In my mind there is little to be gained by an early morning throw-down with teenagers. 98% of their ranting and finger pointing has nothing to do with you anyway, you are just a tool; a simple familiar, comfortable, secure place to unleash a frustrating life. All the same it’s difficult to take the stance of patient listener with a filter for tuning in only what really needs your response when every fibre of your being wants desperately to launch into ‘defend and discipline’ mode.
I managed this morning, channelling by some divine miracle the patience of a lobotomized Chuck-e-Cheese party host.
Having said this, everyone has left for the day and I have a few things to get off my chest:
- When you sleep through your alarm and my “hey are you up?” nudging, miss your window for showering and have to wear your hair in a ponytail, this is not my fault. Get used to getting up. I will not be driving to your house when you are thirty to make sure you are up for work. I also will not be texting, calling or sending your father.
- If you forget that I do not work on Fridays and will not be getting dressed until noon and that you will have to plan enough time into your morning for alternate transportation (aka the bus) this is not my fault. You can remember every word to every Ed Sheeran song ever recorded, you aren’t fooling me. Enjoy detention.
- When you arrive at the arena missing a neck guard and one sock you better find a way to MacGyver that extra jock and a roll of hockey-tape to fill the need because I am not driving back home to save your butt. Not when it sat on the couch for 90 minutes while I repeatedly asked that you double check your equipment. You, on the bench half-dressed—not my fault.
- If you are old enough to drive and you are out of clean underwear, this is not my fault. Like any good mother I’ve provided ample instruction on the use of the washer and dryer. Turn them inside out sweetheart.
- If your travel mug smells like arse because you left it on the counter and the dishwashing fairies didn’t get around to you last night, this is not my fault; all the heavy sighing in the world will not convince me otherwise. Maybe you can ask the bus driver to stop at Tim Hortons for you. You’re going to be late anyway.
- At eleven PM on Sunday night when you realize that you forgot to refill your birth control prescription, this is not my fault.
The dog peeing on your backpack, internet disruptions, lost bank cards, screwed up work schedules, buses that don’t run when you want them to, dumb boyfriends, math homework, book reports, foundations that don’t match your neck, lost power cords, flakey friends, cancelled plans, colds, rain, online shopping orders that don’t arrive, pimples—Not my fault, not my fault, not my fault! None of these things are my fault. I’m happy to bite my tongue and quietly endure you ranting though the process of solving your own problems but let’s be clear; none of these things are my fault. I love you and for that reason (with the exception of item #6) I am not going to rescue you from the things that clearly are your own fault.
Suck it up, sort it out and let me drink my coffee in peace!
That felt great! Happy Friday.