Over the weekend I took my fourteen-year-old son, Taylor, shopping for school clothes. Walking in to Old Navy he says, “I only want black t-shirts this year. It’ll make getting ready in the morning easier.”


The kid wears the same thing everyday, come winter, spring, summer or fall, a pair of jeans, tennis shoes and a t-shirt. So does it really matter if the t-shirt is red, white, blue, gray or black?

I didn’t argue; I didn’t try to use reason, which seems to work as well with teenagers as it does toddlers. (You don’t get temper tantrums-well, not usually-but you do get an equally exasperating eye-rolling, sighing and “You just don’t understand!” combo.)

On the topic of bad behavior, over the weekend I learned from my thirteen-year-old daughter that I am:


“Ruining her life!”


and that I “Love Taylor more!”


She spent three days bitching about cleaning her room.

By day three I had had it. When she posited: “I hate it here! I would rather live on the streets!” I responded, “FINE! Sleep in a field! Eat dinner out of the trash! Get molested by random strangers! See how much you like home then!”

Yes, I think I may have crossed the line a bit with that last one. And those of you with tiny kids are probably shocked, thinking “I would never say that to my sweet, precious baby.” And I’m with you, I really am, ten years ago I couldn’t have imagined it either.


10 Responses to “”

  1. Katie Says:

    R did just get back from camping, so she probably has some mad wilderness skills…
    That is so funny! Did she quit complaining after that?

  2. Jaded Says:

    Nope…I can totally see myself saying that to my son at 14….seriosuly. LOL Tough love is all it is…


  3. kindasilly Says:

    Hi Jen,
    Been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now just joined one. I remember those days with teens…..smile it’ll get better once they move out on their own.

  4. postsimian Says:

    This deserves it’s own “OWNED” picture.

  5. jenjw4 Says:

    That’s good to hear, sometimes I feel like maybe she’s right and I’m the meanest mom ever!

    Thanks for the reminder-it’s good to know that parents before me have made mistakes (and their kids have grown up just fine!) and that it’s not really a sign that I’m losing or that my child is spawn of the devil.

    Yes, you should have seen her face! There is a bit of petty enjoyment in getting in the last word, too! But a bit of guilt in the knowledge that, ultimately, it was a poor parenting moment.

  6. postsimian Says:

    Next time try the old bop on the forehead, V8 commercial style.

  7. Rixblix Says:

    Oh, you’re totally the meanest mom ever…this week. Next week it’ll be someone else. And what’s with the t-shirt thing? I’m glad my boys aren’t way overboard with the fashion thing, but they are also crazy picky about their t-shirts, too.

  8. Jennifer Says:

    The t-shirt thing is weird, too, but I learned the rules this weekend-no cutesy sayings (anymore, that’s so last year), they have to be somewhat fitted (no boxy shaped ones), and can’t be too big or too small. I did talk him into a dark gray one and a navy blue. I wouldn’t want his teacher to think that he wears the same black t-shirt everyday!

  9. Maria Says:

    I love it that you talk back to Reagan. It isn’t fair that when you grow up you are always “supposed” to think about what you say and as a mom, you should always be all Mrs. Cleaver or whatever. Sure, if you had sat back and counted to a million, maybe you could have responded in a calmer way, but we don’t always get to do that in life.

    From what you have posted, it doesn’t sound like you did anything truly abusive (and email me if you want some true life examples of what that would be), and at the end of the day, you still both love each other, and you both still know it.

  10. jenjw4 Says:

    Just found your comment in my spam. You are right, her camping skills might come in handy.. she should now feel comfortable sleeping under the stars.
    I don’t know what the deal is with her the past few days… she just has been very defiant and difficult. I’m hoping it’s a phase, a very short phase!

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