Thursday, March 4, 2010

Middle Schoolers: Attitude

From waking to sleep, a middle schoolers attitude is never in check. Emotions constantly raging with puberty, you need to always be prepared for the outlash.

Time to wake up...
"Five more minutes." I allow this. After fifteen I force them to wake. Attitude commences. They don't have to say anything, their body language speaks volumes. The slow rise, the shoulder slump, the grimace. I know better not to say or do anything yet. Just let them get acclimated to morning.

If they move to slowly, I prod, "You better start getting ready."
"I know! I'm tired!" I back off for awhile.

When there's about 20 minutes to go, they've done the stuff they like to do, eat breakfast, drink cocoa, but still not dresses, backpacks not packed, hair not done. I've gone back to packing their lunches because I realized they were too lazy to make a sandwich or open the fruit drawer, and juice and doritos does not a healthy lunch make. I suggest they do the important things. Commence with the eye rolls and heavy sighs.

If it's raining and I refuse to drive them to school, which is all of three blocks away, I get the "Uh" sound accompanied by the eye roll.

And then there's after school...
I will usually let them hang out after school. If they call and ask to go to a friends or have a friend come over and I say no, I get, "Why?" to which I give my reason, whatever it may be, busy, headache, hate their friend, on deathbed. Then I get, "But," which is always interrupted by "I said no." Then it's "Fine!" hang up the phone.

They show up and it's time for homework. If it's difficult there is head laying on the table, grunts, sighs, pounding, and frustrated growls. I try to help, but some of it is even over my head.

Then snacks. I like them to eat a somewhat healthy snack after school because dinner comes shortly after. But if I suggest fruit or vegetable I once again get the eye roll and "fine."

They barely exist here anymore. Mostly, I cook, clean, do dishes, laundry, take out the garbage, everything. I've tried to get them on a chore schedule, but between soccer, basketball, homework, and their social life, chores are pretty much non existent to them. Basically, they're not asked to do much. I'd rather have them get good grades and excel in their sports of choice. However, on the weekend, I will usually ask them to pick up their stuff, clean the bathroom and vacuum. Three very easy things to do that will take approximately ten minutes out of their day. I am met with glares, stares, glowers, grimaces, hip out, arms crossed attitude.

I have to remind them that if I stopped doing all the chores I'm expected to do, we would all starve, live in filth, and be wearing the same underwear for weeks on end. I should be the one giving the attitude.

And forget talking about grades, boys, school drama, and the like. A mom can only take so many eye rolls before she's in desperate need of a straight jacket and padded room.

Tomorrow, Friday Free For All.



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