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Everybody was Street-Fu Fighting: Teen Parenting SOS

I never saw it coming.

Well, I guess I did. But like a person watching the asteroid approach Earth in a bad sci-fi movie, I just thought I’d have more time to prepare….

We can add it to the pile of other things I never expected about parenthood.

My boys are becoming teenagers. At nine.

(Disclaimer: none of this applies to my daughter, who, I swear to you all, was born all-knowing and rolling her eyes at my every word and decision. She is a tiny 30 year old, trapped in a 6 year-old body. So let’s leave her out of this.)

This is about my boys, who, at almost 11 and 9 (my second, in the pre-approved picture here, turns nine in two weeks) make me feel like I’m living with two teenagers. And here is why.

1. They’ve started rolling their eyes at me.

For one, it began at the sight of me picking him up from school in ripped jeans (not allowed by their dress code and ever so slightly frowned upon of parents) and waving at him madly across the playground. *insert 9 year old eye roll here*

For my second, it was my telling him yesterday that Street Fighter 5 might not be an appropriate video game for him to play.

“Oh Mama, I can play, I’m not going to actually street fight anyone.” *eye roll*

2. (Related to the Street Fighter 5) They’ve started making questionable decisions about what they can do while their Mama isn’t here.

Once upon a time (aka before 9), I had boys who would never dream of doing something they knew I wouldn’t like, even when I wasn’t with them. But now, I find chocolate wrappers under their beds (which I assume is my clue to stop looking under there, before the contraband becomes more awkward…) and winter clothes left inside at recess. Seriously boys, it’s minus 12 degrees!

They’ve joined forces in their new found self-determination and added signage to the cupboard in their room, where I am not allowed to go. After they agreed to a no girl, no cigarette, no beer, no unapproved video game rule for said closet, I am letting it happen. We also agreed to occasional, random, in their presence searches. Who knew I’d be the security council?

3. They have turned into zombie-like creatures who seem to need endless amounts of sleep. Suddenly, I have grumpy children with anything less than 12 hours of sleep. I assume their bodies are changing at such a rate that this is needed. Or that being awake is now so frustrating that they would rather sleep.

I am trying my best to make sure that they get it. I may even have bribed one of them into staying in bed an hour later this morning with permission to play Street Fighter 5…

4. They are becoming so brooding. Oh, how simple the world was to them before. Now things are unfair and life is a trial. Every single thing is an injustice.

This is where I need to keep myself from rolling my eyes. I’m trying.

5. They eat more than I do. If you know me, then you know this isn’t really a huge feat for a human to accomplish. But this is the age when it starts. When they were small, I wouldn’t order any food and finish off their plates at restaurants. Now they eat their meals (ordered off the adult menu, because who the hell looks like a child over here? Crayons?! We don’t need crayons!!!), and then when they’re done, give my plate a stare down.

“Mama, are you going to finish that???”

Don’t even get me started on my grocery bill.

Parents of teenagers, please send help. It’s happened much sooner than I ever thought it would and I am simply ill equipt and unprepared. I find myself just rapidly pressing all the buttons as fast as possible, trying the same techniques for teen parenting that I used to kick their butts at Street Fighter Five.

Should I run for cover and leave them in the capable hands of their mature-beyond-her-years baby sister?

Is there a support commune in the hills somewhere with wine and no cell coverage?

Will they ever, ever be full?

Teenager SOS. What’s your best piece of teenager parenting advice?

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