In this corner, with a combined weight of about 260 pounds of tall, gorgeous, intelligence and beauty, hailing from Toronto, Canada, the sixteen year old and her newly minted 13 year old sister.
In this corner, the two tired, worn out parents whose combined weight is…well, that part is none of your business! Lets just call them the 48 year old parents who have been happily married for almost 23 years…Mom and Dad (me!)
The rules…no hitting below the belt (I say this mostly for my own benefit) and always be respectful of your opponents (in this case, the two teenagers being respectful of their parents).
May the best team win.
Best team? Hell no…may the parents win…in fact they should always win..shouldn’t they?
I write this on the eve of my 12 year old daughter becoming a teenager joining her slightly older big sister who joined the club about three years ago.
I have been dreading this day for years.
When I held both of my gorgeous daughters in my arms as newborns, I always had dreams of what life would be like when my girls became teenagers. While I loved having them in my arms, wiping their butts, feeding them, burping them, staying up half the night with them and lugging around their diaper bags and various accoutrements with us wherever we went, I thought about a time when life would be easier…when they could feed themselves, wash themselves, be out of diapers and use words to explain to us what was bothering them if they weren’t feeling well or were sad or angry.
Little did I know that the older my kids get, the harder our jobs are, as parents, in taking care of them.
While our kids were never really prone to having temper-tantrums or “meltdowns”, we would have the occasional flare-up..which was quickly dealt with and if one of them didn’t get their way, a good night’s sleep would help them get over whatever was making them “crusty”, usually waking up the next morning completely forgetting what had gone on the day before.
Bad moods tend to stay around a little longer these days. When someone doesn’t get what she wants, that someone will storm up the stairs to their room and slam the door shut. Usually this is where they stay until they are hungry, they want something from my wife and I, or its time for bed. Big sister introduced this to the family dynamic when she first became a teenager and her younger sister has learned all the tricks of the trade from her older sister.
Back in the early days, bad moods were easy to see coming. They were usually the result of someone not getting what they wanted. These days, bad moods can come from nowhere and for no particular reason. You can be sitting having a reasonably pleasant dinner and the older teenager will all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, turn from Jekyll to Hyde (or is it the other way around?). You ask yourself what you did or said to trigger this radical personality shift but more times than not, you come up wondering “what happened”?
Ahhh, then of course, the issues of “female stuff”. One of the few advantages of being a dad in a house filled with women, is that when it comes to the “monthly visitor”, I am excluded from the dialog and the whole process. To be honest, I am perfectly fine with this. However, because I don’t own female body parts, I am treated like a moron because I “don’t understand”. Thankfully, my lovely wife comes equipped with all the necessary female body parts to help the kids out. I keep to myself and wait until the worst of it is over.
Life definitely gets harder being the parent of two teenage girls. Its all about the drama – who did what to who, who said something to somebody, how “rude” or “mean” someone was to someone else…how cute a particular boy is and “what should I say in my text back to him”?
While I don’t have sons, I was once a young teenaged boy and I don’t recall giving my parents the same kind of grief that our daughters give us. I think boys simply clam up…they don’t say much or if they get really angry, simply beat the shit out of the person that is pissing them off and then its over. I don’t encourage this behaviour…I am a lover not a fighter. But, it certainly seems like an easier and faster solution to a problem. I am sure parents of teenaged boys will disagree with me.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the hell out of my daughters. They aggravate me, but in the same breath, make me incredibly proud to be their father. I am still amazed that I was instrumental in their creation. Neither of them have an evil bone in their bodies…they are pure, decent, empathic and loving young ladies. My wife and I have done a good job so far. It just so happens that every so often, they drive us both round the bend!
But, fuck…two teenaged girls? In the same house?
Fun and games.