Honestly, I don’t think I’m a bad parent, or an “inhuman monster” as my son declared today. He was furious with me for “bullying” my other son, his twin brother. Nevermind the fact that the twin brother had repeatedly spoken to me disrespectfully, refused to do his work and interrupted my instructions with comments like, “I don’t care!” and “I’m not going to do it.”
Finally, at my wits’ end, I dialed the phone and said to my husband, “Please, just listen to this.” And then I repeated the instructions to my son while holding the phone between us. I said, “Please write down the formula and then do the work.” He said, “Okay.” Then I said, “Thanks,” to my husband and hung up.
And then, out of his father’s hearing, my son started up again, refusing to do his work, arguing with me.
I dialed again. This time, my husband spoke directly to my son who began to cry.
All this because the boy refused to write down the formula, plug in the numbers and solve the problem. Four problems, to be exact.
Teenagers make me long for the days of tantrums and diapers. Teenagers make me nostalgic for the days of spilled sippy cups and plastic toys all over the floor. Teenagers make me view their toddlerhoods through the gauzy film of selective memory. Ah, they were so cute! Even better were the days before they had language and all they could do was cry. Crying seems preferable, after a day like today when my teenager told me in no uncertain terms what he thinks of my parenting.
I excelled as the parent of twin babies, twin toddlers and twin preschoolers. However, just to keep the universe in balance, I fail miserably as the parent of twin teenagers. At least that’s what they’ll tell you.
(I’d like to resign now.)