Just A Few Really Crucial, Important Life Lessons I Somehow Forgot to Teach My Teen. (Also known as important sh*t I forgot to teach my child. Oops.)
Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. My daughter started high school. (Here’s a recap of the evil ways I made her summer vacation before high school completely suck.)
Hold the phone. How in God’s name did she get old enough to be starting high school?
Just yesterday we were still playing with roly-polys in the backyard. Now she’s a teen with the attitude to prove it.
But there were so many things I planned on teaching her that somehow slipped past us. Some very important life lessons that she needs to learn before she leaves me and heads out into the big wide world alone.
So here are some of the basic life lessons I somehow forgot to impart. I better get crackin’ before she’s off to college.
1. Times Up for the Kid’s Menu.
Guess what? You won’t be able to order off the kids menu. In fact, you’re actually not included as a kid anymore and most restaurant menus offer these cute kiddie meals to those 12 and under. Which you aren’t.
There will no longer be a parade of beige foods. Meals of pasta with butter and cheese. White starch, butter and cheese served with a coloring page and a dinosaur cup.
This might even be the year that your food has to mingle. Mix. Be all together on a single plate.
God forbid, you might even have to have foods with flecks of veggies in it. You might have to start eating an entire plate of veggies merrily dancing together in puddles of broth.
I know, life is SO unfair but most dining establishments won’t be serving you kiddie fare in cute containers when you’re 30 so now might be the time to make peace with that.
Which brings me to my next point.
2. The Short Order Cook Just Quit.
When I was working full time, we had a nanny. Sonia was the most amazing surrogate parent on the planet. She adored CeCe, and did whatever she could to make her happy. Which included making whatever food CeCe wanted. Whenever she wanted. It was like having her own personal chef available 24/7.
We don’t have a nanny anymore but sometimes out of parental guilt I find myself doing that whole personal chef routine too. “How about grilled cheese tonight? Nope? Soup? No? Quesadilla?”
WTH? Most kitchens you will encounter in your life will NOT come equipped with a full time chef.
3. How To Turn Stuff On. How to Put Things in Pots.
When I was growing up, dinner at our house often meant half a grapefruit and a bowl of popcorn. So cooking doesn’t come naturally to me. I kinda blanked on teaching her things that happen in that strange room with open flames and dishes, i.e., THE KITCHEN.
Just this summer, I got my ass in gear and taught her to turn on the stove. How to take a frozen pizza out of the oven. How to use a can opener. How to make macaroni and cheese FROM A BOX.
Yes, I know I suck! Let’s move on.
3. Not Everyone Is Going To Ask What’s Wrong.
Got out of bed on the wrong side? Grumpy? Don’t want to talk?
As a parent, of course, I ask that most stupid of parenting questions: “what’s wrong?”
She’s a teen. That’s what’s wrong. Hormones and growth spurts, coupled with teen angst and too much time with your laptop creates unstable emotions. Pouting. The silent treatment.
The world is not going to continually ask you why you don’t feel like participating, so to get you ready, I’m going to stop asking too.
If you feel grumpy, that’s OK, but the world will just keep speeding by. You play along. Or not. No one is waiting to find out why.
The divorce left me feeling like I was a bad parent. I over compensated and babied her too much. I helicoptered. I held on too tight. I think she needed it as the time.
And so did I. Now, not so much.
Yes, my Grandmother is probably looking down from heaven and wondering what the hell I was thinking. Wondering why I didn’t teach her all this stuff yet. (Let’s not forget she’s still got to learn how to use a needle and thread, turn on the washing machine, or even iron a shirt…)
Well, Grandma RoRo, here’s what I was thinking; that I had all the time in the world to teach her this important life stuff.
Who knew that they really do grow up fast. That they suddenly become young adults and you’ve still got a whole list of things you still have to teach them.
So there’s the Sh*t I forgot to teach my child. I’ve fessed up on a few of my epic parenting fails. Now what about you? What important stuff did you forget to pass along?