Overnight, my almost-12 year old daughter has decided three things:
- her mother knows nothing
- her mother is really kind of lame, and
- her mother is overweight.
In the next sentence, though, she would like to know if I would drive her to the store to "pick up a few things"--which things she will not specify, exactly, except that they are "Very Important Things That I Wish You Wouldn't Talk About In Front of My Brothers." And lastly, I need to take her now. This instant.
So, I go to fetch my purse and she eyes me.
"What?" I say.
"Are you really wearing that outside the house?"
I give her the evil stink eye. She flips her long, gorgeous blonde hair and flounces out of the house all long legs and big, confident smile.
What happened to the darling daughter who once told me I was the most beautiful, kindest, bestest, most loveliest Mother in the whole, whole world?
Gone with the wind, apparently.
I slouch after her, a shriveled old hag in distraught pants.
We get in the car and she wants to listen to KISS-FM, a station that plays a series of mind-numbing songs--all of which, as far as I can tell, are variations on the same theme. A theme which can be summed up as: "shake-yo-booty-on-da-flo."
"What? You don't like this music?" she asks, all annoyed.
I guess my squinched-up-irritated-old-hag face gave it away, huh?
I want to say something along the lines of, "This doesn't even qualify as music" but then I have this freak-out-epiphany in which I realize I'm beginning to sound exactly like my mother. I even almost said my mother's favorite word: uncouth.
That music is uncouth.
That language is uncouth.
Your behavior, Elizabeth, is uncouth.
AS LEAST I LET YOU LISTEN TO UNCOUTH MUSIC! I want to tell my daughter.
But I don't. Because what's the point? My parents banned me from Michael Jackson and mini-skirts and I still went through puberty. Now I let my daughter listen to uncouth music and dress how she pleases and guess what? She's still going through puberty.
Apparently, there is no cure for this affliction? No formula to make it all go away?
So, later that afternoon as I hunker down for this long, cold winter called puberty, she saunters into my room.
"Mommy, is there anything I can do for you? Would you like some tea? Can I give the twins a bath for you?"
Wait. Is this a trick question?