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Teaching Your Tween Responsibility so They Don’t Have to Cross-Dress

“Oh my gosh!  You are so irresponsible!  You’re almost THIRTEEN years old!  If I wasn’t around to remind you, you’d probably forget to wipe your butt!  Grrrrrrr!!!”

What prompted this outpouring of frustrated rage from me, you ask?  Let’s back up a few days to a previous conversation between me and Jackson.  A conversation that went like this . . .

“Hey Jackson, do you have your band uniform for your concert next week?  Make sure you have a shirt, pants, and your black shoes and make sure they all fit so I’ll have time to get you new ones if they don’t.”

“I have it,” said Jackson while still glued to the TV.

“Are you sure?  Make sure everything still fits.  Go now.  Try it on and make sure.”

“I’m sure!” he said.  Upon seeing my dubious expression, he reiterated.  “Really, I have my uniform!”

Fast forward to 4:30 this afternoon.

“Moooom, I don’t have black pants!” Jackson whined in a panic.

“Hmmm, that’s so strange.  I wonder what happened to them.  You had everything you needed last week when I asked you to check.”  (I knew darn well nothing had happened to his clothes, and that he’d never actually checked to make sure he had everything he needed.  I just needed to buy a little time so I could calm down and come up with a solution because at the moment, my plan was to rip off his arms and beat him with them.)

“Mooooom, what am I going to do?!” he continued to whine.

I suggested he call some friends to see if they had pants he could borrow.  No dice.  He cried that his friends didn’t have black pants. 

“What do you want me to do about it now?  You have to be there at 5:00.  Do you think I can run to the store and back and get you there in twenty minutes?!”

Jackson continued to freak out because despite the fact that I’m bulletproof, I have not mastered the art of turning back time, and I was pretty sure I couldn’t run to the store at the speed of light.  And I continued to refrain from knocking him into next week.

He ran out to the garage and started searching through the piles of clothes that were arranged for my upcoming garage sale.  Jackson found a pair of pants that were a couple sizes too big for him.  He held them up to him while running past me to change.  “Those are HUGE, Jackson!  And they’re girls’ pants!”

Mistake.  Big mistake.  I should’ve just let him put on the girls’ pants and wrapped a belt around him to hold them up.  He’d look like a female clown, sure, but at least he’d get to his concert on time.  And maybe going to his concert in girls’ pants would teach him a lesson in responsibility.  But nooooo, I had to point out that they were girl pants.  Smart move, Mom.

After hearing they were girls’ pants, Jackson went back to freaking out and running around the garage while rifling through the stacks of clothes.  I joined him and  finally found the suit that Austin wore to my sister’s wedding several years ago.  I grabbed the pants.  They were black.  They were boys’ pants.  They fit.  Well, they sort of fit.  Okay, Jackson looked like Urkel (especially with the white socks he was wearing).  I couldn’t look at him without hearing, “Did I do that?”  But beggars can’t be choosers and they were better than the several-sizes-too-big, girls’ pants.

“We’ve only got a couple minutes to get you there.  Change your socks and put on black ones, then put on your shoes and get in the car,” I instructed.

“I don’t have black shoes,” he cried some more.

“You have GOT to be kidding me!”  My head exploded.

I think that brings us up to speed.  And now you understand the opening conversation.  I found some black tennis shoes in the garage, thrust them toward Jackson, reminded him to get his drumsticks, and stomped out to the car.  He whined that he needed dress shoes.

“Brooklyn has some dress shoes you can wear,” I suggested helpfully.

He was less than amused. He whined a few times that the shoes were too small and he’d be in trouble because he wasn’t allowed to wear tennis shoes.  “And I’m going to be embarrassed!” he blubbered.

I replied in the immortal words of Clayton, “Sucks to be you.”

Want to read more from Dawn? Whether you’re thinking about having kids, you’re pregnant now, or you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll love her popular, You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth)!

Connect with Dawn on Facebook because she’s lazy and it’s easier to update Facebook than it is to blog about everything going on.

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