hates homework that pisses me of; it is the lengths to which he will go to avoid the homework as though I will not find out about it.  I have found homework packets in the trash, in the bottom of the toy box, under my bed and inside the oven.  I have heard every excuse from, “They didn’t give us any” to “We don’t have English class in school anymore.”  Now apparently it is normal for children to lie to get out of things but the audacity to think that I’m that much of an idiot to believe your tomfoolery is what adds insult to injury.  I find myself repeating the phrase I never wanted to say damn near every 5 minutes: “You think I was born yesterday?!”
Again, everyone hates chores,  but damnit, they have to be done! Stop whining the whole time and suck it up! I know you’re 11 but take it like a man!  And again with the lying … I told my son to do the dishes one day and before I got home he texted me and said, “Already done Mom!” When I got into the house he was sitting on the couch, texting  in his underwear with a sink filled with more dishes than we had left that morning.  I almost flipped the couch over with him on it but apparently that classifies as “child abuse” and is frowned upon so I just texted all his little friends that he still sleeps with a blankie instead.
My child hates Jesus. I tried to give him a solid rock on which to stand but instead I mention church and he rolls his eyes with exasperation like I just told him the world was about to end so Yugi-Oh was being taken off Netflix.  Many of us grew up in families where we were forced to sit through long services and recite liturgies in languages we did not understand. But at our church we have a step team, dance team, mimes, dynamic choirs, spoken word, lights, smoke and the occasional reference to trap music.  Does he care at all? No.  He sits and reads Percy Jackson through the entire service barely lifting his head unless it’s to whisper, “Is it time to go yet?”
My friends
Every time I say, “Guess who’s coming over?” he huffs and puffs and promptly retreats to my room to curl up under the covers and watch Youtube on his phone (my phone bill is insane).  Unless you come bearing gifts, don’t expect a hug or a “Hi”.  Miles is now fully engulfed in the art of ignoring while also simultaeneously lamenting the fact that there are other people I want to be around other than him (not that engaging conversations about Marvel universe at 10 pm aren’t lovely too).

My dancing
“Mom! No! You’re really bad.  Just stop, ok?”  If Ihave to hear those words one more time when I even allow a leg to twitch to the beat I’m goign to flip a table filled with hand grenades and kill us all.  What makes this little jerk think he is the authority on dancing?  Just because you can slightly (and I mean slightly as my son has just now acquired any sense of rhythm) do the Nae Nae and the Whip doesn’t mean that you can sigh and stomp away whenever I begin to shake my groove thing.  And who do you think you got your slight rhythm from?! Little ungrateful folk should be glad their moms can twerk and take pride in the fancy footwork they shall one day inherit.

Talking to me
There is a list of words I have now banned in our home: never mind, you don’t understand, ugh (yes it’s a word), what, and whatever.  These are all words deemed punishable by death (or time in your room without TV). Having conversations with a preteen is like trying to extract information from enemy spies: they are secretive, conniving, hostile and out to destroy you.  So, I have resorted to not talking but looking through his texts.  This way I get all the truthful information I need and I can block the friends that I don’t like from his life. Just kidding, I would NEVER do that (and tell you about it).

This is a very miniscule section of the things that Miles has grown to hate.  The rest of the list includes eating anything that’s not pizza, going to bed, having fun with me, me blogging and on some days, breathing.

Having a preteen is like dating a manic depressive circus clown; one moment they’re hyper smiling fools dancing for money in bright colors and the next they are crying in a corner with leftover candy crumbs crumbled in their hands.  Most people (who don’t have children I might add) tell me, “Oh, you’ll miss him when he’s this age.  You’ll miss being around him.”  To that I reply, “Bullshit!”  I miss when he was 1 and would grin and bubble spit at me with those 2 little budding teeth. I miss when he was 5 and he said, “Mommy I love you so much one day I’m going to marry you”. I miss when he was 9 and would get tremendously excited about the zoo, the movies or a trip to the park. I will not miss 11 where he spends half his time with his eyes in the back of his head, his chest heaving in a sigh and his lip poked out in a sneer.  

The only thing that I can do right now is endure. Methods of sustaining include but are not limited to: ignoring him, cussing at him (frowned upon in most circles), punishing him, embarassing him (quite effective actually) and most importantly loving him.  Hopefully, through years of love and support I can raise him from an asshole of a boy to an asshole of a man. Someone who is strong, supports themselves and uses their assholery for good things, like fighting The Man and protecting his woman, rather than evil. MY solemn prayer to the heavens is that I am able to survive long enough to raise him and kick him out of my home with a smile on my face, a drink in my hand and some inkling of love left for the little jerk.