In keeping with my desire to make more time for myself and and recommit to to writing again I decided to participate in Writing Prompts with Mama Kat over at Mama Kat's Losin' It. I decided to go with "trouble you got into one summer" mostly because my surly teenager has been in lots of trouble this week and I am trying so hard to keep it in perspective. Our tiny one is small enough that she is still getting up to eat once a night sometime between 4 and 5 AM. (When I am very lucky it is 6ish and when I am not so lucky it is more like 3:30, bu that is a story for another post...) So in the wee hours of Sunday morning I get up to the tune of her low-grade fussing and wobble to the bathroom to make a bottle. On the way back I look into my son's room and see that the couch he sleeps on (yes indeed, he sleeps on a couch...despite the fact that my house has two more beds than it has people living in it, and despite the fact that I have spent more money than I care to talk about on finding beds that really ought to make my kids want to sleep in them because they are so neat...again that is another story...) anyhow on his couch there were no super long legs sticking out from under the two small blanket he favors...That by itself is enough to make my heart sink a bit. After all it is 4:30 in the morning and my bipolar boy who desperately needs his sleep is NOT in his chosen sleeping place! and this is not the first time. So I call his name down the stairs, hopefully. but no scurrying in the kitchen from making a snack so I creep down to see what's up and of course my back door is hanging wide open and said teenager is no where to be seen. I call off of the back porch for him. Nothing. It is obvious by now that he has snuck out on me. It is also obvious that he thinks new Mama sleep deprivation has turned me into a total moron because when he comes around front to ring the bell fifteen minutes later, finding the back door locked, the lies he tells me about his whereabouts and activities border on the absurd. It is probably wrong, but (getting back to the actual writing prompt here) I am not entirely sure if it is the sneaking and lying (which is wrong and rotten enough) or the fact that he doesn't even think highly enough of me to formulate a lie that a primate might actually believe that upsets me more.
I lied to my parents plenty. I snuck around a fair amount during my teenage years. I was in fact dating a man seven years older than me and completely forbidden for the last two years of my minor childhood. But I have to say I put some effort into it. I knew my parents weren't baboons so I actually attempted to give my lies some thought and a firm basis in reality in the hopes that I might get away with the things I wanted to get away with. For the most part this worked. I was my Mom's only and I think she often wanted to believe the best of me and so she did because my lies weren't completely ridiculous. My Dad was a different story. I got away with things, but as I was his sixth child it is most likely that I only got away with the things he chose to let me get away with. I am pretty sure that by child number six you have heard all the lies, but are also aware of the lessons that can be learned by letting your kiddo get into just enough trouble to begin to learn how to sort things out for themselves. While my Mom was easy to fool, I am pretty sure that my Dad took note of the elaborate phone chain required to reach me when I wasn't quite where I promised to be...It is unlikely that he bought the idea that every time he called me at a sleepover to say goodnight, I just happened to be in the shower....and would have to call him back.
This has mostly derailed from the original premise of the writing prompt...my trouble as a teenager rarely confined itself to summer, and I talk more about my son's mischief than my own, but this morning I can't quite get past the idea that my smart, lying son actually stood before my angry sleep-deprived self a few days ago and we had the following conversation:
Me: Where the hell were you? You do realize it is 4:30 in the morning right?
Him: Um yeah. 4:30, that's pretty early.
Me: you don't say? but WHERE? WHY?
Him: I heard a noise out back.
Me: Over the sound of your TV blaring you hear a noise? In the area of the house farthest from your room?
Him: Well I had the volume off on the TV then. I was listening to music.
Me: SO you heard it over your music and before going back there you stopped to turn your music off AND the volume on the TV up loud? Seriously?
Him: Um, yeah
Me: So what was the noise?
Him: It was Mr C. (our neighbor)
Me: Mr C? at 4:30? what was he doing?
Him: He had his car parked blocking our garage and he was underneath it. (he knows the garage blocking makes me see red...)
Me: So Mr C, our neighbor who weighs better than 300lbs was out back, under his car (where I doubt he would fit without a lift kit), IN THE DARK? making enough noise for you to hear him while listening to music?
Him: Well, yeah. They are a little weird next door.
Me: They are weird? What was he doing under his car? (because I cannot resist this most absurd of questions...)
Him: He was, ummmm, doing his thing....
Facepalm. Grounded. Nothing left to say.